Ep 62. Interview with LDS Sex Therapist Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

If you haven’t heard Dr. Finlayson-Fife’s message before you are in for a real treat. On today’s episode I interview her and she talks to us about our sexuality in the context of our religious beliefs. She offers useful advice about how to best teach children about their sexuality and the law of chastity without shaming or creating potential problems later in life. We discuss pornography, what to do if you are married and feeling a lack of desire, and other insight related to this topic. You won’t want to miss this one.

For more help and classes from Dr. Finlayson-Fife CLICK HERE

15 replies
  1. Dillon says:

    Love the analogy of sugar with children. However, kids are allowed and even given candy (Halloween, Rewards, Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, deserts) its just monitored. On the other hand experiencing sexuality knowingly, at least in the church is more of an abstinence policy. If a child does something sexual, has the candy, you don’t want to shame them but how do you let your children have candy (be sexual) in a controlled environment when the church doesn’t want them to have any. Does that make sense? We don’t say, masturbating on your birthdays is okay or prom night is a big event, have fun. It’s more hey did you taste that candy? Now don’t have anymore until you’re married. We would never do that with candy because we would fail. So do we encourage them or allow them some sexual behavior but more controlled? How do you balance that in a healthy way?

    Reply
    • Brian says:

      I think it’s mor like acknowledging that they will most likely experience forms of sexual behavior in their life and that that’s not bad but showing them how choices reflect the lives we want to lead.
      My personal favorite aspect of this analogy is that it’s about leading kids in the right direction and giving them the tools to make the right choices for themselves. Understanding that kids are just curious and they don’t always understand the consequences of the choices they make, like stealing, etc. helps me to see that kids just need an example and help learning how they can make the correct choices to be where and who they want to be.
      I also think we can and should include the Gospel teachings that we have prophets that speak for our Heavenly Father who have taught us how we can lead happier lives by following these commandments, etc. etc.
      Hope that was helpful.

      Reply
  2. Jody says:

    This is where spiritual maturity comes in. As children I believe what’s important is to acknowledge that the sexual urges they have are an amazing part of being human and a gift from God. Those urges are not wrong or bad. The curiosity is not wrong or bad either. But we can have those urges and not act out inappropriately. As individuals get older they should use their own maturity and relationship with Heavenly Father to understand how to best live the law of chastity. For young kids it’s a matter of helping them understand that their bodies are amazing and should be respected and treated as such. Also I like to focus on what IS appropriate. Physical affection is not shunned. Think about how good it can feel to hold hands with a boy you like or to cuddle or kiss. Physical affection and emotional connection are all available and appropriate even before marriage. Like candy on Halloween. These are just my opinions. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Mel says:

    So my mom was one of those ladies that covered up all of the magazines in the grocery stores. She would gasp if any sexual topic came on the television and would panic if we asked her any questions that were sexual in nature. I have a great relationship with my husband, however, I am acutely aware of any and everything that is remotely sexual in nature. The only time we argue is over movies. Every rating was available in his home growing up. When sexual content shows up, or a woman is dressed seductively, it doesn’t just ruin the movie for me. It ruins my whole evening. I get so upset another woman can put her body on display for my husband. He is tired of being stressed out during date night. His argument is that as an adult man he wants to be able to watch a PG-13 movie without all the drama. ( He is a great man and isn’t trying to watch the negative he’s just not very fast with the remote, haha. I can sense things coming a mile away.) I understand his position (I don’t like being told what to do either) but have been unable to change because I feel like it goes against my morals to change. If I tell him to watch movies alone then it takes away from our time together. Vidangel have helped, but have kind of just put a bandaid on things because when we watch netflix or anything else it starts all over again.

    Reply
    • Benny Bob says:

      Mel,

      I’m sure your mother is/was a fantastic lady. However, I think her reactions to magazine covers and sexual topics on TV may have inadvertently created in you a hypersensitivity to the subject of sex. As described by Dr. Finlayson-Fife there are better ways to “teach children about their sexuality and the law of chastity without shaming or creating potential problems later in life.”

