A study says couples aged 18-25 have sex an average of five times a week. This, and much more, in this extensive look at intimacy in relationships.
RELATIONSHIP | SEX
Sex is at the core of marriage, so when vision group held its ninth bride and groom expo at Lugogo, in Kampala, one of the key activities were sessions on the subject. One session attracted about 200 women and men. New Vision's Jacquiline Emodek attended the session that took on a question-and-answer format and brings you the highlights.
Revellers at last month's Vision Group's 9th Bride & Groom Expo
How often should a couple have sex?
Robinah Bagiire, a counsellor at Bethany High School in Naalya, says couples aged 18-25 years have sex an average of five times a week according to a study done by Kyambogo University in 2007.
In the same study, it showed that those aged 26-35 years, it is thrice a week then for 46 to 55 year olds it is twice, same thing with 56 to 65 year olds, while for 70 years and above it is once a week. “Young people have few problems and that is why they have a lot of sex, however as one reaches the age of 35 one has children to look after.
At this age most men are also thinking of building a house, they have school fees to pay so their libido goes down,” Bagiire explains.
Interestingly, Bagiire says that as the children grow and leave the house, couples resume having more sex. This is a contradiction to the research that indicates that the frequency of sex declines as people grow old.
“It is possible to find a 70-year-old having sex more than once a week since they are now relaxed,” she explains.
Notably, Ssenga Elizabeth Masaba of Ebenezer psychological consultants, says the research findings do not mean that it is abnormal for one to have more sex.
“If you go beyond the average you are not abnormal. It is normal and it will even improve the affairs in the marriage because whenever you feel like having sex, you will think about your spouse,” Ssenga Masaba says.
How can I create a conducive environment for intimacy? Bagiire explains that sex starts in the brain. Therefore, start by setting a conducive environment.
“Do not greet him with issues like there is no Yaka or that the children’s fees have not been paid then expect to have sex. Instead create a stress free environment when he returns home so that he feels safe and relaxed,” Masaba says.
She also encourages couples to learn new tricks to spice up their sex lives. New things can be learnt from literature or can be impulsive but romantic. Examples include making him pick you up from work once in a while; you can leave a chit reading ‘find me’.
Have sex in different parts of the house, but ensure that the children are not around.
“Men, learn new things to satisfy their women’s sexual needs because when she is satisfied, he is satisfied,” Masaba cautions.
“This is going to be your partner for life so the way you have sex now cannot be the same forever,” she further admonishes.
However, you have to be careful when doing this as your spouse might imagine that you are having an affair. A couple can explore and brainstorm on ideas on improving their sex life together.
A shy woman can take advantage of the foreplay session to whisper into her man’s ears of ideas they can try out. Speak one language Sex has a language, which is both verbal and non-verbal. Your spouse might whisper into your ears and sing for you sweet melodies or nibble the sensitive parts of your body. As he does this, your body responds and so does his thereby starting a conversation that ultimately ends in a climax of responses.
“We encourage couples to speak one language because this will make it easy for you to understand each other which lead to enjoyment of sex,” Masaba explains.
You can find out your partner’s language through non-verbal communication like kissing him in different places and notice what causes the greatest reaction. You can also ask what works for him because in the high of the moment people are easily forthcoming with what turns them on.
She adds that it also helps to know your most sensitive parts and empower your partner by telling him what makes you happy. You know your body more than anyone else.
“Do not just keep quiet; tell him that when you touches you here and there, it makes you feel a certain way. Be sure to also discover his sensitive parts,” Ssenga Masaba says.
What if a woman has a higher libido? Culturally women who constantly demand sex from their husbands are frowned upon because they are apparently supposed to be subtle, but what happens when you are a sensual woman?
Scientifically a woman’s libido increases during ovulation and the days leading to her menstruation period, so what can you do?
“Surprise him. You can also call or text him during the day and on your way home, communicate sexually and ensure that he exhausts you sexually,” Ssenga Masaba advises.
She adds that when a man understands his wife’s sexual needs and the fact that she is a sexual woman, he eventually adopts.
Some married people might hardly have sex because of various reasons one of which is lack of time. Ssenga Masaba warns strongly against this, saying it puts one or both parties of the couple at risk of having extra-marital affairs.
“You will find that when a man comes and offers to give you little things like lunch, drinks after work, coffee or even time to listen to your ranting then your body responds because you have taken long without having sex,” she says.
She recommends being active in your sex life and if there are particular needs, do not be shy to share them. “Tell him what you want; if carrying you to the bedroom is what turns you on then go to the sitting room and make him do it.”
“Avoid cheating because it will invite evil spirits into your body which is God’s temple and your marriage. These spirits such that you will be with Peter and start moaning Henry which is shameful,” Masaba adds.
What if I am not interested?
Let us admit there are times, one is simply not in the mood and yet your partner is already high on the idea of having sex.
Since sex starts in the brain, Bagiire says lack of interest might be because you are thinking about someone else, it might be financial issues, the baby is sick or you have suspicions and recently had a disagreement.
Masaba adds that lack of interest in sex might be due to an ailment like diabetes, hypertension, stress, anxiety and depression. To answer the question, Masaba advises allowing one’s partner to caress, kiss, nibble one or do whatever else he desires because chances are high that by the time he is done, the woman would be aroused.
Do not fake it
You have heard of incidences where women fake orgasms simply to get it done and over with or to soothe the man’s ego. If you are faking it, joke is on you.
“Men can tell that you are pretending and most times they try to put in more effort or just let you be,” Masaba says. She recommends that women should communicate with their partners and tell them what they want him to do to arouse them.
Florence Masaba, a psychologist with speciality in sex, says that your health is important for your sex life. Exercise counts for good sex and sex in turn may have the same effects on the body as an intense workout. She advises walking, squats sit-ups an upright and composed walking posture and kegels to exercise the vagina muscles.
Different sex styles are also good for physical fitness.
“Avoid wearing tight trousers because they tend to put body muscles together instead of allowing them to stretch and become stronger,” she advises.
Ssenga Masaba also recommends bathing as soon one gets home and not wearing knickers so that muscles relax. “This will mean that the juices flow easily and consequently you will not have issues later as you have sex.”
Bagiire adds that after showering, women can also wear long clothes so that they keep warm. However, when you are going to bed Bagiire says one should put on something enticing to arouse their spouse.
Masaba advises against using soap and especially scented one to clean the vagina because it tampers with the PH. The vagina cleans itself with fluids and has bacteria to ward off infections.
“We have bacteria like candida, but when it becomes excess that is when it causes problems and becomes a disease," she says.
"It is like putting meat in water for long, it changes colour and you also re- move the good bacteria which exposes you to infections,” Ssenga Masaba says.
Mind your menstrual hygiene by showering at least twice a day and change your pad at least three times a day. Be sure to shave. If you have a fishy smell with an abnormal discharge, visit a doctor.
“Above all always lock the bedroom so that your children do not come to be entertained,” Ssenga Masaba warns.
How to create the mood for sex
When you are taking tea in the morning, look into your partner’s eyes. It is in these silent moments that our hearts communicate a lot.
During the day communicate with romantic texts, sexting and phone calls and be sure to give him a taste of what is coming at the end of the day.
Spoil your man; buy him shoes socks or even airtime because it shows him that you love him and care about him.
Remind him of anniversaries and birthdays because this will make him think of new ideas, romantic getaways and gifts.
A woman can initiate sex by dressing the part (greet him while wearing lingerie), drop hints like winking or biting your bottom lip then you can simply be demanding. You will likely get more of what you want when you initiate sex.