At 28 years old, Christy is single, pretty, overworked and looking for some excitement in the bedroom. Underwhelmed by her limited (and often unimpressive) sexual encounters, she decides to take the plunge and delve into the world of kinks and BDSM;
I scroll down my Instagram feed listlessly, bored with the same pastel-coloured pages and all the Kim Kardashian lookalikes parading themselves as influencers. I pause briefly to take a closer look at a friend, Hakeem’s latest post — a picture showing his new haircut and bulging upper arms and recall the conversation we had had over drinks a few weeks ago about the new “dating” site he had recently joined to spice up his love life. Even then, I had rolled my eyes almost to the point of blindness, because we all knew it is neither love nor excitement Hakeem wants, but simply the opportunity to spend his grandfather’s wealth in new and reckless ways. So it shouldn’t have surprised me when he said the dating app was a safe space for those looking to dabble into kinks as well as those already acquainted with chains, whips and raunchy sex. Still, the first-born-daughter-of-Anglican-Igbo-Parents in me gasped. “Haba, Hakeem. If you want to be punched, just say the word and I will gather a group of fellow frustrated Nigerian youth to beat you up,” I had said, only half-joking. Hakeem had laughed, still swiping left and right on his phone screen before finally sliding the phone across the table to show me a picture of a busty, dimpled girl with skin the colour of shea butter whom he had just paired up with to meet. He leaned back in his seat with a smug look on his face and whispered, “you should try something different, you know? Open yourself up to new possibilities. We all need some sprinkles on our ice cream once in a while.” Two weeks ago, I had shaken my head and playfully called him an ashawo. Today, feeling bored, hormonal and slightly rebellious this Friday evening, I double-tap my screen to “like” Hakeem’s picture and think to myself that maybe he was right — perhaps I do need some sprinkles in my life.
A Few Days Later…
I slip quietly into my least favourite pair of pink heels and spray my favourite Chanel perfume lightly behind my ears. I am nervous. Things had escalated quickly that fateful Friday, from me downloading and signing up to the kinky site, to me scanning through the surprisingly good looking people on my screen. At first glance, most of them looked fairly normal; regular hairstyles, normal beards, normal names. It was only when I looked through their profiles that I began to have second thoughts: weapons, choking, bondage and pain? What was I even doing? At my big age. Surely this wasn’t safe… But then I saw Yusuf. Even through his pictures, I could tell he was tall and gentle. He had listed things like voyeurism and hair-pulling as his kinks, things that seemed less threatening to me. I chose him and spontaneously sent him a Direct Message, which he replied to quickly. Within minutes, we had arranged a brief meeting: dinner followed by “a treat”, he called it. And now we sit across from each other at a tiny restaurant, sharing fried rice, catfish and beer, while he talks me through my likes and dislikes, my expectations. I draw the line at blindfolds; I tell him I am new at this and want to see everything but really, I am just worried about being blindfolded then bundled up and used for money rituals or turned into a small tuber of yam. This is Nigeria after all. Still, I feel strangely at ease with this stranger and even the conversation begins to feel like foreplay. We both choose safe words to be used if either of us wants to stop at any point and then, smiling softly, he asks our waiter for the bill.
In The Hotel Room…
A part of me was expecting to see an array of oddly shaped sex toys or some whips and handcuffs spread across the bed. Perhaps like a schoolteacher, he would bend me over and flog me with a cane. Feeling slightly woozy from the combination of beer, excitement and anxiety, I follow him into a very white, very elegant room. This was clearly a man with good taste, and from the ease with which he moved around, I could tell this wasn’t the first time he had been in this kind of situation. I walked over to the wide window on the other side of the room, parted the curtains and stared out at the view. Enugu is always so beautiful at night. “Everything okay?” he asked. “Would you like to order anything or freshen up?” From the reflection in the window, I could see him checking me out — eyes slowly moving over my body, taking in my long legs and the new, backless dress I had worn. I shook my head, said I was fine. “In that case,” he said, coming over to stand behind me, close enough to whisper into my ear. “I think we’ve done enough talking for tonight”… We started off gently but quickly, with feather-light kisses and role play, twisting and turning our limbs into knots while he sucked me here and I bit him there, impatient to explore each other’s flesh. His fingers playing a dangerous game below my belly. Then suddenly, before I could catch my breath or gather my thoughts, Yusuf raised his hand and carefully wrapped it around my neck, applying sweet pressure on the sides, just like that. Oh. So this was what they meant when they talked about choking… And now here I am, lying open on the bed, two black silk scarves used to tie my wrists apart, all shyness forgotten. I wait for the shame, but it cannot seem to find me in this barely lit room. And so I wait for him instead, watching as he rolls on a condom and then approaches, smiling when he sees how every surface of my body is straining towards him. “Beg me,” he says, his voice now deep like dark coffee and full of authority, twirling one of my braids between his fingers and then suddenly pulling my head back so that I am forced to look up into his face. “What? But you — ” I try to protest, but Yusuf shuts me up with the flex of his jaw and the fire in his eyes. And so, I beg; like a sinner desperate for redemption, I beg him. We have long, great sex, the way only two people who know they may never see each other again can.
The Next Day…
It is the silence that wakes me. The street that I live on is rarely this quiet in the morning and for a second, I forget where I am. Slowly but surely, memories from the night before begin to resurface… I sit up, now fully awake and aware of my nakedness. I look around the room. “Yusuf?” I call out, thinking maybe he is in the bathroom, but there is no sound. Perhaps he has already left me, I realise. But instead of feeling angry, I am actually relieved. Without the liquor and the darkness, it would have been too awkward, two strangers not knowing how to act around each other. I begin to search for my phone, wondering what time it is, and see it there on the bedside table. Just as I reach out for it, I notice the small piece of paper next to it, a short note written in neat writing: “Good morning, stranger. Didn’t want to wake you up after all the kabashing last night. Feel free to order some room service. Check-out time is by 3 PM. Take care of yourself. Yusuf. PS: Keep the scarves as a souvenir. They looked good on you.” I smile at the note, shaking my head and that’s when I see the silk scarves folded neatly and placed innocently on top of my dress, which still lies on the floor where it was discarded last night. This time I laugh out loud, noticing, for the first time, the slight pain around my wrists and the sweet throb inside my body. I cannot believe my own audacity — to sleep with a stranger I met on the internet and to wake up laughing about it. What did that make me, I wonder? All at once, like the clouds covering the sun when it is about to rain, I begin to feel ashamed. But there is something strange and different about this shame; something about this particular kind of guilt that seems to break my sight open, giving me a new way to see myself and a new, more curious way to think about pleasure… Finally rising up from the bed, I walk over to where the black silk scarves lie and lift them up, rubbing them gently between my fingers the way Yusuf had rubbed my body between his own. Yes, I think to myself. Hakeem had been very right about the sprinkles. And yes… If given the chance, I would do this all over again.
Written by Thelma Ideozu, an ardent writer and content curator who prides herself in being a jack of many trades and a master of fun. She is passionate about music, plantain, storytelling and the human experience.
*This article is based on real-life events. Names used are mere pseudonyms to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned in the article.
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