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How To Improve Sex Life After Marriage

How To Improve Sex Life After Marriage

Do you remember your courtship days with your boy friend ( now your husband) few years back when you were not married to him? Are you happy with your sex life now after 10 years of marriage ? If you and your spouse are  happy, enjoy it . If you are not happy, this 
 is for you !

In the pre marital days, you used to talk to your sweetheart for hours together , there was so much to share . You used to wait for the time and place where you would meet , with a lot of positive anticipation.  Most meetings were quite thrilling and worthy to remember for infinity. For those who had sex as well before marriage, it was terrific with the best orgasm . The desire to have more sex was very strong .  Now, after 10 years of marriage , do you have anything out of the above ? If still you have many feelings like good old days , it is wonderful and you are the luckiest person on earth . But with most couples, these evaporate in thin air sometime after marriage .Now the routine is sex 1-2 times  a week or even less frequently which consists of 10 minutes of foreplay, 2-3 minutes of intercourse and a few minutes of after course . No wonder,many marriages are no sex marriage or low sex marriage . (These don’t mean there is absolutely no sex . If you have sex less than 10 times in a year, it is no sex and if less than 25 times , it is low sex marriage ). Do you feel thrilled with the anticipation of sex with your partner now ? No, you don’t. It has become a job that has to be completed because you are married ! It doesn’t make difference whether the sex is twice a week or once a month . 

This is the usual story about most married couples all over the globe . 
What has happened? There was one of my patient who had wonderful relations with her boyfriend ( now husband) with regular passionate sex but after marriage, they didn’t have intercourse at all for 5-6 years . So much so that they had to opt for Assisted Reproductive Technique with husband semen for pregnancy . Unbelievable but true . Has it become boring doing the same thing again and again with the same partner so there is hardly any dopamine release after sex  ! What happens to sex after marriage? 

Most of us have seen sex on cinema screens  where the hero dances around the heroine with passionate love and smooth free flowing sex and  they have great orgasm  , taking the couple to heights of ecstasy . Some have seen porn movies where the sex lasted for very long time , there was loads of ejaculate and the orgasm was explosive . People try to emulate these heroes  but real life is not like movies . The passion, romance and  sexual chemistry and hot sex may last for 6 months to maximum 2 years . Afterwards , they are disappointed to find that the  spark has gone  out of their love life . 

The romantic love is inherently unstable with very short life span .  It can’t maintain desire. Sexual desire is based on emotional and sexual intimacy, not on romantic love or passionate sex . The prescription for maintaining sexual desire is integrating intimacy, non demand pleasuring and erotic scenarios. Sexual desire is interpersonal, not individual . The partners learn to think, talk,act and feel like an intimate team. Each spouse facilitates and reinforces the other’s sexual feelings and desires . 

What is healthy sexuality- 

-sex is more than genitals, intercourse and orgasm. Sexuality involves attitudes, feelings, perceptions and values . Sexuality is a natural , healthy element in life . It shouldn’t be a source of guilt or negative feelings
-Sexuality is an integral aspect of your personality. You deserve to feel good about your body and yourself as a sexual person
-The essence of sexuality is giving and receiving pleasure oriented touching
-Express sexuality so that it enhances your life and intimate relationship 

Actually what happens in large number of couples after marriage-    
Sex doesn’t remain very exciting . It becomes a chore like many other jobs . Largely it is due to unreal expectations by both the man and woman Before marriage, the man used to get a good erection at the sight of a girl , there was no effort involved . He could have sex more than once effortlessly. The girl used to feel very attractive and confident who could induce such a terrific response from her man .  It no longer  remains so . The couple has a lot of other issues like finance , pregnancy and adjustment in the new environment with in-laws . Some differences are imminent but they may occupy the top importance to tackle . The woman or man is preoccupied with these . There are a lot of heated exchanges which sometimes reach serious levels . Sex is taken for guaranteed as per their previous experience. But it doesn’t happen as expected . The sex commands very low place in order of priority . The man gets erection with a lot of effort by the woman which is new to them . One patient remarked “ No matter which type of innerwears I use , how much I try - he doesn’t care and I find he has no erection” . She argued that you can’t forcibly change him. Nobody can change him as I have tried my best over the years . “  She was right to the extent , she must have tried hard without success so the frustration and hopelessness was understandable . But why did it happen? 

