WHAT goes on in the other room? Your guess may not be as good as mine, if you assume it is always a matter of the Lord of the Manor, weak in the knees and trembling, becomes beggarly. An HIV-challenged young woman taught me about 15years ago that it is far more salacious than many men imagine. Again, your guess may not be as good as mine. The young HIV- challenged woman came to me for nutritional advice on how to overcome her condition. That was to include the diet she was to employ to boost her immunity, foods she was to discard which weaken immunity, herbs and food supplements which may help to reduce the viral load and curb the menace of opportunistic infections while, at the same time, she must support her body’s healing process to repair damage already inflicted on the body and, above all, improve her energy profile.

In this, as in all deteriorating health conditions, improvement in the energy quantum is crucial for healing. For life is energy. Cells succumb to external invaders only because they do not have enough energy to throw them off and simultaneously carry on their living processes. This young woman turned around beautifully, as many challenged people still do today, to the amazement of her doctor. In the course of relating with her over her health, I was so fascinated by her good command of the English Language that I teased her one day if she would like to write for a newspaper. She jumped at the idea, and I gave her a little writing test to determine her suitability for editorial work.

She was to write on the subject THE BEDROOM. Why the bedroom, of all subjects, you wonder? I was Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publications of The Guardian Newspaper, and we were always striving to recruit the best picturesque writers for the newspaper which we proudly tagged FLAGSHIP OF THE NIGERIAN PRESS. Our interview centered chiefly on as abstract subjects. We wished to know how expansive and creative the mind of the would-be reporter was. As we often described those exercises, they were to determine if the test candidate could literally “squeeze water out of stone’’. Thus the essay subjects included labels such as MY MOTHER, RAIN DROPS, A BICYCLE and the likes of them. THE BEDROOM, therefore, shouldn’t be out of place.

This young woman was an extremely private and shy person and would not agree to have the article credited to her. The article suggested that women try not to be what the Yorubas call ABOKOKU. An Abokoku is a woman who resides in the bosom of the husband 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7). This sort of woman losses value because of the familiarity with her husband, she says. A woman may raise her physical and erotic value before her husband by not sharing the same bed with him all the time. This means she has to have her own bedroom, which she can do up to a woman’s taste. Her brassiere and her pantie are not to be exposed to his sight even in her room. He must be made to guess what’s on the shelf, from time to time. And she must change the colours and designs frequently not just to please herself, but to also take account of what easily tunes him on. The colour of the lighting matters, too. The article had lots of tips for romance, you thought this woman was a romance consultant. She wasn’t… just a feeling of the guts person.

I remembered her when President Mohammadu Buhari gave currency to the other room in the Nigerian’s vocabulary. The other room is, of course, the bedroom.  According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), his wife, Aisha, beautiful, educated (she holds a Ph.D. degree) and flamboyant like many northern Nigerian neauv rich woman, had publicly launched an attack on him for allegedly surrounding himself in government not with his political allies but with opportunists and hangers-on. The BBC summarized it all: “Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari’s wife warns him in a BBC interview that she may not back him at the next election unless he shakes up his government.”

President Buhari replied publicly that her place was not in the government but in the kitchen, the living-room and in “the other room”, the bedroom. President Buhari came under attack worldwide for gender minimization. On FACE BOOK, I wrote:

“President Mohammadu Buhari isn’t too steel-hearted to feel the warmth of a woman nestling beside him. He has apologized to wife Aisha, and, indirectly, to Nigerian woman, that he was only joking when he said her office was not First Lady’s but the Kitchen and the other room. We all know this is all diplomacy. He does not want Aisha to become a Maryam Babangida or a Stella Obasanjo or a Mariam Abacha or a Patience Jonathan. After the dust settles, I imaging Aisha apologizing in return… Baba Yi-Akuri, the Hausa for Baba, I am sorry. As the Yoruba would say, OMO OKO L’OO GUN OMO ALE, which means the hardy husband is the antidote for a bastard (child).

