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  1. Great Podcast. I so much wish I could have listened to this podcast 28 years ago when I started raising my children. I’m going to have all my adult children and their spouses listen to this, so my grandchildren will not have to grow up with the shame and guilt that I felt over a normal healthy bodily function. On another note, I was in a sacrament meeting where the word sex was said. Los Angeles singles ward- late 1980’s, our Bishop gave a talk about the law of Chasity and then at the end said that he knew that there would be those in the audience who would not heed his counsel and that if we choose to have sex he begged us to use protection. This was the emerging era of Aids. He was so passionate about his request that I was thought they were going to pass out condom to us as we left Sacrament meeting. He was a great guy and a great Bishop. So there has been one time the word sex was said in Sacrament meeting. Maybe the only time. You guys are doing great work!

  2. Thank you for a MUCH NEEDED antidote to LDSSSR Latter-Day Saint Sexual Shaming & Repression!

    Missing from the discussion was acknowledgment of WHY The Brethren have zero interest in normalizing healthy human sexuality from the General Conference Pulpit.

    I presume you intentionally softball your comments about The Brethren to avoid alienating your TBM audience. I will try throwing a counterpoint hardball and see if this comment gets “moderated” away as not very useful.

    Sexual Shaming is the Fifth Principle and Ordinance of the Restored Gospel. Maintaining a distracting and disabling sense of guilt, shame and unworthiness is one of the most effective tools in The Brethren’s Mind Control Toolbox. The last thing The Brethren are interested in is self-actualized, internally referenced, emotionally healthy membership with the ability to do their own thinking, run their own lives … and, dare I say … decide if, where, when and how it’s OK to TOUCH THEIR OWN BODIES or decide what kind of entertainment to view or not view online.

    “I teach them correct principles … and then they shame themselves into subservience.” Works like a charm!

    The fact that Utah leads the country in Porn Consumption, Porn “Addiction” Therapy, Anti-Depressant prescriptions, Teen /LGBT Suicides, etc. is empirical proof The Brethren are getting precisely what they want! (If they wanted something different, all it would take would be ONE CONFERENCE TALK announcing a new “revelation.”) Unhappy, despondent, distracted, dependent, broken human beings who’ve been brainwashed to hand over their personal moral compass and life navigation to the self-serving geniuses in Salt Lake City keeps The Brethren in business.

    What business is that?

    The Brethren brainwash babies for a living … a very good living.

    Church members who follow Natasha’s and John’s excellent counsel in this podcast are clearly committing APOSTASY. After their temple recommends are confiscated for moral debauchery, they should be disfellowshipped or excommunicated for DISOBEYING the Lord’s Anointed.

    It’s wrong to criticize or disobey the Lord’s Anointed, even when the Lord’s Anointed are wrong.

    In summary, The Brethren actively teach that following Natasha’s and John’s counsel … aka committing healthy human sexual behaviors … is far beyond unacceptable for members of the Only True Church of Jesus Christ on Planet Earth.

    TBMs might contemplate whether to continue affiliation and support of a club whose bylaws require dysfunctional repression of normal sexual behaviors as a condition of membership.

    1. GaryC ,

      I agree. Sadly, however, I doubt many TBMs raised in inter generational Mormon families have the emotional or mental maturity to comprehend or even reflect on the narrative you so eloquently describe, without the nudge of a faith crises. Learning how to think for myself is a skill I continue to refine, many decades after quite literally escaping from my TBM family.