They had great sex when they were in 20’s . But after marriage spontaneous erections ceased to come , even there was no orgasm in a few sexual encounters . Both were disappointed and the lady some times reacted strongly with words like “ you are good for nothing”, you can’t satisfy me or even “ you are impotent “ This was extremely embarrassing , shameful and depressing to the man . He started having doubts about his ability to satisfy her , and started developing considerable anxiety about his possible performance . This was followed by failure which reinforced his assumption. He started avoiding sex to protect himself from embarrassment . This is called anticipatory anxiety and his response as avoidance response . He felt quite angry by his wife’s 
comments so this was his way of vengeance. This avoidance lead to markedly reduced sexual desire in him but the desire in his wife was normal and more than his desire . This mismatch lead to frequent quarrels and blame games . This cycle was repeated many times until she gave an ultimatum to the man to either consult a sexologist or she would leave . 

This is a  very common and self defeating turn of events with possible disastrous results .

What mistakes they were doing - 

1- They were expecting the same response during sex as it was before in their 20’s . This is self defeating . 

2- Unaware of the change in body response to sexual cues that takes place with time , they were caught in the web of frustration, unrealistic expectations,anger , blaming each other and chronic avoidance . All these are poison for sexual desire . 

3- All this lead to pent up anger but they never confronted nor accepted it 

This is a perfect recipe for reduced sex desire in marital life 

Sex desire after marriage- 

There is a joke that marriage kills sex  . It may be fact but non married couples living together for more than 2 years have higher rates of no sex ( less than 10 times in a year) and low sex relationships than married couples . What happens? 

New romantic love couples meet for weekends and special occasions . They have time , energy and enthusiasm for each other . The factors that derive the premarital sex - newness, illicitness, risk taking , winning the partner over , romantic love and exploring sexual boundaries- are unstable . They ignore the real world of jobs, laundry and schedules . The person and relationship is idealised . Once married, they spend seven nights together every week and have to deal with nitty gritty tasks of sharing their lives. In this context, sex is neither a priority nor is idealized and supercharged . It is the last thing to do after watching TV, finishing the housework and finishing  office work . Taking a bath at night before sex is often forgotten and the smell of kitchen masala and wheat flour from the Indian women are sure killers of sexual desire . 
Comparison with premarital sex is a self defeating and unrealistic .The decrease in sexual frequency and romance frustrates, embarrasses and angers the couple . Marital sex is based on completely different way of thinking, feeling and being a couple . Romantic love should be replaced by mature intimacy . Hot sex is replaced by the combination of intimacy, non demand pleasuring and erotic scenarios and techniques. 

Common reasons for reduced desire after marriage -  

1- Anger - Many couples use sex to make up after argument . This is fine if not associated with emotional abuse or physical coercion . Chronic anger poisons both the marital and sexual relationship. Chronic anger break the emotional bond . The spouse is no longer your trusted and intimate friend 
    Feeling attacked or put down is the main precursor for anger . A woman intent on hurting the husband may complain that his penis is small . The husband may ruminate and put down , leading to anger and alienation . It will destroy intimacy and lead to sexual avoidance . Similarly a woman may feel anger at intimate coercion. It is a major cause of inhibited sexual desire . It is not marital rape but both destroy trust in voluntary pleasure oriented sexuality. The husband usually denies coercion or may blame her for his demand of sex . 
Another source of anger can be Extra marital affair . Even after the affair is over, the husband may feel insecure which is expressed as anger . Some men react by shutting down sexually while others initiate sex forcefully. Angry sex kills loving feelings , alienating the woman and killing her desire . There can be hurt and disappointment in the spouse , marriage or both. Whatever way anger is caused is a sexual turnoff 

2- Guilt - A man may feel guilty of visiting a sex worker . He keeps the secret to himself but this will lead to avoid the wife . He is afraid that if she knew it, his respect will be lowered . His self esteem decreases , reducing his desire for sex with wife 
For woman, common cause Is affair outside marriage or fantasizing about some one else . Guilt disrupts the intimacy and pleasure . 

