Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.
Today’s subject is a 32-year-old heterosexual man who got married a few months ago. He talks about the loss of sexual excitement after getting married, his Madonna-whore complex and his disdain for open marriages.
What was your first sexual experience?
I was 10 and I had a girlfriend who was 12. I didn’t really know anything or even fully understand what I was feeling, but I remember that things got very physical. We even tried to have sex, but I didn’t have a functional apparatus at the time, so that didn’t work out.
She used to come over to my house and stay in my room. Everyone just figured we were playing, but we were constantly making out. I remember feeling very guilty and wanting to confess to my parents, but I told my older sisters and they begged me not to.
How did you know what to do at 10?
I was really just following her lead, and she was following Hollywood’s. I remember going to her house and she got me to watch a Pamela Anderson movie called Barb Wire. It was rated 16, and I was so terrified that my mum would find out — we weren’t even allowed to watch MTV until we were teenagers. After watching the movie, It became pretty clear that’s where she got most of her ideas from.
So, when was the first time you actually had sex?
That wasn’t until I was 16. It was when I moved to London for uni. I met a girl, she was 15 at the time, and we were both virgins.
Did you feel any pressure to get it over with?
Not at all. I actually left Nigeria swearing that I was going to be celibate. The girl I eventually lost it to didn’t want to lose hers either, but we really liked each other. The experience was actually forgettable, but in my head, I was just glad the lid was finally off.
What was your opinion about sex before you had it?
I had a pre-teen phase when I was very religious. In junior school, I’d gather my friends together at lunchtime and actually teach scripture. So, even though I didn’t think about sex a lot while growing up, my religious stance was that it was sinful.
That didn’t stop me from masturbating though. Before I eventually lost my virginity, all I thought about was masturbating, getting jerked off, sucking boobs and kissing. I’m actually still a big fan of masturbating.
How sexually adventurous have you been since then?
I’ve always been open to exploring. There was even a time I tried to imagine myself being with men. I mean, it didn’t work for me, but I didn’t close my mind until I was certain that it did absolutely nothing for me.
I even considered the possibility of liking anal, but that doesn’t work for me either. Instead, I like getting rimmed and a little bit of finger in there. Just a little bit. Anything more and it feels like I’m taking a dump, which is a different level of pleasure.
Yeah. It’s very pleasurable to shit. Not the watery type though, that one is bullshit. When you’re taking a medium-to-hard shit, it’s fantastic. Especially when it’s a little wet and you have to push through. That’s a great experience, but not a sexual one.
Guy, how did we get here?
LMAO. That’s on me.
So, what’s your sex life like now?
Well, I’ve been married for a few months now, so things have changed. The main difference I’ve noticed is that you don’t have to schedule sex or worry about how much of it you’re getting. When it comes, it comes.
Do you still masturbate now that you’re married?
Definitely. You’ll never stop jerking off. Don’t let anybody lie to you. Nobody can know your parts as well as you. With masturbation, you can make it last as long as you want.
Sex can be so accidental sometimes. In your head, you’re like ‘I no wan bust now’, and boom, it’s a wrap. You cannot surprise yourself when you’re jerking off.
Facts. So, which other way has marriage changed your sex life?
My appetite for adventure has definitely dropped. It’s not quite vanilla now, but we know what works, so instead of diversifying it, we just try to just amplify it.
I think married couples are constantly judging and trying to fix each other, so when I want to try something new in the bedroom, I find myself feeling anxious.
When I was single, I didn’t really care about what a random hook-up thought about my technique or eccentricities. But with my wife, I know I’m going to have to wake up beside her the next day, so I overthink everything.
Makes sense. Do you agree with the myth that marriage drains chemistry?
I think it’s really up to you. It’s definitely a lot more emotional than primal. When you’re single and you meet someone attractive, you’re already wondering when you’ll get to have sex with that person. So, there’s all that buildup and anticipation.
When you’re married, there’s none of that. You know sex is going to happen. In this case, the anticipation is kind of different. It’s more like, ‘Are we going to be on it today or not?’ rather than ‘When, if it all, is this going to happen?’
Does that take away any enjoyment?
It takes away the excitement, not enjoyment. There’s something exhilarating about the chase when you’re single, about wondering how quickly you’ll be able to convince someone to sleep with you.
When you’re married that kind of excitement is gone. It now becomes more about making it romantic and prolonging the sense of novelty.
So, what have you guys talked about trying to help prolong that sense of novelty?
