I have had many health problems. In the past year I have had three surgeries to improve and sustain my health. I have had to meet with a specialist who has helped me understand and make choices that would allow my insides to remain functional and in tact. During one of my pre-op visits with the surgeon/gynecologist, I asked him how long it would take to heal and recover afterward. In this conversation I also asked him at what point I would be able to be intimate with my husband. He looked at Mr. Napes, looked at me, then jokingly- and non jokingly-put his hand to his mouth and whispered, "How long do you want me to say? How much time do you want off the hook?"
I smiled, knowing the average interest in most women, and said "A week would be about right." He heard the tone in my voice and asked if I were serious."Well, I'll take your council so I can be safe and healthy....but I don't need time away from my good husband. As soon as we can reconnect that would be great." (Long pause....) "Hmm. Um, ok, well then two weeks would be about right. Most women ask for at least six months." "I'm not surprised," I added, "Sad as that is. But I love being married and all that that brings. I'm unique- I get that. Is two weeks too soon?" "No, no, you'll be fine."
We wrapped up the details to the surgery and we were off.
I drove home with my husband and mentioned to him the surprise on the doctors face. I knew in my soul this topic would be revisited with him. I simply KNEW it. And it was. I went back for a check up one month later and had a few questions for him about the recovery process. He looked at my chart..."Oh yeah, you're the one with the high libido." (That means high sex drive/desire). "Sure am," I laughed, but I could see that he was pondering this. I was quiet as I watched him process and then he asked if he could be personal with me and seek answers to some questions he had. I reassured him that I was absolutely willing and comfortable discussing this topic and he relaxed a bit.
"I see here on your charts that you are L.D.S. is that correct?" I affirmed that this was true. He sat for a moment. "Well I am not L.D.S. but my surgical partner is an L.D.S. bishop. He and I see hundreds of patients a month. We are very busy with women that come in for various reasons. You seem to have a very healthy relationship with your husband and I am curious...do you masturbate?" The poor fellow was squirming in his seat. Other people I know may have been offended with his question but I was prepared for it, as I could sense there was more to his inquiry. In this world, self abuse is INCREDIBLY common and I could see his curiosity in my uniqueness. "No, I don't", I answered confidently.
"I didn't think you did as I know it is against the practice of your religion but I am in awe as to how you are happy without it." I smiled again. Much study has already brought to my attention that the world sees this as something "helpful and good"- it is encouraged by many professionals. "I see many women each day and of those women, on average I am writing out 2 to 3 prescriptions for depression medication a day. I see hundreds of women who come in depressed and don't know what to do. As we discuss their bodies and the female anatomy, I see so many women who are discouraged and suffering. Part of my prescription to them is to go home and masturbate." "Let me guess," I mentioned, "Is it because they will be happier, healthier, and less dependant on medicine if they can attain consistent orgasm?" "Yes. Over all health and well being will be uplifted and strengthened through this natural stimulant." "I couldn't agree more." I said. "Then how is it that you can have good health and better yet, a happy marriage without it? Most L.D.S. women that follow your leader's council to avoid this are the ones that struggle and are unhappy." SO SAD! And yet another indicator we can all learn more.
"Well Dr. Jones, (name changed), it isn't masturbation that brings those positive things... connection with a loving spouse offers the kind of health and well being we've discussed. I believe self stimulation does the opposite. It adds discouragement, self betrayal, and brings dissatisfaction in results. The human body may respond but the emptiness that is sure to follow is burdensome. Self esteem begins to drop at a rapid pace because it is unfullfilling to the human heart and soul. It is a misconception that we need only orgasm. Those feelings and intensities are designed to be discovered and shared with a husband or wife. That is the beauty of marriage. To focus on and discover what makes each other truly happy. It's wonderful! And can I ask...the women who take your "prescriptions"? Are they happier when they come back?"
"Well no that's just it. Their medications don't change. I haven't seen the results I would like in this area. I have been curious since we talked the last time and I saw your genuine interest to make love to your husband. I assume you are happy together?" "Yes sir." "But if you don't masturbate- how do you know about your body or what works?" "Well, that's just it. I am not unfamiliar with my body or how it functions. The success comes from deep communication and practice. It is about respect and discovery and patience. It is about love, honesty, unselfishness and kindness. It is about marriage. My guess is that you see a few different kind of women: the L.D.S. woman who is discouraged with setbacks in her sexual life and doesn't feel good about taking your council, the L.D.S. woman who takes your advice and feels all the more discouraged, the non L.D.S. woman who also doesn't see results in her well being, and the woman who hasn't thought much more about it."
"This is the case as I have sent many patients to my L.D.S. partner because they are not comfortable with my advice- but they are unhappy with him as well. He doesn't council masturbation but he is also at a loss as to what to say. Do you have any recommendations for us or these women? What do you suggest?"
There was so much that we discussed and talked about. I offered him the same book recommendations I have offered in other posts on this blog, amongst other things. In the back of these books there are also other books suggestions. I mentioned to him these books offer council from prophets and apostles as well as professionals in the field. I wanted him to know the underlined tone in the books were religious. "I'll read them. I'll recommend them." He said, "Where can I get them?" I felt in that moment that my life and opportunity here was to do more than just share my personal experiences. It was to share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was to open the chance for his council to change for hundreds of women. It could realistically transition from opposition to the Lord's will to the beginning of something huge and wonderful. I felt that then...I feel it now- even as I type this. A tremendous beginning to truth.
I was told by the Lord in a personal blessing that I have an active and inquiring mind. That I will be an influence to many people, and that I am to teach what brings me happiness and joy (amongst other things). It is full filling to do what I am created to do and I hope to learn more and more and more and to share all that I am able.