Health

Lanre, Anal Douching & a Douche Bag: The Lekki Closet Chronicle

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Lekki Closet Chronicle: Lessons to Learn from Lanre & Segun’s Story

It can be difficult to come out as an openly gay man in Nigeria where same-sex relationships are illegal. You are continuously entangled in a gruelling mental battle. Constantly coming up with flimsy excuses to avoid breaking the news to family and friends. Because as a man, you are supposed to be masculine, and uphold unrealistic societal standards, and being attracted to men just isn’t manly.

As a result, you shrink yourself, overcompensate and frequently try to maintain that social façade. In a country like Nigeria where homosexuality puts a target on your back, you’re forced to become a prisoner in your own body. Let’s skip the part where you have to cross out close friends, without explanation, due to their blatant distaste for same-sex couples and their discourteous homophobic remarks against your kind, and their fellow humans; people you’ve been forced to cheer for in the shadows. 

You endure and smile while donning a thorny mask in the hope that no one finds out you’re living a lie. Despite reading about the advancements and strides the Nigerian LGBTQIA community had made recently, the fact that he, like thousands of other men, was an oppressed and suppressed minority in a mostly heterosexual environment was Lanre’s reality. It was also what made him fall stupidly for Segun because he was all he was not and all he desired to be.

Segun was a carefree young man. He led an eccentric, vicariously-focused life and wasn’t afraid to be direct with you. As a trust fund baby growing up in the United States, the home of freedom, nothing truly affected him. He was the polar opposite of Lanre who was a prisoner to his responsibilities and couldn’t afford to be careless. Lanre didn’t have such luxury because he supported a family of five siblings as the sole provider.

Their stars first crossed paths after one of Lanre’s surviving friends invited him to a summer house party at a private beach house. It was a break from his work-traffic-work routine and his first time out for as long as he could remember. He was at the bar ordering another round of drinks when he spotted Segun, trying to get the attention of the other bartender over the loud music. “Can I get a Cosmopolitan, please?” Lanre couldn’t hide his bewilderment and stared at him intently far longer than he should have. He had a stocky build, “Excuse me, do I know you?” Segun shot at him, with an accent, disentangling him from his almost glare. “I find you interesting, ” Lanre retorted, diffusing the tension then followed by a welcoming smile. He was almost envious of how freely Segun expressed himself and he spiralled from there. Lanre grabbed his drinks and walked back to where his friend was but kept stealing glances at him till he got there. The night was still young and a little part of him hoped to speak to him again.

The line to use the restroom would be where they would cross paths again.

“Hello, stranger, ” Segun said as he emerged from the bathroom’s corner. “We definitely should stop meeting like this.”

Lanre turned around to face Segun, only to see him grinning, and walked over to him. 

He added drunkenly, “I’ve been searching for you.” Lanre was puzzled as to why he’d been searching for him. They hadn’t spoken for that long during their first encounter to warrant rummaging through bodies in search of him.

“I know, I know, but your secret is safe with me,” was the last thing Segun said before passing out in his arms.

This wasn’t how he envisioned his night going, he just wanted to grab a few drinks with friends, eat some asun and go home but somehow, that bothered him less. The blacked-out twenty-something-year-old in his arms didn’t leave him trembling with anxiety as much as what Segun thought he knew.

The following day was the weekend, and for the first time, Lanre didn’t awaken in his Lekki studio apartment. He didn’t have to drag himself out of bed to repack his car so that his neighbour could leave. The religious family, whose fence he shared, and their incessant clapping, was nearly a distant memory, and they hadn’t clapped their way into his dreams.

He also experienced waking up next to a man he didn’t mind having a relationship with for the first time. This man who was still very sound asleep in his room might be aware of his darkest secrets, but he wasn’t sure and couldn’t ask him what he meant by what he said last night.

Segun begrudgingly opened his eyes around noon that day. There was a bottle of water waiting for him once he fully gained consciousness. 

Groggy and wobbly, he rolled out of bed as Lanre came into view. “I hope we didn’t…you know, last night?” With a scoff, he anxiously responded, “No.” “What’s that smug look on your face? Do you think you’re better than me?” He asked, rubbing his forehead.

