Disclaimer: This post contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts and hence is not suitable for those below 18 years or for prudes.
This post is going to be about the elephant in the room, more specifically in the bedroom- that big hefty animal looming over the bed but which no one talks about loudly. Yes, this post is about that most delicate of issues which affects a relationship – sexual compatibility between couples. Now that the brief explanation for the title is out of the way let’s get to the actual story.
For the past three days I was temporarily loaned out to a different hospital – don’t ask me why because it’s a state secret. Which meant that the regulars there didn’t trust me (and others like me) enough to allow us to work with their patients. Which in turn meant that I had plenty of time on my hand to catch up with a few other friends who were in the same situation. In particular a friend of mine I hadn’t stayed in touch with much for the past couple of years, ever since he got married, for as everyone knows, when once a guy marries he is lost to the brotherhood of the single men and gradually avoids all his single friends preferring instead to hang out in couples groups.
Anyway I was meeting this guy after a long time and we swapped updates on our respective life stories- mine was easily told as it was just a single line – no I am still single and yes I still haven’t found any girl willing to go long term with me. But his story kept changing over the course of the two days with each telling adding new details. At first he said he was happily married and enjoying life and even though he had no kids yet it was all planned for. And then as he drifted over other topics and came back again to his life he slow started dropping hints about trouble in paradise. As one of my characteristic habits in life is never to force a story out of anyone but wait for them to tell it their own way at their own time, he slowly came around to confessing that he was halfway through a divorce and the reason for it was sexual incompatibility between him and his soon to be ex-wife.
Now sexual incompatibility between married couples is often the elephant in the room when it comes to most divorces. People may say a lot of causes and give a lot of reasons later on for why it didn’t work but underlying all that is often the simple fact that the two persons sexual appetites didn’t match. In the case of my friend it was the simple fact that his wife didn’t factor in the need for sex of a virile thirty year old. She had assumed that a man is satisfied with just looking at a good looking woman, taking her out shopping, going to movies and malls, holding hands together and then going home to sleep soundly. As any half wit would tell you that doesn’t work at all. If you starve a man at home then you can be sure that he is going to find food somewhere else to eat- no exceptions- the male brain (and physiology) works that way. Conversely if a woman plans to keep a man safely around (at beck and call) – the best way to do it is to feed him breakfast, lunch and dinner and keep him satiated (plus sedated) all the time. If not then look out for trouble.
Which was what happened with my friend too. He had joined a part-time mba at madras university and somehow had made an instant connection with one of the lecturers there- a good looking young lady (note to self: remember to apply for MBA entrance next year) and pretty soon the two were inseparable. the young lady in question seems to have provided an enthusiastic full meals all the time to my friend who had after eating such tasty stuff and realizing for the first time in his life that food provided freely with enthusiasm (instead of after coaxing, cajoling and begging) could taste so much better and especially compared to when its thrown your way halfheartedly out of a sense of duty (are you still following my food metaphors or should I be more explicit??) So he had decided to go for an exciting new life with the MBA lecturer while divorcing his always demanding but never providing wife.
This is why the wise say that those who eat a full course meal at home will never feel the need to stray outside. But if any wife acts like a queen (inside the bedroom) who will only grant an audience to the poor public based on her whims and fancies then there are chances that the public might rebel (remember the french revolution) and get themselves a new head of state. I would blame this squarely on feminists and other assorted busybodies who have forced modern women to swallow the lie that marriage at its most basic does not involve sex between two people. They want everyone to lead a sexless intellectual marital life which might be a good concept theoretically but is not practical – if they really understood the male half of the population.
But our ancients were far more pragmatic when it came to sex issues in marriages. They knew that sexual compatibility in marriages were most necessary and put their wits to devise ways to check it pre-marital’ly. As our samskara culture prohibited free sex pre-marital’ly there was no way to directly check for compatibility in bed between the prospective groom and bride. Hence our ancients invented a proxy premarital check via astrologic predictions when they compare the yoni and vasya matches between two horoscopes. Only if both the size and the vigour of both the horoscopes matched did they allow the wedding to proceed and most of the time such arranged wedding were a success too.
