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 31-year-old heterosexual woman who’s been cheating on her husband for the past year. She talks about their total lack of sexual chemistry and why she feels no guilt.

What was your first sexual experience?

Does masturbation count? It should, right?

Yeah, it does. 

Ok. I think I was about 7 years old. I just remember taking a nap. I guess I was moving around in my sleep a little too much and it just… happened. It felt really nice, and I was immediately curious to know what it was. 

That’s interesting. What about your first experience with another person?

I was 9 or 10. It’s weird because I don’t really think of it as sexual. I had this friend, a girl, and we’d just masturbate together. It was like an activity we bonded over. I didn’t actually do anything consciously sexual with anyone until I turned 16. Then I had my first kiss. 

What about sex?

I was 17. Once I had my first kiss, the floodgates basically burst open. I remember being determined to lose my virginity. So, I had sex with my first boyfriend. I don’t even remember whether I enjoyed it; I only remember it being painful. 

I actually didn’t go into it with any real expectations — I was mostly just curious. I’d been reading all those romance novels that promised fireworks, but I already suspected that wasn’t going to be the case. So, I wasn’t surprised when it wasn’t.

Why were you so determined to lose your virginity?

I think a part of me just wanted to feel normal. Growing up, most of my friends were obsessed with boys, but I was never really like that. I mean, I thought boys were cute, but I didn’t care that much about them.

Then I fully started feeling abnormal when I turned 16. All the girls around me liked boys and were kissing them, so I decided to try it. After kissing a boy for the first time, everything else seemed a little less intimidating. 

Fair enough. Do you remember the first time you actually enjoyed sex?

I was 24, and that was probably my fourth or fifth partner. He was a bit older than me — he was 32. At that point, I was more confident and knew my body a lot better. A lot of the sex I’d been having before was just me letting men do whatever they wanted. 

Before him, I’d had a bad incident — one I’d rather not get into — and I took a hiatus from sex. So when I was ready to have sex again, I had a whole new perspective: I was determined to always be in full control.

What’s your sex life like these days?

Well, I’m married. The marriage has been failing for a while now, so my sex life has been non-existent within it. I’ve been cheating though, so outside of the marriage, it’s been pretty exciting. 

Oh wow. Was sex with your husband always bad?

It was just ok. That was actually one of the issues we had while we were dating. So when he brought up marriage, it was one of the biggest red flags in my head. I just wasn’t that sexually attracted to him. The sex was consistently mid. 

It’s weird how someone can be perfect in every way, but the chemistry is just not there.

Did you ever tell him?

Yeah, I did. After he proposed, I was having doubts. One of the reasons I gave him was our poor sexual chemistry. Funny enough, I wasn’t even that convinced it would be a big deal at the time, so it was easy for him to reassure me.

I’d heard that sex becomes mid in marriage anyway, so I started wondering if it was worth ignoring all the other good things about him just because the sex didn’t slap. I really shouldn’t have ignored my concerns. It became much worse after we got married.

How long were you together before you cheated?

Three years. I got married at 27. When I turned 30, I was just like, ‘Fuck it’. 

So, it was a conscious decision?

Yup. Very. I’m not one of those people who acts like they don’t know what they’re doing when they do it. I definitely made a choice. I also suspected he was cheating as well, so I didn’t feel really bad about it.

Oh? Did the suspicion play any part in your decision to do it?

A little bit. I felt like he had opened up that door by cheating, so it was all fair game. It wasn’t even a case of me trying to get back at him. More than anything, it just helped me move past the last mental hump.

Alright. So, who did you end up cheating with?

The first time was with an ex — one of those shoulda-coulda-woulda type of exes. We had a silly falling out when we were young and dumb, but we reconnected. It was initially just friendly, but I definitely knew where it was heading.

Aha. How many people have you cheated with since him?

Three more people. I’m in the midst of my fourth now. 

Do you see multiple lovers at once or one at a time?

Lately, it’s been one at a time, but that’s been purely coincidental. Before I got married, I was capable of seeing multiple people at the same time. I always had a hoe-tation, but it wasn’t to be cool or anything. 

I don’t look for the same things in different people, so I can’t get all my fixes from one person. I guess I should have known it would be difficult for me to be married. But lately, it’s been one person at a time. Anything else would just be too much work.

Has it been hard to get away with it?

It hasn’t been that difficult. I don’t have kids and I also have a very active social life, so I kind of come and go as I please. There really isn’t an extra amount of movement that could raise suspicion. 

I just use my friends to cover up. I hang out with them so much that if you’re not paying attention, you won’t notice anything off. I also try not to lie too much, save for a few lies of omission. So, no, it’s not been hard.

