Researching for marital embrace


#1

I’m glad these forums are anonymous…
My husband and I have been married just under a year and the marital intimacy has been dampened by such things as having to practice nfp to avoid pregnancy (so down to 2 weeks a month), him working long hours (which for now can’t change) and sometimes having to be gone for a week or two at a time, and a rough transition emotionally to each other in married life.
When we actually get the chance to have marital relations, because we’re working through lots of baggage and emotional issues, its hard for me to pursue him at all. If he pursues me, many times I’m just not in the mood, but I am learning to take one for the team, because I know that afterwards that unitive act will bring us closer (thank God for His amazing biological designs). The other night I was trying to motivate myself to pursue him because he was leaving soon on another business trip in a few days and our infertile window was small. I should add here that we’re still trying to figure out what works/feels/doesn’t hurt/lasts best for both of us in the bedroom. I’m not a very creative person, so I googled ‘sex positions’ and looked at a website with suggestions. It didn’t leave much to the imagination, but the figures they used were just computer generated, not pictures of real people. I have felt guilty ever since because I’ll be honest that the images helped me find that motivation I wanted. I’m not sure if this would count as even a sin and possibly mortal. I was expecting to get images, not with the intention of looking at porn, but I’m wondering if there is any difference. Unfortunately, the visual stimuli affects one biologically the same, whether hard-core porn or computer images. They still get a reaction.
I know I should take this to confession, since its even weighing on my mind, but I always hate saying these graphic type things to a celibate man :blushing:


#2

You have a whole two weeks a month available? Lucky you.


#3

Rounded up that is. Its more like 10-12 days. An extra one or 2 between the red and fertile some months, now that we’re getting more comfortable with tracking/charting.


#4

But, yes, we are lucky. I’ve had no trouble charting and I’m pretty much the same every cycle (not counting emotional/physical stress that throws it off).


#5

2 weeks a month - good for you !! We get about 7 day in 25-6 all in the final - post ovulation phase - do you get a few days before ? It makes a big difference.

I don’t think researching positions can be a sin as long as it didn’t involve real images and the actual physical intimacy was with your husband.


#6

Sex is something that has to be learned and practiced, just like playing the piano or ice skating. It is a mechanical act, and you have to learn how to do the mechanics. Not all positions and techniques work for all couples. What is pleasurable for one couple might do absolutely nothing or even be painful for another couple.

There’s nothing wrong with learning “how” to have sex. If you were to go to a sex therapist, or even your family doctor, they would no doubt give you information, probably graphic information (including pictures) on various sexual positions. This is useful information, as many of us don’t have any way of knowing that various techniques and positions exist!

I would suggest that you be careful about learning sex from the internet, especially google. It’s too easy to get entangled with internet porn . Stick with printed material.

I personally recommend graphic romances. I know that a lot of people consider them porn. Yes, it’s troublesome when these romances include sex between unmarried couples, but it is possible to find graphic romances where the couples are married. Also, I think that they become pornographic when they are read by unmarried women who use them for self-pleasure. But for married women, these romances can be a wonderful way to get your mind focused on lovemaking with your husband. Women have amazing minds that can think about a million things at once, and this makes it really hard to slow the thoughts down and concentrate on sex. (A man, OTOH, especially a young man, can forget everything and think only about sex!) A good torrid romance novel can help a woman to forget about the household chores, her job, her chubby thighs, her aging parents, and that funny noise her car is making, and instead, zero in on lovemaking with her husband, who is thrilled that she is begging for him to head for the bedroom with her! Just make sure you read them when your husband is available, not when he is away on business or sick.

My husband and I were married over 25 years before we learned about certain wonderful positions! But as a woman who just celebrated (and I do mean “celebrated”!) her 32nd wedding anniversary, I would suggest that sex is not about positions of the body as much as positions of the mind.

I think it is good that you are “taking one for the team.” But I think that attitude is kind of not-so-good. Perhaps you could shift your thinking to “running a touchdown for the team.”