We have an ongoing conversation about later-life swinging (the practice of swapping sexual partners within a group).
Oh? How much later?
Honestly, I’m the one holding back. I’m a prude when it comes to stuff like this. I’m not trying to swing with anyone, especially not someone else’s wife. I’m really not interested in your used goods, and before you ask, yes, I think I’m used goods too — very used.
LMAO. Alright. So you don’t think you’ll ever consider it?
At this point, I’m not interested at all. If you’re going to have anything extra-marital, just call it what it is: cheating. Don’t try to reimagine it.
You don’t think the honesty and openness make it different from cheating?
Nope. I don’t believe that marriage allows for certain levels of diversity. If you’re not committed to monogamy, don’t get married. It’s not by force. I take my wedding vows very seriously.
That’s a strong stance.
Well, this is really just me talking after a few months of marriage. Five years in, who knows? I might suddenly have a change of heart.
Also, I’ve been in relationships where I’ve cheated, so I’m not claiming any moral high ground. But everyone needs to have a line they are unwilling to cross, and mine is not perverting my marriage in any way.
Hypothetically, which one are you more likely to do? Agree to an open situation or cheat?
LMAO. You’re such a Nigerian man.
LMAO. I’m starting to realise that. Since I got married, I’ve discovered that there is a lot more toxic masculinity in me than I’d imagined.
I’ve always been pretty self-righteous about being more liberal than most guys, but it turns out I’m really just that stereotypical ape-man. It’s so disappointing.
Which ways have you realised this?
It took me such a long time to accept that I like certain submissive sexual situations. I just couldn’t open myself up to the idea that sometimes I like to be dominated. As the guy, you’re always expected to come with that ‘beat the pussy up’ energy.
Fair. Besides the potential later-life swinging, has your wife suggested other possibilities?
Well, a threesome could be on the table if I can get over the pressure I feel to always perform. It could be fun to have two babes who are into it, and I’m just there watching them do their thing. Then again, I don’t want my wife to be one of those two. It just doesn’t work in my mind.
We’ve also spoken about hall passes (allowing each other to have sex with other people), but like every Nigerian man, once I do my own, I’m sure I’ll want to pull out of the deal when it’s her turn. But to be honest, I think she’s just trying to rile me up with these suggestions. I don’t think she actually wants to do any of them, or maybe I’m just in denial.
Do you have a fear that if you refuse to experiment things will get boring?
Yeah. I’m afraid that she’ll get bored with me. One of my biggest fears is that my wife will cheat on me, and I won’t even be able to be righteously angry.
Is there any way you’re addressing this fear?
I’m trying to be more spontaneous. I typically liked to be wooed before sex — I don’t like to feel like I’m just being used for my dick, even by my wife — but that can make it feel a little mechanical. So, I’m trying to learn to just go with the flow.
I’ve also learnt that women sometimes like to be treated with reckless abandon. Instead of treating them like eggs, just get in and get shit done. That has been tough for me to do with my wife. I think it’s called a Madonna-whore complex (viewing women as either “good” and chaste or “bad” and promiscuous).
Did this issue begin with your wife?
Nah. It’s always been there. Felt like this about two other women I dated. I remember one of them saying that she needed me to drill her, but I was like, ‘You’re not one of those girls’.
The stupid thing is that I cheated on her like mad. I was treating her like some delicate flower in bed, then I’d go out and do all the nonsense that I thought was beneath her.
Ah. That one was on you oh.
Yeah. It definitely was. In my mind, I have unlearnt that way of thinking, but I’m still yet to actually apply it in my marriage.
Do you plan on having kids?
Yeah, we do.
How will you talk to them about sex?
I remember a conversation I tried to have with my dad the first time I had a wet dream. When I told him, he just said, “Ok. I had mine when I was around your age too”. Then he left for work. I was so underwhelmed.
I wish he had made me feel a bit more normal, but he just responded like a robot. I don’t want that for my kids. I want to be the kind of parent that engages. I’ll ask questions and make them comfortable enough to keep coming to me.
Can you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?
Right now, it’s somewhere between 3 and 4.
Why so low?
I think couples adjust to married life in different ways, and we’ve had a pretty rocky beginning. So, yeah, our sex life has suffered.
What was it like before you got married?
We made the high 10s when we were still dating. Adjusting to getting married has caused a lot of disruption. So, the chemistry has been off. I’m positive it will eventually pick up when we iron out some things. I’m not too worried.