Laura M. Brotherson (LMFT, CST, CFLE), works as a sex therapist and says the number one question she gets asked, especially in the LDS community, is what is okay and what isn’t okay when it comes to sexual intimacy. In an article for Meridian Magazine, Brotherson states such questions can be “mental distractors and inhibitors to true intimacy” and lays out some great thoughts for consideration. Below is an excerpt from her full article:
Distinguishing between sexual inhibitions caused by negative conditioning, and reticence prompted by divine direction, is no easy task. Couples must consider the possibility of negative sexual conditioning, as well as the strength of their spiritual connection when determining what’s okay and what isn’t in their intimate relationship.
Let’s say a husband wants his wife to participate in a particular behavior, but she feels uncomfortable with it. She considers her feelings to be a spiritual indication that the behavior is wrong. It is possible that the husband is out of tune with his spiritual guidance system, or it could be that things like pornography have negatively influenced his appetites and desires. He may not see anything wrong with the behavior, even though it may actually not be in keeping with God’s designs for sexual relations in marriage.
On the other hand, it is possible that the wife is unaware of her underlying negative conditioning (Good Girl Syndrome) that causes her to believe or feel something is sinful, when it is not. As the husband develops spiritually, or roots out the effects of pornography, for instance, he may come to see that the particular behavior he previously desired isn’t appropriate.
As the wife overcomes her unnecessary inhibitions, the sexual activities she previously felt were sinful can now be seen as perfectly acceptable, and even enjoyable within a trusting and loving, intimate marital relationship.
Though there is no clearly defined list of do’s and don’ts, the Lord has not left couples alone with the important issues of intimacy in marriage. Couples can counsel with the Lord in all their doings–even in the area of sexual relations–and He will direct them to that which is good.