How important is sex in marriage?
I’m not a marriage counsellor. I don’t even qualify. I am not even a therapist. I’m just an observer who has learned a few things in the few years I have spent encountering a few of these issues I wish to talk about.
A friend of a friend’s friend just got separated from her husband of 15 years. How did that happen?
The man was said to have reported that our friend’s friend was denying him sex.
This reason is as old as the many others often put forward to explain away marital hiccups and they can burst your brain. Go and ask Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and they will tell you that while money isn’t everything; sex often isn’t though.
So, why did our friend’s friend deny her husband sex?
“Is it food?” she asked.
When I heard that, I said, “Hmm, I hope she didn’t hear that from her pastor Oo?”
“No o. Even her pastors told her to give the man ‘the thing,’ but she kept saying, she couldn’t be doing so morning, noon and night.”
I laughed as my friend continued with her gist. “So, now the man has moved out of the house and he is running after everything in a skirt…”
“And the wife, what is she doing?”
“She wants revenge!”
I sniffed, “Against someone that has already left the house, that’s medicine after death na?”
Let us borrow ourselves a few brains here.
I remember growing up. I had aunties who used to tell us girls whenever they noticed us doing kurukere with a new boyfriend, “Eeeh, you will be tired, they will ‘use it’ to tire you…What have we not seen?”
The ‘use it’ meant sex…in case you are wondering.
Turns out our aunties were right. With stories like our friend’s friend and millions more, our aunties knew what we didn’t know and why were aunties talking to us about sex? Our mothers told us lies, they said, “if your body touches a man, you will be pregnant.”
Our aunties filled in the gaps.
So, why won’t women give sex to their husbands?
Why use sex as an ‘instrument’ of punishment to your man?
There will be hundreds of reasons. But I will dwell on the most common.
It’s simply because while our aunties knew we as women would often get ‘tired’ of it because of raising kids; housework, career…or just sheer tiredness, they made us believe sex was simply for the pleasure of the man alone. They taught us that a woman was expected to present her body to the man for his satisfaction.
It was a taboo for a woman to enjoy sex. “She must be a harlot,” as we had often been told. That is why men do “body counts” and women are slut shamed.
So, you see why some women use sex as a weapon at home? They figure, “…he enjoys it so much, I will withhold it.”
With age, I have now found myself in the position of some of these aunties. And here I am, dishing out advice left, right and centre.
Barring all other factors like threat to life, physical abuse, tiredness (and I can write a book about tiredness; I have some advice to give.
1: Sisi, don’t withhold sex from him because you are meant to enjoy it as much as he does. Yeah, if he doesn’t come to bed the way you want him in bed, close your legs! Yes o. So this sister told me her husband has this smell when he comes from work. Sweat, grime and dust. She says it’s a turn off. So, I advised, tell him to go take a bath. Go in there with him and scrub him clean if you must. Come back to bed and enter heaven together!
2: If he is doing it in a way that isn’t pleasing to you, babe you can show him how best to pleasure you. Another friend of a friend of a friend said she didn’t like her man’s lovemaking method. I answered, “Babe, you know how you want to be pleased? Teach him…A man who truly loves you will listen and dive in with you. Tell him when to go slow and when you want him to plow deep…” This ‘thing’ isn’t a one man show, it’s for the two of you.
3: You are just ‘never in the mood,’ so another sister’s friend, boyfriend’s niece said to me. I said, kid, you have to find a mood. You have to decide what works. You have to tell your man the mood you want. Sometimes, it could be as simple as taking the kids off to grandma for the weekend…Leave the dishes in the sink just this once. Or it could be telling your man what will kick in the mood for you. He may even have an idea how to go about it…
Quoi de plus?
Plenty, I already pleaded the 5th when I began. I am no therapist or counsellor. I am just an auntie who has heard a bit of what our world is about today and saying, “what have I not seen?”