Mini-dress, circa 1970s. Model wears a crepe playsuit from Ossie Clark's 'Quorum' fashion show held in London. (Getty Images)

“I really don’t know how to tell her, what should I say?” Tunde asks.

“What do you mean by ‘what should you say? I am not in the mood for this back and forth; tell her exactly what you just told me, Simple!” Answers Jide.

“See Tunde you are my guy, Jide continues, ‘you are supposed to be ‘sharper’ than this. For weeks now, you’ve been dilly dallying over this same issue and I’m officially tired of talking about it. She likes You, you like her but in different ways, all you have to do is sit down and discuss it with her like an adult. She would understand”.

Understand? Really Jide?, Tunde continues, his face wrinkled in confusion, ‘why are you lying to yourself? A girl that likes and sees me as a potential boyfriend and has been waiting for me to ask her out, I should take her out on a date and tell her ‘Ermm Shade, I like you just as much as you like me but only as my sexual partner? This is Nigeria, all that ‘oyinbo’ life doesn’t apply here, if you like a girl it has to be for a relationship or ‘no show’ but either way, I will tell her”. Tunde decides.

This is a common conversation held amongst young adults in Nigeria.

We see it as wrong for a man to desire only just sex from a woman he is seeing. Women react offended when men are outright with them about their desires,

‘what do u take me for? ‘So all you want from me is just sex?” ‘Don’t you know I’m not that type of girl?”

In a bid to live according to the rules set for us by society and fulfill our expected righteousness, we deny ourselves things that we might really want, just to live by books not written by us.

From my personal observations, over 50 percent of relationships in Nigeria, especially those among young adults (19-35) is  sex fueled and sex-driven. Yet wanting just sex, or talking about it is a taboo.

How hypocritical.

Also, my usage of 50 percent is just me trying to be a modest well-trained Nigerian girl.

Most relationships today won’t even exist or survive without sex, it literally is the ONLY thing the relationships are built on.

How does that popular hymn go again, ‘…On the solid rock I stand’, well in this case it should go ‘sex is the solid rock these relationships stand’.

You think I am exaggerating? Why don’t you test it out. Have a discussion with your boyfriend,  and tell him you don’t want sex anymore, tell him you want to work on strengthening the relationship without sex and let’s find out how many of us would still have a relationship at the end of that discussion.

The reality is, sex is the reason why most people are in a relationship, most men hide under the pretense of ‘I want to date you’ because they know that’s the only way they can get free, drama-less sex without the 99 questions of ‘so what are we now’, so they keep stringing their partners along, using relationship as a decoy and getting laid every other day while the women stay lying to themselves that they are in a ‘relationship’ when they really are in a ‘sexsationship’.

We need to let go of this ‘Relationship’ and ‘Sex’ comes hand in hand mentality, they are not mutually exclusive, and it inhibits men from coming clean with their actual intentions.

If a man says he is attracted to you sexually and wants just sex, don’t get offended and start bombarding him with lectures. Respect his honesty. It is for your own benefit in the long run.

We need to create an atmosphere that encourages men to tell us the truth. We need to learn to accept this truth when it is told, and quit trying to change their minds or foisting “relationship pressure” on them when they do. We should provide an avenue for openness so that we can be aware of what they really want, so we can make the right decision for ourselves. We can say yes to it, or say no and move on.

With transparency encouraged, we know if we are getting into a  ‘relationship’ or a ‘sexsationship’.

It will save so many of us from the pretences, and lies we have to put up with, all in the name of sex.  

I know what you are thinking.

‘What would my friends say when they find out we are not dating but we are just having sex?!’

We need to stop worrying about that and instead worry about what we want. Would you rather have sex with a man who is lying to you about what he really wants from you, or a man that is open from the start?  

Wanting a relationship with every man who approaches you is not realistic. A relationship is not an achievement. There are other relationships we can still develop with men that doesn’t have to fall into the category of boyfriend or husband. Maybe if society placed less emphasis on women being in a relationship or married, women would strive for other things and not be as consumed with getting men to be committed to them.

Are the men we want to be in relationships with, even good enough for us? Sometimes we are too busy worried about getting a man to commit, we haven’t even asked ourselves that question.

We should worry more about learning ourselves, nurturing our ambitions, solidifying our education, and caring for our health and our bodies, because those deserve more of our attention.

Words by Melody Hassan