Friday, July 20, 2018

How do I try something new?

It's possible that you have had sex the same way the whole time you've been married and that you're perfectly happy to continue that and so is your partner. If that's the case, maybe you don't need this post at all. But what if it's not?

When I was new to sex, I had read 2 1/2 books about sex: The Act of Marriage, Between Husband and Wife, and And They Were Not Ashamed. The first one was probably the best, the second one was okay, and the last one didn't seem to apply to me since I didn't have "good girl syndrome" as the book called it, because I actually wanted to have sex and wasn't afraid it would make me a sinner to have sex with my husband. I never finished that last book.

From the books, I learned a few things. Here's a pretty good summary of what I knew when I got married and had sex for the first time:
  • Losing my virginity was probably going to include blood and pain
  • Lay down towels on the bed to catch any mess
  • There's something called foreplay which is when you kiss and touch each other in sexually exciting ways until you're both aroused
  • Arousal for a man is an erection, which is a hard penis filled with blood
  • Arousal for a woman is lubrication and some swelling in the genitals also because of blood
  • The clitoris is a little bump at the top of my labia majora
  • Stimulating the clitoris is important for female pleasure and orgasm
  • Penis-in-the-vagina sex without clitoral stimulation may not lead to female orgasm although it will probably lead to male orgasm
  • Men ejaculate semen when they orgasm, women typically don't ejaculate when they orgasm but feel pleasure intense enough that it reaches a climax and then calms down
  • After climax, there's something called afterglow where you want to cuddle naked and love each other a lot
I had heard about something called sex positions, but I was afraid to google it in case I ended up looking at porn by accident. At this point I am pretty brave about googling things, so I just googled sex positions and found a reasonably good article immediately - the diagrams are simple silhouettes but do show what you're supposed to do. (If you want to see what I read, here it is: ) In my fear, I decided to purchase a book - The Idiot's Guide to the Kama Sutra. I did like the book, though I didn't read it all the way through. It helped me find a sex position that felt better to me than what I'd tried, and helped me understand foreplay a bit better. I also was relieved that the illustrations weren't so graphic they felt like pornography. I have since learned that this diagram method is actually the norm for sex position instruction, so if you want to Google them, do so fearlessly! I just tried Google image search for sex positions and there was nothing pornographic at all.

However, sex positions aren't the only way to try new things. Here's a short list of a few things you can try:
  • Oral sex - on him or on her, if you haven't yet
  • Anal play, with fingers
  • Anal sex, if anal play is enjoyable
  • Sex toys - maybe start with a vibrator, but there's a lot out there
  • Different lubricants - not all are equal. Astroglide is my best friend. *Use silicone for anal play but water based for toys and condoms
  • Different foreplay, longer foreplay
  • Taking naked selfies, then deleting them or sending them only to each other and then deleting them
  • Having sex in a different place - the living room, the car, etc.
  • Switching up who's in charge of clitoral stimulation
  • New lingerie/underwear
I'm sure there's plenty of other ideas, but I just wanted to say it's great to try new things! It's the only way to find what you like the most. Good luck!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Communication and sex

Consider that there are two main branches of communication surrounding sex: initiation communication and feedback communication. Both types of communication are essential for true intimacy, where you're having sex in a way that brings you closer together. Each partner needs to learn to use both types of communication to help the sexual experience be as fulfilling as possible. I'm not a sex therapist or anything, so this is all sex communication according to NiceMormonWife, but maybe it'll help someone.

Initiation communication

Initiation communication is the type of communication used to initiate something sexual. This is the first part of consent. Everything in sex should be done with consent from both partners. Here are the four main categories I consider to make up initiation communication.