#7

[quote="casc, post:1, topic:244987"]
I'm glad these forums are anonymous...
My husband and I have been married just under a year and the marital intimacy has been dampened by such things as having to practice nfp to avoid pregnancy (so down to 2 weeks a month), him working long hours (which for now can't change) and sometimes having to be gone for a week or two at a time, and a rough transition emotionally to each other in married life.
When we actually get the chance to have marital relations, because we're working through lots of baggage and emotional issues, its hard for me to pursue him at all. If he pursues me, many times I'm just not in the mood, but I am learning to take one for the team, because I know that afterwards that unitive act will bring us closer (thank God for His amazing biological designs). The other night I was trying to motivate myself to pursue him because he was leaving soon on another business trip in a few days and our infertile window was small. I should add here that we're still trying to figure out what works/feels/doesn't hurt/lasts best for both of us in the bedroom. I'm not a very creative person, so I googled 'sex positions' and looked at a website with suggestions. It didn't leave much to the imagination, but the figures they used were just computer generated, not pictures of real people. I have felt guilty ever since because I'll be honest that the images helped me find that motivation I wanted. I'm not sure if this would count as even a sin and possibly mortal. I was expecting to get images, not with the intention of looking at porn, but I'm wondering if there is any difference. Unfortunately, the visual stimuli affects one biologically the same, whether hard-core porn or computer images. They still get a reaction.
I know I should take this to confession, since its even weighing on my mind, but I always hate saying these graphic type things to a celibate man :blushing:

[/quote]

Your story is familiar to me.

There are many challenges in keeping to NFP as well as finding time as well as mood and comfortable ways to enjoy each other sexually. One thing I do recommend is for the wife to see a doctor: While not all sexual positions may be comfortable, general pain during the marital act may indicate a larger issue that could be resolved through treatment or advice that could reduce the pain or increase the joy.

I find that following the NFP cycles increases my anticipation for the moments that my wife and I share. It's like dating, where you cannot see each other often, but when you do, the sparks fly. We've tried to arrange for dates around these times, but, like your spouse, I also have periodic business travel that sometimes interrupts this.

It is not sinful to ask a professional or to investigate yourself for sexual advice. But the nature of the internet quickly can lead to the occasion of sin if pleasure is derived from the viewing of sexually-oriented pictures or text, where such viewing substitutes for or supplements the marital act. In short, know what specific information you're looking for but don't make a habit out of it.

Remember that the most important marital aid you have is between your ears. All joy comes from loving and appreciating the physical parts of your spouse as well as the smiles and laughs and nice things you do for each other outside of the bedroom. Concentrate on these things--enjoying your spouse as playmate and friend--while you research and I'm betting the marital expectations will grow. God bless.


#8

Positions never gave us much pleasure.
But now we discover “massage”: my wife loves it and I love to give her the pleasure of a good body massage. No sex string attached…funny…


#9

Informational research to alleviate your suspected ignorance isn’t remotely wrong.

I’ll give you the best tip nobody gave me and one it took me about a year to discover:
Over the counter lubricant. Astroglide. (available in non-glycerine formula if you have a lot of yeast trouble).

Wish somebody had told me about that before we left on our honeymoon! :wink:

Indeed thank goodness for anonyminity…


#10

Are you kidding I can’t believe the church would condone graphic romances…:eek::confused::rolleyes:


#11

I have much difficulty believing that the Church would condone the use of graphic romances. It’s written erotic material, plain and simple. It most certainly does qualify as being pornographic. Sure, you’re not seeing an actual picture of an actual person. That does not make it “less graphic” than seeing the actual images. The purpose of reading such material (as you have suggested it) is specifically to arouse sexual feelings and desires. Saying that it is ok for a married woman to use it to arouse herself in order to be able to have sex with her husband is like saying that it is okay for a man to view pornographic material as long as he goes and has sex with his wife afterwards, IMO.


#12

It sounds like you’re getting pretty good results from your charting–2 weeks per cycle is pretty close to “average” use.

Yes, it does take some time to learn sex. It’s not something that just magically works perfectly just because two people are right for one another. There is a learning curve to finding out what your spouse likes and what works for you as a couple. I don’t think that your internet research in the way you have described it was sinful. But you have to be careful of putting yourself in the near occasion of sin. So if you know that looking at such material is going to be tempting for you, then you should probably avoid it in the future. And go to confession if you’re feeling guilty about it, for sure! Discussing it with a priest will allow you to go into more detail and get some better guidance from the priest about where you need to draw the line for yourself.


