What you need to know:
- I believe that this give-and-take attitude is contributing to sexual violence in our relationships.
- This reward-punishment aspect of sex is something that society feeds both men and women.
- Sex is not a reward for the money, the time or the energy that a man spends on a woman.
He was 26, she was 25. They had been dating for a couple of months. He was afraid she may be out of his league so he went all out and dug deeper into his pockets to bankroll their outings. This was months before Covid-19 brought our lives to a halt. He then planned for a four-day getaway to Diani which she seemed excited about it. Of course he couldn’t afford the trip but this seemed like a small problem at the time. He promptly applied for a Sh200,000 loan at his SACCO and a few weeks later, flew her beau to Diani.
But when they got there, and she realised he had booked a single room for the both of them, she was furious. “Why did you assume that I will sleep with you?” she fumed.
He was confused. If she didn’t want to share his bed, why had she come? They had a big fight which ended up in her storming out and flying back to Nairobi on a flight that he had paid for leaving him there alone and heartbroken.
“I am paying back the loan and even had to move to a smaller house,” he told me.
Now, I could say a lot of things about this man’s lack of guile and his financial recklessness but one thing which I did tell him was that he would still be living in his old house had he not assumed that he would get rewarded with sex for spending even more than he could afford on this woman.
Now, this woman is the exemption. We have women sleeping with men they do not even like because these men spent time or money on them and now they feel like they owe them. Sis, if he spent money on you, if you want to pay him back, then you owe him money, not your body.
I believe that this give-and-take attitude is contributing to sexual violence in our relationships. I know this woman whose husband changed once he paid for her huge dowry. He stopped asking, stopped seducing her. He just had his way with her when he pleased whether she was up for it or not. When she tried to talk about it, he reminded her of the thousands of shillings he had paid her father for her hand.
I know another woman whose live in boyfriend threatens to go out and pay a prostitute for sex every time she says she is not in the mood. In his eyes, because he pays the bills and provides for her, then there is no reason why there shouldn’t be a constant supply of sex in his house.
“Of course I don’t want him to sleep with prostitutes. So when he starts putting on his shoes in a huff, I give in,” she told me once.
Don’t become the woman who uses sex as a bargaining chip in her relationship. You know, one of those women who will only get intimate with their partner when he does something for her.
This reward-punishment aspect of sex is something that society feeds both men and women. You will be told that if you are not having sex in your marriage then you are doing something wrong. So when your man holds back from you, you start racking your mind for what it is that you can do better or more of.
Sex is not a reward for the money, the time or the energy that a man spends on a woman. It shouldn’t be like that. It wasn’t intended to be. Sex is something which, in a relationship setting, should be given freely and without strings attached and treating it as a reward or something to bribe, manipulate or coarse another is cheapening it.