At the ensuing shocked silence that followed her declaration, Rosie hastened to add, “Usually, for any normal hot-blooded male, this wouldn’t even be a problem. My previous boyfriends loved my mouth on their penises, which wasn’t surprising at all because I am extremely talented if I do say so myself, but for some reason, my husband believes that desire and lust are sins. Can you imagine? He schedules our sex. Once every week. Once! And every time I get my mouth anywhere near his dick, he scrambles away as if I want to kill him. While I admit that my mouth has been said to be deadly, it was a compliment!”
Stunned by the turn of events, Mary and Nana Adjoa watched wide-eyed as Rosie shot to her feet and began to pace. “You know what the problem is? I love sex, so imagine being married to a man who would rather pray at night than rock his wife’s world. I have always known Kofi – his parents are family friends – but when he showed romantic interest and we started dating a year ago, I was going through a period of self-induced celibacy. So when he proposed and suggested that he wanted to wait until marriage before we have sex, I saw it as a blessing. I thought it was a sign that it was meant to be. I should have known how sexually repressed he was when I had to initiate all our kisses before our engagement. But he was a good kisser once he got over his unfortunate holiness and got into it. Here I was, looking forward to ending my celibacy after marriage. Do you know what happened on our wedding night and the week after our marriage? Nothing! And when he finally got to it, it was lacklustre! Five minutes of boring missionary. Although I did cum, so there’s that, at least.
She paused to take a deep breath before slumping into her seat morosely. Nana Yaa wordlessly passed her the glass of wine she had been drinking.
Rosie took a long swallow of the wine and continued her tirade, albeit with more calm. “I swear that if I had known that my sex life post-marriage would be this terrible, I wouldn’t have married him. Generally, he’s a good man. He’s caring, helpful and affectionate. I do love him, but the deeper he gets into this church thing, the worse he gets. He doesn’t have time for anything but church and church activities. When I manage to get him going, he can be quite good in bed, but he is a lazy lover unless heavily prompted. More often than not, I have to get myself off. I am tired!”
She emptied her glass and placed it on the side table, then looked from Mary to Nana Adjoa. “So, that is why I need your help. How do I broach the subject of my lack of sexual satisfaction in a way my husband will understand? Since both of you have a lot more experience in being with religious men, how can I get him to see that Jesus wants him to satisfy his wife in bed?”
There were a few seconds of shocked silence as Mary and Nana Yaa exchanged glances again. How do they tell this young new bride that they do not remember the last time they had sex with their own husbands? And that her husband seemed more accommodating than theirs?
“Well?” Rosie prodded when neither woman spoke.
“I’m sorry if I just overshared, but I have been dying to talk to someone who could understand my situation.”
Mary sighed, and after a quick internal debate, decided to share her own challenges. Chugging the rest of the juice in her glass, she took the bottle of wine and poured herself half a glass, swallowing most of it in a go. “Ah, Rosie, my dear. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t even remember the last time I had an orgasm.”
Rosie was horrified. “What?”
“Me neither. I don’t even think I’ve ever had one of those before. I only know they exist because of a radio programme I listened to.” Nana Adjoa confessed.
The other women turned to her. “What???”
Mary had known that her situation was bad, but she had no idea that Nana Adjoa was going through worse.
“Well, I got married to Paul as a virgin. So everything I knew about sex was what he told me. Until I stumbled upon that radio programme on Asaman FM one night, I had no idea that you could even use your mouth. I thought Paul being on top was the only way, and I just had to lie there and endure it.”
“Oh, my goodness. You poor woman!” Rosie cried, feeling very bad for the older woman. “But…what about touching yourself? Fingering yourself is also a good way to get off.’
Nana Adjoa flushed in embarrassment. “My husband talks against masturbation a lot, but since listening to ‘Anadwo Nkomo’, I’ve been trying to do it. It feels good when I touch myself and my nipples, but I always feel guilty and stop.”
“Oh, you shouldn’t feel bad. God wants His children to be happy. Your hands aren’t only meant for work and serving other people. Your fingers are meant to bring you joy too.”
Mary looked at Rosie dubiously. “Are you sure about that? Fiffi says that it is sinful.”
Rosie scoffed. “You should know by now that men don’t know everything. And you? Did you have any experience before your marriage, Mary?”
Mary nodded shyly and said wistfully “I did. The truth is that Fii wasn’t so bad when we first got together. We used to have sex like bunnies. Our sex life started to deteriorate when we joined this church and Reverend Akrong put Fii under his wing. The more religious he became, the worse he got. Months can go by without him touching me once. Especially after I had the twins. Even now that they’re on holiday at my mother’s, and Fii and I have privacy, our sex life hasn’t improved one bit.”
Rosie was extremely horrified. “So you’re telling me that it doesn’t get better? It gets worse?”
The other two nodded morosely.
“Well, I can’t survive on low affection and no sex. Something needs to be done,” Rosie declared.
Mary snorted. “When you find a solution, let me know. There are cobwebs in my vagina.”
The other two laughed, and the women sat in companionable silence, thinking about their mutual sexual frustration.
“I love your clothes, Rosie,” Nana Adjoa admired wistfully after a while.
“Thank you. Can you believe that Kofi wanted me to change the way I dressed after we got married?” Rosie shared, chuckling. She stood up and mimicked her husband’s deep voice. “Rosie, dear, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with your clothes, but maybe you would like to change your outfits into something more conservative? Look at how Sister Mary and Sister Nana Adjoa dress. I’m going to become a Pastor soon, and my wife should look the part.”
The three of them burst out in laughter at the accurate depiction of Deacon Kofi.
“What did you tell him?” Mary asked after they had calmed down.
