The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 28-year-old heterosexual woman. She talks about how her first sexual relationship ended in shame because her partner spread gossip about the sex and how her fear of being tagged promiscuous prevented her from having sex with the men in her social circle.
What was your first sexual experience?
My very first sexual experience was with my first boyfriend. I was in SS3, and we had been dating since SS2. I was convinced we would grow old together, marry etc. We had sex twice and then suddenly, he told all his friends and before I knew it, I had a reputation. It felt like a Nollywood movie.
What type of reputation?
I became known as this ashawo that was easy to get. I felt betrayed because I felt I shared something special, but to him I was a conquest. His friends started making passes at me. It was annoying and disgusting.
That sucks. Did that shape your perception of sex?
It made me view sex as something you gave men and something that devalued you. For a long time, I refused to have casual sex even when I wanted to and was attracted to the man.
When I was in university, I was a hot babe.The men around me still acted the same. You’ll have sex with them, they’ll tell all their friends and call you an easy target. I started playing hard to get. I was also very careful with who I slept with.
Why was that?
The first person I slept with in university, without protection mind you because I was stupid and naive, gave me a mild STD and then told my friend while flirting with her that I forced myself on him even though it was her he liked. I felt so disgusted with myself.
I’m so sorry.
Yeah. I decided to avoid sleeping with people who knew or were friends with people I moved around with. I slept with non-students and only non-African men.
I should add that I went to school in Canada.
Got it. How did that work out?
If you are a non-African who is not a student, chances are you won’t be friends with African students. They were far removed from my world and my social group, so I could have casual sex with them, do everything and not be bothered about what they had to say. Their gossip didn’t affect my life, social standing or how people viewed me.
I thought so too! To the people in my social group, I was this fine babe who was doing well in school but no one knew who she was dating or sleeping with. People made assumptions, and rumours spread but no one could confirm them. The only people who knew who I was sleeping with were me, my best friend and some men I can’t name who have probably never stepped into Nigeria.
So that system of sleeping with people far removed from you never failed you?
It didn’t till I returned to Lagos, the land where everyone knows everyone.
Lmao. What was it like returning to Lagos with your system of hooking up?
So the thing with Lagos is that there are a very small group of men that are good looking enough for you to have sex with and most of them are gay.
So what you are left with is a smaller group and chances are that you know them or they know your friends.
What scares you about sleeping with people that you know?
I have huge trust issues. I don’t trust men in particular. My image matters a lot to me. The idea of people looking at me and thinking “she’s a whore” or “she’s easy”, makes me feel devalued. It makes me feel like a bad person who isn’t all that.
Having sex in Lagos was hard. For a while, I was celibate. When I finally started having sex again, it was with someone I thought I could trust to have sense. Three weeks later, a friend of that guy DMed me and tried to strike up a conversation. I expected him to let it go when I made it clear that I wasn’t interested. He didn’t. Then I realised his friend had probably told this person that he got to bed me without much of a hassle so this person figured I was easy and wanted to try their luck.
Did you confirm that it was the case?
I didn’t bother. It seems like paranoia, but I’ve been in that position enough times to trust my gut feeling.
Fair enough. Has it gotten better?
Yeah, it has.
As corny as it sounds, I fell in love.
Tell me about that.
He’s Jamaican, and we were supposed to be a hookup because he didn’t know my friends. Turns out, I was wrong. He has friends here.
At first, I was irritated by it. You know when in romance movies and books, the heroine hates the good-looking romantic male lead but he keeps chasing her. That’s what happened. The sex was great, and it kept happening. One day, six months into what had turned into a relationship, I told him why I hadn’t wanted anything serious to happen with us.
How did he react?
At first, he looked like he thought I was stupid then he said he understood. We had more conversations about it. He asked if I was okay depriving myself of experiences because of how people whose perception of me can’t affect my life perceive me? I think that jolted something in me.
Has your idea or mindset regarding how people view you changed?
I think it has changed a lot. For one, I started introducing my partner to my friends. Before, I wouldn’t do that because I was scared of them breaking up with me and people talking. My life feels joyous now. It’s crazy.
What’s your sex life like now?
Sex with my partner has always been great. Two and a half years in, and it’s still great.
On a scale of 1 to 10, what would you rate your sex life?
A very solid 9 and only because 10 belongs to Rihanna.