Even though most of us on a good day will not be totally honest about what we prefer in the bedroom, I decided to bite the bullet and ask this question. And of course this will lead to a host of other related questions; the answers to which may reveal our attitudes about sex. If a sexual encounter with our partner does not involve the direct interfacing of the organs which allow for reproduction, do we think we have been robbed sexually? Do we think our sex is inferior if it does not involve the penis and vagina?
For those individuals who believe that sex must always allow for the possibility of procreation, then allowing for other types of sexual variety may be a decided problem. This belief, though rare, may be held purely on religious grounds. It may also relegate the spillage of semen into a condom or on the outside of the vagina, as similar practices which essentially “waste” life or disrupt the natural probability to create life. Having such a belief about sexual expression could seriously inhibit what a couple is allowed to experiment with in bed. Admittedly, if a husband and wife both feel this way then there is unlikely to be a major issue. The challenge will emerge when one partner begins to think differently or is exposed to the concepts of sexual experimentation and may what to switch things up a bit.
On the other end of the spectrum is the individual who although exposed and open to the idea of diversifying the sexual experience, really holds a deeply entrenched view that “real sex” only involves the direct interfacing of penis and vagina. This could mean that although a couple may engage in other sexual acts, there is still the perception or belief that such is inferior to “the real deal”. And we know that what we intrinsically think about sex, plays a big part in our ability to really enjoy it. This could mean that the husband who manually stimulates his wife may want to hurry the act to get her aroused just so they could have ‘real sex’. But what if his wife needs that manual application to experience orgasm? What if the transition to penile thrusting breaks her flow? In his mind, such a husband may really be thinking that something is ‘wrong’ with his partner, especially if sexually she is wired differently to other women with which he may have been previously involved. If this is in anyway communicated to his spouse, then she in turn can feel sexually inferior and this could put added pressure on the relationship.
Then there is what is now coyly termed the “Clinton-Lewinsky effect”. If you remember anything about the Clinton oral-sex scandal, then you should remember his insistence that he “never had sex with that woman.” Here was an educated, adult male who we thought should know better, essentially choosing to differentiate between oral sex and penile-vaginal intercourse by suggesting inadvertently that the former was not really sex; as if this would somehow magically absolve him of the act of adultery. I’m pretty sure his wife didn’t share this point of view! On the other hand, if a woman prefers oral stimulation or can only climax in this way, does this make her sexually inferior? Although most men would not turn down an opportunity to be “given heads”, many think less of their women, if they appear in their estimation to be overtly dependent on oral sexual stimulation.
Of course there are many couples who continue to enjoy a diverse sexual regimen. Then there are some women who don’t prefer or think they need oral stimulation. Whatever an individual’s sexual needs or tastes are, it is important that couples emerge their own sexual rhythm which is not contingent upon what the latest sex surveys say. Ultimately the penis and vagina are great tools in the sexual scheme of things but we should see our sexuality as a full-bodied experience, which also embraces our ideas and thinking about sex. Having said that, there are still some critical practices which are needed, to ensure a satisfying sexual experience for all.
1. Do NOT compare your spouse with any previous partner/partners you may have had
2. Celebrate your partner’s sexual uniqueness
3. Learn your spouse’s ENTIRE body (not just the genitals) like an instrument which you must strive to master
4. Understand that sexual needs, responses and tastes are not etched in stone but vary with age, experience and exposure; so learn to embrace changes in sexual preferences when they come
5. It takes two to tango, so the dance towards sexual satisfaction is a two-way street
6. Learn to be flexible and open to “something new” in the sexual department
7. Celebrate your couple-sexuality as a full-bodied experience involving ALL of your body and your spouse’s
8. Understand that ALL orgasms are equal and banish the thought that some are “more equal” than others
9. See your sexual relationship as an expression of the sum-total of your relationship with your spouse; as a demonstration of love and not as an end in itself