“A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week.
Today’s subject is *Yemi, a 27-year old sex worker who tells us how sex work has affected her outlook on life.
Trigger warning: Strong content of drug use and rape ahead.
Today, I wake up around 10 am. I stay indoors and gist with some of my friends in the compound. After a while, I go inside my room to reply to someone who has sent me a text on e-message to link up. I try to be careful when meeting people off apps; I make sure that we are clear on the terms and conditions before meeting physically. I tell them what I can do and what I can’t do. This person wants me to come today. I can’t because I am going to the club with some of my friends.
I reply that I will be available on Thursday and go off to make arrangements with my friends for our clubbing tonight.
We order a taxi and leave by 9 pm. One of my friends looks worried and I ask her what’s wrong. She says that our usual plug to enter the club for free is not picking his calls and she’s wondering whether we should turn back or not, to avoid embarrassment. I tell her we can’t turn back after spending taxi money. Even if I don’t see anyone to say hi to, I am taking myself out to have fun.
At the club, I tell my friends to wait in the car while I walk up to the front of the club as confidently as I can. On my way inside, one of the bouncers stops me and asks “were you inside?” Before I can reply, another bouncer comes out and says “no, no, that madam was inside before.” I add “yes, I was inside.” He allows me in.
A few minutes later, I come back out to tell the bouncers that some of my friends just called and I am going outside to pick them. I tell them that I am informing them so they won’t ask me if I was inside before now. I add that when I am coming back with my girls, they should not ask if I was inside before so I don’t get annoyed.
I am going to have a turnt night, I can feel it.
I think dog meat is an aphrodisiac. Ever since I ate dog meat on my trip to Akwa-Ibom, along with Afang, Atama, and many different kinds of leaves that we don’t eat in Lagos, my libido has skyrocketed. I have experienced an increase in ability and capability. I need to conduct research into what is in their food because everyone in that town likes sex. I am dreaming about my tall Akwa-Ibom client with his long chunky dick and mouth that made me scream and wake the entire compound. This guy fucked me with so many styles that nobody has been able to satisfy me like that since I got back to Lagos. He really dealt with me.
I guess I am thinking about him because I don’t want to sleep alone tonight. I am an orphan; I have always been scared of sleeping alone. I’m afraid that if I sleep alone at night, my parents’ ghost will appear. To prevent that, someone always sleeps over at my place.
I call up someone that is on my case. He buys me lunch regularly, gives me daily money, and is helping me look for a job. My friends say that if I want to collect a substantial amount of money and help from him, I should give him sex. He’s not my type, but I need the constant inflow of his money pending when I can get something better.
He comes over and we have sex, but I don’t kiss him. I can’t bring myself to kiss him. He irritates every single portion of my body. The sex is bad because he has a small dick, like the last finger. After that kind of sex, he has the audacity to ask me to marry him. He says he wants to make this serious because he’s also an orphan and he doesn’t have anyone in the world.
What’s all this stress? I miss my long, good dick…
I start the day by getting high. I take a large amount of Tramadol because I can’t face the task ahead of me today without using drugs. I have a client based in Canada that challenges me to do certain tasks and record myself while at it. After I send a video, he pays me between $30-45. To be able to record myself doing this, I have to get fucked up.
Today’s challenge is a threesome. He wants two girls and a guy so I reached out to two of my friends and they agreed to do it. Before recording, everyone is high so it’s easy for us to go all out without holding back. I am sure I look stupid in the video but I don’t think about it too much.
After we are done, I send him the video and I receive the payment. I am sure the bastard uses it to come. I share the money with the girl and the boy asks for his own share, but I ask him why he needs payment seeing as he just enjoyed fucking two women for free. What other payment does he need after this kind of enjoyment? He doesn’t bring it up again.
In the evening, I text the client to say I will no longer be doing videos for him. These videos are very risky and one day, he can wake up and decide to blackmail me by leaking them. Who will I report to? The money is not worth the risk abeg.
I am meeting up with the person from e-message today. He asked me to bring a friend along. It turns out that my friend knows him and she keeps going on about how rich he is and how big his house is. I am excited.
