Lifestyle

Will a vibrator quell my search for pleasure?

Will a vibrator quell my search for pleasure?

Will a vibrator quell my search for pleasure?  Photo | Photosearch



Jacky's story epitomises the hushed subject of sexual satisfaction in marriage. She came to the Sexology Clinic two months ago and was looking for a sex toy.

"I will not get into an extramarital affair but at the same time I am tired of mediocre sex," she said.

A high-flying marketing professional in her early forties, Jacky was married to a Member of Parliament. Their marriage started with a colourful wedding and had so far given fruit to three boys.

"But thinking back, the ten years of this marriage have been hollow and devoid of romance," she explained, "I orgasms only when I look for it myself by self-pleasuring."

She had been reading a lot of late on how to better self-pleasure and got to know about sex toys. She went all out looking for outlets that sell sex toys and thought she would get them at the Sexology Clinic.

To fathom Jacky's problem, I went deep into understanding Jacky's relationship with her husband as well as her sex life. For sex to be satisfactory, there are two aspects: emotional connection and physical prowess. The emotional connection between Jacky and her husband was neither here nor there. They had their good days and bad ones just like any other couple.

"So let's not mix up things," Jacky said, "I love the man and adore him, looking at him and listening to his voice makes my heart melt, I am serious." And with that, she burst out laughing.

And so it was the physical sexual process that was wanting. I asked Jacky about foreplay and how long it took.

"My husband says that he hates wasting time in bed," Jacky said, "no kissing, no caressing, just penetration sometimes causing pain and before I know it he is done and snoring."

I concluded that the man was suffering performance skills deficit, a diagnosis that implies that one knows very little about how to please the other. The main cause of this is ignorance. Not many people have had the privilege to be taught how to have sex. If anything our parents would not dare give such lessons, culture and socialisation does not allow them.

"Didn't you learn some skills during your pre-wedding classes," I asked Jacky.

"You do not discuss how to kiss and do blow jobs in the church, my friend," Jacky said amid staccato laughter.

So basically there are few or no avenues for people to learn how to have sex before committing to marriage. That leaves many couples with no option but to keep fumbling around with the hope of discovering how to satisfy their partner. Not many succeed and many marriages suffer poor sex.

As marriage matures, other factors also come to play that further complicate the situation. There are stresses of raising children, relatives may get involved in the affairs of the family, and money issues set in too. Ultimately communication may begin to suffer. Love may be replaced with resentment and sex becomes a marital duty.

"For me, it's been a duty," Jacky interjected, "I worry that it is worsening over time and I feel that years are passing by and I may never know what sexual pleasure is unless I immediately do something about it," she added.

The starting point to resolving the sexual skills deficit is to prioritise sex as an important aspect of your marriage. It is important to note that almost half of the divorces are a result of sex-related problems. You cannot, therefore, wish away the importance of sex in marriage. It is the pivot that holds everything else to balance.

Sex coaches and sex therapists are well trained to provide the needed sex lessons to couples. Because there are very few if any traditional social systems in place for training people on sex, one should make it a habit to get lessons from a professional every year. You will be surprised how this can turn around harmony and happiness in your marriage.

"Well I am not sure my husband would be willing to come for lessons," Jacky said staring into space, "Politicians are know-it-alls and I am not sure he will listen." And with that she opted to continue her search for a sex toy, promising to get back to me in the future if the husband accepted to come for lessons.


Prof. Osur is a Kenya-based reproductive and sexual health expert and a reproductive rights advocate

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