Over the weekend, I began interviewing a 22-year-old heterosexual woman for the Sex Life column. As the interview progressed, she shared her plans to knowingly marry a gay man; she’s already placed an ad on a website aimed at queer Nigerians.
Curious about this very unusual choice, I decided to make it a stand-alone article, and I changed my line of questioning. We ended up talking about her disdain for the institution of marriage and why she’s actually doing this for her parents.
First things first, what exactly does your ad say?
I am interested in getting married to a gay man, with whom we would work out the kind of open relationship we can have. I am looking for this kind of arrangement because I am polyamorous and will never be into monogamy.
I would rather not get married at all, but I am an only child and my parents would be crushed. I would like someone who is kind, open-minded and playful. I definitely do not want anybody who is a cynic.
Also, I do not plan on being around a lot — you know, the “wife” you will come home to every day. So, you will probably be on your own most times. The kind of work I’m going to be involved in will definitely involve a lot of travelling.
Alright. So, why is this something you want?
Why else? Freedom. I just want to be free. As I said in the ad, I don’t even want to get married at all, but I’m doing this as a gift to my parents. I know how they are, and giving them the chance to play ‘father and mother of the bride’ will make them very happy.
It will also stop the unnecessary questions that come with being a single Nigerian over a certain age, for my husband and me. We will both get to do whatever we want with whomever we want, without having to lie to each other or disappoint our family. It’s a win-win.
Have you had any luck finding someone?
I’ve actually had a few guys hit me up already. Some of them didn’t get past the email stage — for various reasons — but the ones that did have been really cool. We chat a lot and they are really fun guys.
I haven’t made a concrete choice yet, but I hope that by the time I’m ready to go through with it, I would have found the right person for me: someone respectful and chill that I can be truly friends with.
How did you decide that a gay man was the ideal option?
I chose a gay man because there won’t be any sexual expectations from either of us. That would complicate the arrangement. Honestly, the only thing I would like is to cuddle. I’m a big cuddler, so ending up with someone who likes it as much as I do would be ideal.
Are your parents currently pressuring you to get married?
Not yet. I’m still young, but I know it’s coming soon. I’m a very proactive person, so this is just me preparing for the inevitable. By the time they start pushing for it, I plan to already have someone lined up.
My parents are already in their 60s. They had me pretty late, so I know they’ll soon start feeling the pressure to see their only daughter get married. Even if they don’t bring it up soon, I’m sure my extended family will.
What about kids?
I actually want them. Three to be exact. I’m open to having the kids with him if he wants. I could also have them with someone else if he isn’t interested in children. It’s up to him to decide how involved he wants to be in that aspect.
Alright. How do you feel about marriage itself?
It’s just not for me, not in the conventional sense anyway. I can’t stand the idea of being submissive or being someone’s “neck”. It’s not something I would even know how to do. I also can’t imagine being tied to one person for the rest of my life.
As I said in the ad, I’m polyamorous (the practice of engaging in multiple sexual and romantic relationships with the consent of all the people involved) and the concept of marriage doesn’t really make room for that.
How long have you been polyamorous and what has that been like?
I’ve been polyamorous for about two years now. I tried monogamy for a while, but it wasn’t clicking. I couldn’t stand being with just one person, and the relationships would only last for about a month. So, I decided to take a break and figure out what I really wanted.
That’s how I discovered that polyamory worked for me. Everyone I’m involved with knows that there are other people in my life, so I’m not constantly being harassed about where I’m going, what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with.
Fair. So, what would make for an ideal arrangement in your head?
One where everyone is happy. My parents are happy. My husband is happy. I am happy. Most importantly, our secrets are safe. More his than mine, because I know it’s a lot more dangerous for him. Also, I want us to have a genuine friendship and companionship.