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 22-year-old heterosexual woman who not only has vaginismus, a condition that makes her vagina impenetrable, but also recently realised she is demisexual — unable to feel sexual attraction without a strong emotional bond.
What was your first sexual experience?
My first sexual experience wasn’t consensual. I was assaulted by my gateman when I was six.
I’m so sorry. What was your first consensual experience?
I know this is going to sound super corny, but my first consensual experience happened on Valentine’s Day when I was 16. It was a kiss, and it was with my boyfriend of two years.
Two years? Why did you guys wait so long for the first kiss?
It was a long-distance relationship. We were in different schools and started dating when I was 14. I really liked him, and I remember wanting our first kiss to be special. In my head, that meant waiting until the most romantic day of the year to do it.
LMAO. Was it, at least, a good kiss?
It was nice for me because it was with someone I really liked, but, according to him, it was an objectively terrible kiss. I was nervous, so I kept hitting his head and biting him. Still, I liked who it was with.
Did it ever go beyond kissing?
We dated for two more years, but the furthest we ever went was him touching my boobs whenever we made out. It never even crossed my mind for us to do more than that, and he never brought it up.
Why did the relationship end?
He was cheating on me, but I don’t really blame him. I mean, I wasn’t fulfilling him sexually, so it makes sense. I just wish he had actually told me instead of having to hear gist from other people. He was my first love, so it really hurt.
I’m sorry. What happened after him?
I got a new boyfriend in university. I didn’t love him, and I wasn’t that attracted to him, but he was okay. I hadn’t gotten over my ex at the time, though it was nice having someone to kiss on the staircase.
Yeah. I didn’t even let him touch my boobs. He would always try to talk to me about porn and masturbation, but I would always shut it down. I wasn’t interested in having that conversation with him. We broke up after five months.
So, you weren’t interested in doing more than kissing?
I wasn’t. I was 20 at the time and dry humping was the height of my sexual curiosity. For the longest time, I was waiting until marriage, but I later decided that I would be open to doing more when I finally found someone I really connected with.
Why was that connection so important to you?
I found out I was demisexual while reading one of your Sex Life stories. I related to everything the guy was saying in the article. I can never fantasise about having sex with a stranger, no matter how good they look.
All I want to do is strike up a conversation. I need to connect intimately before I can even want to kiss someone. If not, I might as well be kissing a piece of cardboard. That’s why I hate playing ‘Truth or Dare’ at parties.
Fair enough. So, did you find someone you connected with?
Not at first. I have a lot of failed “talking stages” under my belt because once sex comes up, I immediately disengage. I was looking for something deeper, but guys weren’t hearing that one.
I tried dating one of my friends in my final year, but immediately he learnt that I wasn’t interested in sex, he shut me out. I didn’t get the memo that guys were just looking for who to press before graduating.
He would get so frustrated whenever we made out and I didn’t do more. I remember feeling his erection through his trousers, but I had no idea what to do with it. I had never even seen a penis in person before. He later dumped me over WhatsApp.
Damn. So, when did you meet the guy you finally connected with?
After I graduated, I met a guy on Twitter and we connected instantly. That was the second person I fell in love with. We were in different countries at the time, but we would talk every day for hours on end.
I think it’s why I like long-distance relationships so much. They really give you the chance to connect without sex getting in the way. When we finally met in person, the sexual experience was fantastic because we had emotionally bonded.
It was the first time I got head and gave head. I didn’t even know I could be that sexual.
Did penetrative sex ever come up?
It did, but he already knew my history. He knew I had never been fingered or even masturbated. So, we decided to have the conversation again in a year, but we broke up before we got the chance to. I guess he just couldn’t wait that long.
You’ve never masturbated?
Never. Everyone has told me to try it, but I literally can’t. Whenever anything tries to go in my vagina, I feel physically ill. It wasn’t until I watched Sex Education on Netflix that I realised I have vaginismus.
I remember trying to put in a tampon for the first time in February and it didn’t work. So, I asked my friends to hold me down and try, but I started having spasms, headaches and chills.
So, yeah, my sex life is currently non-existent. Until I can figure out how to treat the condition, I’m no longer giving men my number. There’s no point, and I’m not interested in explaining to anyone why I can’t sleep with them. It’s draining.
Have you been able to talk to a doctor?
Not yet. I’m still dependent on my parents, so I need to move out first and get my own money. I know that if I ask my parents to help, I’ll have to start explaining my sexual history. I don’t want to have to do that.
That must be frustrating.
It is. All I want right now is intimacy without sex, but it seems like I’m asking for too much. Even my aunty called me a tease when I told her about my situation, and that hurt my feelings. So, I’m no longer engaging with men until further notice.
Have you tried therapy?
I’ve considered it, but I’m really scared of unpacking everything that’s going on with me. I’m scared of what I’ll find when I finally open that box. My friend even offered to pay, but I’m just not ready.
How do you feel about sex at this point in your life?
I don’t care much for it. Since a lot of sex is centred around penetration, it just doesn’t interest me. Oral sex is the only kind of sex I like, but it has to be with someone I have a strong emotional connection with.
I started watching porn this year, but I can only watch the ones with people having oral sex. That being said, I don’t think about sex much. Sure, I worry that I might never have it because of the way I am, but it is what it is.
Wait. Why only oral sex porn?
Even when it’s happening to someone else, penetration just looks painful. The sounds women make when they’re getting penetrated play like a cry for help in my head, so, no, I can’t watch that and get turned on.
Fair enough. How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?
I’ll give it a -100. I’m hoping that when I get help and find someone on the same page as me emotionally, it might move up to a -99 and keep climbing from there. I know this will take a lot of time, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find someone patient enough for all that.