1. Trying
You communicate a desire to try something when you want to do something new for the first time. This may be asking to hold hands for the first time, asking to kiss for the first time, or trying something sexual for the first time. Even after you've had sex a lot of times, this can still happen. For example, a partner might say "I would like to try a different position this time. Are you open to that?" I believe trying should always be communicated verbally. Some people think talking about it could ruin the moment, but I find that if you ask with words, you are more likely to get very clear feedback. If the feedback is "no," you absolutely should be glad you asked, because it's terrible to try things that one partner doesn't want to try.

2. Testing
You communicate a desire to test something when you try more than one variation of something and seek feedback. For example, a woman could test various strokes on the male penis and ask for feedback about what feels best. She could ask "which spot should I try to focus on?" or "Does it feel better when my hand is this way or this way?" or "Do you like it when I use my fingers or my thumb?" It is also great to ask to be shown how, or for a description of what feels good, and then try to do it and ask if you're getting it right. Besides sexual techniques, it's great to test out "turn ons." You should know what turns each other on, and trying different things and seeking feedback is really enjoyable. Start by asking what your partner has noticed feels great and turns them on, and test things out. Maybe it's touching their lower back or grabbing their butt, maybe kissing their ear or neck, moving your hand slowly up their thigh, or any combination of things. There may even be a preferred order to the turn ons. Find out!

3. Offering
You communicate a desire to offer something when you either ask if your partner would like something done or start doing it and watch for feedback. Maybe you know your partner likes receiving oral but sometimes isn't in the mood for it. You can offer by asking "would you like oral today?" or you can kiss closer and closer to their genitals and either ask if they'd like you to keep going or check their facial expression or listen for sounds of encouragement. Remember that every time you offer something, it is an offer, and it can be refused. Every time you say "want to have sex tonight?" or any variation on that question, your partner is allowed to say no, and if they do, you need to respect that. You can also offer things like "would you like to kiss and see where it leads?" or "would you like to just cuddle?" And you can do a very open-ended offer, like "what find of physical contact, if any, would you like from me right now?" 

4. Requesting
You communicate a request when you either verbally ask for something to be done to you, or when you guide your partner's body in such a way that it makes it clear what you would like done. For example, you might ask your partner to stimulate your clitoris with a circular motion, or ask for oral, or ask for a specific type of anal play, or even request a break from sex. Remember, of course, if you request something sexual and your partner isn't okay with it or just doesn't want to right now, to be understanding and not forceful. Sometimes it can be hard to make requests. Maybe you feel selfish asking for your partner to pleasure you, or maybe you think it's not "natural" to ask. However, I find that I like requests (when I am happy with my partner), because I want to please him and want to make him feel great. He also likes requests because he wants to make me feel great. Allow your partner that opportunity!

Feedback communication

Feedback communication  is the type of communication used to respond to something sexual. This is the second part of consent. Everything in sex should be done with consent from both partners. Here are the four main categories I consider to make up feedback communication.

1. Facial expression
You can give or receive feedback using facial expressions to communicate about current sexual experiences. If you like something, allow it to show on your face through whatever comes naturally - smiling, licking your lips, closing your eyes, or whatever. Reading facial expressions can be tricky, especially at first. Sometimes facial expressions for intense sexual pleasure and for pain look very similar. You may not know at first what a facial expression means just by looking. If you are ever wondering if your partner is pain, ask immediately. They may be afraid to tell you or in too much pain to remember to tell you, but you need to know because you need to be able to stop if there is pain. It is also possibly to feel pleasure and pain at the same time. In that case, the person experiencing the pain needs to decide if they would like to stop or keep going (and the other partner needs to feel comfortable with that decision). 

