Dear Dr G,

I understand that being a urologist, you usually address issues related to male sexual health. However, I hope in the New Year, you can also help female readers, like myself, who encounter sexual issues with their husbands.

My husband and I have been married for two years, and we dated for two years prior to that. We both have conservative upbringings and never really engaged in sexual relationship prior to getting married.

Overall, my husband is a caring partner and very conscientious. However, he is rather shy in bedroom matters and multiple attempts of sex had failed.

I think my husband is nervous and anxious, especially due to pressure from the family to have a baby. He tends to rush into the “business” and this can be a turn off for me, resulting in disappointment.

I initiated sex a few times, asking him to focus on foreplay and take things slower. I even suggested role-play in the foreplay to help us relax.

My husband was excited with the whole idea, but simply clueless of where to start. Needless to say, asking him to see a doctor will be impossible.

This week, I am hoping to put Dr G on the spot in assisting men in the initiation of foreplay and incorporating role-play.

If so, what scenario would be best for role-play for beginners like us?

I understand it is unconventional for a woman to ask for help in sex, but I think your guidance may just save our marriage.


Unconventional woman

Foreplay is generally considered intimate behaviour between couples to generate emotional and physical readiness for sexual activities. The initiation of foreplay derives from either one or both partners, signalling physiological and mental anticipation of expected sex. Such pre-coital initiation is believed to lower inhibition, increases emotional desire and stimulate sexuality in both partners.

Degree of foreplay to generate a person’s sexuality can vary between individuals and different intensity of a relationship. The sexual stimuli may range from a subtle romantic indication, or outright provocation of erotic stimuli. There are many historical references to foreplay, especially depicted by the ancient Indian “sexual arts” of Kama Sutra, demonstrating different types of embracing, caressing, kissing or even spanking as fore “play”!

Although certain erotic stimuli can invoke sexual arousal, certain sexual acts of foreplay may be an absolute turn-off, perhaps due to issues of morality. Therefore the “right” preferences of foreplay will require open communication and constant exploration between partners. The initiation is by far the most important step in foreplay. The process can begin with non-physical gesture of whispering, teasing and flirting to generate sexual interests. Further advancement can arouse sexual interests by one partner wearing suggestive clothing, then followed by stripping and nudity.

Lastly, passionate French kissing and manual or oral touching of multiple erogenous zones surely will heighten the sexual intensity in the initiation of foreplay.

A person’s sexual inhibition and shyness is generally known to create a negative impact. Certain individuals may simply feel uncomfortable, and perceive acts of kissing and caressing intrusive. Role-play in foreplay is generally a good way to overcome such inhibition. Physiologically, role-play of different scenario creates certain levels of confidence and trust between couples to intensify intimacy.

Role-play can have strong erotic elements, involving couples to act out roles in sexual fantasy. Typical fantasy would be medical fetishism of doctor and nurse, or office scenario of executive and secretary. The “success” of role-play in foreplay to enhance sexual experience is only achievable when both parties are willing to communicate and explore. NBA professional basketball player, Michael Jordan, once said: “Just play, have fun and enjoy the game!”

It is not uncommon for inexperienced newly wed couples to face the obstacles of sexual intimacy due to shyness and inhibitions. Oftentimes, it is counterproductive to over analyse the issues to “curate” the sexual experience.

When Dr G is put on the spot by couples facing trouble of initiating foreplay, his advice is: “Just play, have fun and enjoy each other!”

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