  3. Porn in my marriage was very destructive. I understand where you are coming from but wish you had addressed a little more how it can be used as a tool of abuse. Maybe I just felt like my experience was somewhat invalidated as I listened to your discussion. For example, my husband used porn frequently, and secretively (well he attempted to), and at the same time, would reject me when I tried to initiate sex. He also used search topics that were disturbing to me (with the word “teen” in them), which I thought could potentially lead to criminal behavior. After much heartache and sex withholding on his part (combined with his substance abuse and an abusive, narcissistic personality), I withdrew emotionally and also physically and just shut down. He continued to be verbally and psychologically abusive and one of his main lines of attack became that I was not affectionate enough with him. I understand how porn was not the primary problem here, but it played a significant and destructive role, and was very, very hurtful. I agree to avoid approaching it with a shaming point of view, but it is not always so benign even between adults. FWIW I grew up in a more strictly adhering LDS household, but am hanging on to my membership by a thread at this point. I am overall very liberal in my views these days. I guess it would have been nice to just hear, “Porn can be a tool of abuse,” because that was my experience. My marriage was pure hell.

    I appreciate your discussion of these topics, and have been thinking a lot more about how the LDS points of view on sex etc. shaped my life, and how I wish to approach it now as an almost single-again adult. (Divorce litigation just passed the 4 year mark). Thank you.

    1. I fully agree. While I like Natasha’s viewpoint… I don’t think they often view porn as an entitlement used by the offending spouse. I also know there are many resources for men struggling with compulsive sexual behavior that aren’t members. There often is a power imbalance in relationships where porn is involved. I wish there were more heart to heart discussions from women actually living with husbands struggling with an sex addiction and what that really entails.

      I would be more than willing to share my perspective but it never feels like that is what is actually wanted on this podcast. I’ve learned to take what they say with a grain of salt. Which is unfortunate since I do think there is a platform here to reach a lot of people and make quite a bit of progress for the better.

  4. They covered the secular reasons very well, but the scriptures back them up and many Churches badly misinterpret the scriptures on this.
    I thought I would show why and how here.

    A very common misinterpretation on masturbation comes from Matthew 5

    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    In Jewish culture adultery means sex between two people who are married (but not to each other). If a married man had sex with a single woman or visea versa, this was called fornication. Jesus not only knew this but used the differences when talking.

    Example:

    Matthew 5

    32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, …

    Notice that Jesus did not use the term adultery, otherwise wives could cheat just not with a married man.

    Jesus purposely did NOT say “fornication in the heart” because that was not only NOT a sin but was and is part of the process in seeking a spouse. Of course two people who are engaged should be lusting after each other.

    Paul even talks on this subject.

    Paul on Lust:

    1 Corinthians 7

    36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

    Basically lusting after a virgin is fine just marry before you fulfill it, Paul say’s “he sinneth not”

    Again:

    28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. …

    Again on lust:

    8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

    9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

    If you become a widow(er) and aren’t “horny” anymore it may be easier to stay single like Paul, but if you “cannot contain” it is better to marry than to burn (the Greek word means burn with lust “horny”, not go to hell)

    Again lust isn’t bad. And as Paul said, it is NOT a sin.

  5. I accept the scientific research presented. I understand the Church will never accept such. But, I wonder if Natasha or John would emotionally think differently about porn were a daughter or son of theirs featured in an Adult Entertainment production.

  6. Point 1: Two concepts I often hear Natasha stress – criminal and non-consensual. These are two areas into which our sexual behavior can never cross. Agreed. But a major portion of this podcast condones just that. I haven’t looked for many, but this is the first website I’ve found that condones to some degree minors viewing pornography. I’m not freaked out about this. Just pointing it out. That said, while the discussion on shame was good, everything else seemed to be personal opinion on boundaries and definitions. The boundaries and definitions expressed in this podcast seem to lean towards pushing across into the criminal and non-consensual. This is troublesome to me given the amount abhorrence Natasha expresses towards the criminal and non-consensual. I know pushing into those areas wasn’t the intent, but the laws are what they are, and this encourages behavior that is very close to violating them. I’m certain John and Natasha would call out a client if he or she at all justified even getting close to violating the law or consent.

    Point 2: Pornography, while not legally prostitution, is technically prostitution as adults are being paid for sexual gratification. (Or it’s not prostitution if you choose it not to be.) It was stated in the podcast that nothing in pornography is real because people are acting. The actors are in certain roles, but the sex is real. The fact that feelings of affection and love are absent does not make it not real. It is happening. Is child pornography real? This is an insignificant point.

