Most people in Pakistan have first time sex after marriage and don’t have much information beforehand, says Dr Syed Mubin Akhtar. The Pakistani psychiatrist and sex specialist is the author of the book Sex education for Muslims.
To some his advice might be based on a traditional male view of sex, focused on helping young men get their brides to “cooperate”. But in Pakistan, he’s groundbreaking.
Young Pakistanis commonly get no sex education either at school or from their parents, says Dr Akhtar. “They haven’t seen the sexual organs of the other sex and don’t know how to have intercourse.” Even doctors often feel embarrassed to talk about sex, he says.
The lack of information often makes both men and women anxious. Men fear they can’t perform, because they masturbate, which makes them weak, according to persistent local tales. Not surprisingly, stressing that masturbation doesn’t cause sexual disease or weakness is one of Dr Akhtar’s hobbyhorses.
Women are often afraid that penetration will be painful and make them bleed a lot, says Dr Akhtar. The doctor’s advice might be groundbreaking in Pakistan, but it doesn’t get as far as suggesting you build up slowly enough to make sure there’s no pain but only pleasure. He takes what seems like a pretty traditional stance.
Pain during sex is just something girls have to put up with at first, he says bluntly, but after a while it becomes enjoyable. “Tell your wife that it will hurt a little but later on it will be enjoyable so she understands that. And when you have her confidence, go and try and have sex.”
Daring actually to talk to your partner about sex like this is another key tip, says Dr Akhtar. And he’s quick to stress that first time lovers need patience: “It usually takes a few days for them to succeed in the first intercourse.”
Couples often try to have intercourse the night after the wedding ceremony, he says. The ceremony normally finishes late at night and the newlyweds are tired. “We often advise them not to have sex on the same night. Wait for the second night when you’re relaxed and comfortable.”
In Pakistani culture women often aren’t supposed to show any interested in sex, says Dr Akhtar, so men play an important role in making their wives feel comfortable before intercourse.
The doctor’s take on foreplay: “You can flirt, pat and caress. Women probably enjoy that more than the penetration stuff and they probably start enjoying themselves and cooperate later on.”
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