Written by Mide Olabanji
I know we all like to say “all the five love languages are mine”, and I honestly get it. There are all heartwarming and love-strengthening gestures, but you have to admit it – personally, some of them hit harder than the others. For me, it is at the same time physical touch and quality time; like bread and butter, they complement each other so well. The quality time I spend with my lovers is rarely grand; what matters to me is being in their company and having access to their bodies.
Before I finally got one, my close friends knew how much I longed for a sex toy. In a purity culture-plagued continent like ours, for women who are attracted to men, there is an unsurprising orgasm gap.
From our youth, we are taught that our bodies, and our entire lives, are for men. We are presented with two choices: have premarital sex and be punished with an out-of-wedlock child, or stay virgins for our husbands and be rewarded with marriage. Those with whom the patriarchy entrusts the job of helping us make this decision take their job very seriously: many African women grew up hearing from their mothers that if a boy did as much as touch their shoulders, they would become pregnant.
It would seem that when we finally succeed in getting a man, when all our hard work finally pays off, we can relax and enjoy the fruit of our efforts. In reality, the work only begins then. To prevent him from being snatched by single and rouge girls like a purse in a crowded market, it is time to tighten the wife material even tighter around our bodies by pleasing them in any and every possible way.
Nigerian Mr. John Doe here strongly believes that, in preparation for marriage, when a woman goes to spend the weekend with her boyfriend, she must not be in bed till 8 in the morning. As early as 7:59 AM, a good “wife material” must have done one or two things. From sunrise to sunset, in and out of the bedroom, a good woman’s duty, it seems, is taking care of grown men. Women spend thousands on aphrodisiacs and sex master classes. Meanwhile, in this research by YouGov, 29% of Briton women and 31% of the men surveyed did not know what the clitoris is.
In the absence of social media, many African women would not be able to connect in the same way as they do today. Social media has thankfully created a safe space where women from far and wide can share notes on female pleasure, resulting in many African women unlearning and relearning safe approaches to sex and sexual health.
Among the well-meaning advice given to women on how to have more pleasurable sex, is to use sex toys and engage more in solo sex. You cannot give what you do not have, so it is advised that we take our pleasure into our own hands – literally. As a Nigerian woman whose sex education was filled with conservative and male-centric information, I am grateful for these advice that insist I should learn how to pleasure myself, too. So as a single, feminist and progressive woman, it only made sense for me to get myself a toy and give myself the leg shaking orgasms I demand from my partners.
*Bows head in shame and darts eyes furtively*
It is here I reveal that despite once orgasming through phone sex, I have never made myself cum solely by my own hands. I have read articles, watched videos, and discussed the issue with other women, but it remains a dead end. Touching my clit feels great, but I can’t do that for long because it is very sensitive, and putting my fingers in my vulva gets quickly boring and dries me out.
In spite of the fact that I am not celibate, I haven’t had sex with a partner for a year now. I finally cut ties with my ex in August. Fortunately and unfortunately, sex between us was fantastic. Having been together over a year, we had ample time to learn what tickled each of our fancy. The sexual chemistry was unfamiliarly intense and we struggled to keep our hands off each other. The unfortunate thing is that, although subconsciously a bar has been set, it was only going to get better from that point on. While there are billions of people in the world, it hasn’t been easy to find someone who has the hots for me as much as I do for them and is also readily available. Additionally, I am afraid of breaking this solo sex jail with bad sex, so I’m being extra cautious.
Inadvertently celibate for four months, I decided to get a toy. It was in January, the first month of the New Year. What better way than that to fulfill my “new year, even better sex experiences” resolution? I remember the day vividly: it was midnight on a Friday and I sat before my laptop sifting through types and colors of vibrators on AliExpress. In the end, I settled on a purple and white vibrator with 3 speeds, 7 vibration modes which had both clitoral and G-spot vibration.
Despite the fact that it was supposed to arrive within thirty days, I was not surprised to receive a text message two weeks later, from a logistic company, informing me that my toy had arrived in Nigeria. My delivery address was in a remote town in Ondo State, where I was at the time. In the afternoon, after waiting in vain for a call that my package was outside, I picked up the phone and called the number from which the text message came. It was affirmed that the package was with them but I was told they are unsure of when they’d come down to where I was. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, so I asked them to send it downtown on a bus. Now was the time for me to take control of my own orgasms and maybe even please myself more than I thought possible.
The sex toy does a great job. I have never used it without getting an orgasm; sometimes, I get multiple orgasms. My favorite thing about it is how I can adjust it – turn it up and down as I please. But I haven’t used it since May. While it never fails to give pleasure, the pleasure is hollow. I am usually satisfied, but never sated.
During the first couple of months that I got the toy, I was very excited to use it. It felt good to be horny at any time of the day, reach for my toy and make myself cum. However, that excitement wore off quickly. Often it is said that the anticipation of sex is one of the best parts of it – the preparation, the dirty talks, the sexual tension, the anxiety. With my toy, there is no kissing, no hot breath in my mouth, no warm hands on my stomach, no firm mouth around my nipples and no words to guide me to orgasm. There are no arms around a lover’s neck, no palms roaming their chest, and no legs around their waist. And I tried. I tried to re-enact these things: I’d close the windows, play slow music, tease myself, use the vibrator on my nipples and through my panties, but those didn’t do much. I want to be touched, passionately and intently; to be told hoarsely, how gloriously wet I am; to be fucked into oblivion.
When I bought the vibrator, the idea was that I would no longer need a partner, especially a man, to orgasm. It’s true that I don’t need a partner, but I do want one. I’ve found that touch and time between my partner and me during sex, is very important.