“I believe Federal Civil Servants were egging Aisha on, pulling her by the hair and whispering… THIS IS YOUR TIME. They would want her to host the First Ladies of Africa. This is a ritual. They would buy and dispense later all the Conference Visitors Unit (CVU) cars and make their own profit. They would earn bonuses from hotel reservations. They would make money also from gifts for First Ladies. They would not ask if Nigeria is the only African Nation on earth that must host this conference every year. Why can Ghana, South Africa, Egypt e.t.c. not host it? There are over 40 nations in Africa. Why can’t Nigeria host, if we must, once every 40 years? Why must we be wasting money? Civil Servants encourage Gen. Yakubu Gowon to host FESTAC in 1977. Chief Obafemi Awolowo criticized them. And they made sure he never became President of Nigeria. Civil Servants encouraged President Olusegun Obasanjo to build a massive stadium in Abuja. What has become of it economically? President Buhari probably knows them better than other Presidents and has placed a barricade between them and Aisha. He cannot so easily forget the embarrassment (and shame) in the making of this year’s Federal Budget. The rightful place of a woman in gross material affairs is behind the man, not beside him or ahead of him. In the home, she is QUEEN. More about this later.

“President Buhari must have remembered that Rebecca stole Isaac’s blessing from Esau for Jacob, that Delilah caused Samson’s death, that Salome made Herod behead John the Baptist, that Helen of Troy caused the war between nations. Do not ask me about Adam and Eve. That is an imagery many people do not understand. Dr. Abayomi Aiyesimoju, neurologist and homeopath, has a beautiful article on that titled THE FALL OF MAN.

“Again, Omo Oko l’oogun Omo ale.”

We can add to this list the fact that women have tormented men over millennia, and men in various communities have found ways to contain them. Why did Bathsheba have to have her bath in the view of King David? She was to succumb sexually to the king and her husband was to be killed for her to remain in the Palace. Jezebel got her husband, King Ahab, to appropriate the only farmland Naboth had, irrespective of the several in the King’s possession. Women got King Saul to hate and aim to kill shepherd boy David when they sang in the street that “Saul killed a thousand, but David killed tens of thousands”. In northern Nigeria, where President Buhari and Aisha come from, women are restricted to the background of life. In the east, the Igbo’s minimize their women in domestic, family and public affairs. Edo men are no less chauvinistic. Only in the South-West of Nigeria do women breathe and walk more freely. Perhaps this is why the Igbos often say Yoruba marriages “don’t last”.

Anxious moments

The foregoing is only the dust that Mrs. Aisha Buhari kicked up. The other room reminds me of many sexual complains of men and women in bed.  Some women are so frigid that they do not easily respond to the touch of a man. My family used to have a family friend in the wife of a man who had no access to her even when they shared the same bed. If you have ever seen the picture of a baby in the womb, upper and lower limbs folded, that’s the way this women loved to sleep, even beside her husband. I always teased her that she had not forgotten her days in the womb. Such women may not have enough of the female hormone, estrogen, in their system. They may actually have more of the male hormone than they should have. There are women who do not retain the sperm. They suffer from sperm reflux and ruin the bed linen. Their spouses are often embarrassed. But some show understanding. It is most likely that such women suffer from infections against which their bodies have produced abnormally thick mucus barrier in the cervix to prevent germs from infiltrating the vagina and the womb. Woman challenged with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) feel edgy and are prone to telling their spouses, “Sorry, not tonight, dear.” When it comes to endometrial problems, anxieties of the other room multiply. What if blood spurts erupt in the heat of passion? When a woman desperately wants to become pregnant, sexual relationships may become an uphill task. I know of a gentleman who is always afraid to go home after a hard day’s work when his wife tells him the calendar is right. He would have been enjoying after-work hours with his friends, afraid to touch alcohol because she must not smell it on him. Back home, the relationship with her becomes mechanical. He must be in the other room with her every day, if only to prove to her that he still cares for her, and there are no other women or any other room between theirs. The anxieties of a woman in the other room are legion. I will attempt, next week, to address some of the questions they raise.

Men’s anxieties

Low sperm count may appear a serious issue in the other room. But it counts least in the shopping list of many men at a health food store. Anxieties constantly popping up include erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. What use is it for a man to be in the other room only to be telling stories by moonlight? Is he talking to a baby? Men as young as thirty-something, or as old as seventy-something besiege health stores in search of help. Many of these problems are related to stress or toxin overload, including heavy metal poisoning, in the Frankenhauser    

Nerve junction, the health of which is important for optimal functioning of male sexual vitality According to www.massagenear.com if reflexology-germany:

“It is known that over 75 percent of health problems can be linked to nervous system and stress-induced situation. A reflexology massage in Franken Hauser improves nerve and blood supply and helps our body normalize.”

We learn in www.lifeworks-wellnesscenter.com: that Frankenhauser bundle of nerves, in the pelvic region, regulates “the function of sex organs”. It says that when these nerves are “not functioning correctly” they may “cause conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic pain, low libido, menstrual irregularity, adhesion from surgeries, infertility, low back or hip pain.”