3- Anxiety-  Sex and pleasure belong together . Sex and performance is a poisonous combination. Most problems are due to anticipatory anxiety and performance anxiety . Anticipatory anxiety means approaching sex with a fear of failure , a wish to avoid , fear of  embarrassment or wanting to get it over with are big turnoffs . It is like going for swimming with 100 kg weight on you . Anticipatory anxiety is a poison for sex 
Performance anxiety has a negative effect on arousal and erection . Man views sex as a pass- fail test . Sex is no longer for pleasure but a scrutinised performance . It reduces desire and erection . 

4- Inhibitions -  They take out the fun from sex . They may be psychological, relational or sexual . Some of the examples are poor body image, reluctance to initiate , unwillingness to let go in front of the spouse, embarrassment at being nude, reluctance to try an erotic scenario or fear of rejection . These result in rigid sexual role and stereotyped sexual expression of sexuality . Sex becomes mechanical and stale . The couple has sex only at late night , with no lights , after the male’s nonverbal initiation , with limited foreplay in missionary position and perfunctory after play . Not many will look forward for such a predictable stereotyped sex . Allow sex to be flowing, open and free . 

5- Obsessions and Compulsions - these are sexual turnoffs . It may be a symptom of OCD . The problem is linked to sexual expression. Obsessive thoughts interfere with spontaneity and communication . Example - husband is obsessed by a fetish is shutoff from the spouse . A woman may obsessively think that a wife and mother should not enjoy oral sex blocks pleasure . Washing genitals can increase sexual comfort , but compulsive ritualistic washing is a turnoff .  Compulsive behaviours like counting intercourse strokes or jumping up  to wash off semen are turnoffs . 
These behaviours are based on irrational fear of dirtiness and contamination. In fact genital secretions are healthy . There are more germs in your mouth than on your genitals .

6-  Shame- it refers to negative thoughts and feelings based on past experiences. It could be trauma of childhood sexual abuse, incest and rape, being sexually humiliated, guilt over masturbation or fantasies, sexually ridiculed or rejected , having a sexually transmitted disease , being exposed to or being peeped on, receiving obscene phone calls or being sexually harassed . These become a shameful secret that control sexuality . But here, you are the victim , 

7- Psychiatric illnesses - The point prevalence of psychiatric illnesses in adult population in India is about 20% . One third to half never approach the psychiatrist for treatment . Reduced desire could be due to medicines being taken for psychiatric illnesses as well as psychiatric illnesses per se . Any suspicion of psychiatric disorder should result in seeking appropriate treatment . 

8- Medical illnesses - DM, Hypertension or cardiac disease or some neurological disease can cause reduced desire . 

9- Sex problem in the partner- If one partner has a sex problem, the other may develop sex problem . For example, the partner of a man with Pre Mature Ejaculation may develop reduced desire to protect her husband from humiliation. If the desire of the woman doesn’t go down, there may be significant fights , allegations and divorce in a worst scenario or an extra marital relationship is formed . 

What to do -

Below written  are only suggestions, not strict guidelines . One can make necessary changes if needed . 

Non demand pleasuring and intimacy - 

1-  Sex is not going to be spontaneous. Fix some sex date when you are free , no computer work, kids should be with grannies or friends , mobile switched off . It is called sexual date . 

2- Please remember , not all touching should be oriented to intercourse . This includes touching both inside as well as outside the bed room . This is for mutual pleasure . It is not a foreplay , but aimed at enhanced intimacy . In many marriages, when intercourse stop, so does sensual and often affectionate touch . Non demand pleasuring is integral to sexual desire . 

