Troglodytes And Gentlemen
Human sexuality is a very complex subject. In clinical practice, one sees distinctly the vas deferens between men and women cases and fresh twists every day, and there is no singular algorithm for all situations. Treatment programmes have to be custom made every time. No matter how long one has been in the business, it is impossible to have seen it all and to have done it all. Every day is a new learning experience. The following case history should illustrate my point.
Recently, a newlywed couple came to see me. They had been married for just five days. Their problem was that they hadn't don it' yet. Five nights together, but no sexual intercourse . Seven people trooped into my office at the allotted appointment time: the couple, three people from the girl's side, and two from the boy's! I craned my neck to peer over their shoulders and check whether there were any more. Anything is possible in our populous country.
People who walk into my office will notice at once that it is a small place, and that I have seating only for two people other than myself. This arrangement, of course, is deliberate, and is intended to provide privacy to my patients. The gang of seven noticed his configuration as soon as it entered. Yet, no one took the hint. They all stayed put inside the room. Ostensibly the sex life of this couple was the business of the entire family. Every one of them, it appeared, wanted a piece of the action. It is not funny how common this is in India.
Such a scenario, of course is not new to me at all. I have had, in the past, more than twelve people accompanying a couple into my inner office. That motley group had included many village elders and local leaders whose many responsibilities apparently included human coital welfare, in addition to other multitudinous welfare programmes. Hats off to these guys! I marvel quite often at how these chaps can have their fingers simultaneously in so many different pies. One has heard of people being in public real life and real life, but this 'being in pubic life' aspect was a new one to me. In addition to the army of twelve generals, there were some other 'friends and well-wishers' in the waiting room as well. Those must be the infantrymen, I surmised.
I made eye contact with each member of the coital welfare army individually, and gave every single one of them a wide, beaming smile. And this, for me, is a big effort. I'm normally a grumpy sort of guy. But in this situation, I had a specific motive for such exertion. I wanted to convey to these sex soldiers that my office is a warm, friendly place, where I help people. These guys radiated a belligerence that was not on bit conductive to any kind of peaceable settlement. The 'boy's side' was ready to kill the 'girl's side', and vice versa. I shuddered to imagine the effect this might have had on the poor newlyweds, and decided that this killer instinct first needed to be neutralized, if we wished to make any progress.
To state that this endeavor of mine was futile, would be putting mildly. Nothing changed even after several minutes. The belligerence remained.
'Daaktr Saab,' one of the senior generals finally addressed me, pointing to the new groom, 'Inho to mard ich nahin hain' (this guy is not a man at all).
I was expecting some resistance to this, and so was not surprised when the wife protested, ' If I leave the room doc, this man will tell you all kinds of lies about me.'
I let her stay. I'm not a one man army that can take on a dozen belligerents.
The second fact that emerged was that there was a conspicuous absence of any friendship, affection, or love between man and wife. The arrangement seemed more like a sexual contract. The wife expected the man to perform his contractual obligations like an insatiable stud on his wedding night, without the need for any preliminary equation, relationship or intimacy to develop first. This couple didn't talk at all and the wife didn't even let her husband hold hands affectionately. She wasn't interested.
My patient just couldn't have sex under such circumstances. He was a gentle, educated man who wanted to get to know his wife first, and then move on gradually to sex. He had already had premarital sex in an earlier relationship, and was not in a hurry to prove anything to anybody. His wife, au contraire, just wanted to lie on her back and have him finish the job. No hugging, no caressing, no foreplay . She confessed to me that this is what her orthodox upbringing had indoctrinated into her, and was unyielding in her stance. If he was man enough, he ought to be able to do it. what was the need for mushy preliminaries? Showing the immediate relatives stained bed sheets was the name of the game. That's how generations of women before her had consummated a marriage. Everything else came much later. She did not see anything wrong in announcing to all and sundry in the family that she had not yet had sex.
Cave woman, it seemed, was not really extinct.
Despite this, however, his marriage broke. Apparently, the cave women couldn't wait any longer for sex to happen. It seemed that she was looking more for a burly rapist than for a refined gentleman. She argued with her parents that her friends who had got married before her had done it three or four times per night in the first few days after marriage itself. Those were the kind of macho husbands she was looking for. Her impression of her own husband was that he was a total namard (emasculate).
Her parents complied with her command and took her back to their house. Mr Gentleman and the fact that I was not able to help him to amicably negotiate the situation. But I knew, deep inside, that he would bounce back soon.
Just as I had hoped, Mr Gentleman visited me again some time after that. This time, he was accompanied by a pleasant young lady. The couple seemed very much in makes love, not war, and the air was filled with good vibes. It was very obvious that they were sexually happy, too. I too was very happy for them.
As for Ms Cave Woman, there's been no news. She was probably happily married to a strong and silent caveman who spoke only with his club re-opening closed chapters.
Take Home Message:
The above case history has many messages. This book, however, merely concerns itself with the andrological one. It is wrong to suppose that all men are lustful creatures who can have sexual intercourse with any partner at all under any and all circumstances. Many men cannot. This might make them temporarily 'impotent' even though there is nothing wrong with their erectile mechanism. Men have sensibilities and sensitivities too, and this must be recognized.