Last weekend, the chama invited me to their meeting to explain some matters of bedroom importance.
"We have noted with concern a trend that we feel is dangerous for our marriages and for which we need your advice," said the chairperson in introducing the session.
"The frequency of sex with our spouses seems to be declining the older the relationship gets. We fear that there will be no sex in the future. Is it normal and how can we solve it?" she posed.
The chama members had chatted on the issue. The newly married members were doing it almost daily, sometimes more than once a day.
Those married for over five years were doing it once or twice a week. There was one couple married for over 10 years who were doing it once or twice a month.
"These are general trends we are noting," a member interjected.
These were very important questions that have dogged marriages over the ages.
The assumption has been that human sexuality thrives in stable long-term relationships but that may be far from reality.
Research shows that sex thrives in playful liaisons that are not value-based. This is a union without rules of how to behave to remain dignified.
It is a relationship where vulnerability has no consequences and so one can play their fantasies without fear.
Fulfilling intimacy is where couples do not mind to be out of control in the confines of their bedrooms; it is fulfilling, and spouses thank each other for giving them a fun experience.
Marriage, however, ruins this. Couples begin to have work stresses, problems with relatives, investment challenges, childcare issues, house management and many more.
Disagreements happen often. Your partner will insist on being respected and to be treated with dignity because they are the head of the house blah blah blah…..
Couples learn to live with a lot of baggage for the sake of peace. Play and jest are out of the question.
Even during sex, you both put on a stone face. No fun. Under these circumstances, satisfactory sexual experiences become a rarity.
Another reason why sex dies off in marriage is what I would call the daddy/mummy syndrome. I know most husbands call their wives mummy and most wives call their husbands daddy.
"Very true, especially once the children come and they begin to use those titles on us," says the vice-chairperson.
Have you ever stopped to reflect why your honey, sweetheart, suddenly took over the title of your parent?
According to Sigmund Freud, one of the psychologists and sex researchers, people learn about love from their parents.
The person you are most vulnerable to and have no fear of being hurt is your parent.
As a child, there was no shame in being naked in front of your parent. It was OK to soil them. They simply smiled and cleaned you up.
You could even go out of control and throw tantrums. Even if they got annoyed it did not matter much to you.
You knew they could not harm you. In other words, it was OK to be true to your parents.
According to Sigmund Freud, this true love learnt from parent-child relationship came with a caveat, no sex! Hence, sex was not part of what we learnt as true love.
As we start to love later in life, we are subconsciously reminded of and try to find an equivalent of the true love that we learnt from our parents.
The only difference this time is that this new love comes with sex.
Sometimes this brings the conflict to us, making us question how sex can be part of true love. The conflict gets more pronounced when children come in.
You are now mummy and daddy and the memories of your childhood overwhelm your subconscious as you start to emulate the behaviour of your parents. This suppresses sex.
"Oops, that is so true, eh, what are we supposed to do?" reacted a member.
Couples need to be conscious of these relationship dynamics and come up with ways of sustaining romance.
Create time to be together away from the routine of family and work life. It does not have to be an expensive holiday, watching a movie together at home, playing a game, exercising together, window shopping, attending a wedding could bring back intimacy.
A holiday once or twice a year would be great if you can afford. It is a fulfilling experience.
It also helps to read romantic books and learn new skills in expressing love. Further, there are videos that you can watch together to increase your intimacy.
If there are enrichment seminars, create time to attend. It has been proven that couples who are committed to enhancing their romance succeed.
If you invest in your relationship the fire of the first love lives on. If you leave it to take a natural course, expect problems.