2. Sounds
You can give or receive feedback using sounds to communicate sexually. Some people are naturally louder than others during sex. Do not be ashamed if you end up making loud sounds during sex; there is nothing wrong with being vocal. Do not shame your partner for being loud. Similarly, it is okay if you or your partner are more quiet during sex. Being quiet doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong. Personally, I am usually pretty quiet during sex, although I sometimes try to consciously use sound to encourage my partner when he's doing something I am enjoying - maybe I'll say "mmmm..." or "Oh! Oh!" but once in a while, I get a little bit loud, and he's always very happy when that happens. It signals to him that I'm feeling awesome, which he likes to hear. If your partner is quiet, let them know that it's okay to be quiet during sex but you do love it when you hear sounds from them letting you know if you're doing something right. It is good to ask what a certain sound means if you are not sure, especially if you suspect it might indicate pain. It is also not a bad idea to discuss the sounds you make immediately after sex. It can feel very weird to talk about sounds, but this is the person you are most intimate with - you should be able to say anything.

3. Words
Words play one of the most important roles in giving and receiving feedback during sex because you can be so clear with words. It is important to be able to say to your partner "that hurts," "I like that," "I need a little break," or anything else you want them to know. You shouldn't be shy to say "I'm ready to go faster when you are" or "please slow down for a minute" or "more lubricant please," or "can we try a different position? This is uncomfortable for me." It is equally important to hear what your partner is saying during sex and show them you value what they say. The idea that people shouldn't talk during sex is false and harmful. People should feel at ease to talk during sex about what is happening to either partner. If you feel nervous to talk during sex, try telling your partner you are nervous to give verbal feedback during sex but you would like to try, and hopefully they will be supportive and encouraging. Personally, I don't think talking during sex is optional. I think you have to be able to do it. Not that you have to talk the whole time, or even talk every time, but you have to be able to speak up about your experience while it's happening. 

4. Body movements/actions
Involuntary or intentional body movements/actions also play an important role in communicating feedback during sex. Some of these body movements are involuntary. For example, some spasming during orgasm is normal and helps the other person to know that climax was just achieved - which also means that partner is about to get very sensitive to the touch. Sometimes movements are somewhere between involuntary and intentional - you may start thrusting your hips without realizing you are doing it, and then it feels good and you continue. But it is also important to use intentional actions to communicate during sex. Maybe your partner's finger isn't in exactly the right spot - you can guide it to the right place. Maybe the woman is ready for deeper penetration, she can wrap her legs around and pull him in, or thrust her hips at him. Maybe you would like a turn on top - try physically signaling to trade places. Maybe you would like a turn underneath - same idea. Sometimes you can physically signal something you want by doing the equivalent to your partner, like if you want your nipples played with, you can play with your partner's nipples. Obviously, you need to pay attention while you do this to make sure everything is okay with your partner. 

I hope all of this gives you some idea of the methods and importance of communication before, after, and especially during sex. There's no mind reading in sex or at any other time. Nonverbal communication is essential, but it is not a substitute for verbal communication, which is even more essential. Communicate about your sexual communication, and communicate before, during, and after sex, about sex, and about how each of you feels. This is probably the best way to learn how to have a fulfilling sex life.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Starting up again

I haven't posted on this in a long time. Truthfully, I forgot about it. But I remembered it the other day, and thought I should add to it. I have more thoughts on intimacy and sex and have learned a lot since I last posted. Here we go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My general rule for what's okay/what's not

In our church, we become pretty familiar with the word stewardship. It means you have a right to receive revelation for whatever it is you have stewardship over. In my opinion, which is based off of what I have read from conference talks, church publications, etc. is that husband and wife, together, have stewardship over their sex life - and no one else, really. Others can give advice, but God gives revelation, where needed and asked for, to the husband and the wife - not to others.

In thinking about what's okay and what's not for married sex, my rule of thumb is: revelation. There's a quote that floats around almost as much as the 25-year-old menace to society, that is, "if a person is engaged in a practice which troubles him enough to ask about it, he should discontinue it." I don't think that's a great thing to live by for a lot of people. Personally, I ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research because it is in my nature to want to know things. Consider this: someone of another faith is thinking about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They act on this line of though by attending the church and taking the missionary discussions. They decide to ask about whether or not this is the right thing to do. They ask Heavenly Father. Does the fact that they want to ask mean they should discontinue those things? NO! Clearly, this is not a universal truth, and I think a better way to say it might be something along the lines of, "if it makes you feel guilty and want to repent, you should probably not do it." Because that's probably revelation (unless you have a personality that feels guilt for no reason, which can sometimes be the case).