The Frankenhauser ganglia is probably named after Dr. Roland Frankenhauser, a French medic who developed a technique of injecting medicines into a bundle of nerves in the pelvic region. This bundle is known as the Frankenhauser ganglia. A ganglia is a collection of cells which form a nerve center or junction, headquarter of sort, power, activity or energy. In women, it is to be found on each side of the cervix of the uterus. The Frankhauser ganglia regulate function of the sex organs, as already stated, causing all sorts of problems if it function abnormally. Like other cells of the body, cells in this nerve ganglia renew themselves regularly, taking nutrients from the bloodstream and offloading their wastes into it. We are problem-free when they work optimally in this way. We get into trouble when congestion occurs in the system and they are unable to adequately receive nutrients and oxygen, and eliminate wastes. If such a problem arises, a physician trained in the Frankenhauser technique injects “Vitamins, homeopathic anti-inflammatory, procaine, saline and Ozone, which stimulate the cells in the area and remove debris”. This process is said to stimulate these pelvic nerves, thereby obliging relief from symptoms. Physicians not schooled in neural therapies or the Frankenhauser technique adopt other means of getting the Frankenhauser ganglia to work smoothly. Some use herbal poultices, others employ the super charged oxygen (O3) which, as in oxygenation of all tissues, burn dross and disease, and fire metabolism.

In men, the Frankenhauser ganglia is crucial for sexual vitality. This nerve bundle is made chiefly of three bodies of nerves. One is cholinergic. These nerves use Acetyl-choline as a neuro-transmitter for the transmission of nerve energy or currents. A second set of nerves is Adrenergic. They depend on adrenaline, noradrenaline or a similar substance. A third set, preganglionic, derives origin partly from branch nerve fibers in the spinal cord, that is from the Central Nervous System (CNS) or from outside the CNS. The CNS originates in the brain. Wherever these nerve fibers come from, they must work together in the Law of Balance. Fear, like stress, offsets this balance. Many men are afraid in the other room largely because their spouses do not feel satisfied by them. Some worry about the sizes of their organs, some about technique deficiency, some because they cannot devolve or degenerate into animal behavior which many women seem to enjoy, some because they do not have enough energy to come up all night, while the Juliet remain aflame. The net result of fear is the release of more cortisol and adrenaline, which may short circuit electrical fireworks in the Frankenhauser ganglia. This leads to premature ejaculation. This is a serious offence in the other room. To round off this part of the series, I would like to tell a short story which underscores relationship between fear and premature ejaculation. It has to do with my 1977 mass communications degree class at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The setting was the Advertising degree exam. There were four questions in all, three were to be answered, and one of the three was a compulsory question. The question was … CLOTHES MAKETH MAN. DISCUSS IN RELATION WITH PACKAGING IN ADVERTISING. Pat Utomi, now a professor, was in that degree exam class. Dr. Isah Momoh too, was there. Ngozi Echetabie was there. So were Rev. Father Anyaka, Emaka Emenguali, and now of blessed memory, Patrick Enilama, John Omokhomiom, Jimmy Ovuchor, Nana Audu, Arit Ekanem and Sly Alakwe. (Apologies) to all I cannot immediately remember. Silence fell in the hall. Then agitations. Some gentlemen pulled off their shirts for more fresh air. One woman was sobbing. I took a wild guess, and was lucky it worked. Clothes maketh man. I related clothes maketh man to the saying: Does the hood make the monk? I related it, also, to the Yoruba saying… Iri ni si ni iso ni I’ojo. Literally, it means we are taken as we are seen. In short, a well-dressed man carrying a posh brief case and alighting from a chauffeur driven jeep is more likely to be accorded respect than a scruffy, sweating man who arrives a company gate at the same time, carrying his contract documents in a polythene bag. Thus, good packaging elevates respect for, and trust for a product. But it cannot deceive the buyer all the time.  A man may be well dressed and sweep his audience off their feet at the first encounter. The content decides the fate of a product eventually. What the examiner was dragging at were the advantages and disadvantages of packaging in the advertising mix. Some of his students may have become intensely afraid because he did not ask a straight forward question. He wanted us to go on a philosophical journey. I was to understand, later, that some of the gentlemen ejaculated in their briefs. That’s not surprising. That’s probably the work of an adrenaline flush. It prepares us for “fight” or “flight”. In the exam room, you do not fight or flee. The energy has to be released, somehow…premature ejaculation is, similarly, an outcome of fear in the other room.