Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

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QuestionAbound
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Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by QuestionAbound » 31 Oct 2013, 13:57

I hope this is an okay topic here...I'm at a loss...
I was recently visiting with two sisters in the ward...one is a recent convert with a military husband and the other is a recent convert/recent widow (2 years ago). We visit outside of church socialities (is that a word?), but sometimes church doctrine comes up (I don't bring it up, but since I'm the life-long member it seems that I'm their go-to person).
The military wife asked if "the church" thought it was okay for her and her husband to engage in self stimulation while he is away. Not necessarily at the same time. The recent widow seemed interested in what I had to say, though she didn't volunteer any of her info (I can understand why she would be interested).
I honestly didn't know what to say.
It seems that the recent conference talk about sexual purity struck a chord with the military wife.
I simply suggested that when in a committed relationship, both parties need to be comfortable with what is going on. And that's where I left it.
But...is there some "doctrine" that I need to know about in regards to the "church's position" about marital masturbation should this topic come up again?
I know what *I* am comfortable with in my own marriage, but I'm not totally sure that what goes on in my bedroom would be found in the church handbooks. 8-)

conflicted testimony
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by conflicted testimony » 31 Oct 2013, 14:46

No idea on the official church position on this, but as far as I a concerned, I consider this still in the marital bedroom (even if you are in separate rooms/countries/time zones) and totally off limits to anyone else sticking their nose in.

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mackay11
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Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by mackay11 » 31 Oct 2013, 15:28

conflicted testimony wrote:...totally off limits to anyone else sticking their nose in.
Cos that would be a really strange way to do it ;)

To answer the question. If both partners are comfortable then I've always been of the opinion that pretty much anything goes.

Just don't read anything from the 80s!

I think these days masturbation has been taken out of most of the church manuals. They're mute on it rather than condoning it.

Oh, and don't ask you're bishop. It's a lottery as to what you'll hear from him and probably largely dependent on his wife's attitude!

Roadrunner
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by Roadrunner » 31 Oct 2013, 15:45

conflicted testimony wrote:No idea on the official church position on this, but as far as I a concerned, I consider this still in the marital bedroom (even if you are in separate rooms/countries/time zones) and totally off limits to anyone else sticking their nose in.
Second this... The church has zero business in the bedroom between married partners.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Oct 2013, 15:50

Absolutely, and with modern technology, it doesn't always have to be alone.

I love modern technology. :thumbup:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roadrunner
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by Roadrunner » 31 Oct 2013, 15:54

mackay11 wrote:I think these days masturbation has been taken out of most of the church manuals. They're mute on it rather than condoning it.
That's largely true. New handbook #1 refers to it as self abuse, a negative and archaic term, but explicitly says it's not grounds for disciplinary action, which is a positive move I suppose.

I just think we should leave the topic of masturbation alone in the church, whether it's teenagers or married adults. In the past 2 weeks I've heard a former bishop and 2 current seminary teachers loudly say it's a terrible sin. There is still a moderal level of cultural condemnation of it.

GBSmith
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by GBSmith » 31 Oct 2013, 20:54

I think missionaries still get grilled about it. A number of years ago my wife and I were having lunch with a single woman that had left the church. In the course of the conversation she told us about a temple recommend interview she had with a bishop's counselor. When he go to the question on chastity he asked her if she masturbated. Her reply was "yes, don't you?" to which he replied after a brief pause that he did and then went ahead and finished the interview and gave her her recommend. I guess the only other thing I'd add is what we used to say about my mission president, Pres. Packer, back in the day. He didn't tell me, I didn't ask.

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mackay11
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by mackay11 » 01 Nov 2013, 00:15

Roadrunner wrote:There is still a moderal level of cultural condemnation of it.
I've no doubt there is. I don't necessarily condone it. I think there is potential for some people to get drawn into masturbation combined with porn in a way that becomes unhealthy for the relationship or individual. There's a lot in the British media at the moment about the neurological damage porn+masturbation may be doing to teenage boys, combined with them having unrealistic expectations about sex.

I'm not making a wholesale condemnation of it and repeat my previous view that within a marriage relationship the couple should reach a healthy and realistic consensus. But like anything, if done to excess, it can be unhealthy for some people.

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mackay11
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by mackay11 » 01 Nov 2013, 00:25

Roadrunner wrote: That's largely true. New handbook #1 refers to it as self abuse, a negative and archaic term, but explicitly says it's not grounds for disciplinary action, which is a positive move I suppose.
Are you sure it's in there? I've been looking online and couldn't find it in the scanned versions.

EDIT:

Found it here:
6.7.1 (p.56) “A disciplinary council should not be held to discipline or threaten members who do not comply with the Word of Wisdom, who are struggling with pornography or self-abuse,…”.
http://ge.tt/5OcBdKQ/v/0

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mackay11
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Re: Um...self-stimulation okay in marriage?

Post by mackay11 » 01 Nov 2013, 00:48

This is an interesting article from a Mormon Therapist:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mormonther ... ation.html
In short, the church itself has moved away from its positions on masturbation which were largely promulgated during the early to mid 20th century – a time when culture at large had incorrect and inaccurate ideas about sexuality. For example the word “masturbation” has been taken out of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and it no longer shows up in the Bishop’s handbook (leading me to believe that bishops should not even be asking about masturbation in their interviews – and one has a right to refuse to answer such questions). Through the past 15 years, I have spoken to numerous bishops, stake presidents, relief society presidents, and high councilmen attempting to understand an official stance on this matter. What I have come to understand is the answers I received largely depended on which leader you approach and what their past experience has been with leaders of their own. This type of non-directive nuance on such an important matter is not okay with me. Especially when within the last 6 months I’ve known of two LDS adolescent boys referred to the addictions program offered by the church because they masturbate 1-3 times a week and three LDS adolescent clients tell me they believe their masturbatory behavior to be a sin next to murder!!! If this is what we are teaching our youth – then we are emotionally abusing them. And it needs to stop. I will no longer be a compliant witness to this type of psychological assault. I know my language is strong and I intend it to be. The numerous stories I could share about masturbatory shame run in the thousands and I find it unnecessary, harmful and life altering.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and am proud to stand by the teachings I have been taught since Primary: stand for truth and righteousness, dare to do right, choose the right and let the consequence follow, abandon unrighteous traditions, personal revelation is part of my divine heritage, not all has yet been revealed, etc. Sometimes, sadly, this means doing so even within my own cultural framework of Mormonism. Sexual shaming has had a long history within religious paradigms – with disastrous results for many. I am no longer willing to participate in any way, shape or form with such shaming.
The Mormon timeline she references is illuminating:
http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis ... Fp=47.html

And for a more detailed analysis:
http://www.mormonstudies.net/pdf/mormon ... bation.pdf

There is no scriptural prohibition of Masturbation and the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith, said nothing about it either. In short, it's a modern hysteria that is a leftover perspective based on bad science. The leaders of the 70s and 80s had a big concern about it, again, based on bad science.

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