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Having Sex Relations Under Special Conditions

There are several special conditions under which it may be advisable to modify the usual kind of sex relations which a couple may have. Some of these special conditions and the desirable modifications to be taken when they exist will now be discussed.

          Sex relations during menstruation. Many peoples of this earth rigidly refrain from intercourse during menstruation, largely because of irrational taboos. Until recently, there has also been a distinct taboo against menstrual coitus in our own country (Kelly, 1959). Although many of the reasons for this taboo are as senseless as those of the primitives who think menstrual blood is poisonous and who therefore interdict copulation when a woman is having her period, there may be some realistic disadvantages to having intercourse at this time.

          1. Many couples find coitus during menstruation rather uncomfortable because of the presence of menstrual blood and the sensitivity of the vaginal area at this time, especially during the first day or two of a heavy flow.
          2. Having intercourse at the end of a woman's period may in some cases lead to a stirring up of her flow, which has previously become lighter; and she may consequently be somewhat inconvenienced.
           3. The female may experience irritation of her vaginal tract because of the sensitive condition of her organs during menstruation; and the male, unless he uses a condom, may contract urethritis or penile irritation. Actually, however, few cases of male or female difficulties in this connection seem to exist even with those who fairly regularly have coitus during the woman's period.

          On the other hand, refraining from intercourse during menstruation deprives many couples of considerable satisfaction especially when the wife's period is a six to seven-day affair or where she is notably aroused during this time. Consequently, many couples do have intercourse during menstruation and, as just noted, few of them report serious consequences

          To make menstrual coitus more satisfactory, a woman can douche just before having it and then use her diaphragm, if she has one, as a temporary plug to stop her menstrual flow during copulation. She should, however, remove her diaphragm shortly after intercourse has ended (taking the precaution of douching again if no other contraceptive is employed and she wishes to avoid becoming pregnant). The male, as indicated above, may wear a condom during intercourse, even though he may usually not wear one at other times.

          For individuals who do not want to have intercourse during the wife's period but who are nonetheless highly aroused at this time, other forms of stimulation, especially manual manipulation of the genitals, should be quite acceptable and should lead to orgasm. If the wife prefers to have to satisfaction herself, there is still no reason why she cannot satisfy her husband with extra genital techniques.

          Sex relations during illness. Fairly frequently in almost any marriage one of the mates will be ill while the other will be well.at such times, the ill mate often should not be having intercourse or other forms of sex relations especially if these have been banned by his or her physician. Nor can the other mate, at such times, expect the ill partner to be too interested in satisfying him or her sexually.

          At the same time, there are many forms of illness in which sex relations of a not too strenuous nature are encouraged just as mild exercise is advocated for individuals recuperating from certain operation and illnesses.

          Even when an individual has a serious ailment, such as a heart disease, it may often be more beneficial for him or her to have occasional, not too strenuous, sex participations than to refrain entirely from sex engagements.

          In such instances as these, care usually should be taken to employ coital positions which are most satisfactory to the ailing mate. Position where this mate is relatively passive are often to be preferred.Thus, if the ailing partner is lying on his or her side or back, rather than surmounting the other partner, over-strenuous intercourse is less likely to occur than if he or she takes a more active position.Or forms of relations in which the ailing partner does not have actual coitus but is still brought to orgasm are often to be preferred to copulation.

          Where one of the partners is ill or convalescent, the circumstances under which sex relations are had are likely to be important. Usually, the ill or convalescent partner should engage in sex play when he or she is well rested, is relaxed, is in a good mood, has not had relations too having sex activity. Again individuals with serious diseases or ailments who have intercourse usually should not go in for extended precoital play but should not go in for extended precoital play but should skip some of the preliminaries and begin coitus relatively quickly.

          When an ill individual cannot have intercourse or other forms of sex relations, there is often no reason why he or she cannot in some manner satisfy his or her partner. Particularly where one mate has a long but not too debilitating ailment or injury, he or she should make some effort to see that the other mate is sexually satisfied- otherwise, underlying or open resentment is likely to develop.

          In any major illness, the physician's word should be law: since he alone can usually tell whether a particular patient, with a certain kind of ailment, is capable of having this or that kind of sex relations (Klumbies and Kleinsorge,1950).But assuming that the physician presents no objections, the couples involved should not use a disease or injury as an absolute sign that sex activity must cease. Common sense and love are most essential in sex (as in all other) husband-wife relations.

          Sex relations during pregnancy.The kind and frequency of sexual activities during a wife's pregnancy vary enormously with her general health and her capacity to carry a child successfully. In most instances where the pregnancy is going normally and there is no reason to believe that there will be any unusual difficulty, coital and non-coital relations can be continued up to four to six weeks (and sometimes even up to two weeks) before birth. But in other instances, intercourse or other modes of sex activity may have to cease almost immediately after the onset of pregnancy, because the over-stimulation of the wife may lead to a miscarriage.

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