His name is Funsho. We met at a friend’s mother’s 55th birthday party. You see, it wasn’t even a gay party. My friend, Allen had told me, “I’m inviting a few of my close friends, but it’s not a TB party o. Abeg man up, no bitching or flinging of hands. A lot of my straight friends are also coming.”
So on that day, I dressed simply in a pair of jeans and a tucked-in shirt with a simple pair of loafers. I wasn’t dressed to kill or to attract attention. I walked in, went over to Allen’s mother to wish her a happy birthday, flattered her a bit about how pretty she looked for a 55-year-old woman, exchanged greetings with Allen and the few other guys I knew there, and settled down to enjoy the lavish food and drink I could see waiting on the table.
At some point in the party, one of the guys who I didn’t quite know came to occupy the empty seat beside, and we got talking. He introduced himself as Funsho, and said he worked with a logistics company somewhere in Lagos. He was Allen’s friend, and we had never met. For some reason, I assumed he was one of Allen’s straight friends. Nevertheless, he was an interesting dude, as we talked on a wide range of issues from current affairs to politics.
Time flew by, and soon I had to head back home. We exchanged numbers and parted ways. I assumed he would never call and we would both get on with our lives. He was good looking and charming, but I have never been one to embark on conversion missions. Once a guy is straight, I usually don’t bother to be anything more than polite and cordial with him. I mean, I find the whole conversion thingy manipulative and distasteful, not to mention the associated risk and stress involved. Abeg, there are too many men out there who are already gay and available, why put myself through the wahala of converting a straight guy? As if life isn’t stressful and short enough.
It took about four days before Funsho called me. We talked about random things and agreed to meet up on Friday evening for drinks. The evening came, and I showed up at the agreed spot at the agreed time to meet him already seated, waiting patiently. We ordered some food and drinks, and proceeded to have a pleasurable time together. As the evening wore on and the lights in the bar dimmed, he said something particularly funny and we both laughed hard. And his hand ended up on my lap . . . and lingered there. This happened a few times; I found it a bit odd and put it down to the fact that he had been drinking quite a bit of alcohol.
And then, he squeezed my thigh! I was so shocked I almost dropped my glass. I looked at him and he stared me straight in the eyes and smiled. That charming, disarming smile that I would soon fall helplessly in love with, that smile that made me wild with lust and careless abandon. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and on the way, I pulled out my phone and called Allen.
“My dear, how far with this your Funsho guy, is he TB ‘cos we are hanging out, and he just dey touch–touch me since…”
“Well, yea, he’s bi, but I’d say he’s more into girls. He rarely does guys. He’s one of those types who are afraid that if they do guys more, they’ll become more gay and all. He loves to put up a strong straight man façade. For him to come onto you this strongly, he must really be into you. He’s kinda confused about his sexuality. Sha, just have fun but don’t get too attached o. I know say you sabi do love and relationship things well, please resist the urge this time o.”
I hung up and went back to meet Funsho. It was almost 11pm and I was anxious to head home. Funsho offered to drop me off and I happily agreed.
As the weeks went by, our hangouts became a regular event. He never seemed eager for sex, so I contented myself with just a kiss every now and then. We never had sex until about three weeks after we met. We’d gone clubbing and come back to my house around 2am. He had left his set of house keys at home, and his ‘witch of a stepmother’ would definitely not interrupt her beauty sleep to let him into the house. I therefore invited him to spend the night at my place, as my folks wouldn’t mind.
The moment we got into my room, we fell upon each other like a pair of wild things and fucked our brains out. I never knew Funsho had such an enormous appetite for sex; we had three solid rounds before dawn when we finally fell into exhausted slumber.
We never made a conscious decision to become an item, but as the weeks went by, the bond between Funsho and I grew stronger and stronger. I had just a few months earlier emerged from the mangled and tattered heap which I’d become when my last relationship with Bobby crashed into a heartbreaking mess. I had genuinely been in love with Bobby, but time and time again, he had proven to me that he was a lying cheat who thought nothing of trampling all over my emotions. I had to drop him and attempt to retrieve what was left of my sanity. After four boyfriends in two-and-a-half years, I’d decided that perhaps the dating game wasn’t for me, that maybe what Allen and my other friends had been preaching was true: “There’s no love in the gaybourhood! Fuck anyone you fancy and move on at the end of it all. Stop placing your emotional wellbeing in a man’s hands, he will shatter you without warning at the drop of a hat!” So for the last few months, I had been getting by on a few meaningless flings which satisfied my sexual urges only for a time, but did nothing to fill the deep aching hole in my heart … Oh well.
Anyway, Funsho and I slowly became an item. I knew he was bisexual and had about three girlfriends; I had been with him on several occasions while he talked to them over the phone. We even hung out with one to whom he had introduced me as a distant relative. I had to sit and watch them both get all romantic and lovey–dovey. I found it mildly irritating, but there was nothing I could do.
