Laura Brotherson was interviewed for an article recently published by Brigham Young University’s The Daily Universe student newspaper:
By Allie Hamilton
November 5, 2015
Daily Universe, Brigham Young University
Marriage and sex therapist Laura Brotherson says some women struggle to believe that sexual intimacy is OK, even with their husbands after they are married.
Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are advocating for a more open dialogue about marital intimacy and a shift away from the commonly used “thou shall not” teaching approaches in order to help young adults — especially women — transition from single to married life.
“Women especially have a hard time going from no, no, no, to go, go, go,” LDS marriage and sex therapist Laura Brotherson said. “There really are not enough positive, affirming statements and emphasis on intimacy in marriage.”
Brotherson decided to write about spiritually-based sexual intimacy because she saw a need for positive female voices on the topic. She has sold more than 60,000 copies of her book, And They Were Not Ashamed.
Some of Laura’s other interview points that didn’t make it into the article:
- For many in the Church, sex is thought of as a taboo subject. Sex is certainly discouraged outside of marriage, but sometimes we spend more time talking about the consequences of premarital (or extramarital) sex than on the goodness of and blessings that come from a healthy, intimate relationship.
- This negative focus can significantly affect young marriages. It’s part of what I call the Good Girl Syndrome discussed in chapter 1 of my book And They Were Not Ashamed–Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, where women in particular have a hard time getting from no, no, no to go, go go!
- I do think the way we talk about sex in the Church could be changed to be more positive and effective for helping to build stronger marriages. We tend to approach sex with young men and young women the way young men may most need to hear it (focusing on restraining sexual feelings, etc.). Young women especially need a little more encouragement and positive affirmation especially since their arousal process is “further away.” Both young men and women need more positive affirmation of sex within marriage.
- The following are some of the issues I have seen in new marriages with regards to intimacy, and how I help counsel these couples. After the honeymoon period where the newness and the novel nature of sex and marriage evens out, the biggest challenges tend to come from not understanding how men and women are wired differently sexually.
- Not understanding how women tend to be wired more by emotional connection and men more through sexual connection tends to be most common. I walk couples through some of the common differences between men and women, and also make a point to explain the four steps women require before they tend to reach the state of “sexual desire.” Desire is usually the husband’s first step. The “Fuel for Female Sexual Desire” handout I share with clients is one of the key aspects of female sexual wiring that will be shared in my new book coming out this Spring 2017.
- Here is some other help for young couples preparing for a good honeymoon experience as well as a positive and mutually enjoyable intimate relationship in marriage.