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Is There a Boundary to Sexual Practices in Marriages?



Years ago, while reading through a page created to be a safe space where married people can let out their frustrations and get possible solutions to their marital problems, I read the story of Hannah (not real name) who was torn between leaving her marriage of many years or keep trying to save it.

After many years and about three children, Hannah’s husband had come home one day to say he wanted them to spice up their sexual life. They had done many styles and he wanted to try anal sex. Hannah was shocked and bluntly refused; how would she let his penis slide down her butt hole? She couldn’t even imagine it. After pestering her for a while, Hannah’s husband threatened to cheat on her and she called his bluff.

Several weeks later and Hannah’s husband was already enjoying anal sex – but not with her.

When Hannah saw the lady he was cheating with, she got scared. According to Hannah, the lady was very beautiful, had a banging body, and looked like someone “who could give a man whatever he wanted.” That was all it took for Hannah to agree to have anal sex with her husband.

It wasn’t an easy one, Hannah wrote that her husband was rough, the experience was painful and she bled so much she got scared. After that experience, she refused to continue, and again, her husband began to cheat. She gave in again, bled again, refused to continue again and her husband became a blatant cheat – having sex with different women and even bringing some to their home. Worse, he stopped having sex with her.

Hannah is not the only person with this problem. Mrs. Chibudo (not real name) while talking about sex in marriage once said she gave her husband the go-ahead to have sex with other women. Surprised, I asked why, and she responded with “he’s too rough and he loves to have sex like a porn star, it’s better he does it outside before he kills me in bed.”

Asides from being rough in bed, Mrs. Chibudo believes that there should be boundaries when it comes to sexual actions, even as a married couple. Being the religious person that she is, acts like pegging, anal, BDSM, and certain sex styles are things she cannot be involved in, and since the husband – who is not religious and is not bound by her religious beliefs –  so wants it, let him “kukuma get it outside, abi? After all, he has been cheating since and I know.”

Many couples who try to spice their sexual lives up have been faced with varying challenges. What if the wife wants them to try something new and the husband isn’t just interested? What if one partner sees certain sexual positions as dirty and unclean and the other does not? Tayo loves to have sex as often as he can but his wife believes it is only jobless men who have sex five times a week, so she set up a timetable for sexual activities. Ada loves oral sex so much and would want to go down on her husband but he claims it is only wayward women who do such. Adamu loves the butter churner sex position but his wife says she cannot break her spine because of lovemaking.

When it comes to sex in marriages, are there unspoken boundaries? Should there be? Is there any sexual act that is termed dirty or reserved for pornstars? I have heard a lot of men say that they wouldn’t try certain sexual acts with their wives “out of respect.” What respect? Who else would you want to go dirty on or try new things with if it isn’t the one you’ve vowed to spend the rest of your life with?

People would advise that before marriage, both partners should ensure they are sexually compatible. This does not necessarily mean you must have sex before marriage, especially if you are both religious, it only means that it is expected that couples must have discussed extensively before tying the knot. Still, what if, like Hannah’s husband, one’s partner suddenly comes up with something new – one that the other partner is not willing to try?

Personally, I believe there should be no boundaries to sexual actions in marriages. You’re going to be together for so many years and it is normal to try out different things to spice up their sex life. But still, what if one partner wants to tie the other to the ceiling while flogging and pounding and the other isn’t up for that? What if one person wants to have sex at 3 AM and the other enjoys sleep too much to sacrifice that? What then happens? The only thing I can think of is that love does not insist on its own way. When it comes to sex, couples have to meet each other halfway.



Photo by Deon Black from Pexels

Oluwadunsin is the Senior Content Associate at BellaNaija Features. Here, I tell stories that matter - of Africans doing amazing work in Africa, of beautiful people like you. Reach out to me, I don't bite: [email protected] | Instagram @oluwadunsin___ | Twitter @duunsin.


  1. Mimi

    January 29, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Love the way you write Dunsin, I always look forward to your write ups.

  2. Wendy

    January 30, 2021 at 6:01 am

    Personally speaking, I don’t believe anyone is worth you losing a bit of yourself to. Becos at the end of the day. We are humans capable of anything which includes cheating and lying etc. Do you the most. I believe an issue like this should be discussed before getting serious in a relationship. Human sexuality is part of a being human.

  3. Timb

    January 31, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    There are certainly boundaries in marriage sexual practices especially when it has the potential to cause physical or psychological hurt or harm to one of the parties involved.

    Marriage should be a caring and loving space where everyone’s needs are safely met and openly discussed in a non judgemental manner.

    But a major problem is that we now live in a selfish world/bubble where it’s now all about -“ME, MYSELF and I”. This attitude leads to all the toys being thrown out of the pram when we don’t get what we want thus leading to the breakup.

    So will men also be happy if their wives seek for fulfilment outside when they don’t get what they desire.

  4. Play1628

    January 14, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    I think there is no limit. Depends on the partner.

    “In the past, when we were newlyweds, we could do it 4-6 times a day! But now it’s not necessarily once a week. Normally how many times, Doc?” That was the complaint of a listener from the telephone during an on air question and answer program with a sexologist on a private radio station. Another question, “Even though we are both old, it seems our sexual life is not problematic. My wife is always satisfied, we can even enjoy it 3-4 times a day!”

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