Etiquette of intimate relations

Etiquette of intimate relations

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Fiqh, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 0 comments

Etiquette of intimate relations

Sex is a normal and essential part of life. For Muslims however, the open discussion of sex is frowned upon usually for cultural reasons but mostly because Islam considers sexuality to be a private matter between husband and wife. This doesn’t, however, mean that discussion about sex should not happen, with plenty of hadith from the Prophet sallal lahu alaihi wa sallam discussing sexual etiquette between husband and wife.

There are no specific rules for sexual intercourse; whatever is mutually pleasing is right, and likewise, whatever is mutually displeasing should be avoided; the only exception to this rule is what the Shariah clearly forbids I.E the times and situations, such as; when the wife is menstruating. When fasting. Only in private away from others. Not to relay what happens between the wife and husband. Anal sex is forbidden. Oral sex is disliked, but not forbidden.

Clear communication between the husband and wife will bring about great sexual pleasure.  So if you feel like your partner isn’t pleasing you the way you’d like to be pleased, don’t be afraid to kindly let them know. And when the communication, compatibility, and confidence align just right, you’ll know.

Male are like microwaves, they are easily and instantly turned on. They are more physically inclined.  Whereas females take longer like an oven to warm up, warms up slowly. They are more emotionally inclined and need to be ready emotionally. Islam has placed importance to foreplay before the actual penetration, intercourse takes place. This is in order to fully arouse and excite the wife and put her in the mood. Hugging, caressing, kissing, flirting, sweat erotic words, massaging etc is encouraged and not go into the act like animals. Foreplay is very important, it stimulates the wifes gland that intern excrete fluid (Madhi) the pre-sexual discharge from both husband and wife and is a sign both are ready to penetrate and lets the husbands penis enter the wifes virgina easily and comfortably. As it relates to females who are virgin, the first time normally is uncomfortable as the hyman is pierced, blood may come, but afterwards becomes normal.

In most cases, just like the husband is turned on easily, he is also relieved from his sexual tension desire and satisfied easily. The husband is to consider the wifes feelings, climax, orgasm and satisfaction. He must ensure he satisfies her sexual desire and gives her the climax, orgasm she needs, even if he has reached his.

 

PART 1

Everything you wanted to know:

Intimacy between spouses is a beautiful act of worship. A divine experience that has been mired by anxieties fueled by hypersexualized media, Hollywood movies, many cultural beliefs from the East and misinformed 18th century notions rooted in the West.

 

It took a year of contemplation for us to publicly address this topic in a broadcast, but the need amongst Muslim couples was so great that we had to put aside our hesitations. The Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam and the sahaba and sahabiyaat were not shy to discuss these matters.

 

Usually when sexual intimacy is discussed in public it is not from a female lens, hence we want to collaborate with our male Shuyukh by providing the female perspective, so we can all contribute to healthy marriages.

 

If we look at intimacy as both a physical and spiritual act and climaxing as the epitome of pleasure that Allah has gifted us, it is easier to understand why it is meant to be a source of Divine Love for both men and women.

 

As you will hear today that intimacy has become a serious problem in many marriages—  there are many guilt and shame based misconceptions that cause problems between spouses often leading to divorce. Our main motive is to foster healthy marriages, Allah says he loves those who foster purity and marriage is the best way to guard our desires.

 

We don’t want to generalize because generalization can hurt a relationship and each relationship is as different as the people involved in it. Let’s not play the blame game after listening to this. We want couples to listen together in hopes of understanding and bettering their marriage.

 

Men Complain:

 

-“My wife doesn’t want to have intercourse”

 

-Frequency is mainly a concern amongst men

 

-“My wife doesn’t actively participate in intimacy, or never initiates”

 

Women Complain:

 

 

-Quality of intimacy

 

-Lack of foreplay

 

-Most common complaints: “He fails to give me a climax.”

 

How To Score BIG With Women: An Islamic and Psychological Approach for Men

Why is there a Difference between Men’s and Women’s Complaints about Intimacy?

Different needs but BOTH men and women are sensual beings and they BOTH need sensual fulfillment.

