4th Edition: 'My husband says frequent sex is not healthy; how do I change his mind?'

Dear Funmi

I do not care if my story is published or not. But I am sure that the answer you will give will liberate others who are having the same problem as I do.

Here is my story. My husband and I have been married for over four years. After our marriage, we had to live in different cities. I was in Port-Harcourt while he resided in Asaba. We only met once every two weeks. This lasted for about one and a half years. But we got on very well, and our sex life was fantastic.

Then I got a job in Ibadan, and we started living together. Ever since our sex life has gone downhill, whenever it comes to sex, we argue a lot. Our sex has become a way of releasing tension. Nowadays, I am lucky if we have sex once a week. Even then, I would have to beg him on my knees. He only consents after he has had a couple of drinks. It is so frustrating. If I try talking to him about it, he gets defensive and says he believes that sex should just come naturally. He would then add that planning for it or learning about it makes it artificial

Worse still our lovemaking ends abruptly, with him ejaculating within a few minutes and rolling off to sleep and snore. We rarely cuddle after that. We usually go to sleep or get up to do something else. All these I can manage, but the one I desperately need an answer to is the fact that my husband says frequent sex is not healthy. How can I make him believe otherwise?

Mrs. Seriously Disturbed

Most of the emails I get are usually from men, although some also come from ladies who muster the courage to share their problems with someone they have never met. This is the reason why I try to always respond to such questions. I intend still to reward the courage displayed by such ladies and also lend a helping hand.

I find your case intriguing, particularly that you have to beg your husband for sex. Most times, this type of complaint comes from men. But I must confess that this is a problem that I now come across in my mails and during seminars.

I think many couples find themselves in this type of situation because they do not know that it is common for passion to ebb in relationships. As I have written here on many occasions, no matter how much we may think we are in love, it is normal for passion, and even lust, to ebb. Couples must learn to notice when this is happening and take proactive steps to remedy the situation.

When a marriage is young, it is normal for couples to devour one another at a moment's notice. And this usually happens without either of them having to make extra efforts. This is wonderful while it lasts. Afterward, it's natural when it stops happening to both spouses. Both partners have a choice; it is either to watch their sex life go downhill or learn how to create passionate sex, which takes a lot of effort and time. Fortunately, the action is so richly rewarding with pleasure, excitement, surprise that such couples will wonder why they have not done that before now!

So, on this score, your husband is wrong to have thought that sex should not be 'planned or learned'. Sex is good when it is spontaneous, but what should a couple do when it ceases to be? Sex, like any other human activity, can be planned and learned.

It may be difficult to offer advice to you without having the full details of other non-sexual factors that may be responsible for your husband's behaviour. Some unaddressed aspects may be predisposing factors to such behaviour. Sometimes, the attitude, actions, comportment, or hygiene of a spouse can make the other spouse stay off sex.

One of the main challenges of a typical African marriage, especially in Nigeria, is that couples do not create leisure time for their sexual harmony. An ordinary team knows how to work, make money but not how to take time off and learn how to flavour their sex lives. Make time for each other, at least once every week: no family, no friends, and no business. You must learn how to set aside several hours where the focus would be on you, your mate, your relationship, and your sexuality. You need this to stoke up your sexual passion. It may or may not include sexual activities, but it should always be sensual, intimate, and fun.

You can also watch good films, incredibly romantic movies with your husband. While I frown at pornographic films, I encourage couples to watch any improvement videos prepared by sexologists and made to improve couples' sexual lives. It is also a way to sparkle one's sex life.

While I know that your husband may show little interest in all this since he says that it is not acceptable to plan sex, I am sure he would be interested to know that sex does not have any adverse effect on health. It is indeed very beneficial to one's health. A recent study claims that sex may be the best form of exercise, after all.

Very soon, I plan to run an extensive article on the health benefits of sex. I will show that good sex works like good medicine and that some of the health complications we experience can be taken care of by good, healthy sex in a good relationship. Therefore, prepare. Get your husband to read this article. Discuss your fears and pains with him (please do not nag, nagging turns men off) in a loving manner. Also, you should both look forward to next week's article. It could change your lives.

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