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 39-year-old heterosexual man who was celibate for almost a decade before he got married. He talks about his wild sexual past and how he thinks that might be stopping him from fully enjoying married sex.
What was your first sexual experience?
I didn’t know anything about sex until I was 15 or so. Growing up, I thought sex was a thing where married adults lay in bed together and a few months later, the woman was pregnant. I was a really slow kid.
It didn’t help that I didn’t have a lot of friends and am an only child. Even with the changes that happened in my body from around the time I was 12, I didn’t think about sex. I was only interested in video games and reading. However, when I turned 15, my mum died and my dad sent me to a boarding school far from home. That’s when the horrors started.
I’m sorry about your mum. What horrors?
My boarding school was great in terms of amenities. However, the people were awful. It was a mixed boarding school, but senior boys would do all kinds of things to junior boys. Of course, none of it was consensual. It was about wielding power more than it was about sex. That was when I actually saw sex and was mortified by it.
Did this in anyway affect your sex life then?
Yes. If I was a normal boy, I would have been making out and having sex with any and every girl, as most of my classmates were doing. But I wasn’t normal back then, and what I had seen — boys molesting young boys — made me hate sex. So I stayed away from it for the most part. I was only there for two years. In my final year in secondary, however, I started seeing someone.
What was that like?
It was mostly a sexless relationship . She pretty much made me her boyfriend. It was good because we had applied to the same university and planned to be together even then. We even planned to get married. She was waiting for marriage to have sex, that’s why we didn’t do anything. However, during the time period where we were waiting to hear back about our applications, I started visiting often and one time, we had sex.
How did that happen?
We were just hanging out, and I had an erection, which she noticed. She knew I didn’t have any experience with sex, so she made the first move. She was my first kiss and pretty much everything else.
What was the sex like?
I don’t even like to think or talk about it, and it’s not that it was bad. It was actually a great first sexual experience. It was just that when it was over, she regretted the decision and was quite repulsed that we did it. She started crying and sent me out of the house. It was devastating because that was the last I heard from her. I saw her a while back, and we talked about it. We’re cool now.
So what happened next?
That experience opened me up to sex, and I basically abandoned all the other things I enjoyed doing to immerse myself in the experience and pleasure of sex. Sex was on my mind 24/7.
My dad, who was still mourning, didn’t have my time. So I was doing everything under his nose. Sneaking in girls, reading porn magazines, masturbating. I didn’t have to do much to hide it. That entire period of time was a mess. Sex was like food.
How did you find the people you were sleeping with?
Friends from school, family friends and neighbours. I had one consistent partner who was a family friend. She was a year older and would come over every morning to drop food that her mum sent down for us.
Before she left, we’d have sex, or at the very least, make out. I wasn’t even practicing safe sex. A few days before I got my admission letter, my uncle — my dad’s younger brother — came over and kind of caught on that I was having sex. He’s a pastor, so he was livid, but he didn’t tell my dad about it.
He gave me a very long talk about abstaining and not destroying my life. Everything entered from one ear and came out through the other. He stayed until I left for school and, even at that, I was still sneaking around to have sex. The day before I was to travel for school, he gave me some condoms and gave me money specifically for condoms. He emphasized the need to practice safe sex and told me not to get anyone pregnant.
Were you enjoying the sex you were having?
Yes, but I was also really slow in learning how to please women. That one took years. When I think about it, I wonder why some of these girls stuck around when it wasn’t like I was giving them premium sex.
What was uni like?
Sex overload. I knew I had to be serious with my studies, so I read and studied during the week with the understanding that my weekends were dedicated to having sex. I had a crush on someone and she was hinting at a relationship, but I didn’t want to be in a relationship, especially after what happened with my first babe. So, I kept on having sex with anyone that would let me.
Do you know how many people you had sex with during university?
I wasn’t counting, but I remember that I used to feel good about myself because for the most part, I had two or three consistent partners, with one new person every other month. I felt safe.
What happened after university?
If I was an animal in university, I became a beast after university. I had money to spend on women because I had a good job. I believe I might have been addicted to sex because I really just wanted to have sex all the time.
At work, I would be thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get home and have sex.
Did this change at any point?
Yes. I eventually started dating someone, and I had to put my desires in check. She was into sex, but not just to the same degree that I was. I really liked her, so I was willing to do anything.
