Sex isn’t a topic many Africans are comfortable talking about. The Caribbeans and Caucasians are way ahead of us when it comes to talking about it, and so one can only imagine what we think on the matter of Sexual Therapy… Well, I’ve just about summoned enough courage to say a few things on the matter – So let’s go there!
Unlike Hollywood has led most of us to believe, being able to satisfy your spouse sexually is not always a natural talent, neither is swimming for that matter. I honestly thought everyone was born with the ability to swim and as I child, I spent ages dreaming about when I would visit a pool to showcase my talent. I got my opportunity on a family vacation to one of the beaches in Lagos. We were having a lovely picnic and I could see people swimming in the waves. It looked so easy. I waited for what I felt was the biggest wave ever, and my 7-year-old self jumped right in. Thank God my Mum and Aunty spotted me. I drank plenty salt water that day and learnt a valuable lesson – you need to take the time to learn.
I was advised (during marriage counselling) to read books to find whatever I wanted to learn about sex, and while that was a bit helpful, I found it a little annoying that there was no one willing to really talk about it within the church, which was where I really wanted to learn from. I was very worried about going to google or certain acquaintances (who prefer to show rather than tell…). And by the time sex became a part of my life, I was very disappointed; but I kept laughing and smiling when my church Aunties would make jokes and wink at me.
Sexual therapy is not a new phenomenon to the world, but it is still rarely heard of in the church, and we need to change this culture. Firstly, therapy is not specifically for people who have lived a promiscuous live in the past, and are just not getting enough at home. While therapy might be able to help in this situation, it does not mean that everyone who needs some help must have been naughty in the past. In the book ‘The Act of Marriage’, the writer talks about a young couple who had been married for 6 weeks and came seeking for help because the lady had not reached a climax and the loving husband was very concerned. 6 weeks? Wow! Many African women go for years in marriage without experiencing a climax. I gave God specific praise when I got there within six months of being married. The young wife commented that she was happy as long as he attained that height, and I remember feeling the same way in early marriage, thinking it was okay if my husband was fulfilled and I was not. That okay-ness did not last very long however. I started feeling he was selfish and uncaring, and he decided I was one of those ladies who just didn’t like sex. He actually started feeling sorry for himself!
I didn’t go to a professional therapist for two reasons; I really didn’t know they existed for starters, and secondly, there was no way my husband was going to tell anybody that he was not taking care of business! Instead, I spoke to a couple of very close friends who gave me a few blunt tips and encouraged me to relax around my husband. Some people might struggle to relax if they have had an ‘assault’ experience, or if you have been told how wrong sex is. Even after half a decade of marriage, I still have to give myself a pep-talk saying “I am not committing a sin when I have consensual sex with my husband.” You can laugh o, but this was one of my big issues. I couldn’t really see how God approved of this very… unique act. But he really does. God created Sex and He is happy when it is enjoyed in the place of marriage. It helped to hear world renowned Pastors and Ministers speaking on this issue, as well as writing very detailed books (with graphics!) to help young couples master this area of their marriage. Last year, I met two couples who were bold enough to seek help. The first couple sought a Christian professional therapist (We really need more of those), and found the help the y needed. The second couple had the blessing of mentors and they were bold enough to speak frankly to their mentors, and they also received the help they needed.
There are also simple practical things you can so to encourage a better sexual relationship in marriage. Have you ever wondered why most hotels have a ‘honeymoon suite’? or why in some Romcoms, the bedroom scene has invitingly clean sheets with dim lights, scented candles etc? or why Victoria Secret is such a massive company!? Keep it tidy, keep it clean – that goes for you and your bedroom. Appeal to your spouses’ senses. Guys see, Women feel. Some months ago, I realised that because of our children and how practical we are as a couple, my husband had not seen me half dressed or getting dressed in a very long time. When one of us is trying to get ready, the other is with the children and we do a switchover. This saves time and gets us to wherever early, but it gradually stole the opportunity for little pleasures. I walked into his office one evening wearing my bra and said “Please help me remove this thing, let me be sure you still know how to do it”. He laughed and did as told. It lightened the mood in the house and although there was no sex that night, it started a catalyst effect. I actually got that tip from a marriage book I read recently. Yes, I am still reading and still learning.
It’s okay to ask for help if you are not experiencing the full benefits of sex in marriage. It is super great when both parties can seek help together without belittling each other or apportioning blame. It’s our right to enjoy this precious gift, so don’t suffer in silence. There is help available.
Keeping it Real
PS: If we get enough comments and queries, we will look into getting a professional to enlighten us more… there might be an age restriction on that article though! Lol!!!