Monday, December 29, 2008

Accommodating sexual desires in nursing homes & assisted living facilities

OK guys, I am not saying that we are old but at some point in our lives, many of us will be dealing with sexual privacy issues.

What if we are living with our kids one day or living with our spouse in a nursing home or an assisted living facility? Or what if only one of us is living in a facility and our spouse comes to visit? Should we be allowed privacy for sex? How should we view the sexual aspect of the relationships of our own parents and other elderly relatives? If you could make those decisions today for your life down the road, how much sexual freedom would you like to see?

I found this article on sex in nursing homes to be quite intriguing. Think about it--- Why should the elderly have to stifle sexual desires they may have if they are in the same nursing home or assisted living facility with their spouse? For that matter, what if our spouse is no longer with us and we're living in a facility? Should we be allowed privacy to MB if/when we need a physical release? Am I the only one who thinks about these things?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What Child Is This?

One of the most hauntingly beautiful Christmas Carols is "What Child Is This?" Sung to the melody of the 16th century English folk ballad "Greensleeves," the carol poses this profound theological question: "What Child is this, Who, laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet, with anthems sweet, while shepherd's watch are keeping?" Indeed, what Child is this? This question has been debated since "the Babe, the Son of Mary" uttered His first cry in the stable in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago. Herod would lose sleep pondering over it. The Apostles would debate it among themselves, speculating as to the real identity of their Master. Pilate would inquire repeatedly, seeking to determine "the truth." And the simple people that would hear Him preach throughout Galilee would wonder aloud: "Is this not Jesus, Whose father and mother we know?"

What Child is this? The Carol not only asks the question: it gives us the answer as well, "This is Christ the King." What occurred in Bethlehem on that cold winter's night so long ago was no ordinary birth, and the One Who was born was no ordinary Babe. That night, a "King" truly was born - not a monarch whom Herod feared would usurp his domain - but rather the "King of Kings," Who would reign over every person who sought salvation through Him. On that evening, God became incarnate. He came down to earth so that one day, we may join Him in Heaven.

So "let loving hearts enthrone Him" today!
Christ is Born... Our King is Born! Glorify Him!

~~The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin


Merry Christmas to you all!
Gemma

Friday, December 19, 2008

Does your church teach on marital sex for the adults? And do they offer any type of sex-ed for the teens?

As Christian Orthodox, GR and I attend Liturgical church services so during each service we have an Epistle and a Gospel reading. At least 95% of the time our pastor addresses what is in those readings. But earlier on Sunday mornings before our Liturgy begins we have an adult Sunday School class for those who are interested where a number of teachings are rotated/repeated. One of the teachings is on the topic of marital sex and it is widely received throughout our church.

I am from am Italian/French background. Somewhere before, I think I have mentioned that there is a large following of Arabic and Greek Christians in our church. These ethnic groups seem to have an extremely healthy view of sex so there is rarely any embarrassment when the topics are brought up.

How does your church view marital sex? Is it ever the basis of sermons or taught in adult classes?

For two years before they go off to college, our high school juniors and seniors attend a Sunday School class where they openly discuss sex and many other hot topics and they talk about where our church stands on these topics. There is a policy where no one is to repeat what's said within the classes, (ie, gossiping among friends). This is because the kids are asked pointed questions by the teachers and they are expected to answer honestly. To my knowledge our church has been successfully doing this class for about ten years. I say "successfully" because attendance is very high. The kids in this age group love the way the teachers approach the topics.

Our teens of all ages also attend anywhere from 1-3 yearly retreats where guest speakers cover similar topics. I still remember that during one such retreat a couple of years ago, some of the kids were slightly embarrassed because the visiting priest made a comment to them like, "There is nothing better than regularly enjoying sex with your spouse when you've kept yourself pure as a single," only he was a little more descriptive about it. (Most of our priests are married, btw.)

Does your church offer any type of sex-ed for the teenagers?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Does your wife like fruit?

Fruit for sex? Who would have thunk it!

