Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Better To Give Than Recieve

Having a partner that is unable to reach orgasm with you is a difficult knock for the ego to handle.  For the majority of cases it is the woman who has trouble experiencing an orgasm but there are cases, such as when a man is experiencing some ED, when the difficulty is with the man.  Though the situation is a little different the steps you take to improve the situation are very similar.  For this reason today's post will work to help both men and women improve their sex life with their partner.  If your partner has difficulty reaching orgasm try to understand that it is not an indicator of your self worth.  There may be something you are doing that just isn't working for your partner but there is no way for you to know that unless there is better communication between you. 

When my husband and I were first married sex was extremely infrequent and my husband was unable to reach orgasm with me or even maintain an erection long enough for us to be intimate a lot of the time.  I must admit, I got a bit angry with God at this point.  I mean, I was a woman with a very high sex drive.  When I was in my teens I did not fantasize about my wedding and marriage.  Instead I dreamt about how my husband and I would be having sex every day.  When this dream instead turned into a nightmare I blamed God.  I would cry out to Him with things like, "Why would you give me such a high drive and bring me a husband that is unable to meet my needs?"  I just didn't understand and the whole thing seemed so ironic and unfair.  It took a lot of time, recovery and hard work before I realized that if I hadn't had the drive I do and if intimacy wasn't something I really desired then I wouldn't have had any motivation to fix our issues.  I wouldn't have worked at it.  I would have just let our marriage remain sexless, distant and eventually it would have shrivelled and died.  My libido was the fuel that moved us forward. 

This experience has also given me, what I feel is a unique perspective on the sexual relationship of a marriage.  It helps me understand how a husband is effected when his wife is disinterested in sex and unable to reach orgasm.  It also allows me to speak to husbands that are struggling to know how to help their wives.  My hope is that I can turn, what I once saw as a deal breaker for my relationship, into a tool that draws other couples out of their own unintimate marriages into a thriving and joyful, complete union. 

Most often, if a partner is unable to reach orgasm it is the female.  Since she is still able to have intercourse, even without an orgasm, she may decide it just doesn't matter.  She may even give up on experiencing that climax and fall into the trap of thinking that sex is just for her husband.  This line of thinking will most likely lead to her only wanting to participate grudgingly and infrequently.  After all, if she isn't "getting anything out of it" why bother, right? 

I want to talk about two aspects of this.  What this type of thinking will do to your marriage and how it affects your husband.  If you are disinterested in sex and only participate grudgingly, your husband knows.  He knows you don't enjoy it, he knows you don't want to and it will make him less likely to initiate.  This might sound like a win for you right?  If you don't enjoy it you might be hoping he'll just stop pestering you.  In the short term this may seem like a good thing but as time goes buy your husband will grow more and more frustrated.  He will feel like a failure for his lack of ability to bring you to climax, he will feel guilty for wanting to be intimate with you, he will doubt his masculinity and he will feel like a roommate instead of a partner.  You will drift further and further apart until you are simply sharing a house, not sharing a life.  He will begin to resent you and since he does have a physical need to orgasm in order to relieve the pressure that builds up (if he doesn't do it himself his body will do it for him with wet dreams) he will start to seek out other means of stimulation.  This will most likely lead to either watching porn, or having an affair.  Neither option is one you want. 

It does make sense that when someone doesn't find sex very enjoyable they aren't going to want to do it very much.  If it is a source pressure and stress for them, they will really want to avoid it.  This can sometimes be the trap that a marriage falls into.  You start out your marriage and your partner isn't able to orgasm.  The two of you then "try harder" but still nothing happens.  The partner that is able to orgasm starts trying to come up with different tricks and techniques to satisfy their partner.  When those things fail they get more and more frustrated with the situation.  They could feel guilty about their wants and desires.  They might feel poorly about themselves.  It is definitely hard on their self esteem.  I know I questioned everything about myself.  I felt unattractive, incompetent and selfish. 

How does it affect the partner that is unable to orgasm?  I can't speak entirely to this issue but I can imagine it is even more frustrating for them.  From speaking with my husband I know they feel like they are letting you down, like their body is betraying them (especially for men who are constantly told how sex crazed and virile they are "supposed" to be) and that they are powerless to change.  It is frustrating, confusing and a source of a lot of stress.  I know many people might wonder how sex could be stressful.  After all, isn't it supposed to relieve stress?  Yes, but if you are unable to relax and enjoy the experience then instead every time they are intimate they are filled with increasing anxiety over their inability to "perform" and dealing with greater and great pressure from their spouse.

You might not think that you are putting pressure on your spouse at all but even your desire to be intimate with comes with a lot of stress and expectation.  They know you want them to enjoy themselves, the see the disappointment when things don't go as you planned.  They don't want to let you down so quite often they just would rather avoid the situation entirely. 

There is one added difficulty if you are dealing with ED in a relationship.  After all, a woman can still have sex without having an orgasm but if the male is unable to maintain an erection there really isn't much that can be done by way of penetrative sex.  Let me assure you that this can be corrected and although it might be a long road you CAN get you're sex life back and it CAN be a fulfilling one for both of you.

If you are a woman that has difficulty reaching orgasm, I am going to go over some steps you and your husband can take to assist you but I would also recommend reading "The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex" by Sheila Gregoire.  There are some good tips, information and encouragement in there that will greatly benefit your relationship. 

