An expert in sex behaviour has said the culture of bedroom silence and premature ejaculations contribute to factors that lead husbands to enjoy sex with housemaids instead of their wives.
Recently The Weekend Times received a tip that marriage of a prominent businessman in Blantyre was on the rocks after the wife found her husband in a compromised position with a housemaid.
The Weekend Times decided to speak to behavioural change activist with Save the Children Timothy Bonyongwa to find out why husbands prefer to have sex with housemaids.
Bonyongwa said in most cases, husbands prefer housemaids because they are not satisfied with their wives due to lack of communication between them.
"Where there is no communication it is difficult for the partners to satisfy each other because they don't know what the other one prefers.
"For example, there are some men with premature ejaculation who want sex regularly and if the wife does not know this, the husband will find alternative source for quick gratification and in most cases it is the housemaid because she is an easy target in the house," he said.
Bonyongwa said the problem also has to do with wives' behaviour.
"Some women are rude to their husbands and this forces them to look for comfort elsewhere. This is apparent in marriages where the woman feels she is financially better off than the husband and she feels he is not more deserving.
"The moment the wife starts looking down upon the husband, she will not be ready to sleep with him at his demand but only when she wants it. This frustrates husbands who feel women must be submissive to them. The result is that the husbands look for an easy submissive alternative around them for sex, and in this case, housemaids," he said.
Bonyongwa, however, clarified that this explanation does mean he condones the behaviour.
Emma Kaliya of Gender Coordinating Network said the behaviour has to do with power relations between men and women.
She said often men like to use their masculinity to advance their power by picking on weaker characters such as housemaids and young girls.
"Men want to show they are more powerful and one way of doing that is by enticing young women and those disadvantaged. They use their masculinity or economic power to force the women and sleep with them.
"If it is a maid or a junior officer, they will threaten them and say I will fire you if you refuse to sleep with me. So it has more to do with the chauvinistic character of men that makes them feel they can get anything and everything they want," she said.
On the other hand, Kaliya said men by nature are born with traits that make them want to have more than one woman.
"Men want to take risks and they want to try things out including sleeping with more than one woman not necessarily because their wife does not satisfy them but just for the thrill of it. If they see a woman they think is beautiful, they want to have her," she said.
Kaliya, however, was quick to add that despite all those explanations, it does not mean what they do is right because it is abuse and violation of the rights of the maids and the disadvantaged.
"These men lack responsibility and they don't know what they want little wonder they leave their wives and sleep with maids. They need counselling and spiritual deliverance because cheating is a sin and a violation of vows taken before committing to each other in holy matrimony'" she said.