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 27-year-old lesbian who just came out of a long-term relationship. Now, even in the midst of a pandemic, she’s exploring her sexuality in ways she’s never done before.
When was your first sexual experience?
I was 13. I used to go to school with this neighbour. Sometimes her driver would take us, sometimes, my mum would take us. We became close and began to hang out after school. One day, she came over to my place and we were watching TV. Midway, she asked if I had ever kissed anyone and I told her I hadn’t. She asked if I wanted to kiss her and I said yes. So we kissed.
How was it?
It was great. Before then, I wasn’t really about sex or anything. I had my curious phase, where I watched porn and read erotic novels. I lost interest in them when I realised that they didn’t exactly mirror my fantasy: sex with a girl.
When I looked around, all I could see were heterosexual relationships: wives and husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends. I never saw myself with men and felt nothing for them. I told myself maybe when I got older, I’d see the world differently. That never happened.
You’ve always known your sexuality?
Yup. I don’t remember ever thinking that I was something else. I had my first crush on someone who used to babysit me. I was about 4 or 5 and she must have been 18 or so. I remember always thinking that she was so pretty. I was always sad to see her leave.
It didn’t help that I have always had some sort of distaste for men.
How do you mean?
My dad left me and my mum for another woman when I was really young. My mum was really upset about it for years. She would curse him and curse random men like a reckless driver on the road or someone being stupid at the supermarket. She said men were good-for-nothings.
After the kiss with your neighbour, what happened next?
We kissed a lot more. My mum was always happy to leave us alone together, so we spent a lot of our time kissing and touching each other. We never had sex though. After about a year of just kissing (and never really talking about the kiss) her family moved.
We promised to keep in touch and we did over phone calls. I remember it was a landline we used to speak to each other back then. After a while, we began to drift. I remember that there was this week that she didn’t pick my call or call at all.
When someone eventually picked, her brother rudely told me that she didn’t want to talk. I was scared that something had happened to her, so I kept trying. For years after, I couldn’t make friends. When I was old enough to get a Facebook account, I searched for her, stalked her, but she kept airing me.
Wow. So she basically ghosted you?
It’s now I know the name for what she did.
Did you ever get closure?
Not really. But stalking her, I realised that she was now very ‘Christianly’. It took a while, but I pieced the puzzles together. She probably realised that to be queer was a sin under her religion, so she cut me off. That’s what I think. It’s a hunch. I know she’s married now and has kids..
Okay. When did you do anything sexual after that?
Maybe when I was 16 or 17. With a guy. I had to pretend to like boys sometime in secondary school. Being ghosted really fucked me up and classmates began to think I was weird because I wasn’t all about the pleasing boys life — which, in my opinion, was what most of my classmates were doing in the name of sex. They also used the word ‘lesbian’ as an insult and that hurt a lot.
So I gave in once and made out with a guy. I don’t know if the guy was simply poor at kissing or if it was just me, but the experience was disgusting and I promised myself never to indulge in such again.
Just once recently — a few weeks ago, actually. My opinion remains. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience either — and this was with a friend that most people consider a good kisser.
What about with women?
In uni, I decided to start making moves. I joined dating platforms and other social networks. I’m really shy, so making moves in person was a no for me. One day, I met someone in school and we hit it right off immediately. That same night, I was in her apartment making out with her, but I told her I wasn’t ready to have sex.
I wanted my first time to be special and having it felt like sex with her at that time was going to be like having sex with a stranger. We eventually had sex a few weeks later and it was nice.
I expected it to be great, so I was disappointed.
Did you tell her?
No. I just assumed it would get better. She seemed to enjoy it though. I didn’t want to be that person.
Since we weren’t exclusive, I tried to meet more people on social media. That was how I met my ex. We went on dates for like a year in order to get to know each other before we made out or decided to be exclusive.
With her, the sex was explosive. She actively asked for what I wanted and tried to make me comfortable. Funny thing is, I was the one who initiated sex first and she said she thought I’d never ask. That sort of made me realise that I needed to start speaking up about my needs.
True. So how’s your sex life these days?
Quite interesting. Me and my ex dated for a long time. We broke up early this year after I found out that she cheated on me with different men and women throughout the time that we were dating. I never knew. I had my suspicions, but I’m not a confrontational person and I hate coming off as jealous.So I just left it.
How long did you date for?
About 4 years. While the breakup had been a long time coming, Covid-19 just heightened it. Just before the lockdown, we were talking about something Covid-related and I asked her out of the blue: ‘Have you been cheating on me?’ She didn’t deny it. But the shalaye-ing just made me realise who and when. That was all I needed. We parted ways and I moved in with a friend. I was busy feeling sorry for myself while the world was occupied with Covid-19.
I started thinking that if I died from Covid, I would have only ever enjoyed sex with one person and only had two sexual partners in my life. I got this urgency to start looking for people to sleep with. The person I was living with tried to convince me that the Covid period wasn’t the best time to do this and she had a point, so I let it go. But not completely. Thing about me is, once I get an idea, I become restless until I find a way to execute it.
I know. I didn’t let her (my housemate) rest until she hooked me up with a babe in the building. When I got there, the babe’s friend was there too, so we had a threesome.
I thought I was dreaming. Apparently, my housemate knows a lot of people in her area, so she consistently hooked me up with people. Almost every other day of the lockdown, I was meeting up with someone new. Sometimes, all we did was make out, sometimes, we had good sex.
After the lockdown was lifted?
Not as much, but I was having sex with the babe in my building and someone else in the area.
Weren’t you scared of getting infected?
I was. At some point, I had a scare, but it was nothing. Thing is, during the lockdown, we were all home, with limited contact with other people. If I had to go meet them, I drove, used facemasks, etc. They are mostly people who work from home and mostly have no contact with people on a daily basis. I screen potential partners for possible contact with the outside world before going in.
How many people would you say you’ve slept with since?
At the least 15. I’ve made out with more. Honestly, I’m not keeping count. The lifting of the lockdown has slowed me down because of community spreading, but I’m hopeful that once this phase passes, I can unleash my inner beast.
LMAO! Has this helped you in any way get over your ex?
Just a little. Can’t say that I’m no longer hurt.
What has your experience as a queer person living in Nigeria been?
Tedious. Especially when I was in a relationship. Even though I’m a very private, quiet person, I would’ve liked the option to flaunt my partner when I wanted. Our relationship was a big secret, meanwhile, our straight friends could display affection publicly and our straight male friends could have as many partners as possible. We often got harassed by men — strangers. Even now, I only get asked about a boyfriend/husband. Never a wife. That stresses me. Friends have been abused, hurt, kito-ed. It’s hard.
I’m so sorry. How would you rate your sex life?