The conversation goes like this.
“What is the big deal? Why can’t she deal with it?”
Says a 42-year-old married client of mine.
“Can’t deal with what?” I try to elicit details.
“Look doc, when we go and eat out, no one says we are being unfaithful to our kitchen.”
“Am I a kitchen?” The wife shouts.
“He’s just drawing parallels, he may not be right, but let him complete his part of the story.” I pacify the wife, returning to the husband.
“It’s not like I do it daily. Even that is allowed in certain situations when the kitchen is not available.” The parallel is obvious now.
“If you can stomach it…” I try to interject.
“Yes. And when the food at home is not tasty, you tend to eat out regularly.” He slaps the table, having proved his point.
The wife starts crying.
“But food poisoning can be treated and HIV can’t.” I say while offering her a tissue.
“So learn to eat bland food. Like the doctor says.” The wife, having spoken, goes back to the tissue.
Related reading: So what did they tell you about self lovin’?
The husband gives me a stare like I am the traitor. Et tu, Brutus?
He had come with stress and insomnia. There was history of 14 years of marriage, 9-year-old twin boys, a successful but hectic career and unsuccessful sexual life.
Unsuccessful? What? With two kids?
Yes. Because sex is not only for procreation, but also for recreation.
“Tell her that… I will bring her to you next time.”
And there they are.
There was also history of an extramarital affair with his female colleague. He denied having continued after the wife found out, but she wasn’t sure. The wife admitted there was a lull after the twins with all the parenting responsibility. They did try to pick up where they had left off after the kids started sleeping in another room. But gave up soon after realising it wasn’t what they had in past.
Willing but reluctant, the wife wasn’t ready to become a sexy bombshell she was sure her husband wanted now. Horny but hesitant, the husband could not communicate his desires clearly and ended up fighting or frustrated.
“What… Is that it? Eat bland food? That’s your solution doc?” The husband is angry.
“No,” I take a deep breath. “The solution is to make home recipes tastier. So that at the end of the day you’re looking forward to ghar ka khana.”
“…And may be in the morning or a quick snack in the afternoon.” I pause for it to sink in.
For the first time none of them speak. I take that as a cue to start explaining. “Look, I’m no one to judge you for your affairs or your sexual frequency. If you are both happy with what you have, I’ve no business here. But if you’re unhappy, as I can see…”
Sex is a lot like food. We have staples. But we all want some variety. We can eat the same rice all our life. But then rice can be prepared in hundreds of ways. Sex with the same partner, in the same bed, the same way can become boring. Like a chore. Down goes the appetite. And we start blaming the food instead of the recipe.
What can we do is change the recipe.
Related reading: Does marriage take the fun out of sex?
Eat healthy, take up a physical activity, get that haircut or wear a bright colour.
Tease, massage, sext, talk dirty… Sexy is not the act, it’s a lifestyle.
Learn a new sexual technique. Missionary is not the be all and end all.
Change the location. From bedroom to kitchen, hall, dining table. Where it’s safe and private.
Change the scene literally, take a vacation.
And let your imagination run wild. Fantasies will take you for free to the place and setting of your dreams. Wake up the actor in you. Role playing can let you lose those inhibitions and have a brand new experience.
Don’t do all of these in one night. You can’t put all spices in one dish. Go slow. One thing at a time. And soon you’ll be licking your fingers, literally.
So what’s the flavour of the day?
Sweet, sour, hot or spicy…?