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About BlueDreams

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    If only there was blue cocoa too
  • Birthday 05/17/1988

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    Under the mountains
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    People, art, politics, diet, social issues, living and breathing, etc

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  1. The M-Word

    I think it depends on your definition of lust. Lust to me is broader than the googled definition of strong sexual desire. It a form of strong desire toward someone or something that isn't ours to have or ordained by God for us to have. It doesn't always have to do with sex or sexuality all the time. I stick with the definition that I see outlined in scriptures in general. Initial sexual exploration isn't usually about lust at all, but learning that certain touches simply feel good. This is usually before children really have a strong conceptualization of what sex is. But even for older people, masturbation doesn't have to be interlinked with lust. It can be a near automatic response to physiological arousal when one is half asleep. For women it can be a means to ease menstrual cramps. It can also just be a simple enjoyment of touch and pleasure in ones own body. You're still very much including ones mind. It's almost a form of mindfulness about ones body and cherishing the pleasure found in it. But well beyond masturbation, we already do many things to nurture our sexuality. We date, have crushes, kiss, make out, etc. Preferably, and with healthier sexual development. The degree of commitment and affection would align with the degree of sexual expression. The difference is that we have a tendency to not characterize these as sexual development or expression because we place a heavy emphasis on intercourse as "real sex." Yes they do With luv, BD
  2. The M-Word

    Okay.... Again you've given no evidence. Just basic assertions stated as fact and circular reasoning. That's not helping. That their parents and old people enjoy their sexuality in their marriage????....... Until you give more definitive and thought out answers, I'm going to call this done on my end. With luv, BD
  3. The M-Word

    Kevin, usually I can follow you pretty well, but I'm a little confused by your post as to which response is to what part of mine. On many points I agree, but they're often beside the point in regards to what I was trying to express. Which is that masturbation is a neutral. Pointing out the severe negativity to me, doesn't necessarily change that point to me. I also find sex a neutral behavior. It CAN be good and beautiful and wonderful. It can also be a tool for severe manipulation and violation of human dignity. I'm not trying to negate that masturbation can be fuel for terrible sexual behaviors and disorders. But I'm not willing to throw masturbation under the bus when I've also seen how it can be a positive and enriching experience in people's lives. For me, it has been the perk of being a sex therapist. I've gotten to see the interaction of addiction, need-based sex beliefs, sexism, abuse, and other nasty societal factors on the disruption of healthy and beautiful sexual relationships. I've also gotten to see how a variety of sexual expression, in the proper frame work and with certain boundaries, can make a marriage and person flourish and grow. Not just in their relationship, but with their bodies and God. I believe that the stories from the addicts/recovering addicts here and that I know shouldn't be discredited. There should be boundaries, there should be greater emphasis on consent, there should be greater dialogue and having moral parameters around sex, there should be a change in the focus of one specific type of sexual expression as the true and only way one can be happy. But I don't think that the voices of addicts should be the only voice in deciding what can or can't happen with sexuality. And when those voices are added to the equation, masturbation is just not the boogeyman we've made it to be culturally. Other notes: Learning disorder doesn't remove the idea of addiction. It actually is more likely to expand the construct to other behaviors (such as sex or porn) that are currently not considered an addiction by the general psychological community. The medical model has limitations that actually make it hard to treat addiction. But it was an aside. I found it interesting from a therapist stance. Technically I would put Trump as exhibiting narcissitic and sociopathic personality disorder tendencies. His sexual behaviors, in said construct, would be one of many indications of said disorders. Out of control sexual behaviors can have varying branches that they stem from. Obviously I do not find his behavior or conduct healthy in the least...though I cannot technically diagnose from afar. I don't believe in the ideal sexual expression as a specific physiological act. I have known couples with a beautiful healthy and sacred sex life that couldn't have intercourse for medical problems. I've known couples who could have intercourse that I don't envy in the least for their sexual expression. The ideal is a spiritual/emotional construct that informs how they interact in a sexual relationship. And sexual expression for me is any form of physical acts that increase a sense of deeper bonding. So what happens when a couple experiences XYZ problems? Their sexual expression ideally would have the flexibility to change to the concerns and needs of their relationship. I hate the romantic ideals we've promoted on TV and society at large. It's not realistic and it can inadvertently leave large swaths of people thinking their sexual life is abjectly deficient. With luv, BD
  4. The M-Word