 

Top needs for men include:

-#1 Need: Mutual satisfaction (contrary to popular belief that men only want their own sexual satisfaction they, naturally, want to satisfy their wives too)

 

-Responsiveness of their spouse – men want their wives engaged during the act: mentally, emotionally and physically

 

-Men desire initiation by their wife —they long to feel wanted, desired and affirmed

 

-Men also want to be complimented

 

Generally, men see intimacy as an escape or release of tension.  They need the intimate act to open up emotionally.

 

Unfortunately, women continue to be restricted sexually by:

-Shame

 

-Guilt

 

-Social and society influence

 

-Religiously perceived notions

 

-Family taboos

 

Sex masha’Allah: Vignettes on Female Sexuality

Women have sexual needs:

Instead of being able to fully express their sensual nature, women are restricted to being “emotional” only and ripped apart from their “sexual” side.

 

A woman can be as sensual as she is spiritual, as erotic as she is intellectual and as climatic as she is emotional.

There is a common ground in the complaints—of both men and women— and it is “intimacy”, but:

-Men want intimacy and they want their wives’ participation, and more frequently

 

-Women have complaints about the quality of intimacy

 

Many men not only have a huge misunderstanding about women’s sexuality, shockingly many still wonder whether or not a woman is able to reach her climax. Yet, many confuse pleasing a woman in bed as equivalent to fondling only and not making her experience a climax.

 

Majority of married Muslim women complain about “satisfaction” during intimacy.

 

The word “satisfaction” is often confused with fondling or fore-playing only. The truth is that if and when explicitly asked, these women explicitly complain about not being able to reach their climax.

 

SO while men complain about lack of participation of frequency of intimacy, women lose interest because they don’t want to be intimate if they can’t reach their climax. It’s a cycle and unless men understand women’s need of sexuality, women will continue to lose interest that can lead to dangerous consequences.

 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Intimacy for Muslim Couples

 

PART 2

More of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Intimacy for Muslim Couples

 

Why many women do not want to engage intimately with their husbands?

– Erroneous cultural beliefs about female sexuality (Sex is dirty. “Pure” women don’t want sex etc.)

 

– Unsatisfactory intimate experiences (specifically the lack of climax in women due to the misunderstanding on the husband’s part that his wife is not supposed to reach climax for years)

 

– Media and books creating an unrealistic portrayal of intimacy and raising expectations

 

How does culture affects how women think?

Families mutilate female sexuality by teaching girls that:

 

– Sex is bad

 

– Sex is dirty

 

– Good girls don’t even have sexual thoughts before marriage

 

– So much so that parents or elders of the family won’t hesitate from scaring off the young women from intimacy

 

Pernicious effects of fallacious teachings about female sexuality:

– Guilt and shame associated with sexual desires

 

– Damaging self-esteem

 

– Aversion towards sex

 

What can women do to change and re-frame if they have been raised with these beliefs?

– Physical and mental exercises to help change a woman’s concept of sex

 

How are these cultural beliefs wrong Islamically?

– A detailed analysis of how sex is not dirty in Islam

 

Some Islamic classes and teachers teach that women who feel desire will not attain the pleasures of Paradise.

 

While others teach sex as charity (sadaqah) based on the hadith, but limit women’s sexuality when charity (sadaqah) is explained as: seeking reward only from Allāh.

 

Women then start treating intimacy as merely an obligation, with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, not expecting any sensual pleasure. But sadaqah also means truth and giving the best that we have.

 

– An elaboration on hadith of sadaqah

 

What are some solutions to counter the way intimacy is introduced in a harmful way to a young man or woman?

– Parenting needs to revolutionized

 

– Open communication between children and parents

 

– Parenting workshops

 

– Open discussions within the communities

 

Video for Part 3:

youtube.com/watch?v=V1wbjDA_p1o

 

Faulty cultural beliefs are not just limited to the East, unfortunately, there are many European cultural beliefs and paradigms that have caused the same damage about female sexuality.

 

Hena: What is the androcentric model of sexuality and how does it not adequately represent the experience of women?

 

Saba Syed:Androcentric concepts of sex and failure to recognize female sexual desires—specifically female climax— was quite common in Europe and then in the United States. Beliefs like:

 

◦Intercourse is pleasurable only for men and merely a duty incumbent upon women.