One day, I realized that I hadn’t seen Funsho for nearly two weeks – an unusually long amount of time for us. I picked up my phone and texted him: “Hey babes, it’s been a while, what have you been up to? When are you available? I’d like to do so many new and naughty things to you in bed. Love you.”
He replied few minutes later: “Lami, we need to meet up and talk.”
We agreed to meet the following evening after work.
When we met up, he went straight to the point. He started by saying that his being away from me recently was deliberate, that he noticed that he’d started falling in love with me, and that to his alarm, he was starting to prefer gay sex to straight sex. A thing he vowed to never let happen to him when he had his first experience three years ago. He was twenty-eight now, and hoped to settle down with a woman in the two or three years. Until three years ago, he had never imagined that he could be gay. He had stumbled upon a gay site and had hooked up with a guy he met there, and had slowly continued to experiment. He was deeply worried that by becoming emotionally involved with me, he was getting too deep into the ‘gay life.’ As he spoke, he had this accusing tone that made it seem like I was responsible for turning him gay and drawing him deeper into the gaybourhood.
While he talked, I had a mental flashback to a few weeks ago, when I accompanied him to Ibadan for one of his cousins’ traditional wedding. We had stayed with another cousin who was about his age, and sometime in the night, Funsho whispered to me that his cousin had gone out to ‘import’ some Ibadan girls for us all, and that we all had to choose one. Soon enough, his cousin returned less than ten minutes later with three vulgar looking girls and with some bottles of strong alcohol to set the mood for the night. I was horrified; this wasn’t what I had bargained for. Let’s face it, I am gay as a unicorn and I had had this conversation with Funsho earlier. I had of course had sex with a few girls when I was in Secondary School, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t really cut out for it. Eventually, I had to feign illness to escape the uncomfortable situation while I had to endure the moans and groans of Funsho, his cousin and their whores. It was disgusting especially as the house had only one room and there was nowhere else for me to go so late at night. I had to struggle to drown out their lustful sounds and find sleep. The next day, Funsho was upset. He accused me of being too rigid, that my lack of attraction to females looked suspicious especially as his whole family was here. We quarreled silently about it all, even on the way back to Lagos.
After this incident, Funsho had on several occasions attempted to hook me up with girls, but I brushed away his attempts. He simply couldn’t understand why gays are unwilling to have anything sexual with women. He sometimes said hurtful things that made us fight, like: “Nawa o, so you want to be gay all your life? Does it mean you’re never going to get into women? You guys had better wake up and find a woman before it’s too late…!” He often apologized profusely after making such nasty comments, saying he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but I knew he deliberately said them; but eventually we would make up over a hot session of lovemaking.
Presently, as Funsho spoke, I realized that he was breaking up with me, and that in spite of my vows to never again become emotionally attached to any man, I had allowed myself be reeled into another relationship, this time by a bisexual guy who had severe hetero-normative issues.
Yet, I didn’t blame him. I fully understood that he was only doing what he had to do. He was a product of our unique environment and could not be expected to depart from its values without severe repercussions. My older brother had gotten married a few months ago, and everyone had implied with meaningful stares, looks and comments that I was expected to be next and that I was expected to have a serious girlfriend who was known to the family by now.
I was mad at Funsho, but then I realized that he would probably never know what it means to be gay. To grow up from a young age knowing that you were fundamentally different, that you saw as well as interacted with the world in a very different way from anyone else. For him, being gay was simply the act of having sex with a man. For me, it was much more than that; it went beyond the sex, which is a minor though defining part of being gay. The way I dressed, the kind of things I ate, wore, the people I interacted with, how I interacted with and saw them was influenced significantly by my sexuality. Funsho would never know what it was like to be the victim of name-calling, and emotional and physical abuse in a society which is unwilling to accept anyone or anything which is not in conformity with the widely accepted norm. he probably never knew what it felt like to be taunted and teased as weird as a teenager for preferring to help out in the kitchen or sketching clothing designs while the other boys played football. This very traumatic and difficult phase had led me to sometimes consider harming myself or committing suicide. Thankfully, I had emerged from that phase with immense willpower and emotional toughness.
I looked at Funsho, who had by now finished talking, and without a word, I got up and left. He rushed outside after me. “Lami, I hope we can still be friends,” he said as he hurried after me. “Please don’t take this the wrong way…”
I stopped and looked at him for a few moments, and said, “Funsho, I’m not angry with you. You’ve done nothing wrong. It’s obvious we are both in very different places right now. I think it’s for the best we break this up now. Take care.” And I moved away from him out to the roadside, hailed a vehicle and left.
It is now clear to me that bisexual guys live in very different worlds, and are very different from gay men, despite the shared sexual desires. For them, it is a past time, a sport which they dabble in whenever they choose and which they can decide to drop out of with relative ease. I now believe that dating a bisexual man is simply setting myself up for future catastrophic heartache and pain. As for me, Funsho is the last.
Written by Khaleesi