Sex Before Marriage?

I do not believe in sex before marriage.

I have had discussions about relationships and life with many Nigerians. If I were to believe the cultural assumptions, then the following are true:

– You cannot have a relationship without sex. If the person is not sleeping with you, he/she is sleeping with someone else while they’re with you.

– All men cheat.

– All women are materialistic.

– Sex is a commodity paid for with money, gifts and good outings.

I have met several men and women who don’t fit these stereotypes and so find the assumptions quite alarming. I have more people in my network who don’t fit the stereotypes than the corollary. So, it is clear that I don’t know many “normal” Nigerians and don’t visit the places that “regular” Nigerians go to. I don’t want to if these are the narratives that hold sway. How dark. How base and devoid of joy, goodness and light. I shudder.

Another thing I find peculiar is the use of language. I love to have a good laugh like anyone else but there’s a reason I rarely listen to “popular” music. Words matter to me. Words made me who I am and so I am a custodian of words. Sometimes the language of relationships in Nigeria is so profane and disrespectful.

Relationships and sex did not become commoditised by happenstance. We commoditised them. They are a joke, cultural commentary and beer parlour fodder. They are also cloaked in silence – the silence of unexpressed pain and social media facades.

We rarely have honest conversations about relationships and sex in Nigeria. It’s difficult to. Our narratives are a hodgepodge of western mindsets and village proclivities. We don’t create inconvenient stories. We rely on history, myths and populist tales crafted for comedy punchlines. From what I gather, honesty is too weak. Character and values are bad words; antiquated terms reserved for the prudish and lonely. Lies sound so much better.

I don’t discuss the details of my sex life on dates. I value people a lot and sexual history doth not a person make. My body count or sexual history (exclusive of physical and emotional concerns) are also nobody’s business. The fact that someone has a different ideology from mine has never stopped me from being their friend. I may not live with them but I will have a drink with them.

I have never asked a date to give me an explanation for why they have sex. Similarly, I offer no one an explanation for why I choose not to. But for the purpose of this post, I would like to be clear about something. (I have already written about this in my upcoming book, so to me, it’s public knowledge already). Instead of stating the reasons why I’m not having sex, I’d rather state the things that are NOT the reasons.

I am not trying to be religious or holy. I am not fearful of the judgement of God or man. I’m sure there’s a case to be made for these things but I’m too spoiled by love and grace to be motivated by them.

I am not unaware or ignorant. I know where sex is and I know how to safely do it if I choose to.

I do not lack opportunity. I’m well travelled and could have intercontinental lovers if I want. I could then do my business discreetly, away from prying eyes.

I am not prudish. This post already provides an inkling.

I believe that there is incredible power in choice. I simply choose not to have sex. No one and no circumstance is preventing me. I’m driven by my freedom to choose the ideology, lifestyle and beliefs that make me happy.

As a child, you will be exposed to religion, culture and environments. As an adult, it’s your turn to choose. For instance, if your background was such that everyone around you got drunk by 2pm, you can either maintain the bloodline of alcoholism or embrace moderation. You have a choice. That everyone around you is doing something or spouting something does not mean you should. Grow a pair. And I mean a pair of balls.

I do not believe in sex before marriage. Click To Tweet Sex didn't become commoditised by happenstance in Nigeria. We commoditised it. Click To Tweet We rarely have honest conversations about relationships & sex in Nigeria. Click To Tweet That everyone around you is doing something doesn't mean you should. Click To Tweet


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