In one of my favourite episodes of the TV show, Being Mary Jane, the title character (Played by Gabrielle Union) meets a new guy, a really hot guy. For those of you who are familiar with the show and that character, you know she looooves sex. She’s a confident Glamorous and successful Black woman who has just turned 40 without finding The One and she isn’t hiding the fact that despite her age (and she’s one hot 40 Something), she isn’t going to settle for just anyone. While she waits and looks, a sistah has needs, you know? And because she has kissed her fair share of frogs, she is very careful not to confuse sex with love. And I have to tell you, that is the first lesson every young woman should learn.
So, in the scene I’m telling you about, in line with her tradition, Mary Jane gets ready to take her relationship with this guy to the intimate level so she invites him over and whips out a test kit! From swabs in his cheeks to tiny pricks on his thumb, this boss lady tests him for every STD in the book- in the comfort of her home. Because these tests take only a few minutes to come out, in a short while, once he’s clear, she proceeds to do the dirty with him (with a condom, of course) and you need to see the lightness of it all. Have you ever been in charge of your sexual health like that? Ever?
It’s easy to feel that every sexual encounter in your 20s and even in your 30s should be concealed, to avoid being called loose but it’s also easy to own your story and take care of yourself. Number one, stop seeing sex as something you give a man, because it’s not. At the end of the day, consensual sex is a two-way thing, irrespective of the guilt that follows, if your beliefs forbid pre-marital sex. It is like my love-hate relationship with eba and soup; I work out like a boss in the morning, I eat clean at breakfast, stick to my diet for a few hours until I start to really crave seafood Okra or Banga soup with Samvita (rolling my eyes now) but do I give in to temptation? Yes, most times but some other times I just eat the soup without those balls of carbs but am I going to feel used by food I made with my own two hands? That is ridiculous!
The harsh truth is that your parents, your pastor, the random guy on the street, they all think you’re getting some even if you’re not, so I don’t think you are scoring any points for pretending or for not boldly walking into the pharmacy to get condoms or fill up your birth control prescription or get tested for HIV. According to my favourite quote from Being Mary Jane: “If you’re a single woman over the age of thirty, at some point, somebody is going to call you a whore” so you see? Body count is a weird patriarchal invention geared towards subjugating women. Why marry a man who has been married or have slept with more women than your age after saving yourself for marriage? Why don’t we taunt men for their body count? Make no mistake, I’m not discouraging you from Abstinence (which is a great choice for all the right reasons), I am only saying that if you’re going to have sex, don’t let pretence hurt you. Be assertive. Get tested. Have safe sex. Get your man (or woman) tested. Take care of yourself and do not allow anybody to insult you for being a sexually active and confident woman. No matter your relationship status, own your sexuality.
Years ago, I met a young girl in Grad school. She was a beautiful undergrad who’d come in while I was chatting with a friend to bitch about the man she almost got. According to her, my friend introduced her to this rich Malay bro and they had an online relationship for a few months leading up to his visit to Nigeria. When he finally came back, he invited her to his family house where she went to flaunt her wife materialness and fuck in exchange for shoes and Brazilian hair. After spending a week (away from school) with the guy, he sends her on her way with small change and the other items and gave the excuse of needing to visit some relatives in Abuja. For the next one week, he was not taking her calls and she was worried to death so she came to complain to my friend. Incidentally, while I was still rolling my eyes at her, my friend called the guy and he picked up so she passed the phone to the girl, that was when the greatest foolishness I’d ever witnessed, occurred. After yelling at the girl nonstop, this niccur had the guts to accuse her of infecting him with an STD; according to him, he found out the day she left his hometown. As if that was not enough, he proceeds to tell her to stick her finger into her vagina and smell it. Blood of Zechariah! That was when I lost it and everything went downhill from there. After giving the fool a piece of my mind, we whisked the girl to the hospital.
Do you understand what happened? Do you? Men don’t even get symptoms of STDs that fast. Why engage in unprotected sex with a stranger? That was what I kept asking the girl but she was so bent on pleasing him and proving her wife materialness that it hadn’t occurred to her to protect herself- and he had the stinking guts to accuse her! End of story.
If you’re worried about the stares at the pharmacy or nosy nurses, please check out Slide Safe. It’s a sexual health company that discretely sends different types of test kits and contraceptives to you so that you can get tested at the comfort of your home like Mary Jane, so that you too, can date like the boss that you are. But whenever you get the chance, please visit a hospital to see a Gynae or get a pap smear (It detects cervical cancer in sexually active women) or just check out for other infections even if you are not sexually active. Beyond appropriating the title of boss lady and terrorizing your village people with all the success you have amassed as a lady, how you relate with romantic partners says a lot about you. Make no mistake, today I’m assuming that none of us is 13.
Take care of each other
This post first appeared on www.234star.com
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