I am an 18-year-old boy from India. As I grew up and the more I read, the more I understood the importance of intimacy in Islam and the obligations of the husband to satisfy his wife. However, I am afraid due to certain issues.
Firstly, I am obese. A fat pad of almost 2 and a half inches covers my private parts, which has decreased the usable length and has given it a small appearance. Secondly, due to fat clogging the arteries in and around that area, I face some erectile issues which are, I hope, temporary. These two issues have left me very depressed and sad.
I have been horrified for the past one year or so, reading online confessions of women who cheated on their husbands or who are depressed because their husbands cannot satisfy them. I really don't want my wife to be amongst those women. I have already started researching on non-penetrative means to satisfy a woman physically, but I feel hopeless.
I have also started dieting and exercising because I just want to get rid of these issues no matter what it takes. I don’t think I could ever tolerate even the slightest idea that my future wife would cheat on me.
What should I do? Will losing weight help? Will using non penetrative means help? I just can't imagine my wife cursing her fate, cursing her husband, crying her eyes out, and being tempted to something immoral, I just can't. I want to be a committed husband, and I want to make her feel the wait for halal was worth it. I am ready to work hard in all spheres of marriage.
I am really depressed, and I just can't talk to my parents about this. I am otherwise normal and have urges just as any teenager would have. I don't want to be amongst those husbands who get their work done and don't care about their wives' feelings.
I am feeling insecure right now. I want my married life to be perfectly normal and I want my wife to think the best about me and I don't ever want her to lie about what she feels about me. I don't ever want her to feel neglected or feel unsatisfied. Please advise me.
In this counseling answer:
•Your concern is a common one among men of all ages who are overweight. However, the concern does not exceed into excessive worrying.
•Brother, people cheat for all types of reasons. In a truly loving relationship with trust and good communication and Islamic principles, cheating is less likely to occur.
•Make eating clean and exercising a way of life which will produce healthy outcomes for you.
•If you are still worried, go to your doctor and get a physical check up to rule out any issues.
•It’s almost like the more you worry about getting an erection, the less chances are of it succeeding.
•I kindly suggest that you stop reading all this material related to obesity and inability to please a woman.
As salamu alaykum brother,
Thank you for writing to us. We are honored that you confide in us with your most intimate issues and hope that in sha’ Allah our response is of benefit to you.
Obesity & Sexual Pleasure
I can understand your concern about pleasing a future wife. We all wish to able to please a (future) spouse in all ways, and intimacy is no exception.
In fact, intimacy is one of the concerns people have when thinking about entering a marriage. I also understand that because you are obese you are worried you will not be able to please your future wife.
You are concerned about the “fat pad that covers almost 2 and 1/2 inches” of your private parts. The “fat pad” may be distressing to you brother, however, rest assured that your penis is there and is adequate.
This may be a common concern among men of all ages who are overweight. However, the concern does not exceed into excessive worrying.
There are many men who are overweight or obese who do enjoy a very wonderful sexual life with their wife, and they do please their wives.
Brother, people cheat for all types of reasons. In a truly loving relationship with trust and good communication and Islamic principles, cheating is less likely to occur.
According to Dr. Nancy, the #1 reason why women cheat is that they feel taken for granted. Brother, if you look at happy and successful marriages new ones as well as those which have lasted decades, you often will see couples in various shapes, sizes and health statues. Yet still, they love each other enough to stay together and make the marriage satisfying.
Healthy Lifestyles are not a Fad
The bigger issue at hand is obesity and health. As you are only 18 years old, now is the perfect time to start living a healthy lifestyle. This means eating good clean foods, exercising, building muscle and taking time for relaxation.
A healthy lifestyle has a balance. You stated that you have started to diet and exercise. That is very good ma sha’ Allah, continue the great work! Make this not just a diet, but a way of life which will produce healthy outcomes for you.
Eating healthy foods and exercising nourishes our mental, physical and spiritual beings. This helps to ensure optimal health and happiness. It also increases our self-confidence and self-esteem. It makes us feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we are more to likely to enjoy intimate times with a spouse.
