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Heart To Heart

Monday, October 08, 2018

Refractory period
I am 27-year-old happily married man. I am very faithful to my wife. I wish to know that how long after one ejaculation can a healthy man get a second good erection? Can second erection be as good as the first one?  

When a man is having sex, his ‘endorphin’ level is very high. Almost immediately after ejaculation, he goes through a ‘refractory phase’ in which he loses his erection, he crashes and all his systems gear down. The refractory period changes from person to person. However after the refractory period, which could be twenty minutes to a few hours, one can get an equally good erection once again. The level of second erection depends on the level of excitement and stimulation.

Clitoral hood
I have been finding it difficult to experience orgasm during intercourse. My gynecologist on examination told me that I had too much skin on my clitoral hood that keeps my clitoris covered at all times. Is there anything that can be done about my clitoral hood?

Having a thick or long clitoral hood is not uncommon. It is unlikely to be the cause of your inability to experience orgasm during intercourse. Not being able to achieve orgasm is a common situation for women regardless of the size of their clitoris or clitoral hood. The hood is often necessary to protect the very sensitive clitoral glans. While I understand your desire to be able to experience orgasm, I do not believe that there is necessarily anything wrong with you. I suggest you to engage in longer foreplay in a relaxed state of mind and get actively involved and be fully participative while making love. Many women, who do not ordinarily experience orgasm, do experience it when they actively participate and perform intercourse in the ‘woman superior’ position.

In selected cases, the clitoral hood can be surgically snipped and the procedure is referred to as female circumcision.

Stop deluding oneself
My best friend loved a girl. They met each other through Internet chatting. After few days the girl stopped responding to him. He is still hopeful that she loves him. He is thoroughly disturbed and it has started affecting his health. What should he do in this situation? How as his best friend do I help him?

Your friend needs to acknowledge the reality and stop deluding himself. Though he must be feeling that it is the end of the world, he needs to know that there is a long and wonderful life ahead waiting for him. You as his friend should get him out into social life again.  Chat room friendships are more often than not, extremely superficial. Those who find difficulty relating normally and are socially awkward, are those who resort to chatting. It also provides a safety route if one wants to back out and disappear into oblivion. Therefore, psychologically speaking, chat-room friendships are not the healthiest relationships. There is a more real, exciting and fulfilling life outside the chat-room, which your friend needs to experience, so that he can move on. If he continues to delude himself, then he would need to see a psychotherapist.

Spirituality and passion
Myself and my husband both are spiritually inclined. We read spiritual books and also have learned meditation. Lately I feel very 'guilty' every time we make love. The 'passion' during physical intimacy makes me feel like an 'animal'. My husband too gets same feelings. We try to control our aggressiveness during love-making, but it becomes impossible very often. At the end of the every encounter I feel extremely 'low' about myself. Something seems to be going wrong somewhere. Can you guide us in this matter?

You seem to have learned that spirituality and sexuality are in opposition. Many so-called spiritual streams regard 'sex' as an obstacle or a distraction on the spiritual path. This is a myth. Sex is one of the natural instincts in us, gifted to us unasked, by existence. It is as normal and healthy as other functions of the body. True spirituality teaches the seeker to accept all aspects of life. Life is an invaluable gift, to be accepted in totality. To reject or condemn any aspect of the gift of life is in a way trying to improvise over existential wisdom.

The passion during lovemaking is as existential and divine as the desire to pray and meditate. You can't reject one and accept the other. It is the same energy that manifests itself in both the expressions. Don't fight with nature. Feel free to express yourself 'naturally' during lovemaking with your husband. It is a culmination of the love that exists between you and thus a divine act. Sharing of intimacy does not make you less spiritual.

The self-condemnation and the guilt that you are experiencing are more harmful to your spiritual growth than the natural passion.  

Married on the rebound
I am a 25-year-old married woman. I got married a year back to a guy of my parents' choice. Before my husband, I dated a guy on and off for many years. Our families, too, were happy with the match. However, he wanted to get married much later in life—a fact that wasn't really acceptable to me because I wanted to enjoy my married life and start a family quickly. I even agreed to wait for him till he settled down financially, but suddenly he developed cold feet and said he didn't want to be in a relationship with me at all. I was heartbroken because I always thought he was the one for me. Although I am happy with my husband, I still miss my former boyfriend and also  feel hurt because I recently heard that he's getting married next year to a girl that he's been with for barely a year. This is causing much stress in my married life.

You have obviously married on the rebound without getting an adequate emotional closure with your boyfriend, and thus the residue feelings and hurt. You still cannot reconcile yourself to your boyfriend’s unilateral decision to end the relationship with you, and therefore are unable to be 100% in the ‘here and now’ in this marriage. You feel rejected by him and you have allowed your sense of self worth to take a beating because of it. It is important for you to realize that whatever the reason for him calling it off with you, it does not in any way reflect on your worth or make you unlovable as a person. To have a closure you could do a self-help assignment in the form of a long letter as a catharsis of all your feelings, pleasant and unpleasant, about the relationship, and then visualize yourself reading it to him and telling him that your life did not come to a standstill after him, and that you did not become cynical about love, but that you are happy in your marriage, and that you also wish him well. Then tear up the letter, and consciously spend some special ‘togetherness time’ with your husband to celebrate the ‘here and now’ of your life.

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Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
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