Where are we to draw the line in communicating MB questions, answers and information of acceptable and not?
Where are we to draw the line in communicating MB questions, answers and information of acceptable and not? The TMB Czar has given directive but there still remains a struggle of various types. That being true, where do we draw the line that we do agree upon? Can we draw that line?
The devil is in the details 😂
There’s usually a way to answer a question without sounding like soft porn. Using proper terminology helps, rather than slang. What’s not good is when someone over shares, giving a blow by blow (pun intended) of what happens in their MB, especially a specific scenario. Not only can it lead others to imagine you and your spouse, but it attracts others to come here for nefarious purposes. To me, it often sounds braggy as well.
My take is that this board is a place where anonymity allows conversations that would NEVER take place between real life friends. Conversations that we wouldn’t even be able to discuss with our spouse, either because it would be uncomfortable or offensive.
These thoughts are in our head. So we can let them bounce around without any relief, or we can say them here without any fear of repercussions. This is actually a good use of anonymity on the internet.
Just my opinion.
As others have said, the anonymity of this board makes it comfortable to bring sex-related questions before a group of people who have similar problems and who also share a Christian worldview. All churches should have a ministry to serve married couples who are experiencing marriage bed problems, but it seems like such things are rare. And even if more churches had sex counseling resources, some people would be too embarrassed to have face-to-face discussions concerning the details of their sex lives.
When formulating questions and responses, the goal must be to communicate clearly enough so that readers can get actionable information that will address their marriage bed issues. The description of the problems and answers should be clear, but not be written in a manner that is deliberately titillating. It is probably difficult to draw a ‘sharp line because different people will be offended by different levels of description, different word choices, etc. The key is that the questions and responses should not read like erotica and should sound as ‘clinical’ as possible.
Someone shares the intimacies of their experience(s) and the outcome is that some are offended and some are not. Some are extremely uncomfortable with it and others find it helpful. And opinion sways to the right and off to the left. What criteria is there to determine where that line should be drawn except the Scripture as the ultimate authority? And then there are some would hold that that is merely beating people or shaming them without reason.
The biblical directive for all communication, whether its the realm of intimacy or something else, is that we are neither to be ultra-fundamental sectarians without foundation for our positions nor are we to be liberal syncretists consuming all the world has to offer. Many of us are appalled at one side and not the other, all the while we should be opposed to both sides not merely as people who stand in the middle but as those who have an answer from the Lord to all who ask. I agree with those who abhor Bible shaming and equally the clearly tantalizing comments. I think Bible shaming is a sectarian response of an opinion without reason for an answer of the hope that may exist within and without the grace to respond. I would add that it is without love but it is awful hard to give love in such a forum format.
(Galatians 5:1; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 2:15)
Just conversation, no offense intended in anyway here.
So what you are asking is how do we define political correctness here?
You can’t beyond the stated “rules”. No matter where you draw a line, someone will not be served by it. Some will harp on it. Some may need to grow up – either in their harping or in their “over-sharing.” The very existence of a forum as this suggests that it is a place for more open conversation. The fact that it is almost 100% anonymous lends to this. I would imagine if real names, real identities were openly known, a lot less would be shared. And perhaps a lot less would be learned as well.
If something offends you, turn the page. If it offends many, the page will be turned for you. It looks to me like there is some pretty good self-policing going on. As I advise many in real life – if you are a recovering alcoholic, do NOT go to the bar to get your cup of coffee. Don’t even go to the coffee shop next door. Same principle applies here IMO.
This is a great question, and I hope one that everyone here puts some thought into.
The unfortunate fact is that the Bible is quiet on so many specific things, thus requiring extrapolation, interpretation, or both. Given that there is no clear Biblical directive in the area of married-sex communication amongst believers, forums such as this one fall into this interpretation/extrapolation zone. I do think that Romans 14:23 is valid in situations like these, but it works through individuals and not directly through the group as a whole.
To me, it is a heart thing. Is someone’s participation here based upon good, Godly intentions, or is it mischievous? There have clearly been visitors here that fall into the latter category. I believe that the attempts at questionable actions in secretive communications (PM’s that e.g. ask for revealing photos) is a top giveaway of the mischievous/wolf category.
