It was on the floor. I laid my head on the pillow. I was twenty-one, and I still haven’t enjoyed sex. I remember there was a time I almost did, but it’s hard to know if I did or if the satisfaction of not getting caught caused my body to orgasm, a climax of what I now know to say that I like sex.
My actual journey to sexual freedom began when I started asking questions about why men pay for sex and women felt like demigods who could answer a man’s deepest craving. I didn’t understand this psychology, so it made me resolve that I was going to give mine away for free.
As I became a teenager, I saw the severity of what society placed on girls who had sex and came to understand the gravity of the value that is placed on virginity. I later became partisan with these thoughts, thinking that keeping myself would give me a sexually fulfilled life. The imagination of popping a little cherry on wedding night at the sight of a man who is proud to call me wife. The body of people who couldn’t be more proud to use me as their perfect example and the innate satisfaction that lies in being a stranger’s inspiration.
Losing my virginity reaffirmed another version of my self-worth; knowing I can’t be a virgin twice helped me deal with the regrets, eventually giving me pride in the number of people who haven’t slept with me. ‘Low body count’ was more important than enjoying actual sex, and since there was no way of lying to oneself, low body count became a goal.
Coming from a household in an African society, I saw the need for the good girl barge, and as I struggled to earn this tag, I saw the lies and the insufficiency that hoard happiness, creating an illusion of me that wanted to be a wife behind a mask of a girl who wanted to enjoy sex.
And since sex was like murder, there was always going to be a first time. You do it in secret and regret it later. You are haunted by its memories, and its worth is only realized once it is gone. I came to see the guilt of premarital sex and the torment of unworthiness. Giving it to the right person is a reliever from guilt; love being a struggle is a dice you can never get lucky with, and finding it was the only way to subdue you to this worthlessness. Falling in love and maintaining it through the grease of sex was another thing, and so as a dangling teenager, my mistakes were a handful.
As I searched for love that wasn’t forthcoming, my emotions became a tied-down fantasy. A discovery that only took place in my head, making away with pleasures that denied me the truth. When I finally flaunted these barriers and discovered myself, I was a well-known whore.
The very first time I heard a “moan,” nobody told me it was an unholy sound. I knew from the behavioral put-ups of everyone around me that it was a self-explanatory sound that isn’t learned. I knew there was something off about sex right from the start. As a young child, I wondered what it was, but I knew it to be some specialness given to a man. It started out by creating pictures of beautiful scenarios that only took place in my head. At fifteen, I was already getting the sense that it might have been sweet. Sex might be sweet. Films make it seem so; books depict the scenes, and it became something I’d love to have.
As my age began to ascend and my knowledge began to peak, I realized that for you to have it, you have to be bad. ‘Bad thing’ was what it was known as. A bad child was a daughter or son who tried it. Bad children were those who knew it. A bad place was where the act was done, and so was the child I had to choose.
The night I lost my virginity… I felt like going back to take back what was taken from me. I’d look down my private part many times, where my vagina used to be, to see if it was gone, and I saw that my vagina was still there. Nothing changed; nothing left there. That’s because the “taking of something” or “losing of something” takes place only in the mind. What leaves you is a realization, not the hymen. Hymen can be gone, but the thought that another eye peered through the nakedness is the haunted memory.