◦Good women with noble character don’t ask for sex, they don’t desire intimacy

◦Only prostitutes actually enjoy intimacy

And especially

◦Women are incapable of reaching climax

 

These fallacious ideas were quite rampant up until 1950s. There is an excellent article in New York Times (chapter one of the book by Rachel Maine from John Hopkin University) “The Job Nobody Wanted”.

 

Basically it discusses how Western society was so androcentric that the ability of women reaching climax was termed “hysteria”— a disease of womb from the time of Hippocrates, the Greek physician. Only in 1952 American Psychiatric Association dropped this term and acknowledge the desire and the ability of reaching climax as a normal function of women’s sexuality!

 

Hena: In your experience what type of damage have you noticed in a marriage because of these androcentric concepts? How are these concepts harmful psychologically?

 

Haleh: Women may feel that something is wrong with them for wanting physical intimacy. For example a sister in a halaqa asked the female instructor about wanting to get intimate more than her husband and she was completely shamed. The sister turned beet red because the instructor was so appalled at her question. Sometimes there is tremendous guilt and shame associated to wanting physical intimacy. This guilt eventually erodes women’s self-esteem.

 

Another way it damages marriages is that it prevents women from initiating physical intimacy – they don’t approach their husbands – they are shy to express their desires and remember initiation from the wife is one of the top 5 needs of men.

 

What happens when women simply see physical intimacy as a duty?

 

Haleh: When talking about duty of a wife we need to first discuss the psychology behind obligations versus desire.  When you feel you should do something out of obligation you either won’t do it or if you do then you will not be completely present or responsive during the act. If your heart is not into it you will avoid physical intimacy or just go through the motion. When you desire it you will be engaged and want to take part in it.

 

Hena: It is almost how we think of a religious obligation like salah, do it out of sense of obligation, we can do it with khushu and wanting it.  So when we are enjoying salah, we increase the amount and the quality, its not just going through the motions –

 

What would you say are pointers in having a quality physical relationship?

 

Haleh: Couples need to understand that Intimacy needs to be enjoyable for both of them. If both husband and wife enjoy it then they are more likely to engage in it. If it’s frustrating, uneventful, or worse painful for women they will avoid it at all cost.

 

In a healthy relationship:

 

◦Men don’t demand intimacy from their wives –

◦They don’t threaten them with angels cursing them all night

◦They romance their wives in such a way that she will be a willing & happy participant.

 

Also, in a fulfilling marriage:

 

◦Women are mindful during the act

◦They are present mentally

◦They are present emotionally

◦They participate physically

◦They do not think about their to do list!

 

Fake Orgasm is never Encouraged:

Although it’s common for women to fake their climax it’s not encouraged for a healthy physical relationship because it will give the wrong message to the husband.  Truthfulness is not only in speech but in actions.

 

How do you think overall these androcentric paradigms are harmful Islamically and have affected marriages?

 

Saba: There are different paradigms to this.

 

On one side we have those women who were raised with these ideas and actually programmed their minds to believe that they are not supposed to have sexual desires or enjoy intimacy.  So they end up dealing with intimacy with an aversion, they don’t anticipate it, they don’t participate, they don’t even dress up for their husbands. In some cultures, it is considered ‘ayb (shameful) to dress up for the husband, and wearing lingerie is equivalent to prostitution.  So obviously with these kind of mindsets and attitude, intimacy becomes a source of frustration.

 

On the other side, there are those who were not necessarily raised with these beliefs, or they overcame these beliefs but people around them haven’t.  SO these beliefs are always thrown at their faces making them feel ashamed or too “masculine” for having a high desire or even a normal desire for intimacy.

 

We have to understand that these androcentric beliefs that intimacy is pleasurable for men and a duty for women is not even Islamic because Islam doesn’t ordain an act enjoyable for one spouse and not for the other. In Islam, the act of intimacy is pleasurable for men and pleasurable for women, it is a duty of a wife as much as it is a duty of a husband.

 

Our Muslim brothers, on the other hand, knowing that it is their right and having the need for intimacy become overly demanding, and sometimes unjust to their wives because they feel it’s the wife’s duty to comply and it’s his right to seek pleasure.  So there is an obvious imbalance caused by these faulty cultural beliefs, which are destroying marriages.

