When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. -Anonymous
Question #45219 posted on 05/24/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm engaged. HOORAY! I've actually been engaged for a few months and my wedding is rapidly approaching (It's less than three weeks away!). My fiancee and I love each other very much and are very excited for the day when we can finally be joined and sealed to each other and soon after become "one flesh" as the scriptures describe it. We already feel so unified in everything and are excited to participate in that final unifying act to bring us even closer together and help us to achieve new levels of knowing and discovering each other. So in preparation for both sacred events, we've been doing a lot of studying. Since the both of us are returned missionaries, we have firm testimonies of and an excellent understanding of the sealing ordinance. Really the majority of our study has been on the "becoming one flesh" part since the Church doesn't necesarily give the greatest instruction on that as they do when counseling to avoid it. We've been reading the book "And They Were Not Ashamed" and it's provided us with very helpful and great information on sex, but obviously it doesn't cover everything. After having read this book, I'm wondering if there are any other books that you're aware of that are equally as good.

Also, I'm curious to know if you knew the Church's officail position on learning about the intricasies of sexual technique. I want our experiences to be the best they can be and though I recognize that time and practice will bring perfection and that at first it will be slightly awkward, neither of us are extremely creative and feel like an education on sexual technique would be beneficial. Can you answer my questions?


- New To This

A: Dear New,

Questions about helpful reading material have come up many times on the Board; one of the ones I've seen recommended the most highly is The Act of Marriage, by Tim LaHaye. Pa Grape, a former writer who was also studying at BYU to become a family therapist, was among those recommending it. For other suggestions and related posts, here are a few archived questions you may find helpful: Board Question #16176, Board Question #8822, Board Question #22176, Board Question #32752, Board Question #32948, Board Question #5784, Board Question #8007, Board Question #8804, and Board Question #44533. A couple of these also partially address your other questions, but I'm not qualified to fully answer them. If you want to know the Church's official position on "learning about the intricacies of sexual technique," I'd recommend asking your bishop. I'm sure he's used to questions like this from engaged couples. The normal marriage counseling visits would be a perfect opportunity, and he would be able to counsel you two much better than we can.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear New,

Check out the the suggestions Laser Jock's given. I was given some great advice before I got married that really made our first night together special and sacred. I'd give it here, it's nothing to blush over, but think perhaps it shouldn't be quite so public. So, if anyone wants my advice, email me at steen(@)theboard(.)byu(.)edu. The bottom line is, if you and your future spouse stay clean and true to each other and the Lord, everything will work like it is supposed to and there will be nothing to be worried about. Congrats on your engagement! What a fun (and stressful...) time of life; enjoy every moment of it!

- steen
A: Dear New,

I have no personal experience, but I have a feeling that sex might be a lot like other performance-based techniques: you really have to practice to get good. (Example: reading about playing the guitar can give you an idea what it's like but it's seriously not the same.) Also, from my psychology readings, I can tell you that it's important not to be anxious, but telling you that isn't going to help much either. So, uh, good luck.

-The Supershrink