A video of a Minister advising a couple during their wedding sermon recently made rounds online. She charged the new bride to always “open her computer whenever her husband wants to browse.”

I suppose this is in line with her responsibilities of guiding the new couple on how to build and sustain a marriage.

I’m sure that was not the first time the new bride was receiving such advice, neither will it be the last time she will hear such.

In (Christian) women’s meetings, they chant songs of how wives can maintain good relations with their husbands by performing their conjugal role optimally. Among other things sub-zoomed in the euphemism of “good relations” is financial provision and his overall loving affection.

In essence, these women teach other women that if they have sex with their husbands wherever its desired ( I strongly resisted the urge of writing “whenever he wants it”) he will be more disposed to be generous to her and relate with her well.

This may sound harmless until you realize it’s implication is that some men go as far as withholding money feeding for their family because his wife refused to play her conjugal role.

One of the major tenets( if not the major one) of informal dating advice and sexual education is that in a relationship, any man that anchors his affection for you on sexual gratification with you does not love you.

I admit the advice applies within the boundary of “relationships” and “relationships” generally connote unwed relationships, as though marital unions are not relationships.

Once the league advances to marriage, it becomes a different ball game. It’s important I note that I acknowledge that there is a significant difference between being married and being unmarried. The difference touches on legal, spiritual,cultural, social and I suppose psychological implications. So it’s understandable that nuptials changes the game.

But certain things remain the same regardless; should sex be traded to facilitate affection and financial generosity? Should the insistence of a man( husband or not) always override the reluctance of a woman in the initiation of coital activities?

One may ask, is sexual gratification in exchange for “provision and generosity” not low-key sex trade. Or is promoting it in the bounds of marriage a legitimate version of it?

When sex stops being a thing of harmony but an engagement where one party participates because of what they stand to gain or what they fear to lose, know that something is wrong somewhere.

And to think this is being propagated systematically as a secret to building and sustaining a happy home.

Another mentally twigging reality spewed in informal dating advice is that outside the bounds of marriage or before marriage, sex is a reprehensible,immoral destructive act that is capable of ruining what would have been a beautiful relationship, but in marriage, at best, sex is preached as a communion that binds two souls and at worst, it’s an obligation, responsibility that must be fulfilled.

The contrast differentiated by marriage is almost too sharp to reconcile as some people are never able to.

Maybe that is why sex repel some women, if not most. They never brace to enjoy it, only to engage in it obligatorily to fulfill their conjugal role and needless to say, maintain peace, harmony and cash flow in the home.

Women are taught that once he’s a husband he can have you without consent or consideration but if he’s anything else,having desire for you means he has nothing but selfish intentions. In the former it’s love and the latter it’s lust, with complete disregard for sex being a primitive human drive.

In the end, no matter how much our conservative African society strives to shroud sex and its discussion, or the sanctimonious euphemism Christians use to encourage or discourage it, sex and sexuality remain a reality in our society and it happens everyday, all around us. At least the non-stop buzz in maternity wards is a pointer. The teeming population that flood the market everyday is another.

I can’t blame the religious. They designating sex as a role and responsibility(that must be fulfilled) in marriage is their own way of recognizing, acknowledging and accepting that sex is part of our need as humans; male and female alike. Making a privilege of the married is a way of bridling it’s indiscriminate gratification. In other words, a privilege only those that can afford to wed should enjoy.

It’s not far fetched to think that that may be one reason we place a high premium on marriage,embracing alongside very many things they are not prepared for. Sadly, many people live full lives without seeing it’s beauty, within or outside marriage, regardless of how much they sought it.

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