Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.
This story contains distressing information. Reader’s discretion is advised.
The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 26-year-old woman who waited till marriage to have sex for several reasons which include religion, her size and the fact that she was sexually abused by her aunty for years as a child.
At what age did you start getting curious about sex?
My introduction to sex was weird. I can’t remember when exactly I became curious about sex, but when I was about seven years old, an aunty they brought from the village to stay with my family started abusing me sexually. She molested me for over seven years. It continued till I was in JSS3.
Wow I’m so sorry.
That’s not all. When I was 10, I had three almost-rape experiences. The first experience was with my cousin when I went to my grandmother’s. I managed to escape that. The other two were with random people. I clearly remember that one happened when I was walking back from school. The guy cornered me and started to grope me. I calmly told him I was coming, that he should let me drop my stuff at home and I’ll come back to meet him, then I ran.
There were other experiences. There was a time I was in a bus and the conductor told me that if he had my type at home, he would be sucking my breasts every day. I was 10. 10 for goodness sake. Then there was a time I went to make my hair and a man saw me dozing off. He said, “Is it that uncle did not allow you to sleep at night?” I was so confused. My hairdresser shouted at him, she told him I was only a child. I didn’t understand until I was much older.
I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this. Did you report any of these to your parents?
No, I didn’t. With my aunty, I genuinely enjoyed it, so I didn’t really know that it was wrong until much later, after it ended.
How did it end?
I went to boarding school, so I wasn’t around much.
Do you know how this experience affected you?
It formed who I was for the greater part of my life. For a very long time, I thought I was “lesbian”.
That’s interesting. Was it just because of your experience with your aunty?
No. Throughout the time she was molesting me and even while I was in the university, I was not interested in or attracted to any man, or anyone for that matter. I just assumed I was a lesbian with zero interest in these things. When I knew that that wasn’t the way lesbianism worked, I just assumed that I had a problem.
It was not until I met the man who is now my husband, shortly after university, that I felt some kind of attraction to the opposite sex; I couldn’t comprehend my feelings for him. The first time I was alone with him, I got really wet. I was scared and literally couldn’t move for one hour. He asked me what was wrong, but I didn’t know how to explain. It was strange and I was terrified.
Was he the first person you made out with?
Yes, he was. I was 22 and I went to his office to visit him. He is much smaller than I am, so he sat on my lap and we made out.
Why do you think it took you that long to make out with someone?
Well, a lot of things. First, there was the ‘not being attracted to anyone’ thing. Then there’s the fact that I have always been a big girl. All those lewd comments from men when I was younger? It was because I was big and looked older than I was. And you know the way society treats fat women. It affected me a lot. I didn’t want anyone to see me close-up. So, the first time he took off my clothes, I was like, “Are you sure you want to do this? Because it’s all packaging on the outside.” Then he said, “Are you joking? Do you think I saw you and thought you were skinny?”
It took me a while to come out of what I felt about my body.
So, when did you have sex for the first time?
Five days after my wedding.
Oh wow, why?
Because I was really stressed during the wedding and my period came two days to the wedding.
Why didn’t you have sex before the wedding?
I was born in a Christian home. When I was 11, I made up my mind that I wouldn’t sleep with anyone until after my wedding because of something a pastor once said. So for context, my mother got pregnant with me before she and my dad got married. Then one day, a pastor said that God does not ‘see’ children conceived out of wedlock. That messed me up for a very long time because I felt I wasn’t seen by God.
After several years, I realised that what the pastor said didn’t make sense on any level. So I decided to base my decision to wait till marriage on my own faith and the fact that I wanted to just have sex with one person for the rest of my life.
Wow. Were there no temptations?
There were oh. My husband and I dated for about three years and it was very difficult, because his top two love languages are physical touch and quality time. He had been in a lot of relationships and had been sexually active since he was like 13.
So while it was easy for me, it wasn’t easy for him. Before we got married, we pretty much did everything except the actual sexual intercourse. There was even a time at the beginning of our relationship I blocked him, just to avoid him. Haha. But he is also a very understanding person. So we worked through it.
What were your expectations about sex before you had sex?
Before I met him, I had no expectations, because I didn’t plan to have sex or get married.
Did this have anything to do with not being attracted to anyone?
Yes and no. Tbh, I just felt no one really liked me or would like me enough to marry me — being big and all. I thought anyone who liked me would just have sex with me and go. The classic ‘use and dump’. I didn’t want that. So I had plans to be single for the rest of my life.
But after I met him, my expectations grew because he had a lot of experience. The expectations were very high, and they were not cut short at all. Sex with my husband is perfect. I haven’t had bad sex with my husband ever. I thoroughly enjoy it. Sometimes, it’s all I can think about. On most days, I have more than 7 orgasms; it’s that great.
That’s amazing. How long have you been married?
Almost six months now. We have sex three to four times a week. People say when you’re married you’ll have all the sex in the world, but the truth is when we get back from work, we are tired most times. If we can’t have penetrative sex, we try to engage in other sexual activities. We have more time on weekends.
Do you think a few years down the line, the rhythm of your sex life will change?
Probably. Of course things might be different when we start having kids — at least until we find how to make it work. But we are still learning about each other’s bodies and have even decided to hold off on having children.
Right now, we do everything to spice up our sex life. Nothing is off the table. My husband likes risque type situations so we have had sex in his office with other people around, in the car, in several car parks and some other places I can’t even mention. We also plan to incorporate sex toys very soon. It helps that there is no shame or judgement on anyone’s preference(s) between us.
After everything you’ve been through, what are your thoughts on sex now?
There’s a lot of misinformation about what sex is or what it should be. For example, I was very prepared for my first time to be a very painful experience but it was not painful at all; I didn’t even bleed. He took about 30mins to fully penetrate and this made it so much better for me going forward. I have learned to just ignore people because they talk based on their own experiences. I block everybody out and own my own experiences.
Given how the sexual abuse you experienced as a child affected you, do you sometimes wish you had said something?
Yes. I still want to. I have a young sister and I would love for my parents to learn from my experience and pay more attention to her.
Do you ever regret not experiencing much sexually until you got married?
No I do not. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. I just wish I wasn’t adulting while trying to explore my body sexually because I am constantly exhausted from work and traffic. I heard my 30s would be better sha, so I’m looking forward to that.
How do you rate your sex life, on a scale of 1-10?
Check back every Saturday by 12pm for new stories in the Sex Life series. If you would like to get this story in your mail before everyone else — complete with inside gist that doesn’t make the final cut, sign up here. Catch up on older stories here.