Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.
TW: Sexual Abuse.
The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 28-year-old heterosexual woman who talks about hating condoms and how all that changed after an STD and two pregnancies.
What was your first sexual experience?
I was 17. It was with this guy who was four years older, and I felt safe around him. Then one day I was home alone, he came to visit me and then it got late so he couldn’t leave. We started making out, and I made it clear that I didn’t want to go all the way but he kept begging and begging.
I was very uncomfortable with it because, before that, I had been with a man who was 10 years older than me who stopped trying to have sex with me when I told him I was a virgin. So I figured that was how all men would react to me being a virgin.
So what happened with this guy who was in your house?
I just said “fuck it”, and we had sex. And in all of this, we didn’t use condoms.
I sent him out of my house that night and stopped talking to him immediately after that. Sometime later I started talking to another guy. We had sex without a condom again, and this time I got an STD.
Yeah, I noticed some of my symptoms in this book called “Every Woman”. The book also had the names of drugs to use for the STD. I went to a pharmacy in school, and I remember feeling the sales girl judging me with her eyes once I told her what I wanted to buy.
How did you feel?
Ashamed. I was about 18 at the time. And guess what? I still didn’t use condoms during sex afterwards.
Most guys wouldn’t have condoms, and they would mention how they didn’t like it. I tried one of the more popular condom brands marketed to us at the time, and it was honestly trash. It was very dry and uncomfortable and I was always sore. I didn’t know I had options when it came to condoms. I also felt like I couldn’t demand that they use it.
So what happened next?
I was also very concerned about my body count and had decided I wouldn’t cross 5. The guy who gave me the STD was number 2. Number 4 was this guy I met when I was 19 and ASUU was on strike. He was the first guy I had a “proper” sexual relationship with. I would go over to his house, we would make out, then go out to nice restaurants and bars. Imagine leaving your house and going somewhere to hang out, and they will still press your breast on top. It was premium enjoyment.
Sex was with condoms?
Nope. I didn’t bring it up if the guy didn’t bring it up. And this guy did not. I also had this stupid philosophy after the STD episode where I thought, with STDs, nobody would willingly spread it. I thought if they knew they had it, they wouldn’t give it to me.
I know. After number 2, I filtered my partners based on their self-awareness. Did they pay attention to their health? Were they concerned about their sexual health? I’d only have sex with people that were paranoid.
So how did that go?
With guy number 4? Three weeks after the strike was over, we were back in school when I started noticing that I felt weird and my period wasn’t coming. I messaged an older friend, and he told me to go get tested. So I went to get the test and the attendant convinced me to get an HIV test as well.
What did the results say?
This attendant gave me my results and told me pregnancy was positive and HIV was positive as well. I was like, “Okay”, and started to leave when he called me back to say that the HIV test was actually negative.
As in he was making a joke?
I wanted to slap him. But it also made me doubt the pregnancy test as well. So I went somewhere else to confirm. He was correct; I was pregnant.
That must have been a lot.
Yeah. I called my friend to tell him I was considering keeping it. All he said to me was, “You’re 19 years old. Do you know how much pampers costs?”
At that time, I had nephews and nieces, and I had an idea. . I was still thinking of money to buy hair and a Blackberry.
So what did you decide?
An abortion. There was this clinic that did safe abortions. When I got there, they made me call the father of the child to confirm that he wanted the child aborted. He picked and said he was fine with it. It took about an hour, and I bled for like 10 days.
Did you continue having sex with this guy?
Nope. I moved on to another guy and got pregnant again! This time when I told the guy, he ghosted.
Yeah. I was in my final year in school, it was a Saturday, and I was sitting in the abortion clinic. They called him to confirm if he wanted the child aborted, and he didn’t pick. I sat there and just kept crying and calling because they wouldn’t do it without his confirmation. They also didn’t open on Sundays, and my final exams were supposed to start the next Monday.
After some hours, the woman there looked at me and said, “I’ll help you.”
So this ghosting fellow, was that the last you heard of him?
He ghosted for a long time and when he came back, he said that he thought I was lying when I said I was pregnant.
The ghosting broke something in me, to be honest. I told myself I was never getting pregnant again. It didn’t matter what I had to do, even if it was trash condoms, I was never getting pregnant again.
How would you rate your sex life now?
I would rate it a 7 because I’m celibate now, but it’s usually a 10. Making so many mistakes when I was younger forced me to think about my relationship with sex and what I wanted from it. I knew it wasn’t pregnancy and STDs. It was orgasms. So I thought to myself, what’s the best way to get what you want while avoiding these pitfalls? The answer was sex positivity.
Once I accepted that I really wanted to have sex without any of the negative consequences, it became easier to make decisions that prioritised that. So trash condoms were it for a while. Then I learned more about better brands and started to request those for dick appointments.
We thank God for growth I guess.