 

It is interesting though that there are sisters who didn’t grow up with these fallacious beliefs or they were able to correct their perception about sexuality but their husbands didn’t or their husbands had these androcentric ideas that good wives don’t ask for intimacy or climax is only a man’s need not a woman’s.

 

SO the husband has these misconceptions, and in that relationships, the wife really suffers, because again not much has been said about women’s sexual needs–not emotional– sexual needs. There is not much recognition, there’s hardly any acknowledgment and also because women are naturally shy(er) so they feel hesitant in approaching a male shaikh with specific details. So in the process, it is assumed that such issues don’t exist among women because they never complain about it.

 

Hena: It is not true because MM has opened up an opportunity for those sisters and we have received several comments about such situations:

 

A typical comment left on Muslimmatters.org:

 

“I never knew till some 4 years of marriage that there is something called ‘orgasm’ for females. When I realized and discussed with my husband, he too was surprised. Till this day he isn’t keen on satisfying me though I do my best to be proactive and attractive before making love. I also approached for divorce, but due to family pressure I had to retract. Though he fails every time to satisfy me in bed, he expects his food, clothes etc. to be ready on time. If not, he really gets mad. But he is Allah fearing, well behaved and a good person. He has fulfilled basic needs like clothing, accommodation etc . I am grateful to him for his spending on us. May Allah reward him for his goodness and guide him for his ignorance. Ameen.

I simply cannot explain the emptiness it leaves when he just sleeps calmly leaving me aroused once he is done. He feels hurt when I say I too want to be satisfied. I have taken it as Allah’s will to continue in this relationship for the sake of Allah, kids and family…for this Duniya was not meant to be Jannah. I will try my best till my death to keep him happy in bed, though at times I wonder if my days in this dunya will ever come to an end.. It is far better to remain a spinster than to live in a hollow, lonely and unsatisfied marriage.”

 

Females do have strong sexual appetite. There might surely be ups and downs in that depending on the circumstances, hormonal levels etc.

 

Our request to our brothers in faith…Don’t be selfish no matter how tired you are. If you want to be satisfied every single time of making love, make sure so does your wife too. Remember before she is your wife, she is a Muslimah. And it is your duty to fulfil the right of another Muslim’. Your wife will never be emotionally attached to you if you do not satisfy her with your own love and willingness in bed.

 

May Allah grant us all righteous, loving spouses. May He keep us chaste.

 

Faulty Cultural Beliefs are not just limited to the East, unfortunately, there are many European cultural Beliefs and paradigms that have caused the similar damage to female sexuality.

 

What is the androcentric model of sexuality and how does it not adequately represent the experience of women?

◦Intercourse is pleasurable only for men and merely a duty incumbent upon women.

◦Good women with noble character don’t ask for sex, they don’t desire intimacy

◦Only prostitutes actually enjoy intimacy

And especially

 

◦Women are incapable of reaching climax

What type of damage can be caused in a marriage because of these androcentric concepts? How are these concepts harmful psychologically?

◦Women may feel that something is wrong with them for wanting physical intimacy.

◦This guilt eventually erodes women’s self-esteem.

◦Prevents women from initiating physical intimacy – they don’t approach their husbands – they are shy to express their desires.

What happens when women simply see physical intimacy as a duty?

◦If your heart is not into it you will avoid physical intimacy or just go through the motion, vs. when you desire it you will be engaged and want to take part in it.

◦It is almost how we think of a religious obligation like salah, do it out of sense of obligation, or we can do it with khushu and wanting it.

What would you say are pointers in having a quality physical relationship?

◦If both husband and wife enjoy it then they are more likely to engage in it.

◦If it’s frustrating, uneventful, or worse painful for women they will avoid it at all cost.

In a healthy relationship:

◦Men don’t demand intimacy from their wives –

◦They don’t threaten them with angels cursing them all night

◦They romance their wives in such a way that she will be a willing & happy participant.

Also, in a fulfilling marriage:

◦Women are mindful during the act

◦They are present mentally

◦They are present emotionally

◦They participate physically

◦They do not think about their to do list!

Fake Orgasm is never Encouraged:

Although it’s common for women to fake their climax it’s not encouraged for a healthy physical relationship because it will give the wrong message to the husband.  Truthfulness is not only in speech but also in actions.

 

 

 

 

 

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