I think people typically get caught because they are in super love affairs. It’s not like that for me. I’m cool with not seeing or speaking with my lovers for a while. I’m not trying to sneak out in the middle of the night just to see someone’s face. 

So, it’s just about sex for you?

No, it’s not. It’s more than that, but I’m just being realistic. I’m married and I know it’s not going to be easy. So, what’s the point in making a love connection with anyone? That being said, I’m friends with all of them. We have great conversations. 

Sometimes they want more, but they know what it is. I’ve actually had a lover end things because he wanted us to get serious. In my experience, men have proven to be a lot more sensitive than they pretend to be. 

What else do you get from these relationships?

They allow me to explore what I’m into. I spent the early part of my life having sex just for the sake of it, and when I started discovering myself and what I liked, I ended up in a marriage with a man I have little sexual chemistry with.

Now, I’m in my 30s and I fully know what I want. I’m curious about a lot of things and I just want to try it all. Being with these guys gives me the opportunity to do that and I am not ready to give that up.

Do you still have sex with your husband at all?

Nope. We haven’t in almost 2 years.

Did you ever get confirmation that he was, in fact, cheating?

I did actually. I confronted him like I was already sure and he admitted to it. I played the whole hurt, angry wife bit, but inside I was like ‘YES!’

Does he know that you are cheating?

He doesn’t. At least, he doesn’t have any proof. He has an ego. He thinks he is the only one who gets horny, has needs, or can have casual sex. He was probably more careless about his infidelity because the consequences are not as serious for him.

He doesn’t suspect, even though you haven’t had sex in years?

Well, around the time we stopped being intimate, I was making excuses about not liking sex anymore. I was tired of faking it. So, I think he just believes I’m no longer into sex. 

Before I started cheating, I even tried to bring up the possibility of an open marriage, but he wasn’t having it. Nigerian men are always on some hypocritical bullshit. This guy was already cheating on me when I asked, but he wanted to eat his cake and have it too. 

Would you say sneaking around makes the sex better?

Actually, I think it reduces the quality of it. I know some people find it exciting to sneak around, but I hate it. I hate being told what to do and I hate not feeling free. It makes me feel caged. 

It also always feels like I’m rushing — like I’m always checking the time. I hardly get the chance to be in the moment and just enjoy it. I don’t get the opportunity to just laze about all day with a lover.

That makes sense. Is the sex with them good though?

Sex has generally been better since I turned 30. I’m a different person. I know what I want and I can teach people how to please me. It’s been good. But, if I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% into sex with men.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never had really amazing sex — I’m still waiting to have that mind-blowing experience. I’ve just never felt the fireworks women talk about, and that’s probably why I’ve never been dickmatized. 

Have you ever tried being with a woman then?

No, I haven’t. I’m really curious though. I always wonder if the issue is that I’m gay and I just don’t know it yet. I mean, I find girls attractive, but I don’t think I’m gay. Is it even possible to be gay and not realise it until later in life? I don’t know. 

I think so. Do you have any plans to leave your husband?

Yeah, I do. I actually tried to leave a year ago, but it was a shitshow. I was upset about all the cheating, and I wanted a separation, but our families were on my case, hounding and harassing me until I backed down. 

They made me feel evil for wanting to leave, and it was clear I would have no support. I don’t really need their financial assistance, but it still sucked. But I sort of made up my mind earlier in the year that I was leaving anyway, and then coronavirus happened. 

Oh shit. How has that affected all of this?

I’m stuck at home with a man I don’t want to be with. Due to the lockdown, I can’t really find a new place and move, which was my plan. The virus has actually put things into perspective for me. 

So many people have lost their lives. Life is short and none of this crap matters. I just want to be happy. I actually almost snuck out to see a lover one time, but I didn’t go through with it. Don’t want to get coronavirus just because of sex. 

Do you ever feel guilty about this entire situation?

No, I don’t feel guilty at all. I’ve clearly tried to leave, we don’t have sex anymore, we barely even interact, but I’m still expected to stay for the sake of optics. Nah, I can’t feel bad for doing the only thing that makes me feel sane in the midst of this madness.

Also, every time I cheat on my husband, I feel like I’m pouring liquor on the sidewalk for all my sisters who constantly get (and accept being) cheated on by men. I’m evening the score. 

LMAO. Ok. How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?

I’d say a 6.5. I’m technically not allowed to freely explore my sex life like I would like to, and even the sex I am having isn’t blowing my mind. But it’s good enough for now, so I’ll give it a 6.5. Is that like a C? 

I think that’s a B.

Well, a B- or C+. That’s where I’m at right now.

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