"Men who ask for sex from their wives during daytime are told that they (women) have a lot of domestic work to do."
PIC: During the meeting, John Bosco Aliabu said men are suffering silently in their homes. (Credit: Emmanuel Alomu)
“In the last one month, I have used all kinds of words to beg for sex from my wife, but all she has kept telling me is that her legs are hurting. But during daytime, you see her going to fetch water, all looking happy and okay, and you wonder whether she simply does not want to have sex with me."
That is 30-year-old Robert Edecu, a resident of Kapujan sub-county in Katakwi district.
From what he says, things haven't really been going for him in the bedroom - save for a few times.
"In the past four weeks, she became merciful and accepted to have sex with me only twice. Can you imagine!"
Reported sex denial is thought to have, in part, given rise to domestic violence in the area.
During a men’s meeting at Kapujan council hall recently, some speakers said men who are denied sex by their wives sometimes turn violent, while some see themselves as the victims.
One said he faces "domestic violence silently" because "my wife denies me sex whenever I need and ask for it".
“Men who ask for sex from their wives during daytime are told that they (women) have a lot of domestic work to do,” Michael Opuur, 41, said during the vibrant meeting.
For others, sex has led to separation with their spouses.
One such person is 37-year-old Richard Imalingat, who revealed he had spent eight months with his children after his wife ran off to her parents' home following a domestic dispute over sex.
Tom Imerikolit, an elder and community leader, said conflict in the bedroom has led to a spike in extramarital affairs.
He said sex-starved men tend to pursue what they are missing from other women or even girls that are young enough to be their own children.
The cracks on the bedroom walls are growing even deeper for others.
John Michael Acelu, also a participant in the meeting, said his two wives are threatening to beat him up after developing quarrels over sex.
'Behaving like children'
The dialogue was organised to have the men in the area talk about gender-based violence, rights of women and girl child education.
Meanwhile, the meeting heard that some men do not report cases of being battered by their wives out of fear of being mocked by women.
“If you take a case of domestic violence to either police or the probation office, the women will mock us and say we are behaving like children," one participant said.
"In fact, if you report, some women will deny you sex for good," another weighed in.
One man who attended the meeting said some women go as far as sharing their family secrets with whoever cares to listen - something that creates disharmony in their marriages.
Several other issues were raised during the dialogue.
John Bosco Aliabu, the representative of Kapujan, revealed that he was one day locked outside by his wife after returning home late from a drinking joint.
He said many men do not know their rights and some end up cheating on their spouses or even abandoning them instead of reporting domestic matters to authorities.
Dos and don'ts: Dirty men are a turn-off
Winfred Adwaro said some women deny their husbands sex because they are 'saved' and do not want to engage with them, especially when they return heavily sloshed or dirty.
Other women, she added, are not interested in sex because of doing a lot of domestic work, which leaves them too exhausted to address their conjugal duties.
Joyce Asekenye, who represented Iteso Cultural Union paramount chief, Papa Augustine Lemukol Osuban, advised men to be clean, smart and keep secrets and time.
She also urged them to steer clear of extramarital affairs and take alcohol in moderation.
“Some of you who are drunkards spend days without bathing. Some change only shirts after showering while others have lost ‘power’ because of overdrinking local gin,” Asekenye said.
Dorothy Arado, a district assistant community development officer, warned men against using vulgar language while speaking to their wives.
She said some men bathe in swamps or lakes and instead end up smelling worse, which turns off the women in their lives when it comes to bedroom matters.
Betty Ikareut, the district's senior probation officer, said an average 30 cases of domestic violence are reported to her office every month.
Of these, about 80% are by women complaining that their husbands do not perform in bed after taking too much alcohol.
A few other cases are by men on their wives fleeing their marital homes, leaving their children behind. Other men report that their wives refuse to wash their clothes.
According to Ikareut, men do not report on their sex deprivation.
She attributed the common cases of domestic violence in the district to failure by men to play their role and responsibility of especially making love with their wives.
“Women are reporting to us that most of their men who drink sachet waragi rush to bed to sleep and start asking for sex towards morning, a time when a woman is planning to wake up to do domestic chores," Ikareut said.