Now for those who still don’t understand what I am talking about here- let me clarify that sex at its most basic has certain preliminary stages like intention, stimulation, lubrication before the actual sex act even commences. Intention is the wants of a person to indulge in sex – from as frequently as three times a day to as infrequently as three times a week. Some are Diurnal and some are Nocturnal- which means that one partner prefers to do it at night and then drop off to sleep while the other wants to do it first thing in the morning as the best way to start the day. And then there was a friend of mine who often went home during the lunch hour and returned later in the afternoon- it takes all kinds doesn’t it? So, when the couples match each other in their appetites for sex- then one partner does not have to ask (or convince or beg or finally force) the other for sex – they both want it equally and enjoy it with a “no favors done” mentality. Otherwise it’s a constant cajoling for sex and its resultant bitter aftermath, for make no mistake if someone has to beg for sex then he or she will definitely hold a grudge for it and show it in other ways (of course, once the sex is done).
The next stage is stimulation which not only involves foreplay but more importantly lubrication – for only when there is full mental acquiescence then there is the necessary internal lubrication to enjoy sex- otherwise it’s just like rape-do it dry. If there is even a minor bit of resentment over any other family issue (when in bed) then there is no real lubrication- and goodbye good sex. This is where so many women go wrong as they bring all other issues to the bedroom and allow it to play on their minds. And this mental turning off in bed can act as a physical dampener to lubrication despite enthusiastic foreplay- sometimes foreplay which leaves the other partner exhausted before the actual sex even starts yet there is still no lubrication.
This is what had happened in my above-mentioned friend’s case. His wife was mostly dry during sex because she was always moody and brooding on other things in bed and he was no longer willing to spend the majority of his time and effort to coax her into getting a little wet just so he can have a few minutes of sex. And then as fate would have it he had met this other woman who could get wet at just a thought or a kiss, giving him ecstatic instant sex requiring no hard work, then can we blame him for preferring to take the easy option? The “real reason” he confessed for the divorce was the perfect sexual syncing between his new girlfriend and him leading to mind-blowing sex, something which he had failed to achieve at home even after three years of marriage and continuous efforts on his part.
Now for those readers who are grumbling that I am writing this post mainly from a male-centric view and not about the problems faced by women in such sexually incompatible marriages let me assure you that I am getting round to it next. Anyone who lives in Chennai would be aware of the slang phrase “the desperate housewives of OMR”. No, it’s not a TV serial. It’s a slang term which refers to the increasing (explosively) number of failed marriages of the OMR/ECR belt – an industrial suburb of Chennai city known for its multitude of companies- where the housewives are all supposedly starved for sex and easy prey to any romeo looking to have an adulterous affair. The reason is rumored to be financial- the EMI/Debt Trap- as many of these suburban families are trapped in the EMI commitments of an apartment, car etc requiring the male of the family to work long, hard hours and come back home too exhausted to do anything else. Though money is important there are other things equally important too and how long can a wife take being neglected and going home to sleep not satisfied and so they stray into affairs.
You can’t really blame these suburban wives for indulging in their natural appetites occasionally on the sly, especially if the husband is too tired for sex at night (night after night) because of a crappy diet and the hours and hours of sitting down at a desk (staring at a computer) and the stress of beating deadlines which totally exhausts him mentally and even if he tries to do it occasionally he can’t as he mostly suffers from some form of erectile insufficiency which means he is not able to either get it up or sustain it long enough or its not firm enough for penetration on its own- called the floppy dick syndrome. With the result that such long suffering women indulge in extra-marital affairs leading to their husbands being labeled EMI-cuckolds or Code-cuckoos (short form for code writing husband being cuckolded at home). So the next time you notice someone who just passed by being cooed at by his colleagues at work you know the reason why.
So in conclusion (this post is getting too long) most marital fights can be reduced to the unvoiced reason of sexual incompatibility between couples which causes havoc in both lives and ends in ugly divorces. There is no easy solution for this except maybe to check compatibility through pre-marital sex like western societies which have detached sex from marriage. But as that is an alien concept to us in India where 90% of marriages take place just for having children couples who find themselves in disharmony sexually have to learn to live with it and adjust in other ways.
Not everyone can afford to divorce and go around looking for the perfectly in sync sex partner to marry. You just have to practice adjustment, tolerance and an obligation to put the needs of the other before ourselves. For that in a nutshell is the secret to a successful marriage- to show (or at least feign) enthusiasm for things which we may not really enjoy. And if someone gets a 5-course meal at home -home-cooked food served with love then you can depend on it that they are not going to look outside for anything else. And that brings to an end my sermon for the day.
Post Script. I am neither married nor have a girlfriend nor even a crush right now and i even sleep with a pillow by my side and thus I have no axe to grind with this post and am doing this just as a public service message to save others marriages.