Banji Makanjuola asks if all the work we put into our mating dances is worth it.
It starts from the moment you lay eyes on her. Apparently, you’ve all of three seconds from that point to leave your mark… smile… approach… say something! From then– their first words unfortunately birthing their last. Others, however, will successfully graduate to the next stage, strolling into the “what’s your name? age? job?” interrogation, but yet still fall at the final hurdle—No number… No Pin (I’m old school!) And then there are the lucky ones, call them the charmers…players…brothers with a little game…. They may move to gain her acceptance, but what next? A few raunchy messages followed by a steamy late-night conversation or two… First Date… Second… First kiss… Mind blowing sex? That’s what you see in the movies right?
As clichéd as the above scenario may be, it’s one that never ceases to make me chuckle. Unlike the constant horde of glorified images and sexual innuendos we are bombarded with every day via the media or even the embellished banter that happens to strike up at lunch with the girls in the staff canteen, sex in real life just isn’t the same–try taking it down a FEW pegs! I mean, the woman that swears she always has multiple orgasms, or the guy that boasts he’ll last till six in the morning… Really? OK, I confess, I do, but that’s a whole other convo!
I’d be lying if I told you that I loathed the act—not in the slightest. It’s a blessing to be able to cradle in the arms of the one you love and experience the heights of pleasure and intimacy that sex can bring to a relationship. But unless there is anything substantial between the pair of you, just like the high of a drug or the intoxication of alcohol, the euphoria will simply last for a while and with time eventually subside. Hence why the feelings of remorse often kick into play the moment he’s turned over and shut his eyes. For many, the most distressing fact is that sex will usually signal the beginning of the end. It’s as if all the spoken words, hours consumed, pennies spent up until those precious three minutes of elation slowly grind to a halt afterwards.
Which begs the question—if it’s only going to be a temporary bliss that will inevitably leave us feeling discontent later—why? Was it worth it? The LBD, the fresh trim, your unpaid phone bill? How about your purity? Or in some instances, your sanity? Heck, your life!
So as I was shaping up my bald patch at the barber shop a number of years back, the subject of women came up—-a novelty. In my naiveté, I regretfully interjected, suggesting that maybe sex was a little overrated, that maybe their recollections of events were somewhat distorted, a few numbers and timescales inflated, that sort of thing. “You’re clearly just not doing it right,” one joked, as the others laughed. I joined in the heckles to keep face, but within, something stirred, a rippling effect, as feelings of inadequacy and doubt began to pulsate from my core. I guess boys will always be boys, but with years gone by—a ring on the finger, a little more mileage on the clock—I’d like to think that things might just go a little deeper than that.
I’m no guru, but I have come to realize that when we have sex with another person we communicate with them in a number of ways–physically with our bodies, emotionally with our hearts and spiritually with our souls. [Note: theologians and Pharisees, please fall back!]
Sex is everywhere. It sells everything. Everything from the 10-packed freak on the front cover of Men’s Health claiming that he has the “5 Keys to Give Her the Big O”, to the melting yolk of my Cadbury’s crème egg. There is clearly no shortage of exposure to what sex is in its physical form. And from time to time, things do even out somewhat, as the Drakes and the (insert your favorite female R&B singer here)’s—think of this world as they let us in to some of love’s emotional side effects. However, aside from the weekly debates at the Christian Union fellowships that I sparsely attended during my uni days, I rarely heard much, if anything, about a spiritual connotation. Though Pastor did warn us to abstain. Simply, “God said so!” And at age 13, I cringed as mother sat me down to fill me in on the birds and the bees. The conversation was brief. “You’re a man now?” she patronized, adopting that localized Lagosian twang, before proceeding to tell me that sex before marriage was a grotesque sin, and that all sinners went to hell. “Heaven’s forbid that you get a girl pregnant!” she harped. Well, I guess I failed on both counts then!
So, grasping the three voices of sex—the physical, emotional and spiritual—can go a long way to achieving the ultimate climax in a relationship. The physical is definitely a key ingredient in this trio, but even the best sex won’t make up for a dead relationship that seriously lacks in every other department.
I know the whole settling down with kids and the detached suburban house dream doesn’t appeal to all, but how many more hearts will be broken? How many more sores need to break out? And how many more blameless fetuses will we unjustly abort, before we begin to realize that it’s all just vanity? Trust me. Minus the sores, I’ve been there.
In reality, things aren’t clear cut; it’s all a lot easier said than done. “I’m still young, let me live,” one says, whilst another interjects, “I’m just having a little fun, I ain’t hurting nobody.” And I’m sure there are plenty of guys (and girls) out there who would agree. Many of whom will continue to head to the bars and restaurants this evening, squandering their wages, all in the hope that they’ll bag a suitor for the night.
But what next? I guess we can always do the same the following weekend, right? We’ll recite the same lyrics and fritter away even more cash, repeating the cycle, only to become appalled all over again.
We only live once, right? And who am I to judge? As they say in this world, each to their own!
Originally appeared at Shy Boy Diaries. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: Flickr/Will Fisher