My lord, please dissolve this marriage; my husband wants to kill me with sex,” said the mother of one, Baliki Oke, at the Iseyin Customary Court in Oyo State few weeks ago.
At that point, as can be imagined, almost everyone in the court turned their attention to the case, as the woman continued.
The woman had approached the court to seek the dissolution of her marriage to her husband, Arowolo, saying her husband was fond of demanding sex frequently, even more than food. She said he would want to have sex with her six times in a day before he could be satisfied.
In what could be construed to mean enduring a disturbing experience all along, she told the court, “Arowolo goes to the farm very early in the morning and would not wait for me to bring his lunch. He will come home in the afternoon just to have sex twice before he goes back to the farm and would still make demands when he returns at night.
“Anytime I try to resist him, he will beat me till I surrender. I have decided to quit for the sake of my life, I don’t want to die now.”
Perhaps, her story sounded unbelievable or exaggerated, but such reservations were neutralised when the husband admitted that he had a high libido and that even though he had worked hard to solve the problem of his hyper sex drive, it had yet to subside.
He said, “The truth is that I can’t cope with life without sex. Sex is more important to me than anything else in life. I have been suffering since she packed out of our house about 10 days ago.”
Arowolo promised the court he would work on his sex drive, but it was late already.
The President of the court, Chief Adelodun Raheem, dissolved the marriage, saying all the efforts made by the court to plead with Oke and her relatives to resolve the issue failed.
While the wife was on the receiving end in the case above, a man, Daniel Olufunmilayo, approached the Agege Customary Court in 2011 to seek the dissolution of his marriage to his wife over her excessive demand for sex. He said she could demand sex for up to eight times every night and that he could no longer bear her hunger for sex.
Daniel said he had to send her packing when he could not satisfy her sexual needs, and that he didn’t want to lose his life over lovemaking.
In response, his wife, Zainab said in spite of her husband’s complaints, he could not accuse her of infidelity. “Sex in marriage is my conjugal right, which I think every responsible man must preserve and protect and if I demanded for as much as I wanted, I have not done anything wrong,” she told the court.
Again, the court eventually dissolved the union, saying the marriage had broken down completely.
Interestingly, just like the lines on the palms, which differ from one person to another, sex drive, known as libido, varies among individuals. Some have low sex drive; some, like Arowolo and Zainab, have high sex drives, while some have a normal appetite for sex.
But according to a consultant endocrinologist, Dr. Michael Olamoyegun, high libido, which could be in men or women, is not incurable. It can be addressed, and so people who have it should not feel condemned. “It can be handled, with understanding and talking about it.”
On why some people have it higher than others, Olamoyegun said part of the reasons include level of their sex hormones and people’s upbringing. In men, he said high sex drive could be a product of their testosterone hormone, while in women, it could depend on the level of their oestrogen hormone.
He added, “People’s upbringing could also be a factor. There are people who, while growing up, are made to believe that it is only when you want to have children that you have sex and that when they don’t need pregnancy, there is no need to have sex, especially some religious beliefs. If such thoughts are not corrected during counselling before wedding, it could pose a problem for their sex lives.”
However, given the much impact high sex drive could have on the well-being of families, here are tips on how couples whose partners have excessively high libido could manage the situation without leading to divorce.
Talk to your partner: From findings, it’s not always an easy task to have a partner who is addicted to sex, or put mildly, a partner who has a high sex drive. This is because as the person’s partner, they are usually constrained to make themselves available anytime the partner wants it, regardless of the physical pain, the toll it takes on their health and even unpreparedness. Thus, according to Olamoyegun, married persons with an unusually high libido should discuss the issue with their partners. He said this would not only help them to live in peace, no one would have to suffer in silence and to avoid mistaken assumption that the other person also enjoys it just as much. He said, “There are people who have unusually sex drive and some of such people have it as their pastime. So, one thing people can do is to talk to their partners about it; not to abuse them but to raise their concerns and find a way round it. If they don’t do that, and the person with the high libido feels that he or she had become a burden to the partner, they might resort to having extramarital affairs. And there should be nothing like ‘if he loves me, he will grant my request anytime I need it.”
Find a middle ground: According to Olamoyegun, one other way to deal with the situation is for such couples to find a middle ground, in which the person with a high sex drive would reduce their appetite for sex and the partner, whose libido is not as high, should also improve their performance. He said, “The person with the high sex drive should learn to reduce it, which is possible, while the partner should also try to improve so that they would come to a middle point. That is what we encourage people to do. If the discordant sex drives persist, and the person with the lower sex drive could not satisfy the partner with the high libido, the person with the high libido could engage in extramarital affairs and they could come back home with sexually transmitted infections or even children outside wedlock. That is why it is good to talk about it and there is nobody that cannot adjust; whether you reduce your high sexual drive or you increase your lower sex drive.
Talk to a counsellor/doctor: Another way to address high sex drive is to talk to a sex therapist, psychologist or medical doctor, who would invite either or both parties to a meeting to proffer solutions to the issue. Olamoyegun says it is best when couples talk about their sexual lives while undergoing counselling during their courtship. “That is an important aspect of counselling during courtship. If it’s something that has been talked about at that time, it’s usually not difficult to adjust after wedding, but you find that it’s after wedding that partners of such persons find out and that is why it becomes such a problem for people, when they are confronted with what they never expected. But, even if they didn’t talk about it before marriage, it’s never too late to talk about it.”
Consider having a timetable: Perhaps, one other way to handle the differing sex drives between couples is to come up with a timetable, which compels the person with the high sex drive to fall in line with the schedule and the person with the low sex drive to improve to meet up. Ideally, such a timetable is drafted jointly by the couple, and is made flexible. Also, the presence of timetable does not mean they cannot have sex outside the schedule. While some argue that it could make sex boring, it has also been argued that the anticipation and countdown could make sex something the couple would look up to. Olamoyegun added, “It’s part of the measures people can adopt and it makes both of them to adjust to the schedule, but some people say it removes spontaneity from sex while some say it makes them prepared. But, it’s a measure that can be used to moderate sex drive.”
Thus, he stressed that people should adopt any of the options instead of the partner resorting to using drugs or taking enhancement pills to meet up with a partner’s expectation, which could lead to side effects like addiction, organ damage and priapism, which is the prolonged erection of the penis, usually without sexual arousal, and could require surgery for it to be flaccid again.