So, for example, when my husband and I were engaged, the topic of oral sex came up. I had wondered about whether it was okay, and the quotation I showed above struck me hard as "maybe that means I shouldn't even think about this." Because I was curious and wanted to know more about it and what other LDS people though - okay or not? I did like the idea of it and wanted to try it. I didn't feel particularly bad about it, only worried that that quotation would condemn me. In the end, we decided that since we both felt comfortable with the idea, we should pray about it, and see what Heavenly Father thought. After praying, I felt a lot better, and the idea came to me that we could try it once, and if either of us felt guilty or dirty afterwards, we should not do it again. But if we both felt good and loved and happy, it would be fine. Guess what? It was the second thing in our case.

On the other hand, we will probably never try anal sex, because I am uncomfortable with the idea. I don't need to pray about it, I know I don't want to do it. And if either husband or wife feels uncomfortable with a certain practice, it might be best to not do it. This is, of course, not a universal truth either - but I believe it applies in many circumstances regarding sex. As long as it isn't taken to the extreme, like "sex makes me uncomfortable, so let's never have it." That probably means you need therapy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oral sex/stimulation

Something that I've wanted to share since I started this blog is my view on oral stimulation or oral sex.

Perhaps some of you have seen or heard about the letter from the First Presidency stating that they (the First Presidency) interpreted oral sex as "an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice." That letter was written in January of 1982. My understanding (insofar as I have read) is that in response to this letter, many bishops began asking married members if they engaged in oral sex and told them not to. Probably in response to members letters, the First Presidency then issued another letter to bishops, essentially telling them not to inquire about the private matters of the bedroom. I have found a copy of the first letter and have even had a bishop show it to me almost 30 years after it was sent out. That bishop had been a bishop at the time that letter was written, but was released before the second letter came out in October of the same year, so he didn't know that the next letter basically said "don't inquire into married members bedrooms!" Granted, we were not quite yet married at the time, but he was referring to the time (a month later) when we would be married.

So here's what I think:

If a man demands that his wife give him oral sex, and she does not feel good about it, it's definitely wrong. Same this vice versa, if the wife demands it and the husband is uncomfortable with it. However, in general, I read that a spiritually in-tune couple can pray about their sex life and find out for themselves what is okay and what's not. Having prayed about it with my husband, I feel it's okay for us to do. That being said, I don't think it should take the place of regular sex, at least not often. I also think it's something that should be given, not taken. My husband doesn't request it, but I occasionally orally stimulate him, when I'm feeling like it. The reverse is also true. When he wants to turn me on, really turn me on, and if I have recently washed that area (like right after a shower), he sometimes will orally stimulate me and then we have sex afterwards. I can't tell you how much it makes me know he loves me. It's about love for us, not lust. It's about making the person we love the very most feel so incredibly amazing. I will say though that I generally will not orally stimulate him to orgasm because I prefer to have sex afterwards, and it doesn't work so well if he's already climaxed. On the other hand, he will frequently orally stimulate me to orgasm, because that really doesn't get in the way of us having sex. It usually just makes me want it more.

So, in summary, I think oral sex only makes sense if both husband and wife are comfortable with it, and if it's given as a gift to say I love you, and doesn't completely replace intercourse. Along with being commanded to be one flesh and cleave unto each other (which I think oral sex can help accomplish), we were also commanded to multiply and replenish the earth (which it certainly can't) - but also, it's just super nice to end up with our bodies entwined and enjoying, together, the experience of afterglow.

