I have found that in spiritual matters, life is not black and white. Issues have to be approached personally, with Spiritual guidance, taking into account contexts, consequences, and the effects on others involved. Counsel for one person may not be appropriate for another.
Beck recently commented that in an intimate relation with his wife, the only way he could "do it" was through a fantasy of a male friend. He seemed to feel guilty about this. This started me pondering about the morality of fantasy during intimate relations, especially if the images come from outside the relationship.
Engaged young adults have often asked me if it were sinful to visualize sexual relations with a future spouse. Or after marriage is it wrong to fantasize sex with your wife. My response has always been: What are the consequences? Before marriage does it make it harder to maintain your Temple worthiness when you are with her? Does it distract from the rest of your life? Is it a fleeting experience or does it consume you? Does it lead to masturbation or porn? Does it distract from your relationship with the Lord? Each person is different and must answer for himself and then seek guidance from the Lord. Because of my SSA I occasionally worked on visualizing my wedding night with a woman I loved very dearly, but had little sexual attraction for. I believe that it helped. In an earlier blog I have said more about this.
In a temple interview a young married man asked if he sinned if he visualized sexy women sometimes while being intimate with his overweight and less attractive wife. He said that he loved her very much. He said that sometimes it helped him maintain an erection and reach climax. He said that he limited such fantasies to those difficult times. I told him that if it inhansed his ability to give her pleasure and reach fulfillment himself and that if it did not bring negative effects, spiritual or moral, outside of the bedroom that he should continue. He should also continue to avoid porn, etc. I felt that this advice had the concurrence of the Spirit. Future interviews indicated that he and she continued to have a loving, bonding relationship and that he was not having serious fantasy problems outside of their intimacies.
A stake president of mine when asked in bishops' council about appropriate behavior in intimate relations with your wife said that one General Authority conseled him that "Anything that bonds the couple together in love is ok. Anything that leaves one partner feeling abused, demeaned, exploited or less loved is wrong. What goes on in the bedroom is between the couple and the Lord. Bishops should not ask indelicate questions in their interviews." I know that some BYU professors (whose motivation I question) feel compelled to make lists of what should should or shouldn't happen in the bedroom and some of them have out of date quotations from previous Church leaders as evidence. I believe that this information should be filed with those which counsel that a good Mormon cannot be a Democrat and supply general authority quotes to back this up. The same waste basket receives both in my house. The first time I served as bishop, some other bishops I know probed deeply into the intimate practices of married couples. This was condemned by the First Presidency and bishops are counseled to only ask the question provided, "are you morally clean?"
In my intimate relationships there are times when I cannot reach a climax. If this happens frequently not only am I frustrated but my wife also. She usually finds it easy to reach a peak (usually many). But she says that she is not fully fulfilled if I cannot reach the peak. So at times I permit a fantasy of a male to help me reach a climax. This helps us to both to be fully satisfied and to bond in love. I have never shared this with her. I don't believe that it is necessary. I didn't ask to be wired this way: to be aroused by males. I believe that the Lord understands my mortal makeup and confirms me in this. I avoid porn and daily try to "bridle my passions". I even try to avoid the men's bathing suit and underwear adds that appear in the paper.
I know that the Lord loves my wife and me. Even though I have all my life struggled with an SSA emptiness that I choose to never fulfill (and at times wish I could) I feel His love, patience and support.
Everyone and every relationship is different. I don't share this information to suggest that anyone else should do likewise. You have to work out your relations with the help of the Lord. But if you have been broadsided by those professors or some other well meaning person, you may want to reconsider the issue. Please respond with your reactions to the above. If you want to discuss anything with me privately, use my email that is posted on this website.