Slow loading link; be patient.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why would a refuser care if the spouse had affairs? Does love accompany a refuser's behavior?

On a marriage forum, Job asked a couple of questions that had to do with refusing sex. He indicated that he wanted to discuss this further so I decided to bring it here, with his permission. Please read this and feel free to post comments or questions of your own which you may have about this topic. Keep in mind, each refusing spouse is different so you may see similarities here with your situation or the situation of someone you know but there will also be differences.

This is what Job asked:

"Why does a refuser even care if a spouse goes out and "cheats"? I mean, if there is NO attraction, NO care for the physical relationship... what does it matter that a spouse goes out and has a strictly physical affair? (Don't get me wrong. I believe it would be TOTALLY wrong/sin. But I don't see why a refuser would feel "jealous" or "wronged". It seems so hypocritical.)"

I attempted to answer his questions here:

Yes, it is hypocritical but in spite of the fact that a refuser usually will not engage in frequent passionate sex, many of them often know deep down inside that something is seriously wrong with their thinking. Refusers may INITIALLY say "I do not care" or "I cannot fix this" or "do what you want" or any other similar comment because they genuinely do not see their refusal as a problem (ie, Living w/out sex does not bother them so how could it bother their refused spouse?) LATER, when they know they are wrong, those words are often expressed out of a loss for a workable solution to change their thinking. They hear the distraught comments from their spouse but out of pride, many refusers will not admit to the refused spouse that they know their own behavior is destroying the marriage.

When I was refusing, I believe that a part of me may have still loved GR but it was not a healthy, mature love and at the same time, I was not bright enough or caring enough to even begin professional counsel to help our marriage. Instead, I was more concerned about my embarrassment. How pathetic is that? My embarrassment??? If I kept telling him "it is not that bad" or "I am working on it" or "it is because of how you treat me"... I could continue to justify the refusing without taking blame for it.

Did I want GR to disappear from my life? The part that wanted sex-- yes, but the rest of him-- no. Yet, at the same time I would not have blamed him if he had had affairs during our marriage. My refusing could easily have driven him to that point. I thank God to this day that it did not or we would have had even more issues to clear up before our marriage was restored.

Then Job asked:

"So Gemma, in your case, and maybe in others, could it be that your original "love" was simply affection, or a level of comfort, or good companionship? Could it be that it took you 25 years to TRULY find Love with GR? Could it be that it took that long for you to permit the Lord to dig up and find actual "deep rich soil" in your heart and plant the seed of true love there? Is THAT the true beginning of your mature love with GR?"

I replied again with the following:

Two years ago, Dec 2006, was certainly the beginning of a healthy, mature love for my husband. But even before we were engaged I knew we were meant to be. On two other occasions I was offered marriage proposals, knew those relationships were wrong and I turned them down. With GR, I knew it was right. When we married it was all there- emotional, spiritual and physical. What went wrong with me began three months into the marriage during the time when we both left the Roman Catholic Faith and became practicing Protestants.

Everything went downhill from there. I could not handle my promiscuous past in a healthy way. Our health/fertility issues tore at my emotions. The legalistic teachings we began receiving in the Protestant Church just made things worse for all the emotional and physical issues I listed in my "About Me" article (in right side bar). A huge part of me just shut down and totally stayed that way until we became Christian Orthodox 20 years later. This was when I began acknowledging how wrong I had been and then it took me another six years to complete my emotional healing.

So I would say that I did love my husband in every way in the beginning until the first three months of marriage but then something in my emotions went terribly wrong and I just snapped. Can we say that I was deeply in denial about the state of my emotional health? GR should have hauled my butt to a professional back when it all began tumbling down; he knows that now.

Would I have cared back then if he had had an affair(s)? I think so because deep down, I knew that GR and I had something special that lie dormant and was just waiting to spring forth. Looking at what we now have, how can I deny that? But such may not be the case with some refusing spouses. The following words I'm sharing are strong words and I don't share them lightly but in my heart of hearts, I know them to be true. Gently, I would dare to say that some refusers would rather find a way to walk away from the marriage because clearly they, or their refused spouse or maybe even both of them know that the marriage should never have happened. Unfortunately, there are people who DO marry for the wrong reasons but the truth always, eventually comes out.