However, most of the people here fall into the former category, which is honesty super broad. As others have mentioned, the anonymity here can really help with asking/sharing things one wouldn’t do otherwise. This has really struck me this last week, and I will give a specific example that relates (sorry if this is too detailed):
Last weekend, I chatted with an old friend who is worried about some hormonal test results that worst-case scenario could indicate a brain tumor. Both hormones tie into sex drive, but I avoided asking/going into details on the video call with him, his DW, and my DW because of the possible sexual nature–even though they used to be our best friends and are still probably the couple I would be most comfortable talking sex with. The next day, I did text him to tell him about how the one hormone could tie into sex, but I really didn’t give much detail and was holding back. But here’s the deal–basically I think his hormones have always been this way, as the combination of issues he describes would lower sex drive, and 12 years ago he indicated that he thought his sex drive was lower than most men’s (and always had been). So here I am, avoiding conversation/information that could potentially help him both emotionally and diagnostically because of the sexual nature of the issue. This is info his doctors probably can’t give him, as they likely don’t know that he’s been sexually LD for his entire marriage. Instead, they asked if he’s experienced “a recent drop in sex drive”, which he answered “no” to.
Fast forward 6 days… I was Googling something because of a post here that led me to a possible answer to an interesting topic here from over six months ago. The link is a little shady, but I don’t hesitate at all to PM the person (unsolicited) who might benefit from the info, we briefly discuss it, and they ask for the link (which I heavily warn may have questionable/triggering content). I have never met this person IRL, though we have PM’d a decent amount. Yet, because of the anonymity and nature of these boards, I did not hesitate to share the information even though it was probably of lower quality and would relate more to pleasure than “real health” in this case as compared to the one above. I cannot shake the feeling that what I did in this case is good/right, strongly indicating the a forum like this is healthy and valuable.
One final note, I am a fan of operating under the idea that anything I say/share here should be readable by my spouse without causing a major problem. I’ve failed in that several times, having shared information that she disagreed with upon her reading it. But it is certainly something one should consider even though I know others here don’t always agree with this.
@LuckyinLove gave a good summary on how one can keep things at an “appropriate” level…. those were things that the old boards definitely had more laid out “rules” on. There’s not much to add there.
@Scott hit on the heart and intentions of the poster. To me, some of them are really obvious, like a huge flashing red sign saying “Warning!” (but as we know, not everyone has that same discerning spirit), while others give the appearance of it, but there are more questions around, “Are they truly “wolves” or are they just seekers?“, and then there are some people who immediately come across as authentic people, here for the right reasons, and the spirit in us testifies with the spirit in them.
Here’s my personal take…. be gracious and loving. Even when standing boldly in the truth and against those whom we are sure have wrong intentions, it ought to be seasoned in love. When someone comes asking a question that seems a little “too personal” or they are sharing more detail than what some are personally comfortable with, show grace. When we can understand that not everyone is coming from the same place as us, with the same teachings, the same foundations, the same culture, the same convictions, and we are surrendered enough to step back and let the Holy Spirit in to be the Convicter, it’s easier to show that grace. Every single one of us has the right to stay silent and not answer something that makes us uncomfortable.
I know, and I would guess anyone who has been around long enough knows, I am a highly opinionated person. I stand strong in my beliefs, and I am not swayed very easily, and have no problem standing toe to toe with someone, but yet also, very sensitive to the Spirit. But, I know I am not perfect, I know I have had to go and apologize, seeking forgiveness more than once around TMB, when I know I have been wrong. I know that NO MATTER the sin one has done or has been tempted with, the fleshly desires someone might wrestle with, they are no greater than my own, and “the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” I truly hope, that if someone is willing to take the time to observe me, that even in the midst of speaking truth, they would see Christ in me and they would see love and grace as a defining thing in my life and in my words… and if you/they don’t, I invite you and welcome you, to lovingly come to me personally (PM) and speak to me about it.