Three years, one baby, after a grand wedding, Naomi and Charles's marriage had become rocky. Naomi had decided to walk out of the marriage.
"It's the best way to safeguard my mind otherwise I will have a complete mental breakdown," Naomi said the first time I saw her at the Sexology Clinic.
Naomi was a lawyer and Charles was an Engineer. They met while in college. They kept off sex during courtship. Naomi fantasized about what sex would be like and looked forward to the wedding. Unfortunately, this was never to be.
"Charles is selfish and uncaring, I feel frustrated and regret having committed to him as a life partner," Naomi says.
The problem started on their first night. She was undressing to have a shower and as soon as Charles saw her half-naked he held her and went straight into penetrative sex.
"I was scared as it was the first time I was having sex," Naomi said, "I felt excruciating pain as Charles forced himself into me and roughed me up."
Charles then fell into a deep sleep as Naomi agonised for the rest of the night. Naomi was unable to discuss the experience, hoping that things would improve. Things only got worse. Charles jumped on her at the earliest opportunity, roughed her up and left her in pain. Three years later she hadn't experienced an orgasm, sex was unfulfilling and she dreaded it. She wanted to walk out of the marriage.
As I listened to Naomi, it dawned on me that her story is repeated by many couples. Most victims in such relationships describe their spouses as selfish, unskilled and uncaring. They feel used, wasted, unloved and frustrated.
If you have a sex partner and you never care if they are ready for penetrative sex before you proceed then you could be in the category of Charles. It is important to recognise that your partner may need a longer time to be ready than you and that this may vary from day-to-day. It is also not always that the lady is the victim of these issues. There are cases where a man needs stimulation to get a full erection but his partner is not active. The majority of victims in this matter are however women.
Some men do not value the importance of foreplay. They take as short a time as possible to rush into penetrative sex. If foreplay is not part of your vocabulary and if you do not know what to do other than penetration then you are becoming a Charles.
Then there are those self-centred men who enjoy themselves and reach heaven, caring the least what the woman is feeling. Health sexuality demands mutual pleasure; it is not about showing your prowess in hitting hard and causing your partner to surrender helplessly in pain. You need to focus on pleasing your partner.
The downside of not caring about your partner's sexual needs is that you make them feel useless and unloved. Their self-esteem crushes. They become emotional and frustrated in the relationship.
"That is exactly how I feel," Naomi interrupted my monologue, "I think the best solution for me is to walk out of this marriage."
Well, things can be rectified. On a personal level, it is important to talk to your partner respectfully about what you feel. Sex is a matter of giving and taking; negotiate for longer foreplay and promise something in return.
"What if the man knows nothing about foreplay when he thinks that sex is all about roughing you up down there?" Naomi asked anxiously.
That calls for skills building. There are individual sex coaching lessons that couples can go through. If you are open to learning you will get better by the day and your relationship will blossom.
Communication around sex can be difficult but is one thing that couples need most. If you do not talk about what you feel or fantasise your partner will never get to know it. Do not opt to suffer in silence.
"Nobody teaches us these things so I hope my wife understands and forgives my selfishness which was not intended," he said.
The couple went through a series of sex coaching sessions and by the third month, Naomi got her first orgasm.
"I can confidently report that I am not divorcing my husband and that our sex lives are fantastic," she said on the last day of sex coaching as she and Charles burst out laughing, held hands and walked out of the consultation room.