    I can understand the confusion. From a porn addiction standpoint, few can masturbate without potentially triggering desires for porngraphy. Whether early on in life or later down the road, graphic sex images were overlayed on their own sexuality. It's similar to why a binge eater can just have a little cake without the of triggering a binge. Or why recovering anorexics shouldn't every go on diets. There's nothing horribly wrong with the behavior, but it's become a triggering point for when life feels in someway out of control or difficult. It's been interpreted by the individual in a way that leads to automatic responses. I respect your perspective.....but I would like to point out that you have only described a) male perspectives and experiences with masturbation and b) males who have been frequently exposed or sought out pornography. These are not the only people who experience masturbation and not everybody files the experience as some form of lust, objectification, or unhealthy coping tools. I'm running out of time again, but to the bolded question.....no. It's not that easy. Sexuality isn't a light switch that can be turn on and off. Sexuality is (or at least should be) an integral part of being human and more capable to function in relationships in healthy ways. Take that principle to other aspects. What happens if we taught that you needed to only practice charity and kindness when you're married? Before then you'll likely make mistakes, but try not to serve and show kindness to your fellow man. Once you are married, you should now be kind, generous, and other-oriented to be able to share a collaborative and loving relationship. How many are really going to be able to pull that off? Maybe they could...but likely it's going to be a struggle. I have more to say, but my next client is up! With luv, BD
  5. The M-Word

    What is your evidence that masturbation is toxic to spiritual health? I gave evidence to my assertions. Simply making an assertion does not naturally make it true. I'm not sure why you are telling me about porn when my point was to differentiate between pornography and masturbation. Introducing porn at a young age, IMO, is a form of child abuse or negligence and a major blinspot in our society. It can hijack developing sexuality to view people, their bodies, and themselves in distorted ways. It irritates me that porn is at a point that people often experience explicit distorted sex images before they've even experienced their own sexuality in any way. That said, not all porn is made equal either. If a married couple likes to send sexual images to each other of themselves as a means to maintain a sexual relationship over long distance or just to play, that's not "opposite to the gospel." Even though they're sending things "meant to arouse" (ie the broad definition of pornography). On top of that, what is considered porn varies from person to person. Painting with broad brushes when discussing sexuality is not helpful and continues many of the problems that we as a community still face surrounding sexuality. With luv, BD
  6. The M-Word