I don't think I have ever come across a situation where avoiding the problem has made it go away.  I'll let you know if I ever do, but until then how can we break out of the cycle and start moving toward a more fulfilling sexual experience for both partners unless we just try? 

I have already mentioned in previous posts that my husband and I attended some sex therapy early in our marriage.  Thankfully the therapist did not recommend that we watch porn together.  This is apparently something that many sex therapist believe will improve a couples sex life but that I believe to be harmful instead for many, many reasons that I will perhaps cover at a later date.  Just for the time being though, watching porn will not help you.  It will only cause you to doubt yourselves even more and transfer your desire to the actors rather than each other.  The sex therapist we saw did give us some good tips and tricks to get our sex life onto a good track.  However, she strangely didn't talk much if at all about emotional or mental causes of my husband's ED.  This is not a step you want to skip!  After all, enjoying sex is mostly mental.  Have you ever heard that the brain is the most important sex organ?  It is so true!  If you brain isn't in the game it's just not happening and if your brain is not only out of the game, it's playing against you, then there is no way you will ever win.  If you have been abused, have big self esteem issues or have never been able to climax you will need to resolve the mental blocks before tackling the physical ones. 

If you are living in a sexless marriage it can be extremely intimidating to break out of the routine of avoidance.  In my opinion that is one of the biggest hurtles to restoring your marital intimacy.  You have gotten into a pattern of no communication.  You may talk about everything else.  You might still feel like best friends.  You're relationship, from the outside, might look perfect but there is a big hole that you have been walking around for so long you can't even imagine what it would take to start filling it in.  It seems much easier to just go around it, so you do, year after year, until someone gets tired of it or slips and falls in.  It is so incredibly sad to me to hear of couples that are missing out on the intimacy of marriage when they could be so much happier, more connected and less stressed out.

Once you are ready to start working on a more fulfilling sex life the first step is going to have to be opening up conversation.  You're going to have to be willing to talk about what the setbacks are and be honest about what isn't working.  The next step is going to seem very strange.  Stop trying (if you're in a sexless marriage, I guess you've got this step down pat).  I know what the partners that are able to orgasm are thinking here.  It goes along the lines of "WHAT!?!?!?!"  It might seem counter intuitive to you.  You might wonder how you are supposed to improve your sex life without trying to have sex.  Those are valid concerns but here is why this is a good plan.  I am not saying not to be sexual, I'm saying to take a small break from intercourse.  Remember how I talked about all the pressure intercourse places on your spouse?  Taking a break removes that pressure and it helps them to no longer feel like a failure every time they are unable to orgasm.  What you should do instead of penetration is just make out.  Explore each others body, do lots of kissing, spoon naked and touch one another.  Quite often, when a person is unable to climax they aren't really sure what feels good to them.  This is their time to find out.  Talk a lot during this process.  Ask them what feels good and don't take offence if there is something they don't like.  Every person is different.  There are different parts of their body that will be more sensitive than others.  There will even be different times during a sexual encounter that will change how things feel.  Don't be demanding of your partner during this time and try to be patient and take things slow.  They may have no idea what even feels good for them so go slow and try to make it as much fun as possible.  In short, just try and relax and have fun!  

When my husband and I started with this step I soon discovered that part of the issue we had was he needed a lot of intense stimulation.  During his teen years he had drawn out the masturbation process to get as much good feeling as possible.  He had trained his penis to need heavy stimulation in order to climax.  At the start I was simply not physically strong enough to be able to bring him to orgasm.  This was almost a despairing moment for me.  If I wasn't strong enough to bring him to climax with my hand then how would he ever be able to orgasm during intercourse?  Though it seemed hopeless to me I realized that if you can train something to act a certain way then you can untrain it too.  It took lots of time and work for us but by taking things step by step we were eventually able to increase his sensitivity to the point where he is now able to reach orgasm through intercourse the vast majority of the time.

What are these steps that lead to orgasm through intercourse?  It starts with knowing what touch they like.  Get your partner to guide your hand.  If they are able to touch themselves with your hand over theirs you can start to understand how they like to be touched.  Pay attention to how hard they press, where exactly they touch and how fast or slowly they move.  Once you (and maybe they) are more familiar with what they like you can attempt to bring them to orgasm with your hand or your mouth.  If they are able to orgasm that way then that will show them they are capable (let me assure you, you are capable) and that will help build their confidence so they can relax more.

Sometimes women don't believe they are capable of orgasm so they don't even bother to try anymore.  I believe this is a mistake for many reasons.  First of all, sex was created by God to be a enjoyable and fulfilling experience.  If he didn't want women to enjoy it then why would he have created the clitoris, a body part with no function other than pleasure?  Women also have the G-spot, a patch of skin inside the vagina with extra nerve endings that can produce orgasm as well.  There have been studies done on the G-spot that show a correlation between the thickness of the wall of the vagina and the ability to experience a G-spot orgasm but regardless of weather you will ever be able to climax that way or not it is still an extra spot that feels pretty good to rub.  All of this is to say that you were made to enjoy sex and sex was created for marriage.  You don't have to feel guilty about enjoying your husband.

Try to relax, speak up about what doesn't feel right and try to enjoy each other.  Don't worry if it doesn't happen right away.   It may take a long time and it will take trust but you can get there.  The road that you take will only increase the intimacy and partnership you experience with your spouse.  It will only make your marriage stronger and avoiding it will tear you apart.

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