I found myself getting irritated Saturday afternoon, I was at my favourite Auntie’s grooming & nails centre (Q’ticules & Nails, 8 Volta Street, Airport Residential) and the radio was tuned to Joy FM which was transmitting a live feed of the presentations being made at their Bridal Fair. I hadn’t been irritated throughout the presentations. In fact I had enjoyed the presentation by Bernice Sam who spoke about the legal aspects of marriage and reminded the audience and Joy Fm that the Bridal Fair needed to be more diverse in recognizing that in Ghana there are 3 legal forms of marriage – traditional, Christian and Islamic. That led me to turn and say to my mother, “If I get married again, I will only do a traditional marriage.” My mother’s response? “Its all marriage”. My Mother wants me to get married again, I’m not quite sure why. In fact I think I am. I guess she feels I would be happier with a husband, she also wants a grandchild(ren) and would prefer this child to be born within the ‘sanctity’ of marriage.
So back to the source of my irritation, there was this man who was doing a presentation on sex/giving advice on sex to couples about to get married and he was getting me really wound up. I didn’t catch his name or his designation but I just kept thinking ‘is he for real?’ ‘ is he talking about sex in this day or age?’. I have to paraphrase what he said, but the comments that stuck in my head was:
‘ Some men will want their wives to do perverse things like putting their penis in their [wives] mouth’
‘ Women your responsibility is to initiate sex’
What? Is there something wrong with oral sex? Shouldn’t both parties initiate sex at will?
In my opinion his presentation on sex was archaic to say the least. So here’s my advice on sex to couples about to get married:
• Do get tested for STD’s and sickle cell. Yes you may still decide to get married even if you are both sickle cell carriers for e.g. but at least you will be in the position to think through your options.
• Do talk about sex with your partner. This is applicable whether you are a virgin or not. Talk about what you like, what you do not like, what you would like to experiment with, and your absolute no no’s. Yes this talk includes discussing the ‘perverse’ things you want your partner to do to you – like oral sex!
• Decide what contraceptive methods you would like to use – and indeed if you would like to use contraception. Do seriously consider if your partner is likely to be 100% faithful to you if you decide not to use barrier contraceptives. In many African countries, marriage is a risk factor for HIV/AIDS.
• Consider whether you and your partner sexually compatible. I am assuming with this question that you have engaged in pre-marital sex and if you haven’t, what will you do if you discover that you and your partner are not sexually compatible?
• Continue talking about sex during your marriage. Let your partner know if/when you get bored, when you want to ‘switch things up’, when you go off sex.
• Make time for sex, make time to have sex in new places, go away on dirty weekends…
• Be a modern couple. Do not leave all the ‘housework’ to your wife yet expect her to be energetic and ready for sex whenever you are
I could go on and on… so I won’t. What would you add to this list?