Forget the typical gold digger or that woman with questionable immoral credentials who want to use her body to get whatever she wants from a man.
We are talking about married couples. Sample this: It is a weekend and normally, you are out but, today you have come early with some meat or gifts.
Earlier in the day you had called your wife and reminded her that you love her and every time you are with her you are convinced you made the right decision in marrying her.
Once in the house, you hand to her some money to do with as she pleases. You play with the kids and help them out with homework. Then you tell her you have organised a holiday for the two of you and the only thing remaining is for her to choose a date.
You do not stop there. You ask her whether she has heard from her mother (Your mother-in law) of late. You go on to call her just to say hi.
Scenario two;You leave the house without even a goodbye . You do not call the whole day and in the evening, you get home late and drunk. You do not speak to your wife, do not ask about how the family has spent the day and you immediately dump yourself in bed.
Who between these two men’s wives is likely to yield to sexual advances? Enquiries by Saturday Magazine reveal that women are able to use sex to reward well behaved husbands and deny it to those who behave badly.
A research done in India and published in India Today shows that 60 -70 per cent of women use sex as a tool to drive a point home.
“She does not have to achieve or benefit from something, but she is able to show her approval or disapproval of something by the way she responds to a sex demand,” notes the report.
According to the research done by Dr Anu Goel, a counsellor at Neuropsychiatry Clinic, it is on the bed and not the mere bedroom, where the most important decisions are made, an arena where women are able “to push” their agenda.
Men are not prone to “let women down during intimate moments”,” she writes and adds, “I have handled many cases in which women successfully manipulated men into doing whatever they wanted. Especially in matters that involve money,” writes Dr Goel.
Asked why some married women use sex “for their own good”, White Knight, one of the respondents said, “Because they can and it works.” The traditional saying that the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, the psychiatrist notes, can appropriately have an appendage, “ and then it goes further down.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Shraddha Tyagi, a research analyst, talks of how she convinced her husband to go on two honeymoons after he stuck to his first choice. He wanted to go to Egypt and she preferred Maldives.
“I cooked his favourite meal, put on my sexy nightdress and bowled him over. But when he was ready, I said, darling, can we go to the Maldives please?” says Tyagi. “He instantly said yes and I earned a holiday within six months!” confirms Tyagi.
Does sex as a bargaining weapon apply locally? Though none of our married interviewees wanted to be captured on camera discussing sex, the possibility that men are losing grip on their power to make love with their wives when they want came out strongly.
Daniel Kaburu, a father of one, thinks the “independence craze” among women has gone to the bed. “It is not men who decide when to have sex, it all depends on whether the wife wants it in the first place,” he says.
“If a wife is unhappy with you, do not even think of sex. It is like you have to really behave well for her to embrace you,” says Kaburu, a communications officer in a medical supplies firm in Nairobi.
His married colleague, Nancy Kirimi, says a wife will not just get into bed with a man who beat her last night, has not provided for the family and is only at home when he is drunk.
“For us (women), sex is more emotional than physical. If a man insists, sometimes women will yield to the physical aspect, anyway, but the experience is just awful,” she says.
The mother of two admits she has had occasions when she is not ready for sex but she insists, “ I always give reasons why I am not ready.
The problem is that women do not explain to their men the truth about why they are saying no,” she says.
Loise Sika, 32, says she does not have to lie to a man that she is enjoying lovemaking when she is actually bitter with him. “It will hurt me more if I see he is enjoying what I am offering him when he has hurt me,” she says.
Has she ever denied her man sex for reasons related to his behaviour? “At least I can remember when he missed our daughter’s birthday after promising gifts only for him to come late and drunk. He touched me and I pushed his hands away,” says Sika, a sales and marketing executive with an advertising agency.
For the three years he lived with his former wife, Ben Makau, a land economist, had come to know which dates he could ask for sex. The first week of every month was always easy. But the drive would disappear as the month wore on,” he starts.
In 2006, they disagreed and could not speak for three days. In the midst of this, he got some money past mid month and bought her some gifts.
“It did the trick. When we got to the bedroom, she said she was happy about the gifts and the rest is history,” he confides.
Makau believes the wife would not have embraced him if he had not bought the gifts. “She changed very fast when I suddenly appeared to have some money,” he says.
It is harassment, says counsellor
Any wife who denies her husband sex without a “valid reason” is committing sexual harassment, a counselling psychologist says.
According to Mrs Bernadette Kimondo, valid reasons could be related to her reproductive health and even then, this decision should be discussed and agreed upon.
“Sex is a key pillar in a marriage. When it is not there, it causes distress, anxiety and it is a form of psychological torture to the affected person,” says Mrs Kimondo, a director of Faith Counselling Institute.
Couples should treat sex as an obligation to each other. “Today, denial of conjugal rights is a serious ground through which a court of law can grant divorce,” she says.
While blaming men for not reading a woman’s mind and understanding her “ideal time to seek an encounter”, the counsellor says women also tend to take advantage of their mood swings to deny their husbands sex.
Sex and love making are different things. Often, men want to have sex while women want lovemaking. This disconnect can cause a lot of problems,” she says.
Men should learn to create “a friendly environment” for love- making and this does not have to be pleasing antics. It is natural that when there is happiness in a home or between couples, sex is done more often and is fulfilling,” she says.
What redress is there for a man who has been denied sex without a varied reason? “ As long as you are in a marriage and both are reproductively healthy, sex is inevitable. Any misgivings should be discussed and addressed,” asserts Kimondo.
Because men will not just break a marriage because of lack of sex, they tend to get another partner. “ The reverse is also true. A wife who is not happy about her sex life is likely to get an alternative without breaking the marriage,” she says.
“It is now on record that transmission of sex related diseases is more prevalent among married people because they want to go out with someone and still go back to the spouse,” the counsellor warns.