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Sex Talk: True lies, indeed

I read in American marriage counsellor Joe Beam’s book, Becoming One, that, “Don’t expect your spouse to tell you the truth as long as you subtly communicate to him or her that you prefer a lie.”

How true! It brought to mind one couple, who shared that they decided after three years of marriage, to play a ‘truth or dare’ game of sorts. Using email, they agreed to answer truthfully whatever questions they asked each other that they could not talk about face-to-face.

Chei! That session almost blew up the entire marriage. These spouses soon realised, like Beam wrote, that they preferred the lie.

“My husband asked me to be truthful about his lovemaking skills. I told him I had never experienced an orgasm with him,” Bekka (not real name) recalled of the truth game, laughing.

“He was so upset by my answer, because for the three years we had been married then, there had been no indication that I was not enjoying myself whenever we made love. I had mastered the art of faking it.”

That they are still married is a relief. But Bekka admits, although she has since experienced genuine orgasms as a result of her husband’s intentional approach to pleasuring her, she still senses the questions in his eyes…whether she is faking her ecstasy or not.

He also told her some uncomfortable truths that day about their marriage and sex life, including the fact that he initially courted her purely because she shared a name with his beloved mother, and not because he loved her. And when he wanted to know about her reproductive health past, she admitted to some abortions that almost made him throw in the towel.

But then, his answer to the number of sexual partners he had in his past was not redeeming either (including experiments with men); so, they kind of evened the score.

So, can you really handle the truth, before you go hunting for it? One husband asked me years ago how he could tell whether his wife was faking an orgasm or not, and I laughingly asked him whether he was sure he could handle the truth.

Because think about it; if she has been consistent in her ‘enjoyment’ of your lovemaking – screaming, thrashing and singing your praises each time – the one time she runs out of acting steam and just lies there as you huff and sweat, will you accept the fact that that is actually the genuine response to your lovemaking, sans props?

For many men, that truth would be seen as an insult to their virility and adequacy. On the other hand, the lie could be what fans his ego, but unfortunately leaves no room for improvement.

That is how couples are sentenced to a lifetime of marital and sexual misery, because lies are easier to handle than the truth. I am still happy for Bekka and her husband; they yanked the band-aid off their marriage painfully and have been lucky to move on from that.

I am not saying go try that at home; marriages are different and work with different dynamics. Be sure your marriage can survive your truths, before you unleash them. Not that I am condoning building unions on a bed of lies; all I am saying is that there is a good reason why you have not played all your cards in the open in the first place.

How you reveal them should be a tactful, well-thought-out process that you are sure will not end in tears and ruins. 

carol@observer.ug

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