Sexual Adjustment – From Within Ourselves
The key to sexual happiness lies within each one of us, where there already exist all the necessary ingredients for sexual happiness and fulfillment. Part of the answer lies in understanding our own attitudes and knowledge; part of the answer, too, involves our own capacity and desire to change.
Patience, too, is a vital factor, as are gentleness, sympathetic understanding and love that is not bounded only by sexuality, but by respect, trust and admiration as well.
Finally, once a couple has attained the knowledge, understanding and desire to do something positive about sexuality, the final hurdle involves action itself.
You must do something positive. You must set your course towards freedom from guilt, from suspicion, from recrimination. Too often, we forget that sex and guilt need not be synonymous.
Sexuality, after all, is a normal, vital function which should not engender guilt.
Indeed, too few of us permit ourselves to regard sex partly as fun. Yet, if you are mature enough to recognize the real value of sex in marriage, you must also recognize that sex can be light-hearted, funny, and full of laughter.
Thus, to re-emphasize what we said earlier, the key to release from sexual tensions is to face your own feelings about sex.
This is Your Life. We are going to pretend that your early life, experiences and teachings are on a movie film, and that you now have a chance to review that film, to rewind it and re-run it several times over.
Re-run, as it were, that film of your long and intricate sex education and sex experiences. When you review it—and you can, if you are honest and sincere and patient with yourself—you may be able to achieve a kind of wonderful erasure of past mistakes, and in place of them, you may be able to substitute healthy attitudes and emotions concerning sex in marriage.
Premature ejaculation is discussed here.
The Years from Twelve to Eighteen
First, I want to present important ideas that will help newly married and young married couples to look back and understand the teen years through which they have just passed.
This will make it easier for them to re-run their memory film and to re-edit it in the light of their present understanding of how things are and how they got that way.
Second, I think it is important that teenagers who are engaged now or are contemplating marriage (and even those who are not) understand certain facts about sex—and I am not only talking about how babies are born.
I must admit, though, that in writing for or about the teen years, I know the odds are against me. In all probability, those young people who do not need this chapter will read it, and those who need it most will not.
Importance of the Teen Years. The years from twelve to eighteen are just about the most important in your lives. Up to the age of twelve, you have had very little to do with your own development. After the age of twelve, you play the biggest role in turning yourself into the kind of person you will be most of the rest of your life.
How to have better communication in relationships may come form having better boundaries
In these five or six years, you begin making up your mind about things—or not making it up. This is when you begin crystallizing your attitudes and feelings. With these attitudes and feelings, you will be making some of the most important decisions you can ever make. Books that can give you knowledge about sex never tell you what sex really is. Sex is:
- exciting and wonderful
- the basic human relationship
- essential to life as a whole
- an experience that, under the right circumstances, will grow and improve with age. To make it grow takes a good deal of effort on the part of two married people, an experience that, under the wrong circumstances, can go sour on you; this takes hardly any effort at all.
- Sex is not:
- necessary for health;
- the only thing in life;
- the only thing in marriage; the same thing as love.
The Place of Sex in Life.
Because sex is uppermost in the minds of most people, it becomes extremely important for you to determine just what place it is going to occupy in your life. For instance,
- be the dominating interest in your life; determine who your friends are;
- determine whom you marry;
- determine when you marry;
- determine whether you marry at all.
That is, sex can do these things if you are not the boss but allow it to boss you.
How Sex Is ” Used”.
Sex often is “used” by people in ways that do not have much bearing on its original purposes. For instance,
When sex is used—or shall I say misused—in these ways, often it can boomerang. For instance, after a while, no more kicks; it all gets to be pretty much the same thing. Then what? Then you may end up by proving just the opposite of what you intended to prove by your “use” or rather misuse of sex.
Also, when you use sex to express what it was never intended to express, for instance if you use it as a weapon, then it may eventually desert you completely. This is known as impotence or frigidity.
Then how is sex really intended to be used? The answer to that question must be arrived at by each individual for himself—just as each person must eventually answer for himself the question, How do we know there is a God?
By and large, the most knowledgeable people believe that the two great and essential purposes of sex are: to express love for a partner who has true meaning for you in your life outside of sex; and to create children for whom you and your partner intend to be parents in the full sense of the word.
To use sex in these two ways requires two devoted partners who both participate not only in the act itself, but in the decisions for the act and in the meaning of the act.
The Fear of Inadequate Performance
Certainly one of the major tension-causing factors in marriage is fear on the part of one partner or the other that sexual relations will not be satisfying to either or both. Let me hasten to say that this fear is extremely common. It is felt at one time or another by most couples.
Of course, the male reaches climax more easily, so he is less likely to be inhibited by this fear. However, if he reaches climax before his wife, his anxiety may stem from a belief that he is not an adequate sex partner for his wife.