#13

She makes a point on the mind of woman that shouldn’t be ignored in the reaction. Ladies do mentally multitask. But there are other ways of concentrating. I’ve noticed that my wife is rather receptive right after one of those sappy romantic comedy movies… :slight_smile:


#14

I’ve read a few in my younger years (honestly who hasn’t read at least one). Basically they are trash and nothing more then a sinful waste of time. You can’t convince me the church would condone them. I’m talking about the graphic ones not the basic boy meets girl they kiss at the end type but the ones with detailed graphic scenes…nope can’t see the church suggesting someone read those. :eek::rolleyes::(:shrug:


#15

I’ve been wondering the same myself for years now - where is one supposed to get information about this sort of thing without it being a problem? Maybe a sex therapist?


#16

I agree completely. Probably helps that in my pre cana class, they identified this specifically as pornography for women and warned against it.


#17

Uh, I’m not trying to. I suggested an alternative that might accomplish the same goal: a fluffy romatic comedy. Something of the “You’ve Got Mail” variety.

Same goal Cat discussed, better method of getting there.


#18

I would ask. Tell your gyno, your priest, your mom (if you have the kind of relationship where you can talk) and say what’s going on. Get advice.


#19

For the bedroom aspect–
I’d suggest coconut oil as a lubricant. The first time I tried it, it did seem thick, but now I prefer it to any of the over the counter commercial lubricants. Goes from solid to more liquid easily. Is considered a great 'natural lotion/conditioner already. Naturally antimicrobial, doesn’t affect yeast. WIll break down a condom, but since it sounds like you aren’t using one, that shouldn’t be a problem. (found out about it because some moms on a parenting forum were raving about its many and varied uses, personal lubricant being only one of them). Makes the marital embrace during the non-fertile times much more comfortable (and then enjoyable). That may take some of the stress and guesswork out of getting the positioning right so it isn’t uncomfortable for you.

Additionally, consider that when you do have the green light to have sex w/o conceiving, your horomones, cycle everything in you isn’t as interested as you are in phase 2. so, yes, there is an element of ‘taking one for the team.’

TO help reduce any resentment that can occur from ‘taking one for the team’ if you haven’t already, I highly suggest Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages”. Should be easy to find at the library. While physical touch is a big way we show and feel loved, it isn’t the only way. Thinking and talking about the other ‘love languages’ with your spouse and practicing them will help resolve some of the adjustments to married life that you’re dealing with. (Trust me, BTDT, lost the tshirt)

To put it another way, make sure you’re putting as much effort into your marriage and home life out of the bedroom as in it. Does that make sense? A priest was giving a talk on chastity for engaged couples and said “There are thousands of ways to be intimate without being ‘intimate’.” He DID NOT mean frustrating the natural course of our sexuality, but allowing oneself to share who they are with another. Again, the Gary Chapman book can help highlight what to work on. It’s a quick and really useful read.


#20

I like elly's suggestion of 5 love languages and the general suggestion of creating emotional intimacy.

I'll add these suggestions:
Read song of songs. Read it to him.
pray to be not only more receptive, but to be more expressive. I've prayed for this. My husband and I have both benefited from God granting me greater emotional participation.

Finally, for us, the astonishing power of marital embrace with the intent to cocreate life can't be underestimated. Since my husband and I have had that experience-- joyful embrace, intending life, THAT intimacy has carried us through many seasons of married life. He is the man I love and trust and have made babies with. I believe our deepest intimacy and joy has happened over many years.

As for seeking information, I agree that text volumes are a safer choice. You see that arousal can happen outside of your relationship even with your best intent to simply find info. Its an easy trap-- to seek arousal elsewhere and redirect it to your spouse. Your husband deserves to be the source and the recipient of your arousal. And you his.

I'd confess for the specific reason of gaining graces to avoid repeating this. Yours was probably at worst unintended venial sin. But repeated, it could become mortally sinful.

Most of us have to be similarly careful. The devil hates catholic marriage and tries to wreck it even when we're trying to improve it.


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