084: Sex Positivity in Mormonism – Part 2

Mormon Mental Health Podcast has partnered with Mormon Matters for the following production:

In this two-part episode, a wonderful panel of mental health professionals who also have certifications in or in the process of becoming sex therapists —Natasha Helfer ParkerShannon HickmanKristin Hodson, and Kristin Marie Bennion—join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a terrific discussion of the issues surrounding sex that are quite common in Mormonism, and among the general public. But, as the title of the episode suggests, the main focus is on the sex-positive messaging that exists in Mormonism, and how we can better include it in our own thinking about and experiences of desire and physical intimacy. How can we create a gospel-based value system that incorporates LDS teachings about the goodness of our bodies, and that sex is not just about procreation but also pleasure and connection and relational intimacy? How do we incorporate and find the proper balance between messaging about the spiritual aspects of human sexuality and the intense and bodily driven emotions and activities that are a key element of sexual fulfillment? The panelists also address LDS teachings about pornography, as well as finding healthy ways to integrate our sexual pasts with our present sex lives—everything from the messaging we grew up with and absorbed into our views about ourselves and our bodies, to guilt over past sexual experimentation, to healing from unwanted sexual advances, even abuse.

This is a powerful episode. Please listen and then join in the discussion in the comments section below!


Links to Items and Events Mentioned in this Episode:

“Intimacy in Mormon Marriage” Workshop, 28 December 2015, Orem, Utah. Co-sponsored by Mormon Matters and A Thoughtful Faith podcasts.
The workshop information and registration links are about half-way down front page. You can also learn about the workshop and register here.

Related writings by Natasha Helfer Parker:
Sexuality and the Mormon Marriage,” Segullah blog, 31 January 2011

Teaching Chastity to the Relief Society,” Mormon Therapist blog, 21 September 2013

The Healing Group, Kristin Hodson’s therapy practice website

Kristin Hodson, et al, Real Intimacy: A Couple’s Guide to Healthy, Genuine Sexuality (Cedar Fort, 2012)

Who Moved My Desire?“: A Support Group Exploring Female Desire

Dallin H. Oaks, “Recovering from the Trap of Pornography,” Ensign, Ocober 2015

What Should I Do When I See Pornography?“, LDS.org video for children

Kristin Hodson, “Ten Sex Positive Things Worth Noting in the LDS Church Video on Talking to Your Kids About Pornography,” Cultural Hall Podcast blog, 16 November 2015

Intimate Connections Counseling, Kristin Marie Bennion’s therapy practice website

Shannon Hickman Counseling, Shannon Hickman’s therapy practice website

The Birds and the Bees: Parent Education Event” flyer for Shannon Hickman workshop to be held 11 January 2016 in West Jordan, Utah

Taylor Petrey, “Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 2011

Utah Sex Therapy Association website

AASECT: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists website

2 comments for “084: Sex Positivity in Mormonism – Part 2

  1. Dawn
    March 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I noticed you brought up toys in the conversation after woman achieving a orgasm.. I have more of a question than a statement, so here goes. I assumed anything between a husband and wife was OK when married but a couple of months back I read a article from 1982 and it was relating to oral sex, over the years my husband and I have been invited in this action and since reading this article our sex life hasn’t been the same, I want to please him(myself as well) but I feel as though this isn’t appropriate any more (we had toys and I got rid of them as well) I’m concerned and confused ? I am very religious and my husband isn’t so I feel as though maybe I blame him a bit for the problems that have come up with our sex lives but I’m also confused because until the moment of reading that article I never thought of oral sex as bad. Other lds people I’ve talked to weren’t aware or never brought this subject up, is it possible for you to explain or help (podcast whatever) me understand this subject?

    • natashaparker
      March 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Yes there was a letter written in the 80’s that mentioned oral sex as problematic in between couples and that bishops should ask about it in worthiness interviews. About six months later this was rescinded – and currently there is no mention of oral sex in any of the current bishop handbooks, etc. In fact, you can ask your current bishop about it – and he can show you the part of the bishop’s handbook that talks to couples about being free to negotiate in between themselves what they want their sexual lives to look like. You can chalk that up to one of those times that personal bias got in the way of prophetic counsel. And the leaders are good about talking about how sometimes there are prophetic/doctrinal ways in which they speak – but not everything that comes from leadership should be considered doctrine. Holland speaks of this when he starts his “answer” on the following video: https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/ldsface2face?source=feed_text&story_id=851129334995878
      As another resource, the podcast I did with Isa Jones: http://www.mormonsexinfo.com/5-claiming-sexual-identity on claiming our sexual identities within the construct of our religious values is super valuable in my opinion. Thanks for your question!

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