After a recent cardio workout at one of the gyms in town, a few of us sat in the changing rooms talking, waiting for the bodies to cool down enough for a shower to make sense.
As we talked about homes, children, business and other things women love talking about, one lady mentioned in passing that she does not let visitors into her home unless they are on appointment. The way we stared at her, she could have sprouted a horn!
But she was adamant; be it who or who, she never entertains guests unless there was a prior arrangement, and that she has turned away relatives at the gate. I have never heard anything like that before, or since. And I represent many ‘warm, hospitable’ Ugandans.
But that lady came to mind today as I wondered why Ugandans’ sex lives are limited to the master bedrooms. The answer is in that gym lady’s stern position. She must have become tired of having no personal space beyond the bedroom, in her own home…
As Africans and specifically Ugandans, our homes are hardly ever free of guests and relatives. Even where the couple has no children and should be enjoying their lovemaking in the hallway, on the balcony, atop the washing machine, name it, it is just impossible.
Chances of the daughter of your grandmother’s second cousin walking in on you are high and it is safer to keep all pink elephant-related activity to the bedroom, which has bred monotony and killed many marriages.
Some couples from the day they said ‘I do’, have never had their own house/home to themselves. They could have spaces in that house that are more inviting than the bedroom or designed for some level of naughtiness, but alas! It is not to happen, because a brother-in-law or the maid’s child could stumble upon them.
It is such an African thing that in the Kiganda culture, it is even taboo for a married couple to have sex when the wife’s mother is visiting. I imagine this stemmed from the old architecture where even multi-bedroom houses still had no ceilings, and sound could travel unlimited in all directions.
But even to this day, I know couples in mansionettes that observe the rule (or rather take advantage of it to effect a sex ban) whenever a wife’s mother or the husband’s father is visiting.
No wonder the gym lady just got tired of impromptu visitors; and she had no regrets, however much we looked at her like she had just stepped out of a spaceship. In fact, she said even when the relatives visit on appointment, she has a “so, how long do you intend to stay” conversation with them as she serves the welcome drink!
Some people will say, “What an ill-mannered person!” Others will toast to her openness.
Well, on this one I am offering no suggestions for solutions, actually; I’m just putting it out there for pondering. Ironically, after years of relatives, friends and in-laws traipsing through the house nonstop throughout a couple’s younger, libidinous years, as the children grow up and leave the nest, so do the crowds of relatives.
And as arthritis, the menopause, gout and other age-related impediments set in, the couple suddenly has the whole house all to themselves. Mmm…still good, but seriously, time lost is never recovered especially considering how debilitating to the sex life a crowded house can be.
So, do we chase our relatives away so that we can walk around naked and make out in the sitting room if we want to? I did not say that. But perhaps I’m saying, whenever you are in position to help God’s people from the ‘comfort’ of their own homes, try that. You don’t have to uproot everyone and replant them in your home.
Give marriage and freedom of expression therein, a fighting chance.