Advice: Marriage Sucks

Dear Love InshAllah,

My wife does not perform oral sex on me. It aggravates me. In past relationships, I have enjoyed oral sex and I am missing it in my marriage. What should I do to convince her to go down on me? Should I remind her that there is nothing haram (prohibited) about it?


Marriage Sucks

Shy Desi Boy replies:

I was once asked by a 22-year old  male if oral sex is when you have sex and talk at the same time. Uh, no. Not quite.

In your question, MS, you state that in past relationships, you have enjoyed oral sex. One of the reoccurring themes of this advice column is the importance of communicating with your partner about your previous sexual experiences and your sexual desires.

When Muslims get married, they often want to present themselves as virtuous as possible. As a result, they do not share their previous sexual experiences. They worry that if their husband or wife finds out they had sex before marriage (and what kind of sex), their partner will not respect them.

When you and your partner discuss getting married, it is critical to communicate your present desires and past experiences. You also owe it to yourself—and your partner—to get tested for STDs. Of course you do not need to give details about who you slept with and how good/bad it was/wasn’t. But you should give your partner an idea of the things that please you and why they please you.

But a word of caution: if you are going to share your past experiences, you have to be willing to listen to your wife talk about her previous experiences and her desires.

As for oral sex, a few things:

  1. Have you asked her why she does not enjoy oral sex? This is the most obvious place to start. And please, do not ask this question when you are naked, fully erect, with her on her knees. This is not an equal position to engage in a conversation about sex.
  2. Are you performing oral sex on her? If you are asking your partner to perform a sex act that you yourself will not reciprocate, well then you should step back and examine how you both understand pleasure. If your partner does not enjoy performing oral sex on you, ask yourself if there is any sexual act you do for your wife that you do not enjoy.
  3. Are you hygienic? Don’t just say yes. Ask your partner. Ask her what you can do to improve your cleanliness. This may mean trimming or showering before oral sex.
  4. How is your behavior outside of bed? If you and your wife are drifting apart or if she feels like you are ignoring her, then the issue may be something other than sex. In this case, a relationship counselor may help.
  5. You mention religion. Has your wife brought up Islamic reasons for why she does not want to perform oral sex? I am not a big fan of talking to religious scholars but sometimes this helps, if you know someone that you both trust.
  6. Are you being, well, a jerk during sex? Men watch so much porn that when the lights turn off at home, they think they are in the San Gabriel Valley on some adult movie set. Be gentle if she wants you to be gentle and do not assume that she wants to swallow your semen. Keep Kleenex nearby if she prefers you ejaculate into a tissue as opposed to her mouth. She is a person, not an actress or a doll. If you want to have sex with her in a manner that she is not comfortable with, then just masturbate. And tell her that.
  7. Read sex guides for positions, tips on making the experience more comfortable for her and  for yourself. Read these together and again, try not to read when you are both naked in bed. Make it a serious discussion and ask her what her concerns/anxieties are about performing oral sex. Ask her if she had any traumatic past sexual experiences that may make oral sex (or any sex act) difficult for her.
  8. If your partner does agree to perform oral sex, you should not assume that she will be great the first time. It might be so awful that you never want to have oral sex with her again. But good sex is about being patient and giving feedback. If you shut off and do not tell her how she can improve, well then it is you, not her, who really sucks.

Ms. Sunshine replies:

Marriage doesn’t have to suck, dear one, and neither does your wife. There is an entire world of desires to discover, arouse and fulfill. Don’t let one act define your whole sexual experience. Great sex is born in the mind and matures through great communication before it’s fully realized in the joyous seisms of our snuggled naughty bits.

For many of us, sexual desire is tied up in feelings of shame and sin. This is often the result of poor sex education. Young women, especially, often have little or no experience understanding their own desires before they’re asked to fulfill someone else’s.

You can overcome your problems by taking the time to discuss what makes both of you feel good. Honest, compassionate communication can help clear misunderstanding, build trust, and deepen mutual respect. Also, talking and learning about different sex acts can be fun foreplay.

While each of you has a right to expect sexual fulfillment, neither of you has an obligation to provide any particular sex act. There is nothing wrong with your desire for oral sex. There is nothing wrong with her for not wanting to provide it. Let this knowledge be your starting point for conversation. Instead of trying to convince her that she should do something she doesn’t like, spend time exploring what she does enjoy.

Listen to her concerns and find respectful ways to address them. Avoid, blame, guilt and coercion. Talk about each of your desires and negotiate ways to fulfill them. There will be a lot of crossover between what excites her and what arouses you. And, if you’re creative with your own tongue, she may discover a desire to reciprocate. But no single sex act can replace the intimacy you build through honest and compassionate communication. Those pave the way to a lifetime of great orgasms.

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