Written by Femi Ajasa
~Vanguard, Nigeria: Candida
You've served up a delicious meal crawling with every piece of his favourite meat, plunk a bottle of wine or his favourite tipple on the dining table, before cuddling up to him on the sofa as he switched on the TV. Today is bound to be the night you get a bit of rumpy-bumpy, right? Most women would quite rightly expect a passionate end to such a satisfying evening. But these days, it seems, we're likely to get a lot less than we hoped for. Perhaps a peck on the cheek. Or simply a hug. 'Not tonight, love," says this man you've virtually broken your culinary skill trying to please. Before you know it, he's hot -footed it into the bedroom, already dozing off!
You lie there next to him, frustrated as you listen to his snores instead of the music of the bed springs and the banging of the headboard.
Where has all the action gone? This shocking role reversal is becoming common with men these days, and experts believe it might get worse! According to Pauline, a relationship counsellor, "such complaints were unheard of ten years ago. But today, almost half the men I counsel claim that sex leaves them cold. Men used to come to us at the clinic I work with, with impotence problems, but we now have a lot of men who say, as women did in the sixties, 'I can have sex, but 1 don't want to, it's not rewarding."
"These men tend to be in their 30s, 40s and even 50s and married.
They haven't simply gone off their partners, but off sex altogether.This is because a lot of men claim they've lost their sex drive. When you ask them what's going on in their lives, they may list six or seven really big, stressful events. This kind of pressure will override desire every time. Unfortunately, men rarely talk about their relationships, let alone their problems. This could be due to a lack of balance in the lives of our men.
"For instance, we have the longest working hours compared with a lot of countries, which makes for a stressful life. Stress can build up – eventually people find it impossible to switch off and relax. If a man is still worrying about work when he should be getting in the mood, sex simply isn't going to happen. On top of which the current credit crunch has made things worse and men need to talk more with their partners so they're aware of how they feel. But Beatrice, a middle-aged caterer who runs a very successful afternoon 'bukateria' doesn't agree.
"Most men are too tired to havesex when they get home because they've had their fill at work. If walls could talk, my restaurant would have volumes to tell. Is it the 'regular' girls who bring in different drooling men who would obviously have 'deserts' after the money they'd shelled out for lunch? Or the drunken punters who bring in girls uglier than their wives and brag of their ability to still pull in spite of their age?
"A few weeks ago, a regular brought in a smashing looking girl almost half his age and treated her to very expensive lunch. He was back again in the evening for his 'one-for -the-road'. When I jokingly asked after his afternoon date, he said he'd rounded off lunch in his office where he had a very comfortable couch – more discreet than being caught sneaking out of a 'slaughter house'! If a man like that get home, even if the wife employed the services of the best chef, all he could do would be to eat – the wife should forget any action. And believe me, there are loads of them like that. If they don't have couches in the office, they resort to motels. They tell you the wives are already in the net – they're not going anywhere. It's their wayward catches they lust after to get value for money spent!'
I didn't have any thoughts on her sarcasm – but she might have her point. Anyway, in case you're anxious on what to do to keep your man active in the bedroom, the expert advises you should start by creating time. "Your partner needs to schedule in some relaxation time for himself and for you as a couple. So get out your diaries and make some dates. It sounds clinical, but it may be just what's required.
Once you've put these dates in your diary, stick to them no matter what.
"Take the focus off sex. Instead spend time on your sensual relationship. Start touching each other again but necessarily working up to a sexual experience. Rather than just a glancing kiss on the way out in the morning, hold each other for a while. Linger, don't simply pass by. Also remember to say: 'You're special'. You need to remind each other that there's more to your relationship than paying the bills.
"Don't forget to communicate during the day. A friendly text every now and then will start to reconnect you as a couple. Whilst you're at it, have some fun. There's nothing sexier than laughing together and having fun. Go to bed half an hour earlier, have a cuddle and unwind in each other's arms, talking about the day – or talking dirty. Whichever turns you on!"