    I think there is a wide world between shame and enabling in reactions towards masturbation, pornography, and sexuality. And sexual addiction is more likely to be bred in silence about their sexuality with sporadic shame messages about their budding sexuality than it is in a household that openly discussed sex. I haven't read the thread very thoroughly (I probably shouldn't be on right now...busy day...like all my days lately ) , but I haven't seen anyone suggest that they should allow any sexual behavior from their children to be promoted and given a slide. Masturbation is not the same as sex addiction. Not even close. And it has benefits in developing sexuality and overall sexual health. On a physiological side, I've found that people who've masturbated are more likely to orgasm with their sexual partners. It leads to smoother transitions to a sexual relationship in marriage, because they know their body, arousal patterns, and what they generally prefer. On a psychological side, masturbation and body exploration help people feel less grossed out and nervous around their body. Many of the women I work with who have never masturbated or masturbated with a ton of personal same toward the experience, have a difficult time accepting their sexual arousal process. They are often leery of their body, don't take ownership of their sex organs, and are uncertain about what arouses them. On a relational level, masturbation can teach ownership of ones own pleasure and - when taught right - the idea of sharing oneself with your partner. It can have spiritual benefits as well, as they are more likely to accept their body's experiences and learn to cherish it (again, if masturbation is not done with shame and is taught in a proper context of body consciousness and self-pleasure....not hijacked by early exposure to porn) I'm not mentioning all of the potential pluses to masturbation, but I hope this gives an idea about what masturbation can be to an individual and subsequently, a marriage's health. Though Patrick Carnes and others have given a lot to help treat sexual behavior that's leading to addictive symptomology....their models of treatment still has some holes IMO. 2 Small examples: - the models that I've seen treating sex addiction acknowledges the need for learning healthy sex, but often neglects said development. I've seen people where drying up the porn or sex addiction also dried up their libido. That's a big problem to me.....like if we had a binge eater go into treatment and end up an anorexic. - Their means of diagnosis is too broad. I was curious when I found a questionnaire from a reputable sight, whether I would qualify for a sex addiction. Sure enough I did....even though I had never had sex and never viewed pornography and deeply valued my sexuality and expressed it congruent to my relational and personal patterns. I have had clients that believed and were told that they had a porn or sex addiction, only to have me explore their constructs and realize they didn't really have one. I was often the first to say so after years of treatments and talking to ecclesiastical leaders. That's a problem. fun fact. I went to UCAP recently, and they talked about how the disease model to sex addiction (and addiction in general) is being replaced by a learning disorder model. Which, IMO, fits more what I see with sex addiction cases. They're not sick in the classic sense of the word, they've learn sex as a coping tool to pain with little/no ability to face their emotional traumas or struggles. Any deep emotions are difficult for them to process...even joy....so porn or sex is a way to remain in homeostasis. Again, masturbation as a neutral construct means that parents and society would have to teach proper behavior and place for masturbations. Placing boundaries about where, when, and how one masturbates as well as teaching children how to recognize and healthily emotionally regulate, would easily reduce the concerns for possible addiction states. I believe sexuality is fundamental to healthy human development. Not all forms of sexual expression are made equal and one doesn't need a specific sexual expression to be healthy or centered in their sexuality. But sexuality to me is not an option. And it's a concern for me with addiction models to sexual behaviors that they may inadvertently be throwing the baby out with the bathwater about this. Well I should probably do my day now.... With luv, BD
  7. The M-Word

    I think the article points to the bigger trend that I see in mormondom: views vastly range from family to family. I have seen this in my office time and time again. I think it points to an odd phenomenon that I've seen both on this board and IRL. We mormons often have a diverse range of beliefs and practices...but we assume unanimity more often than we should about our beliefs. With luv, BD
  8. The M-Word

    Well, more like hopefully will. No kids yet. But my fiance and I are very much in agreement with this. I agree, its generally suggested you talk about the basics about sexuality at a young age, because around 8-10, the gross factor kicks in and they assume they know everything anyways. So good on you and your family With luv, BD
  9. The M-Word

    A different perspective. I don't think of masturbation as a sin. I view it as neutral. Something that can be good or bad depending on the context or way that it's used. The zero-tolerance was a hold over, to me, to victorian age ideals and reactionary to the sexual revolution. Statement in any publications are nearly all gone/rare, minus when coupled with pornography and 1 somewhat description in the FtSY pamphlet. I think it's inappropriate to add questions to the temple recommend interviews. And completely unacceptable to add questions to others Personally, I refuse to teach my children it is a sin or something they shouldn't do. For my job the views that I've seen from bishops, other leaders, and lay members in my office vary drastically. A lot of the variety depends on the age, where they grew up/lived, exposure to sexual education, and their families. They've ranged from adamantly against to talking positively. I had a bishop tell a concerned congregant, after learning the person was masturbating without porn or lust oriented thoughts and told the person that not only were they fine, but that they were learning the goodness that God gave them and that the person would be more capable of sharing themselves with their spouse later in life. Even bishops where they may really believe masturbating is not good, may be persuaded otherwise when I've talked to them. On top of that, there's no scriptures on masturbating. Period. So I think it's a shame you/the church entailed an era of fairly rigid attitudes around masturbating....but I do see it changing. And very capable of changing more. With luv, BD
  10. Why I've been MIA from the board

