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 The First Night

Sex Guide For the Bride

Amit's Parents arranged his marriage after he passed his M.B.A. On the first night itself, his wife Ritu fled to her parents home. On asking her, she said that she could not remain married to Amit. She described him as abnormal, indecent and a pervert. This was because Ritu did not have any idea about the sexual relationship. For her, merely listening to the verbal description of the sexual act was enough to repulse Ritu. She became hysterical, every time her parents persuaded her to go back to Amit. She needed psychiatric treatment. The marriage failed. Amit got married a year later to another girl and got an understanding partner. Ritu remained single.

Need for a fresh outlook

This is a classic example of the consequences of ignorance or even incorrect knowledge about sex and the devastating effect it can have on marital life. Sex is an indelible part of every marriage. It is a natural instinct gifted to us unasked, that introduces a passionate proximity between a couple and infuses fire in their relationships. It is as normal and healthy as any other function of the body. Yet, a certain orthodoxy, feelings of self-doubt, our inadequacies, an uneasiness born of over-protection, prevent us from imparting to our daughters, the basic truths about nature's way to procreate. The bride thus remains unprepared for the big moment when she should let herself surrender to the sensations, that courses through her body and open a wonderful new world for her to explore. She reins in her emotions, when she should unleash them, controls her innate impulses when she should rejoice in her newfound sensuality and vacillates between agony and ecstasy. She is aware of the force that ignites the latent passions, knows that she can give it till it hurts but has yet to be comfortable in her own skin. She has inhibitions to shed, unanswered questions, an increasing curiosity, an inexplicable fear that wilt her and threaten her marriage.

It is time, sex was looked as a healthy expression of a powerful energy, that resides within us, which has the capacity to bring us into contact with our innermost needs and sensations, caresses and coaxes, our physical being to get in touch with our emotional self and helps us celebrate life as we have never did before.

It is only when we stop fighting against nature that we can hope for relationships to survive, work to be more fulfilling, and marriages to work. Then, there will be no room for anxiety, depression, guilt or self-condemnation. It is time we erased the discomfort, the uneasiness and the angst.

Often, parents are the ones who are responsible for breeding ignorance among their children. They are far from forthcoming and their unwillingness to speak or educate their children stems from social taboos. In Alka's case, her lack of readiness and preparation, her protected and conservative background,She being kept away form all sexual inputs consciously, sounded the knell of what could have been a fruitful nuptial bliss.

Preparing the mind

Even the young girls face a mental block towards sex, as during the growing up years, they are constantly told that sex is dirty and immoral. The constant badgering of a negative feeling towards sex ensures that the ritual of marriage does not necessarily make it acceptable overnight. The female mind is generally more inclined to softer and gentler aspects of romance in the man-woman relationship rather than a carnal indulgence.

The need of the hour is to be responsible enough to prepare young brides for this sensitive and intimated aspect of their lives by giving them a healthy and balanced understanding of sex and doing away with prejudices. It is imperative that they become uncomfortable with their sexuality, before tying the knot with a stranger. After all, lack of sex education and the resistance by school and college authorities can lead to half-baked knowledge. The repercussions could be pre-marital indulgence, wanton behavior, sexual abuse, pre-marital abortion, unwanted pregnancies, emotional trauma, a contraction of AIDS - the dreaded disease, and later, an unsuccessful marriage.

The loss of virginity in the Indian milieu is an issue of such sensitivity, that it can distort all perceptions and breed contempt for the girl. The price that one has to pay for sexual freedom could result in permanent damage to emotional health and well-being, vulnerability to the corrupt messages delivered by the print and electronic media alike and a confusion about the new liberated form of deviant sexuality, the goes under the guise of sexual freedom.

The buffer is the readiness of a society to impart healthy and legitimate information about sex and sexuality, an openness that fosters understanding and acceptance, a sex guide that helps the young to come face to face with their bodily needs and makes relationships meaningful.

The need for pre-marital Education

Strangely, when a marriage is arranged, the concerned families take their decision on the basis of horoscopes, religious and financial backgrounds, but perhaps never ascertain the physical and emotional compatibility of the couple which are practical and realistic grounds. A more serious approach towards marriage is required, as it is one of the most important decisions of our life. Blood group matching is of paramount significance.

For a great sex life, a healthy and clean body is a pre-requisite. Blood counts, biochemistry, semen analysis for the groom, blood groups, X-rays, sonography of the reproductive organs, specialized testing for AIDS, Hepatitis B, venereal diseases, thalassaemia, etc should be checked. Having undergone these, youngsters will definitely too able to tie the nuptial knot with more confidence and self-esteem and start their new relationship on a more sound footing.