      You describe yourself as being “acutely aware of any and everything that is remotely sexual in nature”. Having a perceptive understanding and insight is valuable in any relationship. You need to recognize and appreciate that your husband has perspective as well. His perspective on a movie, a picture or even the world will always be different than yours. As a man, it’s normal for him to see things differently from you. What you are judging as a slow reaction on his part to something that makes you uncomfortable is unfair. The light of Christ isn’t necessarily more brighter in your heart than it is in his; and it does not mean that he is any less aware of moral dangers. The prophet Mormon taught: “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil…” (Moroni 7:16) Your feelings of frustration and embarrassment of another woman’s body “on display” are valid. But you need to trust your husband just as he needs to trust you. In the home it is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side. Equally yoked means equally loved and equally committed. But don’t make the mistake of expecting that you are always going to be equal in mind. Like you, your husband possesses traits and strengths that make him adept at tackling the challenges of the world. His approach will be different than yours and his response will likely be calculated. Do not misjudge his reaction time to images or other media. Life is not a G rated movie. Many times, we see things that probably couldn’t even be portrayed in a movie. Trust that your husband is responding always with the integrity that has been acquired over HIS lifetime. It’s understandable why your husband feels stressed during date night. You mentioned below that you want your husband “to have free agency.” Then let him! You cannot nor should you ever try to compel him. He is accountable and will be held so. However, he also needs to realize that the priesthood presides in the home, but it must preside as Jesus Christ presides over his Church–in love, in service, in tenderness, and in example. He is ultimately responsible for what influences he allows to be brought into the home. If he allows those influences to define him, they may also define his marriage, his family, and his legacy.

      Counsel together. You should never feel like you have to sacrifice your morals but he shouldn’t be made to feel like he is forcing you to as well. We would do well to understand that many of the finest ideas, useful in the proper management of a family, can come from openly discussing with, and seeking counsel from, our spouses. Do you know how much your husband cherishes you? The more you counsel together the more you will discover a deeper trust in each other than you realize now. You will feel less inclined to hide your feelings, as you described below, and more able to discuss openly and candidly with trust and appreciation. Your time together will be more meaningful regardless of what you’re watching, or not

      Reply
    • Jody says:

      Hi Mel – Thanks for sharing this. When your husband see’s another woman on a movie etc…. what do you make it mean about yourself or your relationship?

      Reply
  4. Mel says:

    Oops I accidentally posted my comment before I was ready. Ignore the grammatical errors. 🙂
    I want my husband to have free agency. I know that this behavior of mine is eccentric. I try to act like things don’t bother me, but we all know that hiding feelings doesn’t work. So the obvious question. Any advice?

    Reply
  5. Brian Abel says:

    How do you feel about the accepted practice of divorce and remarriage and what it teaches children about “saving themselves for that special ONE” Because that one has now been replaced with another sex partner.

    Reply
    • Jody says:

      Hi Brian – I don’t believe the message about “saving yourself for that special one” is healthy for this and other reasons. I believe the message should be about living your life in a way that aligns with your moral values instead. What do you believe about it?

      Reply
    • Jody says:

      Hi Margo –
      If I were coaching you on this topic, I would encourage you to remember that your daughter’s sexuality is a circumstance and is neutral. Tell me more about the thoughts you have about it that are causing you to feel lost.

      Reply
  6. Emily Nelson says:

    I enjoyed this podcast. But I think what you said at the very end about it not being our job to pleasure our husband or vice versa isn’t accurate. I do think it’s our job to pleasure each other and to allow our partner to pleasure us. It almost sounded like you were suggesting we just allow our spouse to watch us masturbate. I think there is a lot of fulfillment and connection in learning how to pleasure each other and discovering new ways to do it. And I do think we have a responsibility to each other to do that one thing for them that no one else in the world can or should be doing, including themself.

    Reply

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