The things that put sex on the shelf in some marriages are avoidable. In this modern era, top of the list of complaints I read about in emails and on social media, are the evolving domestic roles.
Wives say their husbands are no longer providers/protectors/take-charge men. As a result, the wives argue, they are too stressed for any more meaningful sex.
They are too busy being breadwinners, trying to get ahead in their careers by going for further studies, etc. It is said, women tend to become the men they wish they had married; many possibly go overboard while at it, completely losing any feminine edges while at it.
Similarly, some husbands say their idea of ‘wife perfection’ is a woman who stands over the stove in apron, with a baby tugging on one leg as she tries to play perfect hands-on hostess to visitors.
When these images don’t add up, new dynamics creep into the marriage and sex lives. The odd wife may even find herself sexually gravitating to the man still fulfilling the role of ‘ideal husband’ in her mind: it could be a powerful, generous boss, or the over-attentive and caring help – say, a driver, etc.
On the other hand, mister is also fulfilling his ‘ideal wife’ fantasy by sleeping with the next best thing fitting that submissive, domesticated role in his head; enter maids and other women in the service industry.
These are the ingredients sex networks are made of, but can be avoided. What we need is to move on in the sex department too, once we realize that the years have rolled by with some inevitable changes.
Don’t allow your sexual enjoyment to be dictated by dynamics you cannot change anymore, barring a miracle.
You have agreed to live in the 21st century, on two spouses’ salaries, in a bigger-than-necessary house and multiple jobs and projects. All factors cannot remain constant.
See, back in the day when ‘real men’ trimmed the hedges, tended the livestock, hunted and built their own houses, their women did all the housework, tended gardens, cared for the children, stitched clothes and in some cultures, even carried their husbands to bed on their backs after a bath, so as not to soil their (husbands’) feet.
Fast forward: Husbands now pay someone to do the grounds work, build the houses, protect the home, etc; why then the barely-veiled scorn when their wives too pay someone to help with the cleaning, cooking and gardening?
Think of it this way: you too are not half the man your grandfather was; be fair and don’t demand that your wife lives up to your grandmother’s marital yardstick. Things were different.
True, you can agree on many compromises, but where they are impossible to pull off, be understanding and find other things about your spouse that turn you on.
Maybe if we all tackle this mindset and allow some compromises as we move with the times, there will be no resentment on either side when one’s spouse does not meet one’s very traditional African expectations.
You will not feel resentful and thus slap a sex ban in place just because your husband has not bought you an outfit three Christmases in a row now. You will stop sneaking into the maids’ quarters in search of a submissive tigress in bed.
In fact, one man who dumped his wife for the maid (true story, he divorced his wife and upgraded the help to first lady status) found himself right back at square one.
How? Former maid became truly the ‘madam’ and also hired herself a maid, before taking up trading on Kikuubo Lane.
If I could draw a cartoon of that silly husband, it would have popping eyes and an open mouth, with hair standing on end and several stars swimming around his head.