7 Religious Nigerians Talk About Abstaining From Sex In Their Relationships

March 4, 2021

How difficult is it to stay chaste in a relationship when both parties are people with feelings? For this article, I spoke to 7 Nigerians who told me their difficulties and triumphs.


This was a very difficult piece and I will tell you why. When I originally put out the call for stories, I directed it to married couples who didn’t kiss or have sex before their marriage. I wanted to know about their sex life: any regrets? Tips?

For days, I got nothing. And then, this simple one:

*Esther.

I’m enjoying sex apart from kissing because he has mouth odour. I discovered when we got married. We are learning to satisfy each other on sex. Seriously, no wahala about that.

When I reached out to ask more questions, I got no response. So I changed the call.

I extended the call to include Muslims and other religious couples. Some sent in stories, some sent hi and nothing else, and some left their stories unfinished. But here are the most interesting answers I got.

Damilare.

I tried. I really tried to hold myself. The heavens know how much I tried acting like a saint up and down. We will kiss small and body will be doing gish-gish. We will start giving each other the word of God. Wo, it happened when it wanted to finally happen and we haven’t stopped since. Those people that are not doing it, 98 percent na iro repete. Pure lies.

Ebele.

We met in church. After a lot of chasing and convincing on his end, we started dating. We’ve been together for 1 year and 8 months. In the talking stage, we were both on the same page about abstaining till marriage. We decided to take it further and not kiss as well. But when we were faced with reality, it was harder than we thought. Once, I came back from a trip and he welcomed me with a kiss on my neck that ended up being a hickey. It wasn’t fun explaining it people. We eventually gave in and started kissing by the 3rd month of our relationship.

For me, it’s pretty easy because I don’t always have sexual urges but I know it’s really difficult for him because I see it in his eyes. Yet, he has never tried to pressure me or make me change my mind because he knows it’s important to me. It’s also important to him. I forget that men can be sensitive and there are times when I sit on his laps or between his legs and he has to remind me if I know where I am sitting. It used to be awkward at first but now we just laugh about it and I change location. We are very aware of what turns each other on so we are careful about how/where we touch each other. I won’t lie, it’s not exactly easy but we have had to learn other ways of spending our time that doesn’t involve being physical.

Gloria.

My partner and I have been dating for two years now. Before we met, we were (and still are) pretty hypersexual people. I’m a Pastor’s kid, just as he is, so we knew what we were doing and what it is to our faith.

When we started dating, we had sex everywhere we could, even on holy grounds. But earlier that year, I was uncomfortable about something and I kept feeling the need to draw closer to God. Through introspection, I realized that the one thing I could point out as a sin in my life is fornication. So I spoke to my partner, and even though it wasn’t the easiest decision to make, I told him I was going celibate, and it was up to him to decide what’s next. Obviously, for a couple looking to get married, his choice was to join me.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been very hard. VERY hard, and sometimes, we do not make it easy for ourselves. We’ve gone like 8 months straight, then what I like to call “fall” which makes my friends burst out in laughter has happened. And in those moments it’s good but the aftermath isn’t always good. I disconnect from God for a few days, even when all I have read tells me not to. One day I started crying after having sex and he was feeling really bad. To be honest, I’ve never felt guilty about sex, and feeling guilty now makes me feel very terrible so we’re trying to sort and process those feelings and also understand that we are human and need God’s grace to do this and not just our self.

Couples Read: Praying Together Is Extremely Romantic

We are also studying the Word more and praying more and that makes us very happy. It’s pretty hard because while there are resources online from strangers, the Christian couples close to us are either pretending they’re not having sex or struggling or have decided to fuck it and just have sex. And it’s really disappointing because who are we supposed to look up to? It’s one of the reasons why I’m always open to speaking about it and the moments we “fall” because I know it’s not as easy as some people make it to be.

We still have 4 years till our “wedding date”, and even though it’s not easy now we keep pushing. Sometimes, we steal kisses here and there then try to suppress what we’ve started. I’m looking forward to the next few years and praying really hard to God because, I’m not even going to lie, HAVE YOU SEEN MY MAN? And the things we can do together in bed or anywhere really. Whew. 

Mojisola.

I’ve been in quite a number of relationships. When I’m about to enter one, I make sure to declare my stand of abstinence before we start anything. Some of them first say they agree but turn to something else when we’re into the relationship. In my current relationship, it’s different. My boyfriend is 24 and has been sexually active. But he told me that when he met Jesus, he made a commitment to stay off. And so, for me now, abstaining is a whole lot easier with him. I don’t have to explain why I want to stay that way over and over. We’ve been together for a year now. Sometimes when we are alone and of course those feelings start arising, he’s the first to push back and remind me of our commitment. I didn’t believe there were men like that out there till I met him. I can pretty much say I look up to him spiritually because he has made me grow past where I used to be when we met.

Ituen.

I am a Christian in a three-year relationship with a fellow believer. It’s a weird story because we didn’t start out celibate. In fact, he was the first person I ever had sex with. We were both Christians but at that time I was the more “serious” believer. I had just come out of a messy relationship, and he was supporting me through the breakup, and boom, somehow we had sex. When he realized he was my first, he freaked out, but I was a bit calm about it and moved on.

Due to my emotional state at that time (as a result of the last breakup and other issues), the sex continued a few more times until I snapped out of it and “recalled” that it was against my faith. I told him that if he wanted a serious relationship then sex has to be out of the deal. Because if it comes down to my faith and him, I would choose my faith over and over.

We set some boundaries (actually I did), but he just had to agree. No sleepovers is the main one. No freaky chats, no lonely visits too. We see each other mostly in public now. He has since grown more serious with his faith and he is even happy about the celibacy rules. We have been celibate for 2 years 6 months now.

Mayowa.

TW: Abuse.

I’m a guy in my mid 20s. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three years now and we’ve never had sex. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, I’m a Christian, but more importantly, she’s a Christian too. I say this because if I was dating someone else and she wanted us to have sex, I’d most definitely have done it. I know that if I push it a bit and ask her for sex, it’ll happen. I think she knows it too. But we act like the option is not on the table.

She thinks I’m a virgin, but I’m not. I was abused as a child by my elder cousins, both male and female. I don’t know if that counts as losing my virginity. I think it does. Nobody knows about it except two of my friends and I only just told them last year. The abuse ended when I was about 8 or 9, but it made me hate myself a lot as a child because I kept seeing myself as a sinner. It seemed to me like fornication, and fornication is wrong, so I blamed myself for it.

In my guilt, I promised God that if he saw me as “clean” and a virgin again, I would never have sex before I got married. That was what inspired my chastity in the earlier parts of my life, especially in my first year at the university. That, and the emphasis my mother places on the importance of virginity till marriage. Her words stuck.

Despite all these though, I was making out, getting and giving head. I do that with my girlfriend too. I’m a very hypersexual person. I think about sex all the time. It’s happened since I was a kid, and I think it’s because of the abuse. I’ve read online that abuse at a young age makes some people hypersexual. I feel like a hypocrite a lot. Sometimes I ask myself if I’m actually not fornicating. But I’m sure I have an amazing relationship with God. He talks to me, I talk to Him, I worship, He heals people through me, I speak in tongues. I am an actual Christian. I don’t want to have penetrative sex till we get married. But with the way we’re going, I think it might happen. I hope it doesn’t.


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