Research shows that men and women have strong and equal sexual urges and it is the responsibility of both to fulfill each other's needs and respect each other's needs and feelings. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction of sex can contribute to the attitudes and behavior of both partners towards each other.

Sexual activity is not meant only for procreation. A gratifying sexual life imparts pleasure, enjoyment and a sense of well being. It is the most effective means of intimate communication, bonding and expression of love for each other. To create this comfortable camaraderie between partners, openness in thought, word and action is essential. Only then can feelings of pain or pleasure that the sexual activity causes can be communicated.

Ideal Sexual Relation

The ideal sexual encounter, which satisfies both man and woman, would be one in which there is adequate foreplay. Touching, feeling, whispering sweet-nothings, voicing one's preferences in an affectionate manner can make the body respond favorably. To a woman, the physical goes with the emotional. If she has anxieties, unburdening them will help her unwind. She must remember that arousal in the male is faster than that in the female. A woman's bodily rhythms differ from those of a man and it is up to her to convey readiness.

Every bride looks forward to this ultimate bonding with her loved one. As she feels pulsating excitement at the prospect of this close encounter, many a bride is intimidated at the prospect of losing her virginity. The thought of a stranger ( in most arranged marriages) fostering such intimacy which unnerves her.

The bride thus faces first marital night with mixed emotions. She looks forward to being the ideal sexual partner, reciprocating every move her husband makes. But she must realize that she too has every right to experience sexual bliss. In fact, an ideal sexual encounter is one, which satisfies both man woman and is a culmination of adequate foreplay and arousal…she must not be afraid to voice her needs and allow her to relax to the gentle touch of her lover. Only then will she be aware of the movements and positions that lead her to an orgasm.

Male and Female Sexuality - The difference?

Male sexuality is body-oriented. A man who gets sexually attracted to women need not be in love with her. It is this aspect that makes men frequent brothels or take keen interests in advertisements, movies and magazines that display the woman's anatomy. A woman's sexuality is related to her heart, the center of thought, feeling and emotion. Most women harbor sexual feelings for the man only when they love him. A handsome hunk may draw her attention but his machismo may not be enough for her to get sexually attracted to the man.

It has been said a man gives love to get sex while a woman gives sex to get love. There is no doubt that men too can be sensitive lots and love is a need for both. Quite a few men would bear a female sexuality making them emotional. Likewise, some women may carry a male sexuality. As a bride comprehends this paradox, she will understand the persistent need of a man to have sex, while she would be satisfied by a mere cuddle. A strong emotional foundation and a good amount of empathy could nip any problems in the bud.

Agony and Ecstasy of the first night

Long before the union takes place, the bride must get to know her prospective groom. Frequent meetings, dinner outings, a sharing of feelings, doubts, likes and dislikes can bring the couple closer. Unfortunately, arranged marriages often leave little room for such contact. Such marriages are merely an arrangement reached between two well-suited families, to keep up a tradition.

Armed with the legal and moral permission to have sex with his wife, a man with his body-oriented sexuality often disregards his bride's feelings and state of mind and with a false sense of bravado ends up forcing sex on her on the first night. The woman who ends up feeling awkward, uncomfortable and exploited, allows this humiliation, as orthodoxy has taught her to be a meek, submissive and tolerant. For the seeds of love to be sown, pain and conflicts have to be weeded out.

Very often, the couple is utterly exhausted at the end of an elaborate wedding ceremony. Both are strangers to each other and are often ignorant about the sexual experience. Men carry the burden of anxiety about their sexual performance. Girls have fears about the pain, the rupturing of the hymen, and the resultant bleeding, during their first sexual encounter.

There is also the fear of pregnancy. At the same time, both strongly feel that they have to live up to the first night fantasies depicted in novels and movies. With so many uncertainties and anxieties, it becomes impossible for a couple to enjoy one of the most profound experiences of their life.

If the couple is not familiar to each other, they should avoid sexual intercourse on the first night. It is the couple's own decision and postponement. The couple should postpone their first sexual intercourse, till both of them are physically and emotionaly relaxed, instead of rushing into a messy act.

They lose nothing. In fact, they may gain a great deal of mutual love and respect, which can then become the foundation of a happy married life. The secret to bliss is a deep understanding of each other's needs, leading to closeness so exciting that sex seems the most natural thing in the world. The bride can play a major role in influencing her husband's mind by keeping the communication free and frank.

She must open herself to erotic sensations, wake up all her senses and follow her innate bodily reactions and instincts and not be influenced by fantastic ideas of liberating her libido. Such an act involves the mind, body and soul and creates irresistible magnetism between the partners.

If rigidity gives away to initiative, sex will be wonderful, sensuous act and she will be left with ecstasy never felt before.

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