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Written by Dr. Marty Klein. Dr. Klein, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist, sociologist and distinguished author, is a first-time Jewrotica writer. Read more of Dr. Klein’s work on his blog.
Say there are 50 million weddings a year around the globe. I figure about 85% of those wedding couples contain at least one virgin. At least half of them have two virgins.
I saw one of those couples today in therapy. Mr. A and Ms. B have been married twenty years; when they wed she was a virgin, while he had had intercourse a few times with someone else. Their wedding night was an unconsummated mess, resulting in tears and confusion. Several days later, on their honeymoon, they tried again—“and we failed again,” Mr. A recalled. Her vagina didn’t get wet enough, he couldn’t get his penis in, and eventually he lost his erection. They each took turns blaming themselves; the next morning they took turns blaming each other.
For years, sex was an infrequent, discouraging hassle. Now they can’t remember the last time they did it.
They revealed a variety of reasons besides the wedding night disaster. Years ago she refused to let his niece stay in their home during semester break; he was distant and cold during her subsequent miscarriage; she was bitter rather than supportive when he lost his job; his new job required travelling to China, and he started to get massages there with “happy endings.” She was crushed when she found out, and brought them to my office.
But no matter what we talked about, it seemed we periodically returned to their unhappy wedding night. “I didn’t know what to do,” Ms. B acknowledged. “I expected him to lead, to guide, to explain. When he couldn’t, I felt abandoned.” “Yes, replied Mr. A, “all the pressure was on me, and when things went wrong, you made it clear it was my problem to figure out. And I couldn’t.” Neither of them has forgiven the other. I don’t think they’ve forgiven themselves, either.
It’s too easy to say they got off to a bad start and never recovered, although it’s true. Their personalities weren’t a very good match, and their sexual visions were mismatched, too. She imagined a gentle, kind, knowledgeable but wholesome man; he imagined a sexy, enthusiastic, curious but wholesome woman. What their bedroom needed was an extra pair of gentle hands—and wise eyes, a confident smile, and an extra heart—but of course none came their way.