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 27-year gay man who has a reputation for being a player. He talks about how his reputation for sleeping around is affecting his sex life and making him rethink everything he has done.
What was your first sexual experience?
I was 16, and it was with a boy from church. We were at a teen camp and kept exchanging glances. One day, when a session was going on at the church, I returned to the hostel because I was tired. I saw him outside his hostel, and we got talking. After a while, I went to sit at his bedside, then he touched me and then it just happened.
The things that went down at those camps.
See. I later learned that things like that happen a lot. We kept in touch for a while before we drifted apart — we didn’t have much in common, so it was bound to happen. This experience woke up something in me.
I knew I was gay before that happened but I had never really considered a relationship or sex with a man because I come from a very religious family so I hadn’t thought of that possibility. Before the guy and I lost contact, he told me how queer people in Nigeria like us use the internet to identify ourselves. This was back when Facebook was everything- so it was basically Facebook groups and eventually WhatsApp group chats – that’s how I found queer people and started making friends. And eventually, lovers.
Yeah, I flirted with several people after a while and eventually hooked up with some people. Those were some of my hookups with people and learning about sex and gay sex in particular.
Around this period, I slept with a woman for the first and last time.
OH? How did that happen?
So there was a girl at school who was being very flirtatious with me. One day, she texted me to come over because no one was at home. I knew I was gay, but a part of me was curious about whether or not I was bisexual. However, I went because I could. So I did.
How was it?
Oh my God, it was horrible. I was having the sex and thinking to myself, ‘I am hundred per cent gay, wow.’
Lmao. What did that experience change in you?
Not much. It just made me realise I was gay all the way.
Most of these happened in your teens, right? What was your sex life in your twenties?
Wild. In my twenties, I lived alone and started living. There was a period I had sex almost every day. And on the weekends, I was going from one party to an orgy to a sex party. It was wild to think of. I don’t know if I was trying to compensate for something, but I did a madness that period.
What switched between your teens and twenties?
In my teens, I was just trying to connect with my community and find people like me. In my twenties, I was trying to find love, to be honest. Unfortunately, I wanted that love with everyone. I saw sex as a way to connect with people. That’s what sex is to me.
Did you find the love?
A few times. They ended for different reasons. But the most recent potential one ended in a way that made me regret my history.
I met someone on Twitter, and we started talking. We went out on a few dates, we even had sex and were getting serious. Then one day, he told me we needed to end the relationship because it wasn’t going to work out. Guess why?
I have no guesses. Tell me.
Once people found out he was with me, they told him to ‘run o’.
Because apparently, I am an ashawo, a ‘manizer’. It hurt me, but it wasn’t an isolated accident.
It’s happened before?
Yup. And after. Sometimes, people even told my platonic friends to be careful because of my reputation. It bugs me so much, but I understand it.
Why do you think people talk about you like that?
Because it’s the truth, to be honest. That’s kind of the worst part. I had a very sexually active early twenties, and it can be misconstrued as me just being a player. Most people don’t want to be what they probably consider ‘notches on your bed frame’ or an addition to your body count, and they don’t want that to happen to their friends, so they try to warn them. I know I would probably do the same. However, that doesn’t make it less frustrating.
Does it make you regret having the kind of sex life you had in your early twenties?
Yes and no. Life would be boring if you lived it without exploring. I explored people and did exciting things that taught me a lot. That said, I wish I hadn’t slept with everyone I could. If I had maybe held back here and there, my reputation would probably be better.
How has that affected your sex life?
People who know of me tend not to want to sleep with me. The ones who do, don’t want anything to do with me outside of sex which can be very frustrating. I’m trying to reduce how much casual sex I have so that I can hopefully fix my reputation before it’s too late.
Do you know what your body count is?
Nope. It has too many zeroes at this point. If I knew it, I would probably feel the need to get myself mentally checked.
Why do you think you had that much sex?
Because I could. I slept with everyone who would say yes. I like having sex, people wanted to have sex. So in my head, I’m like why not?
What’s your sex life like now?
I’ll always have an active sex life but now I’m applying more discretion to who I sleep with. I have a friend-with-benefits and that’s it. It’s easier to control the narrative when only one person sees your nakedness.
How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?
9. I’m having great sex regularly. What’s there to not to love? I just wish my sex history wasn’t negatively affecting my reputation and love life.