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 Sex Life is a 58-year-old woman who has had sex with the same man since she was 26 years old. She talks about marrying the first man she had sex with, learning about sex through pornography and how that knowledge helped her navigate a healthy sex life during menopause.
Tell me about your first sexual experience.
I had sex for the first time when I was 26. I’d been dating this guy on and off for two years. The relationship was on and off because he was cheating on me. Anytime I broke up with him, his sister and some of his friends would call to beg me. They wanted me to stay with him to calm his “rascal nature”. They’d persuade me, he’d apologise, I’d agree, then he’d cheat again.
My first sexual encounter happened on a random day when I went to see him. I can’t remember what even led to sex, but I remember crying after.
Why did you cry?
I cried because, as a Christian, I’d made a vow to have sex only after getting married. With my previous partners, the moment they brought up physical intimacy, I broke up with them. I still don’t understand how It happened with this guy.
So the sex didn’t happen again?
No. It did. I don’t think I had sense anymore.
The second time, his friend asked us to accompany him and his girlfriend to a beach resort. While we were there, this man asked me to marry him. We were on a mat on the beach, and he just asked. After I said yes, I was overcome by emotion and then it happened again. This time, it was less painful and I didn’t cry. I was in the moment and my reasoning at the time was that since I had already sinned, might as well give into the temptation. I knew I was in a safe space and in good hands, so I just let it happen.
But after, I still felt sad. There was this feeling of remorse that always enveloped me when I finished. I’d be full of shame and sadness. I would withdraw and not just speak to him. The act didn’t feel worth it because of the feeling that came after. That’s when I vowed that I won’t have sex again until he paid my bride price.
Were you able to stick to your vow?
Reasonably. The third time I had sex with him, I felt a bit fufilled. I did say I would not have sex again till I was married, but this time, it happened after our court wedding. So, I was married in the eyes of the law.
However, after, I was still upset because there was no traditional marriage and the vow stated that no sex till he paid my bride price. For allowing me to break my vow before marriage, I said I was not going to wear white on my wedding day. If anyone was to ask why I wasn’t wearing white, I would say it’s because I am not holy.
LMAO. Did he eventually pay your bride price?
We eventually got married when I was 31. He paid my bride price and I had a church wedding. On my wedding day, I didn’t wear white. He just laughed.
Did you ever get over the sadness you felt after sex?
With time, yes. The closer I got to my husband, the more comfortable I felt. Plus, we were married now. Our union meant I was no longer doing anything wrong, and I no longer felt guilt. I felt great, even.
I was beginning to enjoy sex. But there was one issue: I didn’t know a lot about it.
The three times I had sex before marriage were with him. I only knew what he thought was important for me to know. I didn’t know how to play along with his advances or what positions to change to or even that I was supposed to sometimes initiate sex.
A huge part of my lack of knowledge was also because I wasn’t exposed. I grew up in the village, and there weren’t a lot of books on things like this. Not like I would have read them anyways. He on the other hand knew what he liked from the sex he’d had.
How were you able to bridge this sexual knowledge gap?
When he realised that I knew absolutely nothing about sex, he bought me some blue films to educate me. He’d get drinks and food, and we’d watch them together. He’d analyse it and explain some of the things the actors did and what he liked. He was very patient when it came to teaching me things.
Please, share with the class. What did you learn?
I learnt a lot of new sexual positions with names I can’t remember. Then, I had to unlearn the rest of the shame I had attached to sex. He told me that the things he would want me to do aren’t wrong because we’re married, and he was entitled to it. He said he wanted me to be happy and for himself to get satisfaction so he would not cheat. I was a willing student. I wanted him to be satisfied so that I would not lose him to the people that could do what I couldn’t. The fact that he wanted to show me what he liked, meant I had to cooperate.
The guilt I was feeling eventually turned into joy and satisfaction. What used to be done under the cover of darkness could now be done in the light. I was happy.
However, I never learnt how to initiate sex. I didn’t see myself asking my husband for sex. For me, it happened whenever it happened. I was not really interested.
Who knew pornography teaches patience. So, how many times did sex actually happen?
It depends on the mood and the circumstances. I had a very understanding partner who never bothered me when I was sick, tired or just sad. But if everything is going well, we have sex an average of three times a week.
What kind of mood or circumstance?
If he’s under pressure and can’t sleep, that number increases because the sex helps him relax and sleep well. I still don’t understand that behaviour because when I’m stressed, sex isn’t my solution. I either cry, drink some nice tea or just try to do something relaxing so I can fall asleep.
When we were also trying for a child and it was not forthcoming, sex wasn’t something that was heavily on my mind. Then when I saw a gynecologist, the planning started. We only had sex during specific times in order to increase my chance of conceiving. Sex became a routine and was no longer natural. It was hardly enjoyable. After I eventually got pregnant and had a child, it became natural again and it was fun. We also wanted more children, so we thought that a healthier sex life would help. We never had more children.
Did raising your child affect your sex life in any way?
No. Our child was hardly ever around because of school and staying over at family member’s houses. Plus, we have a very healthy sex life. Communication and understanding are very key elements in how we’ve been able to maintain it. We talk to each other about things we like and don’t like. We’re also very patient with one another.
Must be nice. Was there ever any threat to this healthy sex?
Well, apart from when we were trying for our first child, it was when I was approaching menopause. Not only was I very sickly, but I was feeling dryness in my vagina. Sex was quite difficult because of the dryness, my sickly behaviour and other menopause symptoms.
We had to get even more patient. We extended foreplay time to help relax me. He would touch all those soft spots on my body that made me feel nice to ease me up for penetration.
Then, he gave me room to prepare. He would call and tell me how much he misses me and can’t wait to get home. There were also the little gift he bought me to just make me excited. My gynaecologist also advised me to eat some fruits and exercise more so my body could be more balanced.
Do you have any regrets with being with just one man?
None at all. I’m content. Regular sex keeps tension at bay. A lot of couples who are always snappy and unhappy probably aren’t having enough sex. I didn’t want to have that kind of tension in my marriage.
Seems like y’all have hacked it. What then will you rate your sex life on a scale of 1-10?
8. It would have been higher, but sometimes I have to force myself to get into that headspace. I’m someone that can go months without sex. I don’t see it as a serious thing. However, the sex is excellent. Our sex life is healthy and we enjoy it. I’m happy.
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