Sex Life: How Fighting Negative Stereotypes Affected My Sex Life

March 27, 2021

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 this week’s Sex Life is a 28-year-old heterosexual Nigerian woman who recently got married. She talks about how rumours about her sex life and stereotypes about being a Muslim woman gave her more reasons to stay celibate until marriage, and also made her detest men. 

When was your first sexual experience? 

It’s interesting. If you asked me a month ago, before I got married, I’d have said I had never done anything sexual before. But that’s a lie. 

Holdup. Explain it to me. 

Let me start from the beginning: my first sexual experience wasn’t consensual. I was 11 or 12. An older cousin made me give him a blow job, and I was traumatised by it. 

I’m so sorry. 

I know. Everybody is. However, it opened me up to sex and I became so curious about it, I was making out with everyone in school. It wasn’t that bad, but when I think of how young it was or think about me having a daughter who is kissing different boys at that age? I almost feel like shooting myself. 

Was it just making out?

Yes. Kissing, and sometimes a bit of oral sex. I didn’t particularly like making out when I started. But when puberty properly kicked in, I began to enjoy it like mad, so it did get better and more intense. I would spend hours after school making out in a secluded area with different people, mostly seniors.

Funny thing is, everyone at home and in school thought I was a good girl. I went to a conservative school, so everyone was quiet about their exploits. I was also careful with hiding these things. I didn’t talk to boys a lot, even the boys I made out with, just to create a facade that I was a good babe. Also, I never got caught.

Did that change?

After secondary school, yes. I started taking my life seriously and became religious. I come from a Muslim home, but I had never taken religion seriously.

What made you start taking religion seriously?

Nothing really. I guess I just became more mature. This made me become serious about waiting for marriage to have sex. I wiped my slate clean and began to lie about my history: I told people for years that I had no sexual past. I won’t say I was lying to be honest. I just created a new truth and ran with it until even I believed it was true.

What happened in university? 

I didn’t know how sexually charged university was. I grew up somewhere in the north and moved to the south for university. I started wearing a hijab in my first year of university, and it felt like a lot of people were interested or attracted to me; I didn’t know why. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m attractive and I have a huge ass, but a lot more men than was reasonable were moving to me. It was very uncomfortable.

What kind of advances were you getting?

Men following me to my hostel, cars stopping on the road trying to pick me — all within campus. I used to get a lot of gifts from male classmates too, lol. They would offer to do something for me in order to sleep with me. I kept telling them I wasn’t interested. My classmates were even more adamant for some reason. 

Wow. How did you navigate that?

I tried to never move alone. I was always with other sisters or classmates. But honestly, there wasn’t much I could do. When I got even more religious and started covering fully, it got worse. That’s when I started hearing that women who wear hijab and other kinds of full covering were considered “sluts”, that we’re all just hiding behind our dressing and they know what women like me, especially me, do behind closed doors. 

Wait what?

It was a friend who told me this — she heard it from some boys in school. She said they said more about me, but didn’t say what else. She didn’t want to upset me. I eventually found out. So it was two things: they had come up with a stereotype about hijabis. Two, they were saying I was loose and anyone could get with me — a ton of boys in my class were claiming they had slept with me and were saying my pussy was tight or that my breast felt or looked a certain way.

Some of my friends almost believed it because the guys were apparently quite detailed about what they’d done with me. It was a very weird period. Worse because I was the only muslim lady in my class. There were others in my faculty though, and they shared that at some point, they had heard the stereotypes. 

Wow. How did this affect you? 

I couldn’t report to anyone or change anything, so I just kept pushing men away and away. I didn’t want to prove their rumours or validate their stereotypes, so I didn’t even go on dates. That was the point that I realised that men don’t have sense. If I felt anything for a man, I’d convince myself he was rubbish.

 This continued until after university. I had never dated anyone as of the time I turned 23, and my parents were worried about me. They were proud that I was committed to God, unlike some of my siblings, but they wanted me to relax a little. I didn’t know how to tell them that I couldn’t let my guard down. 

I’m so sorry. You’re married now. How did this change?

Well, I first had to find a sensible man and that was tough. I went on so many dates. My friends introduced me to all kinds of men. If they said one thing that made me feel uncomfortable, I left the date and blocked them. Until I eventually went for my masters and met someone sensible. I met my husband and we dated for about three years before I actually let him even kiss me. 

Three? Wow. 

To be honest, we were only in close proximity to each other in our first year. I went back to move back after my masters, so we didn’t see each other for a bit. It was always off and on. We tried to do phone sex a few times, but it was weird. I also used to send nudes and risky texts, just to sort of keep him interested. Won’t lie that I wasn’t afraid I’d lose him since we weren’t sexually active or afraid he wouldn’t cheat on me. Then we got married. 

How has married sex been? 

The best. It’s just great. I love it. My husband prioritises my needs. I prioritise his. I don’t like the idea that everybody has to fight for their orgasms. No. When you go into the bedroom, you forget yourself and put your partner first. Those are my two cents. 

At first, it was difficult to get into each other’s bodies, and I was scared that I had fucked up by not having sex before the wedding, but we’ve only been married a little while and so, I had to cut myself some slack and understand we’re still learning the ropes. And sex positions. Lol. It’s gotten really good. I read stories about women not having orgasms and I can’t relate because I get multiple orgasms.

How do you compare these experiences with what you were doing when you were a teen? 

Lmao. See, until now, only my husband knew about that part of me because I erased it from my memory. There’s nothing to compare. I was a child who didn’t know what she was doing. Now I do. I’m more mature, so I’m enjoying it. 

I am curious though, if those rumours and stereotypes didn’t exist when you were in uni, would you have done anything sexually?

Not really, tbh. I wanted to wait till marriage. While it was a horrible experience, it kind of gave me more reason to wait. The major thing it did though, is that it made me scared to even date or think of sleeping with a man I wasn’t married to. I’m glad that’s over.

How do you rate your sex life?

10/10. Orgasms, 10. Stroke game, 10. Experiments, 10. And it’s only been a month oh. 

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