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 34-year-old heterosexual woman who has a really rough sexual journey. Now, after years of trying to find herself, she talks about why she’s finally chosen to become celibate.
Trigger warning: Parts of this story contain information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
What was your first sexual experience?
My first experience was at the ripe old age of 25. It was with a guy I was dating. I thought we were going to get married. I went to his house for a week and we were just chilling. Nothing happened sexually. And then one day, he forced himself on me and just like that, I ‘lost my virginity’.
Nobody believed at the time that I was virgin. He didn’t believe me, even when I showed him that I was bleeding. He asked, ‘Are you sure you’re not on your period?’ I was mad. Now, looking back years later, I wonder why I couldn’t have lost it in a nice hotel room, with a bottle of wine, and candles like my mates.
I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
Thanks. Do you know that after I left his house, this guy was begging to marry me because his dad said if he disvirgins a girl and doesn’t marry her, he’ll run mad. I was like, ‘Who wants to marry you, abeg? Get out’.
No shame. I should mention that this happened when I was serving in another town, away from family. By the next morning, I was still bleeding. I didn’t know if that was normal and wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t just want to tell anybody, so they won’t carry my gist.
What did you eventually do?
I called a male doctor I was close to — we were in the same CDS. I told him what happened and that I was still bleeding. He told me to come down to the clinic so he could check me.
When I got there, he told me he was off duty and asked me to come to his house. This should have raised red flags but I was so clueless in the ways of the world. I asked what form this check was going to be. He then asked if I was interested in asking questions or getting it done, after all I was the one bleeding, not him.
When we got to his house, he asked me to remove my underwear and I did and lay down on his bed. He wore his gloves, put his hands into me and said he’ll give me some medication to stop me from bleeding. In my head, I was like: did you have to put your hand there before telling me that? Next thing, he said I should kiss him. I asked him where this was coming from, and he said he had always liked me. I just started begging him. He apologised and told me to dress up and go.
He later told me ‘I’m too fine’, that my boyfriend even tried by not sleeping with me on the first day. He asked how I could stay there for a whole week without doing anything; any other guy would have jumped on me on the first day.
That’s bullshit. Was there a reason you hadn’t had sex before 25?
Yes. Let me give you a bit of history about the way I see sex: I am Christian; I come from a Christian home. I see sex as something beautiful and something to look forward to. I was keeping it for marriage before this happened. However, I’ve always questioned sex and Christianity. Early on in life, I noticed that Christian messages around sex were repressive to women.
That’s interesting. Before this time, did you have any other sexual experiences?
Ah yes. When I was 21 and in my final year, there was this guy who lived in the vicinity. He wanted us to date, but I didn’t want that. I wasn’t ready to be banging anyone morning, noon, and night, because that’s what guys were interested in.
The guy called me one night and pleaded that he wanted to sleepover. He said he had nowhere else to go. I had a strict landlady who wouldn’t allow us to bring men. But, I eventually let him come because he pleaded so much. I gave him my bedsheet and he slept on the floor.
That’s how at night, I felt my hand on his dick. I woke up and was like what are you doing? He said he was sorry, that he was so turned on and he needs me to stroke it so he can go back to sleep. I asked him to stroke it himself, and he said it wouldn’t work, that he would ‘wound’ himself. I ended up stroking it because he was doing as if he would die if I didn’t; that’s how they all do.
You know the interesting thing is that before this time, I used to think I was asexual.
Why did you think so?
I was so clueless about sex. I believed it was the reason why I never felt like having sex. Especially during my teenage years.
When did you get past this?
When I was 20. I made out with a guy and things got pretty heavy as we approached second base — the fabric I wore was very wet as if I peed on myself. That was when I realised I was actually not asexual.
What happened after NYSC?
There was this religious leader I’ve always known. He used to tell me that there’s nothing wrong when two people who love each other have sex. He said abstinence was preached because people do it casually. He said he loved me, so what’s wrong with having sex.
And the thing about me is that I tie sex with relationships, it’s the package for me. I can’t just open my legs for you. I’ll ask so many questions that will spoil the fun.
He kept at it until I agreed. Oya, come and do the thing you’ve been bothering me about, but he couldn’t get it up. I was angry. I was like what kind of rubbish is this. He now said that he couldn’t get it up because I wasn’t a virgin. He tried to make me feel guilty for getting raped.
That’s incredibly insensitive. I’m sorry.
This made me realise how much religious leaders try to brainwash women. It’s so prevalent.
I’m really curious about when you started enjoying sex.
It didn’t happen immediately. I went celibate for about two years after NYSC. Then I moved to Lagos and started living in Lekki. When I tell you that area is sexually charged, I mean it.
The tea I want.
One day, as I was coming from work, a man asked to give me a lift. I declined and told him I was almost home. He insisted, so I entered his car. He asked if we could hang out that evening, but I said I was tired. So we decided to do Sunday. On Sunday, he picked me up and that was when I felt sexual chemistry with anyone.
