So far, we have looked at three factors that affect the rate of sexual satisfaction in a marriage relationship. The factors we looked at where:
The health of the relationship itself.
The forth factor that determines the rate of sexual satisfaction in marriage is previous sexual experiences. Contrary to the believe that having prior sexual experience helps to improve the marriage sex, virgins have been found to have the most satisfying marital sex. In this case their ignorance of what is obtainable out there provides no bases for comparison therefore allowing them to enjoy to the maximum their marital experience.
For women, the level of oxytocin produced in the brain during sexual intercourse reduces with change of partner. In fact, after the fifty partner most woman will not be able to experience the same pleasure she felt with her first sexual partners, this probably is the reason the researchers found that most women even though happily married are more likely to have affairs with previous lovers than men (documented in the book ‘THE NORMAL BAR- although the research found that women are more likely to have affairs with former lovers, the link to the level of pleasure is mine).
Men are not left out in the search to recreate previous sexual experiences. Many men ask their wives to role play fantasies of the both of them being strangers, meeting for the first time and having a fling, others find that they are more turned on when they have sex in ways that remind them of their earlier experiences like having sex in the car, hotel etc.
I once had a discussion with a man that told me one of the reasons he does not really enjoy sex with his wife and would refer to go out sometimes is because marriage for him has taken out the fun of the lady refusing his advances and he having to persist. That’s his turn on (the pursuit) but with his wife he gets sex freely without having to plead or convince.
For men that desire role-playing or sexual intercourse in locations other than their marital bed it wouldn’t be a problem if their wives also enjoy the role-playing, challenge usually arises when one partner is not okay with it.
Imagine a sexual intercourse where the partners are consciously or unconsciously seeking to recreate what they had in the past or one in which every move/touch made by the spouse is compared with the one made by a previous sex partner. They would feel disconnected from each other especially where what one seeks is oppose to what the other seeks, some partners complain that when their husbands or wives make love to them it feels as if they were making love to someone else, others may not be aware of the reasons for the disconnect.
One way to stop this negative trend from ruining the couple’s sex life is to unlearn all that they had learnt about sex with partners other than their spouse. The partners most be willing to develop their unique methodology and sex language with each other which may or may not include what they were used to. Some couples depending on the seriousness of the problem may need help.
Secondly, the couple would need to have an opene and honest conversation about their wishes and desires including their fantasies as regards sex and romance (this kind of discussion is beneficial for every couple to have irrespective of their previous sexual experience)
Research also revealed that people that have had multiple sexual experience before marriage are more likely to have affairs. This should not come as a surprise because the rate of infidelity is on the increase with increase in premarital sex and we are all witnesses to this. Of course, other factors like ease of accessibility to pornography, the use of sex to sell on the media and a host of other factors have also contributed. However, the fact that an increasing number of people have not developed self-control in this area makes them more susceptible to sexual temptations when they get marriage.
This is not to say that once a person gets married as a virgin they will automatically have a very good sexual relationship. They would have to learn, communicate, explore and grow together to achieve this, their major advantages are that all their learning and exploration would be with one person, limiting the possibility of dissatisfaction arising from comparison and their satisfaction is further enhanced by the bonding created with the release of oxytocin and orgasm for the first time with the person who will hopefully be their live long partner.
The fifth reason a couple’s sexual experience could be less than desirable is previous sexual related traumas. Some people after suffering from rape or other forms for sexual abuse could hate sex and may not aware of this until they get marriage, others develop an unusual/abnormal sexual appetite that their partners cannot satisfy and/or could have become sex addicts. Most times the best line of action is for the abused partner to get help from a therapist.
A middle-aged man shared in a meeting I attended that in his over seven years marriage he could count how many times he and his wife have had sex, he said some years they only had sex just twice, he had been raped as a child, that coupled with his parents failed relationship when he was a teenager. With no example of what a good marriage relationship was and the wounds from the rape which he was forced to bury, he came into his marriage with emotional barrage that was threating his marriage and for a long time he didn’t know why he hated sex and intimacy.
Sixth reason for the lack of sexual satisfaction is when both partners have different moral standards, one partner may be requesting for some form of sexual expression that the other may not be willing to do. One feels deprived of that expression and the other feels compelled to defiled himself/herself to meet their partner’s need. The couple may need to have a dialog where each gets an opportunity to express their unspoken dream that this challenge speaks to. This may not be a resolvable conflict but they can certainly come to an agreement that is satisfactory to both partners. If the health of the relationship is threatened, a therapist or counsellor with the capacity to respect each partner’s views should be consulted.
In my work I find that many women with toddles and young children do not have very high sexual drive; not because they are frigid but because the demands from the children drains them of energy. They frequently turn down their husband’s advances during this period, if done consistently when those years pass and they are now more opened and willing to have sex, their men would have short down from them and the sexual starvation in the marriage continues only this time the woman is the starved partner. Solutions may include getting help to reduce the work on the woman when the children are young, the man can become more involved in the raising the children. Secondly an open and honest conversation would help to increase understanding and empathy from both partners, scheduling sexual intercourse can also help.