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#TheOtherRoom: This Thing Called Sex

This thing called sex is overrated. Some already know this. Some know this but are in denial, like my friend Mary. Some have no idea at all but that’s fine. You are reading this now.
I was fascinated by sex long before I became sexually active. Long before I knew what the words ‘blue film’ means. That is how most of my peers knew. I lived in a ghetto neighborhood with my parents and with poverty comes wisdom that money cannot buy.
With poverty comes the wisdom that you should eat as much as you can when you see food, there’d be times when you can’t even remember what food tastes like and if it’s a lucky day, all you’d have will be water. With it comes the knowledge that money is power after your mother keeps going to clean up for the landlady no matter how many times she throws your properties outside, twice in the rain. With it comes the knowledge that love is not enough with every day your father comes back from the building site with little or nothing to show for it and the relationship between him and your mother keeps getting colder.
With poverty comes the knowledge that mistakes are luxuries poor people can’t afford after your mother gets pregnant the fifth time and your eldest sibling who is the only one is school had to drop out. With it also comes the first-hand knowledge of what sexual intercourse is as you watch from the windows, girls lie naked while boys did the dance on top of them as you roam the streets while your mates are in school. You see your parents do it once or twice. Everyone and everything is clogged up in that half room and privacy is a foreigner.
The first time I saw it happen was with TJay, the short uncle who was always irritable and his eyes are bloodshot. He went with his boys to the P junction at night and I watch as they snatch the bags of unsuspecting women. It was quite a sight for me; the different reactions. Some run after him, some scream and point expecting the world to follow, some just stand there, too dumbfounded to do anything. One woman sat on the floor and refused to stand nor say a word for hours.
Tjay made me very curious. He couldn’t have been more that 20 but he was commanding and fearless. His impetus intrigued me. Different women came to visit him in the room he shared with 3 other boys and he never saw them off. Even though I had no idea what happened there, I knew it was something bad, something sacred. There was something about the way the women looked around to make sure no one sees them entering and the way they hurry off afterward.
It was on a day I was feeling particularly courageous that I went to peer through the window to find out what he does to the women that makes them keep coming.  My small frame wasn’t to my advantage so I had to painfully stand of my toes while slightly lifting myself up with the window frame to get a good view. A girl was lying naked on the mat mattress (yes, mat mattress) on the floor and a naked Tjay lay on top of her going forward backward, forward backward, forward backward speedily. It wasn’t till my 4th visit that I observed that Tjay inserts his lower member into the buttocks of the girls. My visits weren’t as frequent as I wanted it. If Tjay had ever caught me, my mother would have had 4 children. I’d be dead.
There were other Tjays in the ghetto so I saw more dancing but in different styles. Soon watching made me feel a certain way. It excited me and made you feel ticklish down there, between your legs. I began to dream I was no longer by the window but in the room watching. Soon I stopped being just in the room, I became the girl.
I didn’t do it till I was 15, 8 years after my discovery. This was long after all my friends had done it.  In the ghetto, there were a lot of things we didn’t have but you see sex, we didn’t lack it. It was a way of life. Girls snuck out with men in uncompleted buildings while they were meant to be hawking. Teni started at 10 and it was with her uncle. Nobody knows when Fish started but it was rumored that she wasn’t even born a virgin. She was having sex from as far back as I can remember. Vivian’s present boyfriend was her first. She keeps talking about how they were going to go away, get married and have a good life. Mary was raped but nobody knew this but me. She was only 13. She wouldn’t have anything to do with sex after that.
I waited so long because nobody messes with me that I didn’t want to. Nothing happens to me that I don’t let. I wasn’t like the other ghetto girls that let the dirty boys tell them what to do. I called the shots.
It was with my neighbor pa John and it was for money. He took me inside his house after his wife and children had left and made me lie on the bed. He fumbled with my full breast and put his face all over it. It was like he wanted to bite it open and swallow the content. The thought made me uneasy. Is he thirsty? Is there no water in the house?
Soon he removed my worn-out pant and I was embarrassed for a second. If he noticed that I had had it for two years and it was bought second hand, he didn’t show it. He soon removed his trousers and tried to insert his member inside me. It couldn’t fit. It was too big. After many trials, he asked, ‘you’ve not done this before?’ and a bewildered me nodded yes. It didn’t stop him. He tried again, this time forcefully. The pain was sharp. I let out a cry but he quickly covered my mouth with his hands. The ride began. For the next three minutes, he went forward and backward, forward and backward. For every move, he moaned. Is this the sex? Why is it so painful and weird? What is the point? Why did he moan and I didn’t? Why were the girls making such a fuss about it? I thought. To say I was disappointed would be not saying enough.
After he peed, white thick disgusting pee, he stood up and wore his cloth. I did the same too. I counted the money he gave me and it was complete three thousand naira. I never went back. It had nothing to do with the pain or my disappointment. It had everything to do with his urine. I felt ashamed and humiliated. I told no one.
It wasn’t till I met Ibrahim the following year that I found out he didn’t pee on me. I continued having sex. It didn’t feel any different with my new boyfriend and he gave me no money. No pleasure and no money? I didn’t want that. Soon, I broke it off with him.
Even though it didn’t pleasure me, I was still very fascinated by sex and decided to explore. I joined the girls with shiny skimpy clothes at the junction by 11 pm and hopped into more cars than I can count. It should feed me at least.
I met Danny who talked love, commitment, and things. He talked giving and receiving but the giving he talked had nothing to do with money. He talked I can tell him what to do to pleasure me. By Jove sir, I do not even know.  He talked it will get better with time. I let him. I gave it time. He tried everything, still nothing.
This thing called sex is overrated. It doesn’t pleasure me but it feeds me.
 
 Check out Chisimdi’s blog here.

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