    So I've kinda dropped off the face of the internet earth recently for several months (We're probably up to around 3 ish). That's not too weird for me as I've done so before and don't post enough for most to really notice. But in case anyone is curious as to why I've disappeared recently, I've been super busy planning my wedding in may. Yeah, I'm getting married. The whole experience has been a whirlwind to say the least and a crazy God-induced experience when finding and knowing this man. The sort that takes a proper push and shove from the other side of the veil. And the sort that if it didn't happen to me, I may have been more than a little skeptical/hesitant about. But it did and rapidly too. So I had a minute and thought I'd share why I've disappeared. Still love God, still grateful for all that comes. Very happy... beyond what I thought possible. God is real...not just because I'm living in a happy bubble right now....but because God was real before then and Will be after as well when things are not as pop-and-fresh and giggly. And it's still very much a growing period. It's been a long time since I've felt so much exponential growth and need for it in such a short period of time. Needless to say, I'll probably still be mostly incognito for at least 3 more months. But thought I'd stop in and say hi! With luv, BD
  11. Results of BYUs climate survey

    It's more complicated than that. Largely tied up in the fact that most forms of sexual assualt happen in dating relationships and there is confusion about what even constitutes rape or assault. I call it my "not-really-rape" cases. Not because they're not really rape, but because the victims have a hard time calling it such even if it fits the legal definition of it. Because sexual assault also has a picture of something that's immediately violent from a stranger and with some form of obvious threats of bodily harm (you can blame TV for that). It's hard to picture what rape usually looks like. It can entail a slow coercive push toward more and more sexual acts they don't actually want but comply to for fear of losing the relationship, angering their partner, or hurting their feelings. When it's like that, there's often a lot of self-blame and shame already stirring in their hearts. Society can be just as caustic as feeding these voices as they interact with victims. And without careful questions, some coming in for repentance may unintentionally reify their guilt as equal to their perpetrators. And a hundred other problems that go with it. Some more uniquely mormon. Most unique to the overarching cultures. As is being pointed out in droves right now, sexual harassment and assualts are a common experience that our society has enabled or turned a blind eye to for generations. It crosses all lines of society: rich or poor, old or young, republican, or democrat, and country. With luv, BD
  12. How can one trust the Holy Ghost

    I've never really got the point of this point of view. It's one of the things I find most irritating because it feels like the epitome of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. All for the glory of having an empty tub. To me it's more ineffective to chronically be in a state of questioning everything I feel, see, touch, and experience for some "higher" state of not truly having absolute certifiable and perfect knowledge about everything. That just immobilizes spiritual and personal development for me. My experience with the Spirit has generally been able to expedite growth and enhance experiences for mine and others betterment. When I sit there floundering and overthinking about what is real that's when I'm more likely to be ineffective and stuck. I'll stick with my delusions, the hallucinations have made me a better person. It's the best form of schizophrenia I could hope for. With luv, BD
  13. The existence of evil