My not-so-sister site

I was having a discussion with my husband the other day and he had been talking with one of his friends about this blog and my purpose in creating it. His friend shared another blog with him which he then shared with me - I was pretty excited at first because it was another Mormon sex blog, the very thing I had been lamenting for its nonexistence. However, when I read it, I realized it was not really what I was looking for. The kindest way I could put it is that it was a lot more liberal than my blog.

Because of this blog run-in, which was almost similar to mine but really not, it got me thinking about how potentially narrow my audience is, not least because I have no idea how to advertise an anonymous blog. But if a blog like that is attracting visitors, it reminded me that I am possibly on the more conservative side of the LDS religion. Here are some reasons:

-The other blog promoted masturbation as a healthy and good thing - even for singles/teens. I disagree with this stance. I intend to write a whole post on it in the future, but for now I will say that my husband and I don't do it, and I can see it possibly being okay in some marital relationships as part of foreplay, but I don't view it as okay as a solo endeavor.

Okay, so most of the rest of it was littler than that. Like, the bloggers (there are several) chose as pennames, names of Joseph Smith's wives. Seemed kind of like a little satirical nod to polygamy, which I don't think of as very funny. It's a pretty serious thing and I don't really understand it, so I don't laugh at it. Also, they had linked to a satirical blog from the point of view of an unrealistically strict stake president, which bordered on anti-Mormon. At first I found it slightly funny until I realized that it was making fun of some things I really believe are God's laws. Like don't watch pornography. The more I read from the blog, the more negative my attitude became and I finally collapsed into bed with overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, confusion, etc. I told my husband I would not be reading that blog again, and he held me and agreed that that would be a good idea.

So while at first it seemed like "oh! I don't have to write this blog, it's been written already!" I realized that narrow as my audience may be, this is still an important project. And that I'd like to keep it respectful and doctrine-based, not worldly-view based. Of course everything will be based on my interpretations, but I won't make fun of you for your views even if they don't match up with mine. I might try to back mine up with scriptures and/or conference talks, though, because I have a thing about being right when I think I'm right...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad

One of the reasons I started this blog is because sex was on my mind. I felt like we were somehow missing out on something because I felt that sex should be more enjoyable than it was. And I didn't have any idea who to talk to about that. So of course, I talked to Craig.

He recommended Kama Sutra, which is the ancient Indian (from India) art of love making. So I bought a book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Kama Sutra. I sort of glanced through it, but I haven't thoroughly read it yet. Only one section of it is about sex positions, while the rest is about other aspects of love making mostly. The sex position section is illustrated with diagrams, which I think is helpful and tasteful, not pornographic. But this isn't a review of the book.

I wanted my husband to read a little of it with me every day because I have been having a hard time getting aroused lately. I'm not sure why. The problem is, he really only reads comic books and it was pretty hard to convince him that this was a comic book...since it's not. So we haven't read it. But I think the fact that I purchased it gave him an idea that I needed more effort. We tried some new things (like starting fully clothed, for example, and not in the bedroom) to start out with and it seemed to work. I was properly aroused, and we tried a different position and had the best sex we've ever had. I think it wasn't any one aspect that made it so good, but the whole shebang. He romanced me into sex, rather than going "hey, we're both naked from the shower and now we're in the bedroom, how about it?" Everything about it was non-routine and thoughtful and caring, and it was awesome. I'd like to do that again some time.

But then more recently, it was pretty lame again. I could kind of tell he wanted to have sex, and since I'm usually the one asking I had no problem saying yes, but it really just didn't feel very good. There was hardly any foreplay (or forethought) and it ended in him feeling relatively good until I started crying because I felt selfish for wishing it had been more like the previous time. Then he didn't feel so good either.

We haven't had sex since, yet. That was Monday and now it's Thursday, and for us that's actually quite a long time to go in between (we're newlyweds). I'm just confused about how to make sex good when we're both so tired all the time. Sex requires so much effort for me to really enjoy it, so it sucks if it's rather quick but it also sucks if we just stop having it because it takes too long.

I don't actually have a solution to this problem. Just a problem.