SEXUAL HEALTH: Sex is for more than just reproduction

Friday January 12 2018

Dr Joachim Osur lays down the reasons why physical intimacy is such an important cornerstone of a successful marriage. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dr Joachim Osur lays down the reasons why physical intimacy is such an important cornerstone of a successful marriage. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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It had only been two days since Alice and George had their wedding, but things were already pretty bad.

They spent their honeymoon fighting because George wanted sex while Alice did not.  “I am a virgin. Why should I have sex now given that we do not want a baby this soon?” Alice asked when she and George came to the sexology clinic.

Alice had just graduated with a law degree and passed her bar exam. George was a 30-year-old pastor in one of those modern Pentecostal churches. Alice attended the church where George pastored. I realised that I was attending to a highly opinionated intellectual and spiritual couple who seemed to seek a reason for everything they did in life.

“Purity is something I cherish and I preached it to Alice but that was before we married,” George explained.

“Well, you only said negative things about sex. You never justified that it would be of use at any point in life,” Alice interrupted.

There are many reasons why couples should have sex often; reproduction is a minor reason. Maintaining intimacy and growing the marriage is a major reason for sex. Do not discount the role that pleasure plays in making you intimate with your partner. In fact this is the reason Sexual Medicine and Sexology exists – because couples ought to enjoy pleasurable sex in order to remain drawn to each other. So, have sex to enjoy as well as pleasure your partner for the survival of your marriage.


There are days when one feels less sexual. One or two days of such in a week is acceptable, but not always. Even when you are not in the mood, you should still endeavor to make yourself available to your partner. The second reason to have sex is therefore to please a partner who is in need.

“That sounds very enslaving, I do not agree,” Alice interrupted.

“Well, it may be the woman who has the urge and the man who is down sexually; whoever is in the mood should try to bring the one who is down up to the mood,” I replied as George nodded vigorously. “This is not a license for rape in marriage, consent is still supreme.”

One reason couples remain united in marriage is emotional connection, which develops when people communicate. Having sex also helps grow an emotional connection. If not for anything else, have sex to grow and sustain emotional connection.

For most women, sex is something highly valued and only given to someone really special. The recipients will similarly feel valued and this boosts their ego. This of course does not rule out the fact that some men may want to have sex as a way to express their masculine power and feel that they have conquered the world. “He! He! So I am just an object in the world to be conquered and won!” Alice said sarcastically.

“I object to that. I want to show my love and commitment to Alice by being intimate, it is not about conquest!” George protested.

People have different reasons for having sex from time to time. Once in a while you may find that you feel socially or professionally pressured and you need sex to cool down. Although we are reasonable human beings, there still lives in us an animal which can only be calmed by eating, sleeping or having sex. In other words, sex may just serve to cool our animal bodies and that is still important.

You should also never forget that you have legal obligations as married people. The law requires you to consummate the marriage or it be declared null and void. “Totally agree!” Alice interjected, for once supporting my stand.

“Well, sex is also a religious obligation,” George quipped.

And of course, sex is a social obligation. The last thing you want is to be reported to your parents that you are denying each other sex in marriage. That would call for a sitting by village elders and you can be charged accordingly.

Finally you need to be very cautious how you treat each other in marriage right from the start. Denying your partner sex may imply that you are punishing them for some wrong doing.

“No, no! That is not the reason for my refusal, I just wanted to understand sex more and now I do and am sorry for putting George through all this!” Alice said remorsefully.

“Actually you have mastered the art of playing hard to get which as you know is what drew me to you,” George said laughing.

“You caught me!” Alice said as she similarly burst out laughing uncontrollably.

Turns out that Alice was actually playing a romantic game of refusal as a way to generate more interest in George. This is a game many couples play. I was also caught off guard. We all burst out laughing as the couple left the consultation room for a real first night in marriage.