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Female orgasms are misunderstood and underplayed in Indian society. It is important to realise the needs of female partners in sexual relationships.
“She nags me during the day and complains of a migraine at night. We haven’t had intimate contact with each other since months now. I am frustrated and there seems no end in sight. I love her but she says that I don’t care for her. What should I do?” said a married young man. He was asked to bring his wife at the next counselling session. On questioning her, she burst into tears. Through her tears she said, “He just uses me when he wants sex; he doesn’t love me”. On probing further, it was discovered that she had normal sexual urges and had several encounters with her husband after their marriage. But as time passed her angry outbursts during the day – which included nagging her husband and calling him selfish – increased. Every night she would be suffering from a migraine and there would be no possibility of intimacy. She admitted that her husband tried to be caring in other ways and was concerned about her, but she was unexplainably angry with him most of the time.
We had detailed discussions about her sexual encounters and she said that she felt angry, sad and confused after the act. Although she did have sexual urges of her own to start with, her disappointment at the end of every encounter kept increasing.
This couple was then counselled together. The solution was extremely simple. They were both explained the concept of orgasm in women.
It is easy for a man to penetrate and climax with the least effort as his organ [Glans penis] could be stimulated in any position; but it is not so for a woman. For her to be satisfied in the sexual act, she needs to climax too; and this is only possible if her clitoris is stimulated in the right way for a clitoral orgasm or a specific movement which would give her a vaginal orgasm. But the female orgasm happens only with certain movements and positions, [unlike the male orgasm] which only she is aware of.
The couple was asked about the positions they use during their sexual act. They looked at me as if I had asked an absurd question. “Naturally with the man on top” they both chorused. Their instant reaction with the use of the word “naturally” made me suddenly aware of their conditioning, and clear how unaware the Indian man and woman is about the specifics of the female orgasm. They were then explained that if the woman is on top and the man below, the woman will be able to move in a way that would give her clitoris [sensitive area] the right stimulus, and she would then be able to climax fully and experience the pleasure of orgasm. This would in turn leave her feeling sexually satisfied, fulfilled and relaxed in her body and mind after the act. The man of course would reach his orgasm anyway, as he does not require a specific position or movement. Any movement is enough to stimulate his organ and bring him to his climax.
After this session, the couple was called for a follow up after a month. It was no surprise to me to see their beaming faces when they came again. The man thanked me profusely for saving his marriage, and the wife’s satisfaction was evident in the expression on her face.
Such a simple solution and so much unawareness about it! On conducting a survey of a cross section of the Indian society, it was found that most Indian men and women felt that any position besides the “missionary position” [man on top] amounted to indecent sex indulged only by prostitutes or nymphomaniacs. Such a woman was viewed as aggressive or oversexed.
Let us not forget the well-known Indian scripture Kamasutra by Vatsayana, which is famous, the world over. In that scripture, the different asanaas [postures] recommended ensure that the woman plays an “active” part in the sexual act, without which she cannot experience complete sexual satisfaction.
In addition, as compared to the man, the woman takes longer to get aroused. But once she is aroused fully, if she is allowed to move in a way that stimulates her clitoris, she can climax with or even before her partner.
Surprisingly, a majority of the rural and illiterate masses seemed to talk of sex as a male domain, and the woman as a “passive” partner who allowed the man sexual gratification. A very small percentage spoke about sexual satisfaction of the female partner too.
It is said that many Indian women pass their entire married life without even once experiencing orgasm. The consequences could be as mild as a nagging wife and complaints like migraines, extramarital affairs, and obsessive indulging in masturbation; or as severe as depression, suicidal tendencies, violent outbursts and complete madness i.e. complete loss of sanity of the mind [often labelled in rural areas as a case of black magic].
So the ideal sexual encounter, which satisfies both man and woman, would be one in which there is adequate foreplay, and the man should preferably not penetrate unless the woman indicates that she is fully aroused. The woman on top ensures the correct stimulation. In this way, she can control the tempo of intercourse, the depth of penile thrusting [or sliding movements], and the clitoral stimulation. This position in which the man is relatively passive and the woman active, ensures that the man remains aroused enough to maintain his erection till the woman is ready to climax [as opposed to man-on-top position, where the man nears his ejaculation with every movement, but the woman may be still very far from climaxing because of lack of correct stimulus]. The “female superior” position is especially good for women who have personal issues that require the need to feel in total control sexually. It is to be noted that once the man ejaculates, he loses his erection, and is then incapable of bringing the woman to her climax. Therefore, the key would be to prolong the male orgasm till the woman is nearing her orgasm. Then they can either climax together, or the woman immediately followed by the man. There should be some sort of a signal between the partners to indicate the nearing of the climax so that it can be timed in a way that the woman can reach her climax too. It also needs to be noted that once the man ejaculates, he loses his erection and the sexual act comes to an end; and then it is impossible for the woman to climax. But once the woman reaches her orgasm [in certain cases even multiple orgasms], the sexual act can still continue [as there is nothing like loss of erection in women.] till the man climaxes. This would provide complete sexual satisfaction to both the partners.
In the intimate relationship of man and woman, the basic requirement is caring for each other’s physical needs. This is the foundation without which no marital relationship can healthily survive. Of course, it doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning. You can build on a strong foundation, and you can go as high as the sky i.e. from the physical to the spiritual realms; from the lowest to the highest; from taking pleasure for yourself to giving unconditional love to the other. Let me explain this – When the partner has experienced enough physical satisfaction for himself/herself, he/she automatically starts enjoying the act of giving more than taking. The madness of reaching your own climax gives way to a softer, more loving, sharing of energy; and the relationship and the individual partners then evolve to tremendous heights of love and compassion. This is what tantra is all about; and this is what the Shiva-Parvati relationship signifies. So may be the next time you see a Shiva-Parvati sculpture or visit Khajuraho, you will look more closely, and interpret the message of these sculptures more healthily; and maybe bring some of their beauty, love and joy in your own relationship.
How important is it to experience simultaneous orgasm? : It really isn’t all that important. The myth that simultaneous orgasm is the epitome of sexual fulfilment is based on a number of false assumptions. First, it assumes that two people get aroused and then respond at the same pace. That is highly unlikely. Second, it assumes that goal-oriented sex is more fulfilling than pleasure-oriented sex. On the contrary, goal-oriented sex can interfere with fulfilment by introducing a demanding attitude, anxiety and often a feeling of failure – all of which hinder the body’s natural response mechanism.
Goal-oriented sex requires a wife to be orgasmic during intercourse, which may not be the case always. It also assumes that she will only have one orgasm, and so she has to time that orgasm to occur when her husband is about to ejaculate. Women have the capacity to have more than one orgasm, and it’s more likely that a woman who has multiple orgasms may have one when her husband does. Even then it works best when it is simply allowed to “happen naturally”, rather than worked towards as a goal.
As one woman put it, “I wouldn’t want to orgasm when he does because then I would miss out on his”. Many couples prefer to enjoy each other’s orgasms. That way, you can double your pleasure.
Imagine the frustration of the woman whose sexual energy has started its journey at the beginning of the sexual act, and is suddenly left “high and dry”, as the energy is not allowed to complete its journey. This state can be likened to that of a pressure cooker that is continually being filled with steam and the whistle is suddenly sealed. Now the steam is not allowed to escape normally through the whistle. The result would be disastrous, as the accumulated steam would necessarily seek some means of release; and if not allowed the normal channel, will escape through abnormal and perverted means through some available nook or corner; otherwise the cooker will explode due to the pressure of the steam.
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