Religious guilt made me suppress my high libido
Sex life is an anonymous weekly series by Zikoko that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.
The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 24-year-old bisexual man who has not had sex because of his religious beliefs. He talks about the shame he attached to his sexual desires, secretly masturbating and suppressing his strong libido because it was against his faith.
Tell me about your first sexual experience.
At 13, I discovered masturbation. My best friend confided in me about an ungodly act she was into, which was masturbation. Later that week I was on the internet when I saw some photos that got me excited.
I noticed that the tip of my cock was super sensitive and I touched it. Touching it was so good, but rubbing it was even better. I went to the bathroom and continued rubbing it until I had the very first orgasm of my life. The orgasm was filled with self-loathing, pleasure and guilt.
Why did an orgasm make you feel all these things?
Well, my faith at the time had a huge part to play. I believed the Bible should be taken at face value. I couldn’t combine the love of God with the pleasure of sex. That’s why I felt terrible after masturbating in the bathroom. I hated myself intensely.
Does that mean it never happened again?
LMAO, not at all. Even though I had all these negative feelings associated with masturbation, I didn’t stop. It was the thorn in my side.
I was horny and walked around with an erection everywhere I went. So I masturbated whenever I had the chance. I just felt really bad afterwards. At the time, I tried to convince myself that the Bible never said anything explicitly about masturbation, but that didn’t stop me from feeling what I felt. It didn’t help that I had an extremely high libido.
It was getting harder and harder to talk to girls when all I wanted was to have sex. Yet I couldn’t have sex either because of my religion.
When I was 14, the guilt got worse. That’s when I realized that not only did I want to sleep with every girl I saw as much as possible, but I also wanted to sleep with men as much as possible.
Have you ever acted on this?
I couldn’t masturbate without fear, could I have sex with men? I stayed in my closet and endured an endless cycle of reading my Bible, watching porn, masturbating, and hating myself.
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Have you been able to combine the two? Faith and sex.
Unfortunately no. The older I got, the more questions I asked. There were a lot of cognitive biases that I saw in the two main Abrahamic religions in Nigeria. That’s when I gave myself two options. Either I continue to live in this bubble of cognitive bias or I go away and let go of a faith that has kept me sane and helped guide my life thus far. I chose to walk away.
What was the start like?
Well, when I was 20, I had a conversation with my parents. I told them that I was no longer going to church and that I had stopped reading my Bible.
There was a constant back and forth for about two years, but they finally made peace.
And what about sex?
I finally had sex for the first time when I was 22, with a woman from a GC I was in. I had done a lot of research over the years of struggling with my faith. I had asked for help from some people I know who had walked similar paths to me. It was very helpful for me to unlearn all of my previous biases that I had associated with women when it came to sex. I would like to believe that I went there well prepared and that I gave him a good time.
As for me, it was so good. She was such a beautiful woman, and there’s something about a conventionally attractive woman wanting you. It makes you feel very good about yourself.
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as guilty as I thought. I just enjoyed the moment.
Why did you think you didn’t feel guilty?
I think I was finally ready to have fun. I had spent almost a decade hating myself and my body because I felt that being sexual was a sin.
Since I no longer had any religious inclinations, I didn’t feel like I was committing any sin. It was a very pleasant experience.
RELATED: I was no longer afraid to be sexual in the presence of God
Does this mean that masturbating has become easier?
No, it was not easier. I think because, unlike sex which never happened, masturbation did. It was the only sex act I did for years; the only thing i felt was going to drag me to hell because i acted on the urges i felt.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that I was able to masturbate without guilt. I had to teach myself to make it a form of self-care. There was no way to have good sex without being able to be erotic with myself.
And the libido? Still high?
Yes quite. For two years, it’s as if I had caught up. I explore the different things that have captured and still capture my interest.
I got heavily involved in BDSM, and that meant unlearning any prejudices I had about it. I also build a stash of sex toys because personal pleasure is something I invest in.
I was even able to start having sex with men. The first man I had sex with was so quiet I thought he wasn’t that interested in me. I think what excited him was the fact that there was someone watching us.
However, other men I have had sex with are pretty good at it. So, I know it’s something that I love and appreciate.
Tell me something you learned on this trip.
The most interesting thing for me is the fact that there have been many religious people I have slept with. For a while I judged them because I couldn’t reconcile the two, but now? Not really. Religion is a necessity for many people. Life is very dark and not believing in something can bring you down.
That’s why I don’t comment when they decide to see each other after they finish church service or have sex with me after Ramadan. I understand the role I play in their lives and the role religion plays as well.
All I want to do now is have the sex I want with the people I want, be it men or women.
My only regret is that I didn’t start earlier in my teens.
How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?
5, because it can be better. I want more partners, and I need to figure out my tastes in men because I haven’t had as much experience there as I would like. I’m still young, so there’s still a lot to learn and experience, and I’d love the chance to really explore myself.
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