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 25-year-old who was diagnosed with depression in 2016 and has been off and on antidepressants since then. He shares his experience with them and how they have impacted his sex life.
When did you have sex for the first time?
January 2018, only a few months after I turned 25. My ex and I had just broken up. It was a low period, and I was looking for some type of connection. So I hung out with a friend who was engaged — I didn’t know this at the time though. One thing led to another and she had offed cloth. Under two seconds, everything bust — we went from being friends and nothing more to friends having sex. Because it was my first time, I kept wondering if I was doing it right and if she was enjoying it. Soon, we were both twitching. She tightened up on me and we came.
As great as the sex was, I felt terrible after.
This just went from juicy to confusing. Please explain.
I had tried to have sex with the person I loved, my ex who I had just broken up with, but it never worked — my body just wasn’t responding to hers. Then I had sex with this friend and it was great. It felt like I had betrayed my ex.
That sucks. But wait first, did any kind of drama happen after you slept with this friend? How did you find out she was engaged?
What do you think? She told her fiancé and he called me.
Yup! He asked why I did it. It was super messy. But they’re still together.
Yikes. But tell me, what were your expectations before your first sexual experience. Did it meet up?
To be honest, I had very little expectations before having sex, because it’s not as important as cuddling or spending time together. And yet, I never pegged sex to be as fun as it turned out to be; my body knew and understood her body.
So what happened after that? Did that experience scare you from having more sex?
Lewl. Nope. I had sex with another friend next. I had chased her for a while for a proper relationship, but that didn’t work out. It led to occasional gbas gbos — but just as friends.
LMAO. Friends, but with benefits?
Something like that. The sex was great because we were good friends. Then after a while, my head switched off, and I wasn’t attracted to her anymore.
Welp… How many sexual partners have you had since then?
You had sex for the first time at 25. Why did it take you this long?
In the beginning, it was me trying hard to be a good Christian. The Bible forbids fornication, and I followed that strictly, even though I occasionally made out and cuddled with lovers. There was, after all, nothing explicitly forbidding that.
In 2014, I realised that religion and faith were not exactly real to me — they were things my parents brought me up with. A lot of things went out of the window after that; things like keeping myself for my wife. After that, I started attempting sex and that was when I realised my body didn’t respond to everyone.
There might be an undeniable attraction, but it won’t translate into willpower to have sex — like with my ex. I don’t know how or where this comes from. All I know is that it’s a thing that happens to me.
Let’s talk about your most interesting sexual experience.
I can’t exactly say interesting. But I can say super strange. Since I started taking antidepressants, strange things have been happening.
Tell me about that.
Everything and anything can go wrong when you’re on antidepressants. Your mind might not be interested, but your penis and body will want it. Sometimes you’re interested, but your body doesn’t understand, and you can’t maintain an erection; you’ll get a boner for a while, and before you can say okoto meow meow, it’ll be gone. And it’s not like you’ve had an orgasm or anything.
I remember one particular experience where I kept going for 40 minutes and nothing came out. Apparently, that’s one of the things that antidepressants can do to you. There hasn’t been anything out of the ordinary, just weird experiences.
When did you start using antidepressants?
In early 2014, I noticed that I wasn’t happy and didn’t have the motivation to work or do menial things like taking a bath. Because there was no cause, I decided to speak to someone and they said I might have a mental illness and might need to speak with a professional. The first professional I attempted to speak with asked me if I’d tried Jesus.
Ugh. How did that make you feel?
I wasn’t going to go back to religion, so I moved on. Then in 2016, I met a therapist and was told I was depressed — my first official diagnosis. They put me on medication, but I stopped in 2017, after about a year. When I stopped, I found out that I was disillusioned with life. So I started again in 2018.
Are you currently on antidepressants?
Nope. This may sound narcissistic, but I don’t want to be addicted to feeling normal just because I’m taking pills everyday. I want to feel normal because I’m feeling normal. I want to be able to have sex normally. I stopped in April 2019. Then in July, I started again because I started to feel like shit, but then I recently stopped again.
Growing up, what were some of the interesting things you heard about sex?
My mum is a nurse, so I knew about sex from a very young age. I grew up around old WHO and UN posters and materials on safe sex. But my exposure to porn and commercial sex was through an uncle. One day, he took me to his friend’s house. This was 2004. There were a lot of young people in the house watching porn. The TV was faulty, so part of the screen was blue, and for a long time, I assumed that was why porn was called “blue film”.
I watched with them and I felt super funny. I don’t know if I liked it or didn’t like it. At this point, I have to mention that I don’t watch porn now. The writing is shit.
And oh. I just remembered something.
When we were younger and lived outside the country, there was this Congolese-Nigerian housekeeper that assaulted me. Her and her boyfriend. She worked for my family friend as a live-in maid. So anytime my sister and cousins went over to that family friend’s house, and there were no adults, this woman would take me aside and do stuff to me. I was about seven years.
So sorry you had to experience that.
Yes. I cannot say how this experience affected me, but it did. For years after, I couldn’t stand it when people touched me. But that’s just a tiny bit of it.
What are myths you heard about sex growing up?
The whole ‘you are bound to someone spiritually’ when you have sex with them. I don’t think God cares about what we do with our penises or vagina. I think that religion was created to stifle people — more women than men.
Let’s talk about your favourite sexual position.
I enjoy getting ridden and doggy. I like to give head and finger my partner. I’m super interested in my partner’s body moving, quaking and shaking. It’s because I feel like I’m going to be a disappointment, since my head can just go ‘we are not doing again’, so I’d rather the person be satisfied.
Most embarrassing sexual experience?
My most embarrassing sexual experience was one time when I was arrested with my friend on campus. The security said we were having sex, but we hadn’t even entered half base. We slept overnight behind the counter. When they called my roomates and said I was having sex in public, they said it wasn’t possible. I hadn’t had sex at the time.
What’s sex like for you these days?
Sex these days is extremely non-existent. I haven’t done it in months. Not because I haven’t been in a relationship in over a year. I can have sex outside of a relationship — as long as I’m friends or have a connection with them and it’s protected.
What’s your overall opinion about sex?
Sex is a sin and a crime and they should ban it. Hahaha. To me, sex is the ultimate display of affection, proof of love. I don’t think it should be taken lightly. I think it’s something that should be shared with people you really care about. Love comes in different ways. It is something I can only share with people I have thorough affection for.
Future of sex for you?
I think I’m going to get married and have kids someday and when I have them, I would have all the types of conversations about sex. It won’t be ‘don’t have sex’. My parents have negative attitudes towards sex. They feel like once you start having sex, you don’t have a future. I’ll tell my children to not necessarily rush into it because everyone is doing it. I’ll tell them to do it when they’re ready. I’ll tell them about safe sex. Children are not beasts of burden; the military way my parents raised me doesn’t work.
How would you rate your sex life?
I can’t even lie, maybe 2. If I start having sex again, that would probably change.