    Point 3: The bigger issue is consent. An adult cannot show a minor pornography without serious legal sanction. Such laws are based upon many things. One is the detrimental effects on a minor (which the law still asserts can occur). The other is the minor’s ability to consent to viewing such material. This podcast, while not overtly stating an adult should give a minor pornography, clearly causes an adult to question whether he/she should make an attempt to stop a minor from viewing such material, as long as it is not incest or other topics that do not fall within the parent’s personal boundaries. In addition, many adult actors in pornography have not given their consent for a minor to view their material. We know minors view it, but is that justification to hide from a minor the consensual and legal dynamics that are surely at play?

    Point 4: If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If a picture is not viewed by a human, does the picture depict anything? Pornography is simply a depiction of the human reproduction process, among other things. Or it is the most vile and evil thing on earth. Take your pick. (To beat a dead horse, the law has made its choice, for now.) No matter what it is, once an event becomes an image or a video, its meaning is in a viewer’s mind. I like how this podcast has made the attempt to change the meaning of pornography. I believe doing so can significantly reduce its power. But how far are you willing to go? It seems to me that John and Natasha are going right up to the border of the criminal and non-consensual. Everything this side of those things is good to go. Nothing on the other side is worth any discussion. If you’re redefining things will illegal content find itself this side of the boundary in 20 years? The creation of such material is horrific and should always remain illegal. I mean I guess it should. But by the arguments made in this podcast can’t one argue that once something illegal becomes a picture, can’t it just be a crime scene photo? By making illegal pictures illegal, are we giving them more power than they deserve? Please understand, I’m not condoning anything here. I’m just asking, if this podcast can argue that the power of adult pornography can be taken away by redefining it, why can’t someone argue the same for illegal material? I seriously want to know the answer. How many lives could be better if we just didn’t care about depictions of sex and nudity?

    Point 5: Speaking more of consent… Legally speaking, the age of consent varies greatly around the world and even within the United States. Even within specific situations it can change. For example, a court can declare a person had consent by simply trying him/her as an adult. Consent is a very important value, but when it is thrown around as the end all be all line of demarcation between what is wrong and what is right, it must be remembered that humans have not figured out what it actually is (other than an age). Consequently, a person can be permitted in questioning the use of consent as the ultimate justification for what is acceptable .

    Point 6: I believe John and Natasha are on the right track. But since law enforcement still does freak out about nudity, and since John and Natasha do seem to care about the law here’s just one state’s version. (I know they were not encouraging this law be broken. However, I do wonder if it could be construed that they were unintentionally leading to it being broken. Know this, if a certain prosecutor gets an inkling you might be violating something when it comes to children or minors, your life will become a living hell. Even if innocent, you’re going to have difficulty. It’s best to know…

    California Code Penal Code PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 – 680] CHAPTER 5. Bigamy, Incest, and the Crime Against Nature Section 288.2 (b) Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor, knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by electronic mail, the Internet, as defined in Section 17538 of the Business and Professions Code, or a commercial online service, any harmful matter, as defined in Section 313, to a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of a minor, and with the intent, or for the purpose of seducing a minor, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in a county jail.

  7. Thank you both for this enlightening podcast. My x-husband believed and acted on the belief that it was better for him to rape me than to masturbate. We were temple-married for 29 years, with nine kids. He didn’t believe in birth control either. After I had 6 children in 7.5 years, I took some grocery money and got birth control, which he told me was evil and Satanic. Marital rape is very real and horribly devastating. Took me decades to realize and verbalize what he had done. Living with your rapist, trying to continue loving him and feeling that you are defective is soul-crushing. I formally left the church over three years ago. After many years of therapy and hard work, I am happy and healthy. I have two vibrators and an non-LDS gentleman friend who has taught me much about healthy sex. At age 65, I finally feel sensual and sexy.

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