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 32-year old pansexual trans man who grew up in Nigeria then relocated to the US. He talks about navigating sex as a trans man and dealing with transphobia from his partners.
What was your first sexual experience?
I was very reserved as a kid, and I didn’t do a lot of the adventurous stuff kids my age were doing. Then when I was fourteen, I remember messing around with this girl from school.
We didn’t do much — she would touch my legs and thighs sometimes in class. She was my first kiss and first attempt at sex, but what we had didn’t last long.
Why didn’t it last long?
Rumours started flying about us. People noticed and everyone was talking about how two girls were lesbianing together. Can you guess what happened next?
The babe distanced herself from me and joined people in spreading rumours about me. I was considered a tomboy then, so I was an easy target. Like, this babe went from initiating stuff to making me out to be some kind of predator.
It was awful, but it was, unfortunately, not my only experience with how stressful cis people can be. Luckily, my family moved states not long after that, and I didn’t return to that school the next year.
How did that affect you in the long term?
It was traumatising. People attacking me in that way, someone I was intimate with turning on me like that because of my gender expression is something I still deal with till today.
Till today? How so?
After I came into my gender identity, I dated this babe who said she was okay with my identities. She even had her pronouns in her bio. But whenever we would quarrel, she would use female pronouns on me.
When we made up, she would say she was caught up in the heat of it all and apologise. After we broke up, she told me she would send boys to beat me. Someone heard her telling people she would get boys to rape me.
It fucked me up for a long time.
I’m so sorry about that.
It’s fine. I am much better now.
How’s your sex life now?
Really good. It took me years to accept and find peace with my identities as a pansexual trans man, but I have and now, my sex life is thriving. I am having more and better sex in my thirties than I was in my twenties, and I hope it keeps getting better.
One thing no one tells you is that, as a queer person, you sacrifice your early years to your parents and society. We tend to belong to ourselves only when we are older. Now, I and my orgasms belong to me.
I am not currently dating anyone, but I’m also not searching, so I’m having regular sex — at least thrice a week — with many different people.
Do you still hook up with cis people?
Yeah, I do. Regularly. I always and without fail let them know my gender identity before we get into bed, but I don’t know if I want to date any cis person soon. I have suffered in their hands a little bit too much.
Fair. When did you realise you were pansexual?
I always knew, even though I didn’t know the word. The same way I always knew I wasn’t a girl despite what everyone said. I always liked who I liked. I would see a boy on TV and be like, “Damn”, then I would see a girl and feel the same.
People started calling me lesbian, and I accepted the label because I think I always knew that even though I like girls and boys, I like girls just a little bit more. But I didn’t explore my pansexuality until I got into university.
Why did you wait till then?
I think after what happened in secondary school, I repressed myself for a long time because I didn’t want to deal with that type of bullying or gaslighting. For uni, I went to the US. It was there that I came to terms with my pansexuality and transness.
I knew who I was before I got there, but being in that space helped me explore and understand it better. Then I made friends with similar identities and that just permitted me to be myself.
By my third year in uni, I was a certified slut. Every day, a new person. I felt like I wanted to make up lost time.
What about relationships?
I have a horrible track record with relationships. People are very violent with trans people, especially in relationships. The first person I was intimate with was the babe in secondary school.
The next person was a girl who kept using me for examples on social media and in real life. Like, casually using my experiences, body, and things she knew about me as a partner to be making examples on Twitter. All without my permission.
See. I would tell her to stop, then she would apologise, and the next thing I would see is a tweet like “Trans men do not owe you a penis. My boyfriend hasn’t had bottom surgery, and I love his vagina.” It was too much.
The sex was the bomb, but after a while, I realised it was time to end it. The next girl was the one who was transphobic when we quarrelled. Then I dated someone when I was in Nigeria for a while. That might have been my best relationship.
Tell me about that.
It was with a trans woman. I was in Nigeria for a few months for a project, and I hoped to remain unattached for a while. Then I met her and we just clicked. I think it’s the similarity of our experiences and everything. From sexual appetite to our minds, we were actual matches.
What happened then?
Have you ever met someone that you just know is meant for you, but the location didn’t allow you to be the best couple you could be? That’s what happened.
I don’t think I have ever fallen that hard in love, but I had to go back to the US, and I am waiting for her to join when she’s done with her degree. I know once we are in the same place, it will work.
Wow. Have you dated anyone since then?
Yeah, a guy.
Yup. Also by this time, I had a phalloplasty.
Bottom surgery. Most people know of metoidioplasty, the gender-affirming bottom surgery which helps a trans man get a new penis by enlarging the clitoris. I had a phalloplasty, which means they used skin grafted from my body to form a penis.
Then I had a penile implant so I can get and maintain erections.
Yup, it is. The first is more popular because it is more straight forward than the second and doesn’t require as many revisions or doctor visits. Luckily, after the project I had been working on, I could afford the procedure, as well as the time for all of this.
That makes sense, How did that affect your relationships moving forward?
Well, the boy I dated next spent a huge part of our relationship measuring our penises.
Yup. I had to ask my friends in gay relationships if this was a normal thing, and they were all shocked. One time, he said mine was bigger because it was fake. I broke up with him via text.
He deserved it, please.
Plus the sex wasn’t really good. We keep dragging straight cis men, but the gay ones should up their game too.
LMAO. I agree.
I think people have been looking at me as a real trans man now that I have had top and bottom surgery, which is just sad. I have always been a trans man, even when my parents made me wear skirts and gowns.
I wish people realised your transness isn’t only legitimate after surgery.
True. How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?
Eight. I am having a lot of good sex regularly. I just hope it keeps getting better.