Perhaps that would be a good exercise for all of us to do periodically-- Share with our spouse the reasons why we married them. It would bring us back to the basics when there is strife developing between us unless, of course, we married for wrong reasons.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is degradation subjective in the marriage bed? Do we analyze emotionalism too much?

On marriage forums I am always a bit amazed at what married folks consider to be degrading in their marriage bed AND in the marriage bed of others. Yes, some people want to have rules for others but how can we since degradation is so subjective.

How come sexual acts cannot be just physically pleasurable for a married couple at least some of the time? Do all married couples have to be so emotional each time they do a sexual act? If they are not so emotional every time, does it mean that they are only behaving as a 'couple' rather than as a 'married couple'? If they do an act and afterwards only say and think, "WOW, that was fun and it felt so good," does that mean they are not behaving as an intimate married couple? Do we not all at one point or another enjoy an act for the simple "feel good" component of it?

Is there a line drawn where a couple can do an act and still have their marital relationship intact.... or not? Do just "acts" always suck emotion and intimacy out of a marriage and does that happen with every couple? Or is it mainly subjective to the personalities of the individuals in a marriage and the way that the married couple mesh with each other?

At times I have read where a married person states that he/she or his spouse has to pray before each time they have sex. For them, NOT praying before sex could be degrading. Would it be degrading for all of us not to pray before sex because we are married and/or because we are in a Christian marriage?

Is it possible that some married individuals may put so much emotionalism in every sexual act that it can hinder complete sexual freedom within their MB? Is it so wrong to enjoy an act with our spouse simply because it feels good? Can we possibly be analyzing emotionalism in marital sex so much that it detracts from the physical pleasure we give and receive with our spouse?

I realize this is a lot of questions. You do not have to answer them all but please read them and then post your comments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What determines the husband's O count?

Something I am often wondering about is this---

In each session, what determines whether a husband receives 1 orgasm or whether he receives 2, 3 or more? My own husband is typically a 1-2 O man. Yet twice this week he exceeded his ordinary limit and enjoyed 3 O's in both session. When #3 happens I am often amazed.

I realize that it can be unique for each person but husbands (or wives speaking for husbands), what do you think determines your O count or do you believe that it is a combination of several factors? If it is several factors, what are they?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Does anyone know if this was the first sex book ever written?

I was reading this article at foxnews.com and it got me thinking. Does anyone know if the original Kama Sutra was the first known sex book ever written? It was written around 350 A.D. in India.

Recently while shopping at our local B&N used book section, I purchased a $5, gently used, modern translation of it. This is the one I have: The Complete Kama Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text [unabridged], ISBN: 0892814926 . It is a nice translation. I have seen several of the others and they all have too many nude photos for my taste. One of them even has mostly photos and little text; how useless!

Although there are some topics in the Kama Sutra which are non-compatible with the Christian marriage bed, it is easy to skip over those sections and focus on the rest of the book which is highly useful. Each time I read from it I find answers to many questions that are asked on Christian marriage sites.

So does anyone know if the original Kama Sutra was the first known sex book?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Warning: Pity Party

You guys think good thoughts for me while GR is away these next 2 nights. He just left this morning for a short business trip... 3 days, 2 nights. He works day hours M-F so I am used to him not being around during those times but, oh, the nights are so lonely and the bed seems so large when he is gone. Do not mind me. I have a little pity party each and every time he has to go on a business trip.

Our circumstances with the kids being in college and me toting them back and forth to school.... well, it just does not allow me the opportunity to join GR on trips right now, however, we hope for dd#1 to be a licensed driver by the end of January. She's finishing her driver's training and we already have a car for her. That could totally change the dynamics of some of GR's business trips. Can we say "business/pleasure"?

Last night we woke each other at 3am for a long, good-bye session to last us until we meet again Wednesday night.