One of my dreams for this blog is that it can be a safe place to talk about marriage–the emotional side, the spiritual side, and even the physical side.

The problem is that people are often very uncomfortable talking about sex, but at the same time, we all have a LOT of questions. And when writer Rajdeep Paulus shared her story with me recently, I knew it was one I wanted to share with you because I KNOW HER EXPERIENCE IS VERY COMMON. And yet we don’t talk about it. So I believe that this post will be very encouraging to a lot of women.

Some may find this a little personal, but I thought she handled the subject with great taste and delicacy, and I think it’s so important for us to know that what we’re not alone when we struggle in marriage! So here’s Rajdeep’s story of how she figured out how to achieve orgasm in marriage.

Making Things "Work" in the BedroomI love sex. I really do. But I didn’t always.

I happened to be a virgin when I got married. Yes. That was the goal. I wanted to give my husband one first that was saved for him. And he saved his first for me. This made for a good foundation. We’d learn this sex thing together.

But it wasn’t easy. I’m just glad someone had the wisdom to tell me shortly before we said our vows to take our time. No need to get it all figured out on the wedding night.

Looking back, that was great advice. Because even if you’re not a virgin when you get married, there’s a lot of expectations placed on that wedding night experience. It was nice to come back to our hotel, and not have the pressure to have a fairy tale and fireworks’ first.

So when we walked into our room well past one in the morning, hubby led me first to the bathroom. Where he took off my heels, turned on the bath water to warm, and while I sat on the edge of the bathtub, he washed my feet.

Thinking back to that moment, his actions spoke as loud as the vows that were spoken earlier that day. He wanted to start a life of partnership, where we both serve each other, take care of each other and strive to meet each other’s needs above our own.

In the words of the man who spoke into our life during pre-marital counseling, “Aim to outdo each other in pleasing each other.” He was referring specifically to the sex in marriage.

So that night, we took our time taking each others’ clothes off, slipped under the covers, and shared our bodies. But we didn’t have sex. We were too busy exploring and delighting in the freedom of soft skin that we could touch and caress without a grain of shame or guilt. Just pure joy and wow to the wow feelings all over.

We did have sex the next night. On our honeymoon cruise to Alaska. And the exact words out of his mouth were, “I think that’s how it works.” And mine something like, “Is that it? Is it over?” Needless to say, neither of us were impressed. Him a tad more than me. What was all the hype? Let’s hit the midnight chocolate buffet, I suggested. I’m looking for that drink everyone talks about at the bar, I’m thinking to myself...the one called, “Better than…”

Yeah, I have to admit, sex was a let down at first. It didn’t get much better for some time. For almost a year, we went on like this. Frustration growing. Especially on my part. Wondered at one point if I was missing parts, or one key part. Started thinking I was broken. Worried I had made one too many mistakes before marriage and somehow this was my due punishment. Slumped into bed many a night and pretended to be fast asleep so I wouldn’t have to face the disappointment.

Then one day, I’m standing in the living room of my landlady in Dominica, where hubby is studying medical school, and she gets a phone call. So I stand around waiting for her to finish talking to her friend and read the titles on her bookshelf just to pass the time. A title pops out at me and all I can think is, how can I sneak that book off the shelf and under my shirt and back out of here without Mrs. C. noticing. The title was simply, “The Female Orgasm.”

Chickened out that day. Couldn’t bring myself to ask. And admit that I’d never had one. Sounds so pathetic. Newly married, and not experienced the “O” yet. Wahh.

But a few days later, I gave in. I was desperate. And the book was calling my name! So I sheepishly knocked and when Mrs. C. answered, I said, “There’s a book on your shelf I’d like to borrow.”

“Sure. No problem. Which one?”

“Ummm. Yeah. That one.” And I pointed to it. So I wouldn’t have to read the title out loud.

She laughed a good hearty Caribbean laugh and pulled it off the shelf and handed it to me. “Take your time.”

“Okay. I will. Thanks.”

“No. I really mean that. Take your time.”

“Ummm. Okay. So you don’t need the book back any time soon?”

“When you have relations with your husband.” She’s spelling it out for me. “Take your time.”

“Oh that? Yes. Okay.”

As I turn to leave, I wonder if I should ask more. Why not? I’ve already done the hardest part by admitting that I need help.

I take a deep breath and turn to face Mrs. C. “Can I ask you one more thing?”

“Sure darling. You want to sit down a minute?”

“No. just a quick question.” She did just say ‘take your time.’ I can already tell that I’m probably doing several things wrong.

“Is it just hard for women to have one when they first get married?”

“Yes….And no.”

“Hmmm.” I don’t know what else to say.

