Sex and Marriage
By: Pulkit Sharma

A healthy sexual relationship is extremely important for a successful marriage. In my practice, I have seen that problems and dissatisfaction in sexual life can ruin a relationship. Although Indian society is becoming much more open about expressing and exploring sexuality, it is still a taboo for many. Both men and women have huge misconceptions and shame around sexuality which prevents the development of healthy sexual relationships. Any two individuals are very different from one another in terms of their sexual needs, fantasies and bodily responses. Developing a healthy sexual relationship requires building an understanding of one's own as well as partner's sexuality.

Following pointers can help a person to have a healthy sexual relationship:

. Develop emotional bonding and trust:Firstly, it is extremely important to develop a loving and a caring bond. People feel confident and comfortable in exploring and expressing their sexuality when they trust their partner. Otherwise, they feel anxious and ashamed and perform the sexual act in a mechanical fashion. Respect needs and wishes of your partner and never force him/her into anything they do not like.

. Tackle performance anxiety: People often have unrealistic sexual expectations from themselves and consider sexual act as an exam where they need to win. This causes undue stress and many kinds of sexual difficulties. It is important not to consider sexual act as an exam but allow it to happen spontaneously. This allows the body and mind to relax and enhances enjoyment.

. Foreplay: Foreplay includes activities such as touching; kissing and body play which precede sexual act. Often Indian couples indulge in less foreplay as they find it shameful or a waste of time. This is a bad practice because foreplay is essential for proper sexual arousal in both men and women. Without foreplay sexual act is shorter, less satisfying and at times painful.

. Post sex behavior:Once the sexual act is over, the couple should spend time together and not rush to get up. This kind of post sex behavior is very important to enhance sexual enjoyment and bonding.

. Talk about sex:No human being can understand another person magically. Both partners should talk openly to each other about their sexual needs, fantasies, likes and dislikes.However, take care so that you do not hurt feelings of your partner. This helps in understanding the other person's sexual needs and fulfilling them.

. Sex education:We are exposed to lot of information on sexuality but most of it is incorrect and misguiding. You should obtain in-depth information about sexuality, sexual techniques, reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases from reliable sources . This will make you well-informed, clear your doubts and misconceptions and help you in preventing complications. In case of any doubt, do not shy away from consulting a psychologist.

Pulkit Sharma is Clinical Psychologist & Spiritual Therapist in private practice at Pondicherry (Puducherry), near Auroville. Email:- info@thepsychologistindia.com