Sex Life: How Opening My Marriage Changed My Life

June 13, 2020

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.


The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 30-year-old queer woman who, after agreeing to an open marriage, realised she is primarily attracted to women. She talks about coming out to her husband and embracing her new reality.

What was your first sexual experience?

I was 13 and it was with my best friend. We were in JSS 3. One day, we were talking about boy problems, and we just started kissing. From then on, we met in the same spot almost every day to make out. The crazy thing is: we never actually acknowledged it.

Did it ever go beyond kissing?

We attempted scissoring with our clothes on, but we really had no idea what we were doing.

How did it end?

It never officially ended. When we finished secondary school, she left the country and that was it. I haven’t seen her since then. We reconnected two years ago, and we occasionally chat and send each other flirty messages. 

It was even recently that we had a proper conversation about what happened between us. We acknowledged that we were actually in a relationship, but we just didn’t know it. Due to the lack of representation at the time, we didn’t understand that women could be together in that way. 

So when did you have sex for the first time?

I was 19 and it was with a 23-year-old woman. I went somewhere with my colleagues, and I met her. We hit it off and exchanged numbers. We chatted for a bit, and a few days later, she invited me over to her place.

We had amazing sex, and to this day, I still consider it to be one of my best sexual experiences. 

Had you been with any men at this point?

I hadn’t been sexual with a man at this point, but I’d dated a few guys. 

Why weren’t these relationships sexual?

I had this entire purity thing going on. I was raised catholic, so I was saving myself for marriage. It’s ironic, I know, but it was important to me at the time. So, I had these romantic relationships with men that never became sexual.

That didn’t stop you from sleeping with a woman?

No, It didn’t. I grew up believing that sex didn’t happen unless it was penetrative. So, at that time, I didn’t actually think I was having sex. It was only much later that I realised that wasn’t true. 

Wow. So, when did you first have sex with a man?

That happened when I was 22 or 23. I just got tired of waiting.

Was it good?

It wasn’t at first. The first couple of times were terrible, but it eventually became quite enjoyable. We were together for a few months, but the relationship ended really badly. After him, I went back to being born again.

Really?

Well, kinda. After the breakup, I left the country for my education. On my first night abroad, I had a one-night stand with a woman. A few weeks later, I met the man who would go on to be my husband. We dated for 4 years and didn’t have penetrative sex once.

We only used to make out and dry hump each other. However, that was only constant for the first two months of our relationship. After that, it became a real struggle because I lost interest in doing those things with him.

Did you know why at the time?

I blamed it on a bunch of things, but I mostly thought it was my sex drive dipping as I got older. We still went ahead and got married, but it only got worse. It was always him wanting to have sex and me not being interested. 

Oddly enough, every time we did have sex, it was always great. My orgasms were very intense. Still, I never wanted to initiate it. He would push for sex, and I would always come up with one excuse or the other.

How often would you say you were having sex?

Probably once every three weeks. 

Damn.

Yup. Things remained like this until we decided to have an open marriage.

Interesting. How did that conversation come up?

I never used to believe that you could be attracted to multiple people at once, but when it finally happened to me, I spoke to my husband about it. He was very open-minded and the conversation was so easy. 

By the next day, we had agreed to open our marriage. Granted, we had a few rules in place.

What were the rules?

The most common one: No emotional attachment to other people. Also, no sleeping over — no matter where either of us were or who we were with, we had to return home and spend the night together.

That’s sweet. So, how has this arrangement changed your sex life?

Well, my first two flings after the agreement were with men. That’s actually when I realised I no longer wanted to date men. So, I began to exclusively date women, and everything just fell into place.

Wait. What?

Yup. Opening up my marriage helped me accept the fact that I’m primarily attracted to women, so my husband and I are currently separated. We still talk, he’s basically my best friend, but our marriage is over. 

Holy shit. How exactly did you make this realisation?

It was about a year after we opened up our marriage. I was dating this girl at the time, and I just loved being with her. The sex felt easy and natural. I suddenly became very protective of that experience. 

Typically, my ex and I would come home and share our experiences with each other. This time around, I didn’t want to share it with him. In my head, that would have minimised the experience. That’s when I began to really think about my sexuality. 

How long before you opened up to your ex-husband?

It took me about four or five months to have this conversation with him. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. We both knew what it meant for our relationship, so we cried a lot. I still live with the guilt of breaking his heart.

Do people know why you and your husband are separated?

Yeah. A lot of the people who are close to us — mostly our friends and siblings — know why we really separated. He even told his mother about it. So, yeah, my sexuality is not some big, shameful secret. 

That’s awesome. What’s your sex life like now?

It’s pretty great. I’m in a relationship with a woman and we have really mindblowing sex.

Is it the same woman you made the realisation with? 

Nope. Funny enough, that relationship fizzled out really quickly. This is a different person.

So, what’s it like fully embracing your queerness?

It’s awesome and liberating. I feel like I’m finally living truthfully. I’m really just impressed with the person I’ve become. I like that I’ve grown, and in spite of all the homophobia, I’m still able to exist loudly and boldly. 

That’s wonderful. How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?

I’ll give it a 9. I would really like to be having sex with more people, but right now, it’s just one person.


Check back every Saturday by 12pm for new stories in the Sex Life series. If you would like to get this story in your mail before everyone else — complete with inside gist that doesn’t make the final cut, sign up here. Catch up on older stories here.

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