3-Have a shower , preferably together ,with warm water . This will relax you  and make your genitals clean. You can experiment with scented soap, different temperature of water, a bubble tub bath . You can soap and massage his neck, chest and nipples . See how he reacts to the touch to nipple . All this is not for arousal and orgasm but for pleasure and exploration . You clean his genitals and lower legs , treating genitals like any other part of body . Now you can switch roles. 
Dry each other playfully and softly , and may be naming different body parts verbally in local slang language . 

4- Move to the bedroom nude with arm of your partner around your waist ; enjoy the closeness  . Share the feelings later . If not comfortable being nude, put a towel and remove it in bedroom . Pleasuring is to be done in nude . You need to be comfortable with your as well as your partner’s nudity 

5- It is always a good idea to keep the lights on . But if one partner is not comfortable in full lights, you can at least have sufficient light to see your partner’s body  You have to be comfortable with your own and partner’s nudity . You can start some music you like , scented candles or have a mirror so that you can watch yourself making love . 

6-  Don’t force your partner to do something she/ he doesn’t like . In this pleasure oriented exercise, you make request for a particular activity you like . There should be neither coercion nor an implicit threat like - you do this my way otherwise there can be consequences like extra marital affair , not giving money or being distant and angry and don’t use sex as bribery . It involves request and cooperation from both partners . You respect the spouse’s individuality and autonomy. Each partner has a right to refuse a request but an alternative should be presented otherwise the partner who is denied may feel rejected and may avoid contact if their invitation is met with “no”.  For example you might say “ No, I don’t want to have sex now but I would like to have my back rubbed . or “ to hold hands and talk” or “ I don’t want a massage , but I would like to lie down with you and cuddle “ . This keeps you open for intimate connection. It conveys that although one activity doesn’t appeal, something else does . Intimate communication lies at the heart of a satisfying sexual experience. Intimacy is reinforced if you initiate an activity with caring and consideration and your partner responds by expressing their feelings clearly and openly. 

7- People find appearance important . People fall in to the trap of not being aware of their appearance , especially at home with their partner . You fail to fix your hair, don’t wear fresh clothing , neglect to brush your teeth, or maintain a healthy weight. Your appearance is as important now as it was when you met before marriage . Shabby appearance kills desire but you shouldn’t be too fastidious as well . It shouldn’t be a prerequisite to appear perfect and beautiful may result in avoidance of touching and sensuality . Best is you adopt a middle path and should be looking and feeling fresh with nicely done bed sheets . 

8- One partner should act as pleasure giver and the other as receiver . This is to be reversed  in this session or next session . Either can be giver or receiver but make sure both get a chance to be giver and receiver. Both are equal 

9- As recipient , there are three things to do . First is to be passive and receive the pleasure oriented touch . Second is to keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise to concentrate on feelings and sensations . Third is to be aware of what parts of your body and what type of touch feels most sensuous. 

10- Let’s say the man is the giver and woman the recipient . Give her the massage you like . You should enjoy giving the sensuous touch . The recipient should feel the touch , be receptive and comfortable. You can touch her from top of head to bottom of feet . Communicate by touch, not by words . Talking can distract you from focusing on sensations and feelings . 

11- Begin by a massage on shoulder- very gentle, careful not to squeeze the neck muscles . Moving down , notice some special features on back . Your job is to provide her a variety of touch to experience as sensual feeling . Don’t try to arouse her but explore the magic of touch but if she gets aroused, it is fine but any further progress towards intercourse is prohibited . It is nongenital pleasuring . Avoid sudden movements but you can rub tenderly with inside of your arm . You can move to head , either give a scalp massage or gently run your fingers through her hairs . Run your fingers on your partner’s back playfully in an unorganised manner 

The idea is to give her a variety of experiences to increase feeling of sensual feelings . The giver can enjoy various forms of touching and experience her body in a new way . Feel comfortable, enjoy the experience. 