    I saw this earlier today and have been vacillating about giving a response. Oddly, just yesterday I gave a talk in my ward about pain and its relationship to peace. I have the second to last draft attached to this post. I think the reason I hesitate in responding, because as mentioned in my talk I often get a front row seat to women in circumstances much as you describe. It is both painful and a blessing to work with them and help them re-shape their lives. For some odd reason, those leaving abusive relationships and those who've been harmed in some way are some of my favorite clients to work with. I love helping them collect their lives, learn what they need to to heal, and reclaim themselves spiritually, emotionally, and sexually. I have felt the Spirit so often and so strongly in the room as I've worked with these broken souls. Beyond the talk, as others have mentioned I don't believe exactly in free will. I believe in moral agency and that to have it means that there has to be a capacity in people to enact evil and to enact good. I think a large part of the reason that's there is to give us the capacity to become as God and to know our Savior. I don't believe evil is educational. I think it's dangerous and has a detrimental effect on society. In the scriptures I see this pattern of evil and good. When evil infects a society, death, violence, inequity, and sexual inequalities dramatically increase. They are so antithetical to the pattern of God that Moses 7 describes the whole earth in mourning and pain from the evil wrought by the children of men. At some point it snaps back and everybody suffers....often they end up destroying themselves. I also think there's a natural consequence to the souls of the people enacting evil. Every once and a while I've met the perpetrators of abuse, had them sit in my office, and get little peaks into their souls/emotions. They're horrifically broken....sometimes in a way that is far more detrimental just on a temporal plane than some of their victims. I have been disgusted by them....but often I just pity them for who they've become and the evil they have to look at in the mirror. Until they repent and can face accountability for their actions they're in a state of hell that, for me at least, is tangible. My victims here are broken, sometimes very badly. My perpetrators are often damned, unable to escape an emotional/spiritual hell of their own making. On a personal therapist healing level, I would rather work with victims any day of the week. They're healing course is shorter and easier to find. Evil isn't education, it's a necessary capacity in order for us to choose Good. I don't know why some people are tested more than others. I don't think there's a neat answer that is universal for every person out there. Personally, I'm at a place that I value much of the pain I've went through, even ones that have seemed needless. I struggle to say that my course was supposed to be that way or not. I had a peace-creating prompting about how I was brought into my family situation...even though it entailed adults choosing to sin and me getting strapped into an experience that entailed taking on far more responsibility than most kids. My situation wasn't ideal, it taxed me, it left me with emotional scars that took years to heal through multiple avenues. I still get to pay the tax sometimes, as with this week (several weeks, really) where some family drama finally came to a head. But it's where I was needed. And in God's hands it has fostered key parts of my divine nature. Plus, some of this crap ground is when I've had strongest access to God. I would never say, though that evil taught me love. Love taught me love....the darkness just made it very very clear what was actually light when I saw it. Back to work... With luv, BD Peace.docx
  14. Modesty standards

    These are really good questions. I'm not 100% sure. For me, I have plenty of sexual thoughts. Some of them intrusive . I am single. I think once upon a time I found them as minor sins of sorts. I would work to push them down. Instead now I thank God I have them and gently remind myself that they're currently not the right time for full expression. Or the right person, depending. I don't consider general sexual attraction as really a sexual thought or a form of lust. It just is because I have eyeballs and hormones. Most the people I know who objectify people aren't necessarily doing so consciously. But they can consciously change the internal dialogue. I think sexual objectification has 2 components to it. The first is seeing people as objects. But the other component I've seen is placing one's sexual appetites as the primary or sole voice in the sexual story. We do that all....the....time. Female sexuality in general has been filtered by male expectations of sex, sexual attractiveness, etc. So I think innappropriate thoughts start happening when your sexual desires and thoughts begin to override or take precedence over another's. Where it becomes more and more a part of an overpower monologue of a narrative than an actual bonafide dialogue between 2. I think the problem is stating that she was following "mormon standards." She was following her standards. Kudos for her for doing so as she saw fit. But they are not my standards as a good mormon woman who considers herself modest. I could care less about what sports attire I generally wear as long as it suits the sport, is comfortable, and doesn't hinder my performance. Which is why I hike in tanks and shorts during the summer and several layers during the winter. And yes, many people would have the same question for a muslim girl. And often do. I have a general problem with this form of modesty definition. Because it tends to allow others outside oneself to regulate what is really modest. But I'm out of time, so that thought is just going to have to stay unexplained. With luv, BD