Disclaimer- this post is meant for a mature audience only as it contains sexually explicit material.
Many men and women in our communities live under the illusion that only men feel desire or have an interest in being sexual, and that women should not or cannot feel attraction, do not experience sexual pleasure, and can live healthy intimate lives without sexual satisfaction for lengthy periods of time. This leads to misunderstandings and disappointments about wanting sex, initiating intimacy, and/or feeling excitement when sexual stimulation occurs.
This series of articles contains the perspectives of several Muslim women at different stages of life who have grown up and lived in different parts of the world, East and West, and want to share some insights with Muslim men – both married and unmarried – who don’t want sexually repressed, bitter spouses and failing marriages. This is a look behind the scenes to aid understanding of a universal social issue. For the sake of privacy, each writer is identified only by her marital status. May Allah bless all of us with loving, passionate, and fulfilling intimate lives.
Married 20 Years, On Learning and Teaching Female Sexuality
With all due respect to my beloved and respected shuyukh, to whom I owe much of the knowledge I have gained about my religion, and for inspiring me to higher spiritual goals in my life, I firmly believe teaching female sexuality should be primarily handled by females – especially those who counsel on marital issues, psychologically or spiritually, and are familiar with the extended intimacy problems amongst women.
We already have issues with Muslim women not being sexually satisfied in their marriages, and these issues are exacerbated when women hesitate before approaching a male scholar to discuss their sexual challenges. It is time for us to acknowledge a serious problem we are facing in our Ummah: the issue of female sexuality.
Married 17 years, From the View of a Therapy Couch
Female sexuality is a source of confusion and frustration for many men due to misinformation. As a therapist, I have come across a number of issues faced by couples. Some men believe that women are not interested in sex because they are somehow disgusted by it. Others think that women are not capable of being fulfilled sexually. Due to a lack of knowledge, experience and know-how, a multitude of men are not fulfilling their wives. As a result, many women experience painful sex without climax. The majority of the clients I have done therapy with have expressed that sex is either painful or uneventful.
The reason that women are experiencing this level of disappointment is NOT because they are incapable of having fulfilling sexual experiences, rather it is because some men are detached emotionally from their wives and not fulfilling their needs outside the bedroom which prevents women from opening up in the bedroom. Other men have corrupted themselves through over exposure to pornography and seductive pictures of surgically enhanced, air brushed women which as a result causes them to be overly critical of their wives who in turn feel inadequate and unattractive. When women don’t feel attractive or confident they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable and perform sexually. When men take the time to bond with their wives, nurture their relationship and familiarize themselves with sexual needs of their wives, they can be successful in fulfilling them on a regular basis.
There are Muslim women that report having fulfilling sexual experiences with their husbands. It is evident that individuals who have these experiences usually have a very strong friendship with their spouse. There is mutual love and respect with open communication. The men have taken the time and effort to learn the techniques (not from porn, but from proper educational sources) while investing in the relationship and making their wives feel like a valuable gem. This form of consistent affirmation allows the wives to feel nurtured and to open up sexually to their husbands.
In this vicious cycle of confusion and frustration with female sexuality there is hope! In order to improve the sexual experience for both husbands and wives, there needs to be a great effort put forth towards improving the marital relationship. When a couple has good communication, conflict resolution and commitment to excellence on a personal and marital level, then the environment is created which is conducive to romance, fulfillment and joy. Our Muslim brothers and sisters need to focus on increasing their knowledge, skills & emotional know-how in having the best marriage in order to increase their chances of a mutually enjoyable sexual experience.
Married 15 Years, On the Importance of Arousal
“On the authority of Jaabir bin Abdullah and Jaabir bin Umar, both reported that the Prophet said:“All things in which there is no mention of Allah are frivolity, absent-mindedness and idle play, except for four things: a man being playful with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals and teaching another man to swim.” [An-Nisa’ee in al-Ishrah and at-Tabaree] 
As someone who has been married for several years and has counseled women about intimacy, I see some core issues that frequently come up amongst those seeking counseling that I would like to share with both, husbands and husbands-to-be.
A lot of people (even women) don’t realize that when men and women become sexually aroused, their genitals become prepared for sex. In women this normally results in an enlargement of the clitoris and surrounding tissues (comparable to a male erection) and secretion of vaginal lubrication (i.e. she becomes wet).