12- Hold her feet , caress them and notice length of her toes and texture of nails . Place your palm over the arch and curl your fingers over the top of her foot . Holding one foot, caress the top with your fingers and trace the valleys between the toes . Massage the ankles and the calf muscles by holding foot with one hand and using other hand for massage . Let your partner relax . Rub the soft area behind knees . Explore thighs and avoid touching genitals . Move to buttocks to massage them simultaneously. It is a sensuous part of body with plenty of nerve endings . Let her enjoy your touch 

13- When you are done , exchange the roles of receiver and giver . The duration of one session should be 15-90 minutes . The focus should be on comfort, exploring, enjoying, touching and learning. The massage should be slow, tender, rhythmic and caring . 

14- Share your feelings outside the bedroom with emphasis on positive feelings . You can convey one negative feeling or the problematic area for every five positive feelings . Don’t be put down by negative feelings , it is a constructive feedback with requests and suggestions what to try next time . 

Erotic Scenarios and Techniques - 

Couples affected by low sex or no sex marriage don’t have erotic scenarios. Pre marital sex was good because of newness, romantic love and wanting to please the partner. After marriage , young couples, esp males , may find that sexual functioning is easy and predictable. However, the quality is often mediocre or worse . If sex remains poor quality, then anticipation declines and frustration increases . Don’t treat your sexual relationship with benign neglect . This will lead to resentment, alienation and avoidance . Eventually one or both partners develop inhibited sexual desire . It is hard to accept that you can’t magically turn back the clock . But you can create erotic scenarios. 
 if you have experienced eroticism in the past , why can’t you feel the same way again ? Sure , you can 
When people think about erotic sex, they recall  Hollywood movies featuring passion, romance, youthful couples or extramarital affairs . You have never seen erotic marital sex in movies . But you can create eroticism in your marriage
and revitalise sexual desire. 

Some couples have a pattern where one spouse, usually the male, initiates sex once a week . Sex is functional, even if not particularly fun . For other couples, sex is tied to becoming pregnant , is viewed as a duty or part of a marital commitment. 

Anticipating erotic, arousing sex is a major motivator in revitalizing sexual desire . The essence of eroticism is using scenarios and techniques to increase involvement and arousal . This includes , but not limited to, intercourse . Ideally each spouse arousal plays off the other . Give to get pleasure guideline is generalised to giving and getting erotic stimulation. The main aphrodisiac is an involved, aroused partner . Couples have found that giving and receiving multiple stimulation enhance arousal . Mutual arousal and multiple stimulation build high levels of eroticism. 

Erotic techniques during the pleasuring/ foreplay phase include mutual manual stimulation, ; his doing oral bra stimulation and manual vulva stimulation, while she caresses his penis ; her giving fellatio while he does breast stimulation and utilises fantasy ; kneeling , kissing and engaging in mutual genital stimulation , ; watching a sexy movie , undressing each other and erotically touching ; verbalising or playing out a sexual fantasy , ; standing in front of a mirror so that you have visual feedback while doing manual or oral stimulation. There are a variety of pleasuring positions , variations in stimulation, and uses of fantasy, lotions, music, movement , and scenarios to enhance erotic feelings . 

Integrate multiple stimulation with intercourse . This includes switching intercourse positions two or three times ; using man’s hand, woman’s hand or vibrator for enhanced clitoral stimulation, fantasising during intercourse, enjoying buttock or anal stimulation or taking a break for manual or oral stimulation , then resuming intercourse . 
Arousal and orgasm are important, but not the core of sexuality. Desire and emotional satisfaction are critical. Unless you experience anticipation, receptivity and involvement, even the most erotic scenarios and techniques will not elicit arousal. 
Sexuality is enhanced by anticipation, playfulness, and experimentation, above all awareness of feelings and openness to creative expression. Intimacy and eroticism complement each other.

If you have signs or symptoms of any type of sexual health issues, talk to an expert sexologist. They have a team of experienced doctors. Consult with the best sexologist in Jaipur to solve erectile dysfunction, Erection Problems, Early Ejaculation or delayed / no ejaculation, feeling of orgasmic pleasure which may be reduced in men or women, reduced satisfaction, pain during sex, and more sexual health issues

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