When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. -Anonymous
Question #8822 posted on 10/15/2004 4:09 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My finance comes from a family who NEVER said anything about sex to her. She has led a very sheltered life in that respect (she never had sex ed or anatomy). I on the other hand have talked about sex many times on my mission and in different classes.

For her it is very uncomfortable to talk about sex and things relating to it. I really think we need to talk about it and get her comfortable with talking about it. I feel that if we don't the wedding night will be very hard for her and awkward for both of us.

So my question is HOW is the best way to talk about sex and get someone comfortable with the topic if they are petrified about it in the first place? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! THanks

- San Miguel

A: San Miguel,

Before you get married, you and your fiancée will have to be interviewed by your Bishop and Stake President. This would be a great opportunity to ask about what exactly you need to talk about before your wedding night. Your Bishop is a much better advice giver on this topic than we can ever be. Remember that talking too much about sex before your marriage can ruin your wedding night just as much as talking too little about it.

- Conrad
A: Dear San Miguel,

I agree that your bishop might be a good source, but there are other good sources to turn to. Let me suggest "The Act of Marriage" (http://tinyurl.com/5gsmr) by Tim and Beverly Lahaye. While not LDS, they write about sex from a very spiritual, Christian standpoint. Ma Grape and I read it before we were married and it was extremely helpful. We have suggested it to everyone we know that gets married and all who have read it have told us that they are glad they did. There are other LDS books out there that do address sex between married couples, but they tend to be a bit too broad and abstract to be truly helpful.

Being more familiar with what it is may help in her apprehension of discussing it. Another part of her apprehension may be her not knowing what your expectations are and thus not feeling adequate to fulfill them. Ask her to read the book on her own by a cetain date. Get a second copy for yourself (they are only about $7.00 or so) and let her know you are going to read it by that date also. Once you both have read it, let her know what your expectations are.

I have suggested before that the two of you not feel any pressure to have sex on your wedding night. The wedding day is extremely stressful and can certainly drain you. The stress and intimidation of the "wedding night" may after such a long day may turn what should be a wonderful one into a very frustrating and disappointing one. There will be plenty of time to learn with and enjoy one another. There shouldn't be a rush to do everything on your wedding night. Perhaps this philosophy would help ease her fears and help her understand that you are sensitive to what she is feeling.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have time before you get married, I suggest Dr. Barlow's "Preparation for Marriage" class found under MFHD. It is very helpful and will give both of you a good basis for starting you life together. Feel free to write in with any other questions.

-Pa Grape
A: Dear San Miguel,
My upbringing wasn't too different from that of your fiancée's. I never got "the talk," and the sexual education classes offered by my school system was largely uninformative. So I got my education about the "birds and the bees" in the locker room and various other less-than-inspired situations. I do not recommend this particular path of learning since it made a natural and sacred thing seem dirty, but at least I had some sort of exposure to the topic. I assume from your description that your fiancée has had even less of an introduction to the topic. Although sex is a subject that tends to put most people out of their comfort zone, I'm sure you can find a way to ease into the topic. The above-mentioned literature is a good start; I've read the Lahaye book and they treat the subject with respect. Your fiancée should probably get a premarital OB/GYN exam as well, since that could take care of both the physical and psychological issues. You'll have to find a way to tackle issue somehow, but you could find some ways to make it easier. Maybe you would feel more comfortable talking about it online rather than face-to-face. Remember, there's no hurry. You'll be together for a long time (forever, actually).