Last year when the report about the senator who beat a sales girl in a sex toy shop hit; there was so much hullabaloo online and offline. The outpouring of outrage wasn’t so much to the fact that the senator beat the girl; it soon became the fact that he was patronizing sex toys.
Now, this is the gender one would expect should pursue such things. Indeed, the gender generally accepted as the one to take the lead in the area of sex and yet; half of the insulting comments from several online reports insinuated fact that he was a sex toys addict.
I will never know the real reasons the ‘honourable’ senator chose to buy and use sex toys. I am more concerned about the growing class of lonely women; women of a certain age who either through divorce, separation or death have become single; and who find the idea of random sex with total strangers or just about anyone scary.
I’m talking about women in their early forties to late 60s; women who still have a need for intimacy, sex; a need to feel wanted, to feel loved, cuddled, romanced and made to feel alive again.
I am conscious of the fact that we live in a judgmental society; one which expects that women should feel no need for any of these emotions. I have often heard these statements: “What does a woman need sex for when she has her children to think about?”
“What is a woman doing with sex when there are things to get done? School fees rent, housework…only an idle woman will be thinking of sex at that age.”
To the very religious: “Don’t let the devil tempt you. Pray and fast, there are more important things in life than sex.”
So single women in their late 40s to 60s; (or even those who married elderly men); expectedly are not thought to need love or any form of intimacy because as many believe; it will embarrass their immediate families. This is why, if a woman who is recently divorced, separated, widowed is found with a man; she is immediately held responsible for what happened to make her single again.
The same goes for the woman who never got married. At a certain age, she is expected not to feel a need to have sex; or crave any form of intimacy.
‘What is she looking for?’ People would ask
But a woman needs love…a woman needs intimacy.
While women of our mothers’ generation found a means of ‘checking’ their emotions; women in their 40s-60s today, are a lot more educated; liberated and pursue happiness just like the rest of humanity.
So, how does the woman, who needs sex/intimacy but because of her religious background; can’t be seen bed hopping like her male counterpart?
A few friends and I got talking about how lonely it often got since they suddenly found themselves single again. These women all have children but lost their spouses through death, divorce and separation. With their kids either off to boarding houses or university; these women suddenly find they have too much time alone.
While at the beginning of their singleness; the thought of sex or any form of intimacy didn’t occupy pride of place on their list of wants. However, a few months down the line, a few years down the line; like full red blooded human beings, they began to desire something as well.
Were these men, having a girlfriend would have been perfectly understood by the society; including their friends and families. But they are women, women of certain ages, forbidden to voice their need for sex and intimacy; or forever be labelled Jezebels or something worse.
Sex toys became one of the solutions we arrived at as we talked.
‘How do we purchase sex toys?’ One asked
‘At the pharmacies, I have seen a section at one pharmacy on Isaac John, Ikeja.’ I responded
“Haa lai lai! I will never be caught buying a sex toy. How can? It’s hard.”
So, I went with my friend to see how hard it could be.
At the pharmacy, we went straight to the sex toys section.
A few dildos and vibrators sat tired on the shelf heaving under the weight of lubricants et al. I was interested in the dildos and vibrators. There were a few people in the pharmacy also buying medicines. I walked up to the young pharmacist, a lady.
‘How much do these go for?’
I brought down the vibrator and showed the girl. A man at the counter looked at the dildo, looked at me and burst out laughing. I didn’t think it was funny. So I focused on the pharmacist who looked so embarrassed she began to stammer.
She pointed to an inner room, apparently, wanted another pharmacist, her male colleague to attend to me.
‘Is this the only colour you have?’ I asked. The thing was purple.
My friend had quietly separated herself from me, pretending to be checking out vitamins.
Finally, the lady pharmacist spluttered out a few words that sent her colleague running out from the inner room. He came and she pointed to me.
He looked at the dildo and smiled, “How can I help you, Ma?’’
‘I want a human, Nigerian coloured vibrator. Do you have one?’
He shook his head.
‘So how do I use it?’
He kept his distance as if I had just tested positive for Coronavirus.
‘It is battery powered,’ he finally volunteered.
Then I think he remembered he was supposed to be making sales and so showed me how to power it. We both watched amused as the vibrator began to vibrate. At this time; a few curious onlookers who had pretended to be interested in other things in the shop began to look at us.
So here’s my thing. Would I have been bold enough to go and purchase a vibrator for myself if I hadn’t gone to conduct a research? I doubt it. I would have cowered like my friends, shied away from being seen as a loose woman; a hypocrite, a man snatcher; names that can be given to a woman who dares to let on that she needs a man.
But a woman needs love and women of a certain age are not made of wood.
If you find one bold enough to go shop for a vibrator; clear that dirt from your mind and stay on your lane.