Who’s a pretty polyandrist, then?

Polygamy is a one-way street in South Africa. You can have more than one wife, but you can’t have more than one husband. Polygyny is fine but polyandry, in the words of the clearly repressed Bishop Marothi Mashashane, is a “sexual immorality”. The government is currently considering changes to the Marriage Act to allow it.

Polyandry makes perfect sense to me. If I were a woman, and I do hope to be one someday, I wouldn’t be satisfied with just one husband. No one man on his own can fulfill a woman’s needs. I don’t even mean physical needs. That’s the least of it. Google ‘sex toys’ and you’ll get an idea of just how close men are to redundancy in this department.

I’m talking about other needs. My research, which I’m making up as I go along, shows that 12 is the ideal number of husbands a woman requires to maintain consistent levels of contentment and good humour.

Here are the types of men needed for a successful polyandrous relationship. I mean successful from the woman’s point of view, obviously. Bear in mind that non-polyandrous women, through a combination of overwritten chick-lit, unrealistic romcoms, fairytales and bad advice from their mothers, still expect one man to fill all of these roles. It’s an impossible task and the reason why they eventually cheat, file for divorce or commit husbandcide.

The Fixer. A lot of men pride themselves on being able to fix things. They think it is a desirable quality. However, most women would rather have a man who knows how to fix horse races. That being said, women do appreciate having a handyman around the house. My first wife once expected me to repair a set of solar panels. I couldn’t even find a way onto the roof. She liked me less after that.

The Cook. Women were once genetically programmed to cook. This is no longer the case. They don’t have time to cook. And especially not if they have 12 husbands. But even those of a more traditional bent are increasingly disinclined to prepare an evening meal on a regular basis. Some will say this is because they refuse to conform to the sexist expectations of the patriarchy. Others will be honest and say that they just don’t feel like it and if you’re hungry you can sort yourself out. This also frequently applies to horny. A woman appreciates a man who knows how to cook. Or so I’ve heard. I have never needed to be appreciated that badly.

The Chauffeur. One of the worst things about children is that they expect to be constantly ferried about because their stupid little legs can’t reach the accelerator pedal. Their transport demands spiral out of control as they grow older and develop a pathological desire to see their friends, go to the mall or buy drugs. If you’re fortunate, they’ll get it all done at the mall and you won’t need to make three stops. Women pretend not to mind playing taxi because they know the alternative is far worse – having a recalcitrant teenager in the house.

The Cleaner. Much like cooking, the cleaning gene has been almost entirely bred out of women. They have become relatively feral in comparison to their mothers and are content to live in levels of squalor that would have been hitherto unacceptable. The delegation of cleaning duties might require more than one husband. While a man can be cajoled or threatened into doing the dishes or vacuuming, expecting him to do both is a bridge too far. Men prefer to specialise. Introductions at parties could be along the lines of, “This is Roger, my laundry husband, and Steve, my sweeping guy…”

The Protector. Women need good men to protect them from bad men. Or, in the case of my last marriage, from themselves. Quite often, good men turn into bad men. The converse rarely occurs. Some women don’t need men for protection because they have dogs, guns and restraining orders. But I imagine it is nice to have someone with muscles and testosterone in the house who will go outside and investigate strange noises rather than risk being branded a coward. I have always found the branding option to be less dangerous.

The Pet-Carer. Women love cats and dogs, especially when they are on the bed wedged between her and the husband. But they’re not always that keen on the feeding and exercising of the pets. They might need one husband to do the feeding and another to do the walking. It is unusual to find a man who is prepared to do both. He knows the payoff is negligible.

The Gardener. Let’s face it, women don’t like to garden. They pretend they do, but they don’t really. And the feeling is mutual. Plants are afraid of women. And who can blame them? I rather enjoy a bit of watering if I have a high-powered nozzle and don’t have to move about too much, but planting isn’t for me. A woman should aim to get a planter and waterer in one.

The Caller. Nobody, whether heterosexual or LGBTQI, wants to be the one to call Telkom, a government department or a service provider of any kind. Polyandry provides a woman with the possibility of finding a man who can make these calls without resorting to death threats and smashing the furniture. I am not that man, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there.

The Shopper. When it comes to clothes, a polyandrist won’t need help from one of her husbands. His whining will only become increasingly annoying as she tries on an infinite number of things and she will eventually have to murder him. There’s also no need for a husband for grocery shopping since he couldn’t be trusted to buy what’s on the list. She does, however, need him to make sure the home is never without alcohol. Women are reluctant to be seen shopping on their own in bottle stores. I don’t know why this is.

The Flatterer. He will be expected to respond to questions like, “Does my bum look big in this?” and “Do you still find it cute when I snore?” All men are genetically programmed to lie but some are better at it than others.

The Conversationalist. An essential part of being a woman is the need to talk to and about people, themselves and things. They are very good at it some do appreciate a husband who can participate on a level beyond shrugs, grunts and monosyllables. He will have a sparkling wit, be erudite and empathetic and, above all, know when to shut up and listen.

The Shagmeister. While all husbands would be expected to present themselves for shagging duties as and when required, one man will be tasked with drawing up the roster. He will also be expected to maintain order when the men, as ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe fears should polyandry become legal, turn into wild animals and all want her at the same time.