Rosie smirked. “I told him that we just got married three months earlier, and if he doesn’t like the way I dress, it isn’t too late to end the marriage. I had given up on feeling desirable as a woman, and regular orgasms were a distant memory. I wasn’t about to give up on fashion as well. At least let me have one thing that makes me happy.”
The two women laughed again. “And what did he say to that?”
“He was shocked. He hadn’t expected that kind of response from me at all. Especially because I had been agreeing to everything he wanted me to do. But I realised that it was becoming too much and finally put my foot down. And I was glad I did! That first rebellion gave me the energy to keep standing firm.”
Rosie cleared her throat and mimicked her husband again. “It was just a suggestion, Rosie. If you don’t want to change, that’s okay. There’s no need to take it that far.” The women laughed again.
When Rosie’s phone rang, she picked up the call and after, turned to her new friends sadly. “The Men of God have finished with their meeting. Mary, your husband will be here to pick you up. Nana, your husband said he will meet you at home.”
The women hugged each other goodbye, and Mary and Nana Adjoa revelled in the warmth of a deep embrace for the first time in a long time.
“Hey, we should do this again,” Mary suggested on impulse.
Nana Adjoa laughed. “I wish, but it will be hard for us to get this kind of freedom and privacy to talk about our sex lives or lack thereof.”
“You’re right. The only reason we enjoyed this time undisturbed was because our husbands thought that we were having a prayer session. Otherwise, Fii would ask me to wait for him at church,” Mary admitted, deflated.
Rosie frowned, annoyed by the amount of control the men held over their wives. “It is ridiculous that we can’t meet to have fun as friends unless it’s for prayer and…” She stopped, her eyes lighting up as a diabolic idea began to form.
“What is it, Rosie?” Mary asked, almost afraid to know what was going on in the younger woman’s head.
“I have an idea!” Rosie cried.
“Tell us,” Nana Adjoa urged, catching the infectious excitement from Rosie.
“You have to promise to listen to it completely before you make a decision, okay?” She pleaded.
Mary and Nana Adjoa exchanged glances. “Okaay?”
“Good. So here is the plan. Why don’t we create a Prayer Group? You could tell your husbands that you are teaching me how to be a proper Pastor’s wife. I will tell my husband the same. They will be thrilled.“
Mary frowned. “I thought you were tired of the prayer meetings and the–”
“We aren’t actually going to have prayer meetings,” Rosie cut in with a laugh.
“Then what…oh!” Nana Adjoa’s eyes widened when she caught on.
“Exactly. Since the only way we can meet like this is if they think we’re communing with the Holy Spirit, we can create a prayer group with just the three of us – for now anyway – and meet every time our husbands are immersed in their church activities and we also have no obligations. We can discuss our problems further and find solutions together.”
“I’m in,” Nana Adjoa agreed immediately, happy for some excitement in her otherwise boring life.
Mary was torn. “But…wouldn’t that be sinful? Using the Lord’s name for our selfish reasons.”
Rosie sighed. “Honey, trust me, the Lord will be happy if this leads to you getting regular orgasms.”
“Rosie!” Nana Adjoa exclaimed, half-amused and half-scandalised.
Rosie shrugged unrepentantly. “What? But it’s true! God created sex for us to enjoy. Your clit is almost useless for anything except pleasure. It isn’t meant to just be for decoration, my dear. It is meant to give you a taste of heaven on earth.”
“Is there any scripture backing this claim?” Mary asked, amused and excited despite herself.
Rosie’s eyes lit up. “It could be our first assignment! Maybe if we can find scriptures that talk about pleasure and sexual satisfaction in a positive way to help us discuss our desires, it could help. Then we could broach the subject spiritually to get our husbands’ attention.”
Mary thought it over. The idea had merit. But after years of listening to it, it was hard to mute the inner judgemental voice telling her that she would go to hell for the sinful plan they were hatching.
“Come on, Mary. We’re bored and frustrated. If we do this together, maybe we can come up with strategies that will appeal to our husbands. We can talk about masturbation techniques and how to get our men to be more interested in sex.” Nana Adjoa urged.
“And I will share my books on erotica and pleasure for women!” Rosie added.
Since the idea was getting her aroused, Mary finally agreed. “Okay, fine, I’m in. So what do we call the group?”
“We can just call it ‘The Prayer Circle’ “, Nana Adjoa suggested.
“The Prayer Circle it is! But we can’t meet here. That would be too suspicious,” Rosie pointed out. “Nobody would believe that I have suddenly decided to start hosting prayer meetings in my house, least of all my husband.”
They laughed. “I can host the meetings. I am the oldest and most level-headed,” Mary suggested.
“Right! Nobody would believe that Sister Mary is hosting meetings about our non-existent sex lives and how to get our husbands to allow the spirit of lust to overcome them.” Nana Adjoa added with another laugh.
When they heard a noise outside, they arranged their faces into sober expressions and walked out of the house onto the compound.
Deacon Kofi watched his wife warily when the women reached them. “Sisters. I hope you had a productive prayer session.”
Mary smiled demurely. “Certainly, Deacon Kofi. Your wife is such a charming hostess.”
Assessing that the coast must be clear, he smiled and took his wife’s hand. “Indeed she is.”
“We had such a fruitful session that we have formed a prayer group. We will meet on Sundays while you’re having your meetings.”
Pastor Fiifi looked at his wife in surprise. “Really?”
“Oh, yes. We covered a lot today, but we weren’t able to teach Sister Rosie how to get on her knees. That would require a few more sessions, and Reverend Akrong tasked us to help her.”
The men were happy that their wives were taking that initiative and told them so. The women smiled at each other as they separated, each of them excited about the next meeting. And that was how the Prayer Circle was formed.