Researching and Googling
It seems that you have done a lot of research around this issue concerning obesity, the pubic fat pad, the length of the penis due to the fat pad, intimacy, and cheating. You’ve also obtained information about fat clogging the arteries in and around that area as well as some other educational pieces.
I’m not a doctor but I do want to point out that fat clogging in the arteries as well as other issues are usually from long-term obesity.
We’re not talking about a couple of years; we’re talking about a lot of years of unhealthy eating and obesity. It is highly unlikely that you have fat clogging the arteries in that area as you are young and healthy still despite the obesity. While you state that you do face some erectile issues, it may be because of stress, anxiety, and excessive worrying about being able to achieve an erection.
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A lot of issues with erection are due to psychological variables such as anxiety and fear. I would kindly recommend, dear brother, if you are still worried, go to your doctor and get a physical check up to rule out any issues.
You may wish to discuss with your doctor your concerns about the clogging of arteries, fat pad and erectile dysfunction. This would also be a good time to request to see a nutritionist who can help you plan healthy balanced meals.
Sex and the Mind
Brother, perhaps your issues with an erection at this point are more in your mind, meaning it is a psychological effect based on your fear from all of what you have read, as well as performance anxiety as you think about marriage.
I am sure that in sha’ Allah, when you do get married, you will have a wonderful sex life with your wife and that you will please her immensely.
However, if you convince yourself that you will not be able to, through fear, anxiety, and other thoughts then you will possibly set yourself up psychologically for erection issues. The mind is a powerful influence!
Being able to get an erection is often dependent upon one’s psychological state of being. It’s almost like the more you worry about getting an erection, the less chances are of it succeeding.
However, if you relax and think about just loving your (future) wife and not worrying, then generally things happen naturally. You will be able to please not only your wife but yourself.
With that said, you do have time to lose weight which will in sha’ Allah strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. This in turn may alleviate some of the emotional distress and worry you are feeling now.
I’m not recommending this for sexual function because overweight men do have good sex lives and are able to please their wives, however, I’m recommending this so that you will be healthy now, and for the duration of your lifetime in sha’ Allah.
While I believe that your fears are valid to some degree, I also feel that you are overthinking this and worrying about it needlessly. I am not trying to minimize your concerns, dear brother, I am only trying to put a more realistic perspective on it.
Pleasures other than Penetration
Brother, you asked about pleasing a future wife in other ways rather than penetration. Couples do utilize others sexual modalities and methods for reaching orgasm and pleasure, but penetration is usually an important part of sexual intimacy for a woman. When a woman gets married, she will expect penetration when the two of you are intimate.
Unless you have a disability, an illness, or something else that would prevent you from penetrating your wife, I kindly suggest that you do not consider non-penetration as a permanent option. If you insist on doing it this way, then this is something that you must disclose to a future wife.
It would not be fair to marry someone and later disclose such information. That would be deceptive and a big shock to her. Therefore, this is something that you would have to tell a future wife prior to marriage. I do not believe that this is the wise thing to do. You are not physically disabled, and you are able to perform.
You currently may be experiencing great fear, low self-esteem, and anxiety regarding future performance. In sha’Allah, this is temporary. I kindly suggest that you stop reading all this material related to obesity and inability to please a woman.
While self-education is good, often it can do more harm than good especially if what we are reading is not understood in the correct context.
The best thing you can do if you want to learn more, is to ask your doctor questions about what you are reading. Your doctor is the only one qualified to give you a medical perspective, based on your individual health.
This is important to note because some of the articles may be based on things that are irrelevant to you. For instance, a lot of the studies done on obesity and erectile dysfunction are comprised of men who are aging or morbidly obese.
I kindly suggest, brother, that in sha’ Allah you make an appointment with your physician to rule out any health issues.
This is always a first step when we are concerned about something that relates to a medical concern. I am sure that you will find that you are healthy except for the excess weight. This could put your mind at ease.
You may wish to ask your doctor for a referral to a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan if you’ve not already done so for lifelong benefits in weight loss.
As the weight comes off and you start to develop a routine, your confidence and self-esteem will also increase. This, in sha’ Allah, should resolve your worries about performance and erectile dysfunction.
Please remember, however, that heavy men do enjoy sex and are able to please their wives! Your losing weight is for your own health and lifelong benefit.
We wish you the best.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.