The cases of premature ejaculation among men are so common, especially at the beginning of marriage, that they can be considered more or less normal. Information on how to slow things down can be found here. However, as intercourse is practiced more frequently, this fear of inadequate performance tapers off considerably. Also, men themselves learn little ways to stave off orgasm and ejaculation so that their wives may “catch up” in coitus. Men learn to pace themselves, to slow down when they feel climax imminent, to assume one or another sexual position in which timing will be more compatible.
It is important to remember in this connection that women do not always reach orgasm, nor do they always seek to. Recent studies show rather conclusively that one third of all wives reach climax much of the time, one third some of the time, and one third rarely.
in sharp contrast to the male, who is likely to experience climax most of the time. The point is this: Almost every young married couple experiences fear of inadequate performance; time usually diminishes this fear if couples will simply give each other a chance—a chance to experiment, to fail, to succeed and to learn.
One husband I know was plagued by anxieties concerning his premature ejaculation. He always ejaculated prematurely. The husband actually told his wife, “I guess I’m not much when it comes to stimulating you sexually.” He was discouraged and downhearted.
His wife, a loving, calm, sympathetic person, decided on a course of action. “I decided,” she says, “to apply an old idea, suggestion. So when we went to bed, I reassured my husband gently that in my eyes he was a really virile person and in time this would be revealed.”
After some months the results of her gentle persuasion and suggestion were obvious to both. Gradually, the husband began to feel that he really was sexually competent. As the belief became strengthened, his entire attitude on sex changed, and he was able to hold himself in check until his wife could achieve her climax.
That was five years ago. The couple now has three children. Their sexual life is harmonious; both the husband and wife have become mature people who love and respect each other completely.
The Fear of Pregnancy
I shall never forget a letter in which a young wife and mother said: “We’ve been married five years next month and have four children. I’m afraid that I’m pregnant once again. I’m still young, but I feel old. I’m terrified. What can I do?”
Obviously, that couple had never known of simple contraceptive measures or, if they had known, they had not employed such measures, even though their religion would have encouraged them to do so. There are a great many couples like them, whose failure to seek out the facts about contraception compounds their tensions. In this enlightened day, such inaction is inexcusable
It is important to remember one point. Some couples practice a form of contraception known as coitus interruptus, in which the male withdraws his penis just prior to climax. This may not be a good method of contraception if lack of sexual fulfillment, for husband or wife, results from the distortion of sexual habits.
As a result sex may become distasteful to both parties concerned. Fear of pregnancy takes on special aspects immediately after the first child is born. First, the wife is likely to shun intercourse because of the possibility of an early second pregnancy. Then, too, she has been so busy with the baby all day long that she is too tired to want intercourse. Her feelings must be contrasted with those of the husband.
For the last two months or so of the pregnancy, intercourse was forbidden by the doctor, and also for several weeks after the new mother and baby returned from the hospital. Thus, the male may feel unfulfilled while his wife may be anxiety-ridden and exhausted. Here, many factors can ease the situation.
First, there should be a certain amount of discussion about mutual feelings.
Then, contraceptive advice should be sought from the doctor.
Finally, in this trying “post-baby period”, just as in the prenatal months, the husband may accept manual stimulation (masturbation) leading to orgasm from a wife who he knows will later be ready to return to full sexual relations.
Many people believe that in marriage the cardinal problem is an imbalance between the desire for sex on the part of the husband and of the wife. Usually we hear that men desire sex more often than women and that this throws marital sex out of kilter.
True, this does occur. However, very little is said about wives who desire sex more often than their husbands. This also occurs and we will discuss it later on. Many people are unclear on the subject of sex as a release for physical tensions. Does sex really provide such a release?
The Role of Sex in Physical Tensions.
As I have said, sex organs are much like other organs in the body, relatively unobtrusive until they make their needs known. The urinary bladder and the rectum, for instance, make their needs known when they must discharge body wastes.
Similarly, signals are transmitted to the brain from the sex organs informing us of the need for discharge of sexual tensions. The actual causes of this tension are not clear, but that it does exist cannot be denied.
The first manifestation of this in the male is at puberty when boys begin having what are commonly referred to as “wet dreams”, when during sleep there is an automatic discharge of semen. This may or may not be accompanied by a dream in which the boy feels a pleasurable sensation at the time of discharge.
Another form of release of tension in both male and female is masturbation. I talked about this before and indicated that almost every human being has quite normally masturbated at some time in his or her life. I also said that the most harmful effect of masturbation is the sense of guilt that may accompany it.
There are certain religious groups to whom masturbation is definitely sinful. Persons of these faiths should most certainly seek the advice of their religious counselors concerning this matter.
Persons of the faiths which do not look upon masturbation as a sin should still not hesitate to seek counsel if masturbation becomes a problem to them. In any case, I cannot emphasize too strongly that it is not physically harmful. Furthermore, no one can honestly deny that it does release sexual tension.