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Sexual expression, central in marriage

Written by Funmi Akingbade
A couple relocated from England to Nigeria to take up a family business and a few days ago, they were in my office for a deep soul searching confab. From the look of things, their sexual life hit the rock few months after their arrival due to their new lifestyle in Nigeria. Things are not just as they used to be.
Funmi Akingbade
While the wife was of the opinion that they can make their sexual life at least close to what they had way back, the husband was very uncomfortable with the demand. After all said and done, he blurted out, "Madam, how can my wife expect the best sex and still have it regularly? To be honest with you, where we came from, there is a working system unlike here and my wife is not just ready to face reality. How can I face Lagos unending terrible traffic while going to work and while coming back and still come home and pretend all is well? As a matter of fact, I do not have energy for sex most times when I am back from work and my wife never seems to just understand the fact that I can't have sex with her like I used to; I'm just too busy."

Although married couples struggle to agree on a variety of issues, it seems that regular sex is one area in which they often give up trying to find a solution. To help protect the marriage union, couples should approach the sexual aspect of their marriage in the context of their entire relationship by making sure both are observing the same mutual sexual views and then recognise some few predominant truths about sexual intimacy in marriage. Sexual pleasure is an inbuilt desire that needs expression from time to time; orgasm is needed to get bonded. So therefore, sex should be exceptionally enjoyable by deliberately creating time for it.

Secondly, couples must agree to keep talking about sex in the relationship even when they are not enjoying it to the fullest. By this, it will be easy to give it priority. Great sex begins with talking together in an open, trusting, accepting manner and it is the only path to resolving the "how often is enough" question. Thirdly, you should agree not to assume anything about your mate. Many factors lie behind each person's desire for more sex or less.

Do not assume that it is simply a male versus female inconsistency in desire or that you know what your spouse's "problem" is, or the unhealthy system you both found yourselves. Also do not insist that your spouse must conform to your libido and timetable. On the flip side, do not assume your mate knows why you feel the way you do. You have to express your own feelings, preferences and concerns in a selfless manner.

Instead of assuming, commit yourself to understanding your spouse and help him or her to understand you. That is part of your lifelong commitment to care for and treasure each other. Fourth, agree to consider possible outside barriers. If past or present experiences are affecting your sexual relationship, do not hesitate; adjust your lifestyle. Great sex depends on factors such as in-depth communication, a sense of sharing your lives together, emotional intimacy and, especially, a solid commitment to your relationship.

If you want improvements in the bedroom, put the rest of your house in order. If you are concerned about having more or better sex, you need first to invest care and attention in building your entire marriage. At the same time, do not underestimate the value of the worktable. Passionate intercourse is not to be reserved only for times when everything else in your place of work or your relationship is perfect in your own way. If not, you may never experience the real connection of a marital union. Sexual expression is central and important. Do not trivialize it.

It is important to pay very close attention to every unforeseen 'sex-stealer' such as an unrealistic dogmatic schedule, unending work load, physical exhaustion and so on. Whenever you feel you are 'too tired" for lovemaking, you might be sending a different message to the other party. Instead, establish an integrated front against busyness and reclaim the time you both need to be alone together and also the time you need to have sex. Whenever you can tell by the vibes your spouse is emitting that sex is on his or her mind, do all you can to allow sensitivity and understanding to take the better part of you than ignoring him or her. Sometimes, it may pay both of you to stay on schedule. Whether you are running a business or running a household, fatigue is inevitable. A word of caution: While scheduled intimacy may work well in reducing tension where your love life is concerned, it can sometimes cause lovemaking to become too predictable. So it must not become the rule of the game. It is advisable to sandwich scheduled sex with spontaneous sex, because spontaneity is and can be very refreshing. This will eventually minimise marital tension and maximise marital intimacy.

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