We are loyal to each other and my wife is pretty good looking with a likeable personality. Both of us want to have sex and lead a normal life. The thing is that I get an arousal on seeing any other women apart from my wife. I feel guilty and sad because I want to keep her happy. I underwent a medical test and the results were normal. I am healthy and very fit. I don’t know why this is happening, but something seems definitely abnormal and is affecting our marriage. Please guide me. – By Anonymous
Answer by Pragya Sharma: First of all, I would like to tell you that having compatibility and understanding within interpersonal relationships is too much to expect from in this fast paced life and many keep striving and dreaming for it. This is more so the case with arranged marriages in the present scenario. I am glad that you have found a perfect balance with respect to it.
I am sorry to hear that you are having troubles related to your sex life. However, I would urge you to get rid of guilt feelings as sexual disorders are more common than we would like to believe. It isn’t your fault and rest assured your wife is not blaming you for it. You are trying all options and she is a witness to that. You have got medical tests done and it rules out any physical problems. That’s a step forward towards pinpointing the cause and working on it.
sexual arousal disorders are more often than not, psychological. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, anger, and relationship conflicts can lead to sexual arousal problems. As you have ruled out any conflicts on the personal front, we can turn our attention to other issues in your life that might be giving rise to this problem. Sometimes, issues unrelated to relationships also effect sexual arousal. These could be stressors at work, financial constraints or any current fears or anger that you may be harbouring.
Emotional issues from one’s past like sexual abuse or feelings of betrayal negatively affect sexual arousal. It would do you good to self-monitor your thoughts and feelings for the presence of these or other disturbing thoughts that might be effecting your sexual arousal.Anxiety and the pressure of performance negatively effects sexual arousal. Thus, it’s imperative to relax and focus on just the feeling, instead of continuously being anxious about the pressure to perform. It would have a negative effect on your sexual arousal thus making a vicious cycle which is difficult to get out of.
You have not mentioned how long you have been married for. Monotonousness sets in after a while when it comes to attraction unless change and innovation is brought around to the bedroom. This might be the reason why you don’t get aroused with your wife, but do so on seeing other women. You can address this sexual boredom by moving sex out of the bedroom (changing the venue for sex to a hotel room etc), as well as utilize the literature at your disposal to try out new positions and techniques. I would also advise taking the focus off from sexual intercourse for a while and exploring alternate forms of sexual expression like sensual massages, fondling and caressing, mutual masturbation, oral stimulation and the use of sexual enhancing toys.
Further, I would encourage you to utilise the sensate focus technique which helps in learning what both of you find pleasurable and reduce anxiety associated with sexual performance. Firstly, take turns touching each other. These sensual touches do not include the partner’s breasts or genitals of either of you. In the second step, the touch can transcend to any body part, but the focus is on touching sensations, not on sexual arousal. In the third step, mutual touching is allowed and you are not restricted to taking turns. Once both of you are comfortable with the sensation of touching and being touched, sexual intercourse may happen in this step but let the focus continue to be on the mutual enjoyment of sex rather than on orgasm. This technique makes you more mindful of the sensations you are feeling and takes the focus away from sexual performance.
If after trying one or more of these techniques as per you and your wife’s comfort level, you still feel dissatisfied, it’s a good idea to consult a therapist.