Full disclosure, she was my colleague at work, so we used to have sex in the office a lot, even though office dating was forbidden. It was through sex with her that I became better at pleasing women.
Wow. Like how old were you?
In my mid-twenties. It was great sex too. She eventually broke up with me. You know all those stories you hear about people finding out their partners were getting married through Instagram or Twitter? My case was almost similar. She went for her introduction with another colleague, a more senior colleague.
I found out a few days later at work when people were whispering about it. She had told me that she was going to visit her grandmother oh. I confronted her, and she said I never officially asked her to be my girlfriend, that all we had was sex.
It pained me because I really liked her. But honestly, I actually didn’t ask her to be my girlfriend. Yes, we went on dates and had sex and I bought her things, but I had never called her my girlfriend or asked her to be my girlfriend. I really didn’t know that was how it worked.
I only lasted a few months in the office. This experience plunged me further into sex and another vice: alcohol. I was having sex everyday with everyone. I’m pretty shocked that I didn’t get a viral infection or something.
I couldn’t get another job after I quit that job. For someone who’s always been smart and kind of successful, I couldn’t recognise this version of myself. This was nearly 10 years ago, nobody was talking about therapy. At least no one in my circle. My uncle took me to his church and they prayed for me. I don’t know that the prayers work, but the fact that it even had to happen was a wakeup call for me.
After this, my uncle tried to counsel me but I didn’t listen. I was still having sex and drinking, although I knew this wasn’t normal. Anyway, I got a job with my uncle’s friend and it was around that period I decided to become celibate and get my life together.
Why did you decide to go celibate?
Well, something happened in the office. There was some accusation that someone had stolen money. I was the new guy and everyone was claiming this had never happened. So, while they didn’t say anything, I knew they were pointing fingers at me and would tell my uncle’s friend that I was the one.
Omo, I went to my uncle crying that I can’t go to jail and all of that. Lol. At first, he was like, why would I take advantage of his help, then he went, “See what I have gotten myself into”. Basically, he was convinced I actually stole the money. A whole lot of money.
I did everything I could to convince him, and he was like, “Am I now ready to become responsible?” Long story short: I got saved and decided to never have sex again. It was a pledge: God get me out of this wahala and I’ll never have sex again.
Of course that’s not how it works, but that’s where my celibacy journey began.
Before going back to sex, how was the money issue resolved?
It never was. It just died down and six months later, I was out of there. Got a better job. I sha believe it was God that saved me. Because everyone was convinced, based on how reckless I was, that it was me that stole the money.
Okay, back to sex. How were you able to stay celibate?
Well, I had to research on how to become celibate. At first, I couldn’t. There was this babe I was sleeping with and she really wasn’t taking no for an answer. She would come over and seduce me and we’d have sex. But once I reduced the number of times I was having sex and the number of people I was having sex with, it was easy to become celibate.
How long were you celiabte for?
Seven or eight years.
Wow. Did you date anyone during this time?
A whole lot. But some either couldn’t stand the celibacy or it just didn’t click. When I met my wife, I knew she was the one.
How did you meet?
Social media actually. Our first few dates were not physical or in secluded places because I didn’t even want the thought of sex to enter my head. It would have been easy to say, since we’re getting married, let’s just have sex. It was like that up until we got married.
What’s married sex like?
Before we got married, I told my wife everything about my sex life, just to make sure we were on the same page. A lot of people — especially religious folks — have judged me for my sexual history.
Anyway, with that in mind, I told her I didn’t want to rush into it and wanted to ease into it. She was okay with that. So when we started sex, it could be once or twice in an entire month. She’s into aphrodisiacs and loves sex a lot, so there was a lot of sexual compatibility to work through.
But now, I think we are fully on the same page. It took years to get here sha. We understand each other’s bodies and enjoy sex quite regularly. Let’s say three times a week on a good week. And it’s not sarewagba sex — although we do that. We’re very intentional about our sexual experience.
That’s great. How would you rate your sex life?
Maybe 7. And my wife knows this. I think I need therapy to unpack some of the dark stuff I went through in my 20s. It’s just a feeling that the experiences I had may be limiting me from enjoying my full sex life. You know that feeling when you know you can be doing better? That’s where I am.
What’s stopping you from getting therapy?
Honestly, I don’t know. But when I’m ready, I’ll know.
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