Great sex makes life wonderful - even as work gets harder
Because of the slim job market, many women have to give their all to secure jobs and are finding it difficult to fit sex into their heavy schedules - which includes household chores. This is putting many relationships under pressure....
The South African job market is getting smaller and more competitive.
A recent report by Statistics South Africa reveals that though South Africa's unemployment rate fell to 23.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate for women continued to be higher than the national average.
Because of the slim job market, many women have to give their all to secure jobs and are finding it difficult to fit sex into their heavy schedules - which includes household chores.
This is putting many relationships under pressure.
Research shows that sex is one of the main reasons why couples argue, often more than about money, housework and other common sources of conflict.
According to Pastor Chris Mbanga, a marriage counsellor, the happiest couples tend to be those with the best sex lives.
He says sex is very important in a relationship because it is how couples bond at the highest level.
Mbanga explains: "The Bible says that sex is only for married couples and that it unifies the marriage. It also says that the wife and husband should never deny themselves to each other. By having sex you are showing your partner that you care about his needs and that you trust him.
"It is the ultimate bonding on a spiritual level. When two people come together to share the love they have for each other, it is not supposed to be an act that we engage in just for pleasure."
Mbanga says it is very important that a wife does not neglect her husband sexually because this could ruin the relationship.
"A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And he will never tell his wife why he has become quiet and distant. He is afraid to tell her. This is true for most husbands.
"They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature and they are humiliated and emasculated by feeling that they have to beg for sex.
"Of course, understanding a man's needs is not about just having sex with him. Men have many other needs, but the issue of sex is one that many women struggle with."
He adds that every day the media bombards men with sexual images.
"Add to that scantily dressed women in the office. And if women deny men sex at home, they will look for it outside the home."
He warns women not to use sex as a weapon to get back at their men.
"Women frequently withhold sex as a means of control and feeling power in a relationship. Sometimes sex has to be sacrificed. Some nights you might feel too tired for sex and it's okay to say no, but do not make it a habit."
Asiphe Ndlela, a psychologist based in Illovo, Johannesburg, agrees that sex deprivation can ruin a relationship because eventually the person who doesn't have an active sex drive will no longer want to have sex.
She says this is more prevalent in men.
"Men are generally insecure creatures. When you make an excuse not to have sex, he feels rejected and he might become resentful. When this happens, the bond that a couple worked so long and hard to build and strengthen, begins to crumble and decay."
Ndlela adds that sex is a serious barometer of the health and intimacy of a relationship. It says a lot about the physical and emotional status of each partner.
Zuko Mathyila, a male activist and lecturer in Cape Town, says most women probably don't know how important sex is to men.
"Sex helps men to feel appreciated. It makes them feel desired and desirable. It is an emotional need. Yes, we like sex. It is a physical pleasure that is incomparable, but the physical element is a desire, not a need to be met.
"What is more important to your husband or significant other is the emotional need that sex meets. I think sex is the biggest reason why most men cheat. If a man does not get enough at home, he will look elsewhere."
Mathyila says because men don't discuss their emotions it doesn't mean that they are not emotional beings.
"Like women we also want affection from our mate. I might not cuddle or hold my partner in public and my need for affection might not be the same as my partner's needs. My need for affection is met through sex."
Mathyila adds that sex feeds his needs for love from his woman.
- This article was first published in the printed newspaper on 10 July 2012