Health Matters: Does a polygamous marriage offer more satisfaction to the man?

A man with his two wives. PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH

What you need to know:

  • Several studies have shown that the man tends to be more sexual with the younger wife.
  • Many men erroneously believe that the older woman is not interested in sex as much as the younger one.
  • What has however been found is that the older wife may abhor the thought of sharing a sexual partner. This can make her switch off.

Oliver is planning to marry a second wife and wanted to know how to sort out his two wives' bedroom matters.

"I need a professional view," he explained.

He was a 37-year-old businessman and married to a 35-year-old teacher. They had been in the marriage for seven years and had two children.

"And what exactly is your reason for marrying a second wife," I asked him.

Polygamy

Oliver frowned. He then explained that polygamy is a choice and a value that many men and women cherish and that one does not have to conflict with his first wife to have additional marriages. I nodded in affirmation, at the diverse socio-cultural and religious beliefs that exist around the subject of polygamy.

Oliver went ahead to explain that apart from sex, each party in a polygamous marriage brings in a unique contribution to the partnership and that it is that contribution that makes polygamy compelling.

"My first wife being a teacher can help our children go through school and she will do that even for her stepchildren," he explained, "I hope to get a second wife who can help me run my businesses, someone I can trust to be a custodian of family wealth."

I know that polygamy is not devoid of shortfalls and conflicts. I told Oliver to anticipate difficult moments in his relationships with multiple wives as each wife will demand her rights.

Boundaries

"Well, boundaries have to be set right at the beginning," Oliver retorted, "we have to agree to be respectful of each other and play our roles in the marriage."

One thing that is known in polygamous marriages however is that each woman in the relationship wants a fair share and satisfying sexual experience. I asked Oliver how he planned to achieve this. He said that I was mistaken; that what women in a polygamous relationship want is a fair share of the man's time, not sex. He explained that a timetable works well so that in a month each woman gets an equal number of days and nights dedicated to them.

"You however need to understand that spending time with a woman does not translate to having sex and so it is still possible to be more sexual with one wife than the other," Oliver clarified.

Study

Several studies have shown that the man tends to be more sexual with the younger wife. Many men erroneously believe that the older woman is not interested in sex as much as the younger one. What has however been found is that the older wife may abhor the thought of sharing a sexual partner. This can make her switch off.

The other unfortunate fact is that in some cases there is a sexual dysfunction in the family. It could be that the woman suffers painful sex or that she has problems getting orgasms. Commonly the woman has hypo sexual desire disorder, a medical problem where she has no desire for sex. In some cases, both partners lack sex skills and are unable to satisfy each other. Some men go for second marriage because of these reasons instead of seeking medical help.

"Well, for me it is none of those, I just want another wife," Oliver assures.

Pressure

The pressure on the man to satisfy all his wives sexually can be unbearable. Men are living on erection enhancers to cope with the demand from multiple partners. For younger men, the demand may be bearable because their level of energy allows it but with age, most men are naturally unable to cope. Men and women looking forward to polygamy must not just think of the excitement of today but also the demands that will come many years from now and be prepared to lower their expectations as age catches up.

"That I think is a point to consider and I will discuss it with my wife and the other woman," James says.

On a more medical side of things, discussing the safety of sex can be a challenge in polygamous marriages. Studies have shown that men and women in such marriages are unable to discuss the safety of sex which is especially important in preventing diseases like HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

"I hope you do not mean to say that my wives will be unfaithful," James says.

And for sure that is not what I meant although "Of course not," I respond.

All partners need to agree to be faithful to each other and keep sex safe. The only problem is that this can be a difficult discussion when there are more than two people involved.

Feedback: Satmag@ke.nationmedia.com

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