Now I have to mention that personally, I have to connect with someone intellectually first, no matter how rich or handsome a guy is. With this guy, we were just flowing. My body was impressed, my mind was impressed. I was impressed by his pocket as well.
To cut it short, we went at it for four hours. From two years of celibacy to four hours of marathon sex.
You know the wild part?
I knew I wasn’t going to date this guy. But I couldn’t leave him either. We understood that this wasn’t a relationship, I am a very realistic person. He’s a Lekki big boy. I knew he wasn’t going to commit to me. I didn’t deceive myself. Even married women were chasing him. He had money to throw around and I was already thinking about getting somebody to fund my lifestyle.
We flowed well. However, he was very rough in bed. A traditional igbo man. He didn’t believe in foreplay. He believed women were toys. He used to say stuff like “Fine girl like you, you don’t even know how to have sex, better come to my house everyday, let me teach you so they won’t snatch your husband. Dick that people want, you can’t even appreciate it.” Whenever I told him he was very rough, he’d take it as a compliment and boast that when he’s done with me, I wouldn’t be able to walk.
Did you continue to have sex with him?
Hmm. In June 2016, I was having some trouble with my belly. We hadn’t slept together for like a month. He called me on this particular day and asked me how I was doing. I told him I wasn’t feeling well. He told me to come over, that he had something to use to treat me. When I got there, he threw me on the bed. That was the roughest of all the sex we’ve had, and my worst.
I told myself I had more value than this. That was the last day I ever went there.
That doesn’t sound good. I’m curious about how this experience affected you.
I locked up and didn’t have sex for like 18 months. One day, I went to hang out with a friend in a hotel. Before going, I asked myself if I was going to sleep with this guy. It wasn’t like I was preparing, I just wanted to know where my head was. I concluded that it wouldn’t be bad if it happened. We were gisting, then we started making out. When he wanted to get into me, he couldn’t. He kept trying, but couldn’t.
It was a mind thing. That last experience was so bad that I didn’t just lock up physically, I locked up mentally. He asked if I was a virgin and I was like ‘for where’. Then I told him about my last experience. We didn’t try it again. It got me thinking about the last experience. How I allowed the rough guy to win. How I hadn’t really gotten over it. I started trying to let it go.
What was letting go like?
Early 2018, I met this guy. We started talking and were flowing. We had things in common. He asked if we could date. I told him that I don’t date for just dating sake. I have to see a future with you, in the long term, to date. I asked him if we could date without having sex, but he said no, that sex was an integral part of a relationship for him. I told him I would think about it. I thought about it: I was 32, I told myself it’s not like a husband is coming. I eventually convinced myself to date him.
I told him I wanted it to be really exclusive. It wasn’t about jealousy, I just didn’t want to catch something in this Lagos. You can’t put it in me and go and put it in someone else. Nope. He agreed, and we started having sex.
Did you enjoy the sex with him?
Yes. This was the first time I allowed myself to really enjoy sex. It was the first time it wasn’t happening to me; I was making it happen. I was really interested in finding out about it. He watched me go from someone who didn’t want to talk about sex to someone who wanted to do it everywhere. He was my first doggy. He was older, but he didn’t bring that attitude to bed. He didn’t bring the ‘i’m your uncle’ vibe. He was also open to learning new things.
I feel like there’s a “but” coming.
Yes. I can’t seperate sex from relationship. I always used to tease him that it’s only when he comes to sex that he behaves like a normal person. He never used to gist or do small talk.He wouldn’t ask me about my personal life. All he was concerned about was sex. He told me I had to come spend three nights a week in his house. Men have these expectations of women but are not ready to do their own part.
Did you address all these concerns with him?
Yes. But he was just all about the sex. In fact, when he noticed that I was freer in bed, he suggested a threesome. He said he was going to get me a girlfriend to loosen me up, that I was still uptight. Instead of him to say it was for himself.
How did it end?
The final straw for me was when he started talking to me about anal sex. I told him it wouldn’t work and that there were medical consequences. He said he didn’t care.
I told myself it was time to move, that I had finished discovering myself with him.
One day in 2018, after a hot session with him, I had a shower, opened his drawer and saw a girl’s clothes. I asked him what that was. He tried to lie. I told him it’s not about love, but what he had exposed me to. We had an agreement and he was supposed to protect me. The next morning, I walked out and stopped seeing him.
Men. You haven’t had sex since then?
Nope. Of course there are people hitting on me, but I haven’t felt like it.
It’s been two years. Does it feel like a long time?
Haha. I don’t know. When it reaches three years, I’ll buy myself a car.
So what do you do when you’re in the mood?
I have been thinking about getting a sex toy, but haven’t made up my mind yet.
What’s next for you sex-wise?
I’m looking for something holistic. Nothing casual anymore. I’ve accepted myself: this is how I’m wired. Before I used to ask if i’m not missing anything. I used to say are you sure you’re not growing cobwebs, are you sure you’re not rusting. Now I know that sex is not just an activity for me; it involves my mind and spirit and I would do it right if I was going to at all. Sex is spiritual for me.