We get there and the first thing he offers us is Baileys. I smile in anticipation of how much he is going to give us when we are leaving. He introduces us to his friends who then offer me Tramadol and my friend Swiphnol because my friend doesn’t take Tramadol. Colorado comes next and by now, all of us are sufficiently fucked.
There are four men and two women in the house. The four men take turns having sex with both of us. I fall asleep when we’re done.
My friend wakes me so we can leave. We thank our hosts for their hospitality and sort the fees. I am excited by how much money I will make; drugs increase my performance and endurance, so I know I gave them a memorable fuck.
The hosts thank us and give us N5,000. My body is cold. They promise to send more that they are experiencing bank issues, but I know that’s a lie. From past experience, I know the money will never come. But who do we want to report to? We thank them and leave but I am angry inside. I must start a business and leave this job; I can’t keep being at the mercy of people.
See, I am tired of all of this rubbish so I am going to give someone my CV today to help with a job. He’s the son of a popular politician. My friend says he can help. We have been chatting for a while. Today, I text him and he asks me to bring my CV for a possible job.
I get to his estate and someone comes to pick me at the gate. Everything looks so shiny. I enter the house and wait for him. He comes in and the first thing he does is pause. I know why he’s pausing. I know why they all pause. I am busty and my breast is the first thing anyone notices about me, but I just shrug it off. He collects the CV and goes upstairs for a bit.
He comes back down and doesn’t say a word, he just pulls me closer. He bends me over and does a doggy in the sitting room. I am shocked by the sudden turn of events to react because he didn’t even tell me he wanted to have sex. After he is done, he counts N20,000 and gives me.
I feel so stupid and angry at myself on my way home. I keep wondering what kind of job my friend told him I needed. I am also angry because some naive part of me is holding out hope that since we have had something together, maybe he will consider me for a real job.
My period starts today so this means I get to rest. I make sure I take three full days off. I don’t have sex with anyone when I am on my period.
I find period sex dirty unless my partner wants it. That is if I am in a relationship. If it’s someone random, I can’t.
The first boyfriend I ever had, the one that disvirgined me, used to ask for sex on my period and I used to give him. He was nice and gave me money to get by because money was tough for me.
After my parents died, I grew up with my grandparents. There was only so much they could provide because they were retired so it’s sad it didn’t work out because after that relationship ended, I knew I couldn’t go back to not having money. Since it was difficult to get a part-time job around my area, I had to use sex as my side hustle to get by.
I don’t see myself in a relationship anytime soon because I don’t trust men. From what I have seen, it’s only sex men want. So, I use them as a stepping stone to achieving my dream – which is to start a big business and not be dependent on anyone. So, even if it’s an inch that any man gives to help me achieve my dreams, I will take it. At least he has helped me.
Any guy I meet, I know tomorrow they will misbehave. Is it not sex they want? Take the sex and be on your way but let me collect what I can collect first.
There’s no church today because of Coronavirus. I believe in God oh, but I don’t go to church frequently. I don’t go on the days that I am broke because when it’s time to drop offering, I won’t be able to drop anything. I don’t like it. I feel that for God to have saved my life for another week and I can’t drop common “Thank you Jesus”, it’s bad. That’s my personal conviction and not something someone told me. I just don’t like it.
Also, I have never paid tithes before and that’s not good. I don’t know how to calculate tithes because I have never had a steady source of income. Is it when I get N5,000 here and there that I will remove money for tithes? When I have so many things I want to use the money for. The most money I have ever had before in my life at once is N50,000 and I used it for rent. I know it’s not good but God sef understand say I dey hustle.
Since there is no church today, I am going to smoke kush and blend it with cigarettes. I am having my own service; service of smoking. At least when I am high, I don’t think about my life.
*Name changed to protect identity. Some of part of this interview was left unedited to preserve the authenticity of the words of the subject.
Check back every Tuesday by 9 am for more “A Week In The Life Of” goodness, and if you would like to be featured or you know anyone who fits the profile, don’t hesitate to reach out. Reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be featured on this series.