I discovered porn for the first time on our gardener’s phone. Someone had handed the phone to me for charging. I was scrolling through pictures in the gallery when I saw a video of a woman rubbing her boobs with oil while a man watched. I was probably nine. At eleven, I was paying a lot of attention to the almost-sex scenes Nollywood teased with. The next best thing was a sexy clip from music videos on Trace TV. At thirteen, I discovered Mills and Boons. Somewhere in between imagining the content I read and reimagining the content I had watched, I discovered the tingling feeling I could create between my thighs.
It started with rocking back and forth on a chair while reading a romance novel, then I tried humping a pillow. Humping? More like grinding. Anything to get friction and the toe-curling sensation that followed. There was this guilt that I was doing something that I should not be seen doing and then fear that I was damaging something inside me. Some pages on Google painted this ‘masturbation thing’ as evil. I read that it would cause blindness and hair will grow on my palms. Some other pages on the internet were cool about it. They stated it was perfectly normal and healthy. But what did any of that mean when my religion states it’s better to fast than deal with any feelings of arousal before marriage.
As the only girl in my family, I had all the space any teenager could want; a room all to myself. With the doors closed, I read all the erotica I could find, watch porn videos, rock and hump as much as I wanted but the guilt afterwards was overwhelming. I felt like I was being two different people depending on if people were there. I mean, I did not think I was supposed to be doing this at all. I did not think anyone else I knew was doing it. So, I’d replay the images, hump, feel guilty, and tell myself I’d never do it again. This ‘repentance’ only lasted a day or two and then I’d be back to it all over again.
At 18, my friends had their first kisses already. When we traded stories about boys, they would excitedly go on and on about the latest thing they had tried. I heard stories about the first time their boobs met other people’s palms and faces and everything that happened after. I got updates when their boyfriends’ fingers found their way into their panties. Yet none of these girls would ever talk about touching themselves down there or admit that they watched porn too. So, where did those statistics come from – the one about Nigerian women watching porn three times more than their male counterparts? At the mere mention of the topic, everyone showed disgust. I think they thought that was how they were supposed to react. The image of a girl rubbing her own lady parts and enjoying it had to be the weirdest thing ever.
At 19, I was in my penultimate year in school. I was allocated to one of the biggest rooms on the block, it meant more roommates. These new roommates were fun. They all had boyfriends and talked freely about their active sex lives. From stories of blowjobs gone wrong to gigantic penis experiences and pregnancy scares, there was always something interesting to hear. And the best thing? They talked about touching themselves and watching porn! Finally!!! We laughed about the ridiculous storylines and how incredibly sexist they were. They talked about the things they had done and the fantasies they might never try. Ohhh was I loving it! It was that same year I started dating and had my first kiss. It happened on top of one of the tallest buildings in my school. I had just ticked off first base. What is next on the menu, please?
There was a lot of kissing – everywhere. In the rain, on corridors, in classes at night, in an uber, beneath staircases and some very questionable places. It did not go beyond that for a pretty long time. At some point, his hands and face met my boobs but that was about it. I had never inserted my fingers inside my vajayjay but I wanted to know what that was like. My boyfriend wasn’t into it. He’d rather kiss forever, rub his hands all over the cherries and always narrowly miss the hoo-ha. Meanwhile, I rubbed him down there a lot. I mean, it’s not like there was anything much more to do, I thought. A thousand and one problems after, we broke up. During this time, I discovered so much about my vajayjay and how it works. It felt like I was starting a new relationship with her lordship and figuring out how to worship her. And I am going to tell you all about it. Wink wink!
*** This story is the first part in a series of reflections