You have to concentrate. Leave the world behind. Don’t think about the dishes in the sink. What you’re making for dinner. About the phone call you need to make to your mother. You need to be totally present. Men can get away with thinking about other things, but women—they need to be all there. In the moment. And one more thing.”

“Yes.” This is the moment I get the million dollar words of wisdom that will lead to my first ever “O!” I gotta feeling…

“Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.”

“Huh? Okay.”

I leave then, closing the door behind me, thinking of the times I’ve knocked on her door and no one answered. Oh. I get it.

So I rush back and skim and skim and skim all day. Reading every page, diagram, footnote and end note. Not really, but I did dedicate a day to the book I hoped had the remaining pieces to the puzzle. The puzzle of my body.

In the end, the book helped little. What helped more was Mrs. C.’s advice. But I have to be honest, I *we, were able to get me closer, closer, closer, but not quite there. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, rising up to the peek, but never quite arriving. I think one afternoon, we were at it for almost an hour and in the end, nothing. Sheer disappointment. And tears. I cried. Hubby sighed. We were feeling defeated.

Then the phone call that changed my life. I called my best friend up who had been married longer than me, although not by much, and we talked about life, stuff, cooking, stuff, books, and more stuff. Then we started talking about our husbands and marriage. I broke down. “I’m broken. God forgot to give me the part.”

“What are you talking about?” My bff is very logical. Cut through the tears and tell me the facts type of gal. Exactly what an emotional basket case like myself needs many a day.

“I don’t think I have the thing, you know, the ‘c’ word, that helps a woman get her ‘O’ on. I think it’s either too small, too hard to reach, or just plain missing.”

“You’re not broken.” She assures me. “And I’m pretty sure you have it.”

“So what do I do? I can’t seem to have an orgasm.” Woah! I said the word.

“Listen. Do everything your landlady said, but do one other thing.”

“Okay?”

Don’t stop until you get there.”

“What if it takes like three hours?”

“I don’t care if it takes 33 hours. Just tell him to keep stimulating your c [with his hands or tongue] until you have one. Then you’ll know what one feels like. And what to look for. And then, with each time, it’ll get easier. Take a shorter amount of time. And trust me, it’ll be worth it.”

“Okay.” Sounds like a plan.

“And call me to tell me you got there.”

I giggle.

“I don’t want to know the details silly. Just a verbal thumbs up is plenty!”

“I know.”

And that’s how I found the OHHHHHH!!!!! in my “O!”

And it took a very loooooooong time. Several hours. And I offered to quit a few times. But hubby said, “No. This time I’m gonna get you there. Relax. Sit back. And…”

My first O was OH so Amazing, I cried. Literally. I just couldn’t believed I worked. And Wowza! That God would create such a Wow experience for us to know and feel and share and live. The sensation took over my entire body and when it reached my head, I felt like joy rays were shooting out of my ears and music was playing somewhere in the heavens! It was Oh so wonderful to say the least.

And the best part, women can have more than one on any given occasion. These days, fourteen years of loving and loving later, my generous hubs almost always gives me three for the price of one. I kid you not. This is how we roll. In bed that is. And this is why I love sex. My husband is an unselfish lover. And I often sing this line as I rise from the sheets to clean up.

“How sweet it is to be loved by you.”

Because Sex is a sweet, special gift. So good. So good.

In marriage.

That’s my black and white on making love. Don’t shortchange your spouse with cheap and artificial substitutions of online porn or erotic novels that take you on a two second thrill ride and leave you wanting. Go for the real thing. Invest your sexual energy (we only have so much) into your live lover. The one who can love the mess out of you and you him. The one who takes you to the peek, over and back up again. With the gifts of real love, true freedom, and ultimate satisfaction. You can’t get that from paper or pictures. You just can’t.

Love your lover. With all you got. And discover the depths and heights where love can take you. Together. Sex is good. Now get to it. And if someone knocks, remember…

Don’t answer the door. 🙂

Sheila says: If you want more help on reaching orgasm in your marriage, I have lots of strategies and information in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex!

swimmingthroughcloudsRajdeep Paulus studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and spent over a decade as an English Teacher and SAT Tutor. She’s been married for fourteen years to her best friend, a physician. They’ve got our daughters, and a little house on a hill in the quaint town of Locust Valley, New York. She now blogs weekly and writes masala-marinated, Y.A. fiction.When Raj is not tapping on her Mac, you can find her dancing with her princesses, kayaking with her hubs, coaching basketball or eating dark chocolate while sipping a frothy, sugar-free latte. She blogs at www.insearchofwaterfalls.com and secretly hopes someday she’ll own a laptop that functions under water. You can also find her on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rajdeeppaulus/ and on Twitter is @rajdeeppaulus.
And check out her first YA novel–Swimming Through Clouds! Sheila reviewed it here.