Why is foreplay so important?
Imam Ibn Qudama [ra] the Hanbali Jurist narrates a hadith that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not begin intercourse until she has experienced desire, like the desire you experience, lest you fulfill your desires before she does.” (AlMughni 8:136)
I cannot stress the importance of foreplay enough. Men who cuddle and kiss their wives and know how to enjoy sensitive foreplay will often find that their spouses will not only enjoy sexual intercourse more, but will also reach orgasm easier. The method varies from person to person – flirting outside the bedroom, talking, kissing, massage, touching, hugging, fondling, undressing, French kissing (which is from the sunnah ), petting – anything to get in the mood and more importantly to reach full arousal and enrich the sexual experience. Most women need prolonged stimulation in order to reach a state of complete arousal, and foreplay will provide them with the required stimulation (some don’t, and only a loving open relationship will let you know what your spouse needs and wants) and she will love you more for it.
Using lubricant is amazing as an aid but cannot be a substitute for natural arousal.
Dear brothers, giving pleasure to one’s spouse is an act of virtue with immense rewards. Ask her what makes her feel good and tell her what gives you pleasure. Listen to her voice, look into her eyes, watch her body – they all give clues even if she is too shy to say anything. Lest someone thinks that these are all novel, 21st century ideas, many ahadith, classical Islamic books and our pious predecessors paid a lot of attention to the needs of women.
Narrated by Sayyidna Anas that the Messenger of Allah said “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Musnad Al Firdaus- Imam Daylami)
“If you would have pleasant coition, which ought to give an equal share of happiness to the two combatants and be satisfactory to both, you must first of all toy with the woman, excite her with kisses, by nibbling and sucking her lips, by caressing her neck and cheeks….Then when you observe the lips of a woman to tremble and get red, and her eyes to become languishing, and her sighs to become quicker, know that she is ready.”Shaykh Muhammad Umar Nefwazi in The Perfumed Garden
Don’t be selfish; it will harm your lovemaking in the long run. Investing in foreplay makes the whole lovemaking experience much more enjoyable. Most women want to please their man. Seeing him reach his climax is very satisfying and gives her a boost, but it is not enough. “Many women need a transition period between dealing with the stress of everyday life and feeling sexual,” Dr. Ian Kerner, Ph.D and certified sex therapist says, “a few minutes of foreplay usually isn’t enough.”
Inadequate or ineffective foreplay (as well as depression, poor self-esteem, sexual abuse, feelings of shame or guilt about sex, stress, fatigue and illness) can impede arousal. Your wife may desire sex but if her genital area fails to respond normally, it makes sex painful and sometimes impossible.
In a healthy relationship, sex is only 10 percent of a marriage, meaning the focus of the marriage doesn’t revolve around the quantity or issues, but when something is wrong, sex becomes 90 percent of the marriage. Couples start arguing about it and it causes fractures in marriage.
Married 20 Years, The Woman Behind The Big O
As a community doyen who often hears women’s complaints, is familiar with their struggles with regards to sexuality, feels their sexual dissatisfaction, and listens to their sexual fantasies, let me be very clear: if a woman is not having an orgasm for 1-2 years, she should seek counseling with her husband.
 Sayyida A’isha narrates that the Messenger of Allah would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)
 One day while” Umar May Allah be pleased with him) was walking in Madinah during the night, he heard a woman saying: “What a long night! I do not have a lover with whom I can play. By Allah! Unless Allah watches me, there will be someone to make love with me. Accordingly, ‘Umar asked about that woman. He was told that her husband was away from her for fighting in the cause of Allah. Then, he ordered that they must gather together. He sent for the husband to return. He entered upon Hafsa and asked, O daughter! How long can a woman stay away from her husband? She said, Five or six months. Therefore, he issued a command that warriors in the cause of Allah should not be taken away from their wives more than six months.
 In another version: Every thing that does not pertain to the remembrance of Allah is amusement except the following four things: 1- Caressing one’s wife, taming one’s horse, shooting arrows, learning how to swim. [Reported by Al-Nisa’i] [Tuhfatul Aroos]