“There’s some water there,” pointing to the dresser, “if you need some. I reckon you have a headache, it might help.” There was a heavy silence in the room before Segun’s question punctuated it, “How many people know?” Lanre acted like he didn’t hear the question, but it reverberated in his ears. It felt like the weight of the world had descended on him but also, it felt like a weight had lifted from his shoulders. 

After fully processing the question he responded, “No one aside from you.” “Have you ever been with a man?” “Do you know what anal douching is? If you don’t, look it up. It’s one of the first things you need to know before having sex.” Lanre took a few gulps of the water, thanked his host and left but not before punching his number into his phone and saving it. It wasn’t how Lanre imagined his coming out to be but it felt great that it was someone he hoped he’d never have to call. 

Amid the cacophony of keyboards, ringing telephones and indistinct office chatter, Lanre sort of drifted off thinking about anal douching—anal douching is the act of flushing out one’s rectum with water—and then the other douche Segun, who was still not returning his countless texts. Was he passed out drunk somewhere from having one too many Cosmopolitans? Or was he just giving Lanre a taste of his own medicine? Perhaps he didn’t care anymore since this onslaught of texts just began two months after the beach house party situation? Even though Lanre had been idly daydreaming about Segun for more than a week, he is now getting out more. He frequently visits some of Lagos’ poshest nightclubs on Fridays. He was loosening up and was beginning to live a little more. His bid to let loose found him at W Bar. The reviews had said it was a fun place to be and he could see why. The place was packed to the brim and was spilling with people. Finding a place to sit was going to be hard but Lanre didn’t care. He knew once he got some alcohol in his system, he’d fit right in.

Roughly two hours later, with a little alcohol in his system, Lanre decided to leave. As he walked to his car, he spotted a familiar figure grabbing a smoke not too far from his car but ignored it, perhaps it was just the alcohol altering his vision. He tried to open his car but kept missing the keyhole; he was a lot drunker than he thought but was eventually able to get the door open. He got in and just sat there playing with the idea of driving home but he couldn’t because he wouldn’t make it home. So he settled to sleep in his car just to catch his breath for a bit. He was beginning to doze off when he heard a gentle tap on the passenger side window. As he turned his head to the right, his face lit up at the sight of who it was; it was an angel that looked a lot like Segun but had wings and a pink halo around his head. Turns out the cut figure he saw smoking was Segun. He had dyed his hair pink and had seen Lanre drunkenly struggling with getting his car door open. How the tables had turned. Segun gestured to him to unlock the car door and he sluggishly did. 

Lanre, on the other hand, could stop smiling. He just sat there in awe of Segun. Alcohol had a knack for projecting your truest feelings and at that point, Lanre couldn’t hold back. For all he knew, he had just let in an angel and wanted to let out all that had been weighing on him. It wasn’t because he finally let loose that he frequented clubs all across Lagos, got wasted, and passed out in the garage; rather, it was because a part of him secretly hoped to run into Segun again. Since that time, he hasn’t been able—and doesn’t want—to bury his affections for him. What he wanted was to tell him he’d love to take him back to his place and show him that he’s learnt how to douche his rectum properly and that he had kept it clean for him ever since. And he was doing a good job too until he passed out.

The next time he’d wake up was to the incessant clapping from his neighbours. He was befuddled to find himself back in his studio apartment. Perhaps he wasn’t that drunk after all if he was able to get home safely. He hoped nothing was wrong with his car but before he could begin to play with the idea of being cast for the next Fast and Furious movie, he spotted a glass of water and some aspirin on the dresser and immediately was drenched in worry that maybe last night wasn’t a dream. He took a peek under the sheets to see if his pants were still on and the fact that they were still on offered him some relief but not enough. As he gently rolled to his side, not to exacerbate his migraine by turning too quickly, he saw the angel from his dreams, except it wasn’t an angel, it was his 5’11, dark-skinned hunk and love of his life, Segun watching over him. 

Apparently, while in his drunken state, he had told Segun his address so he could take him home. He tried getting up too quickly but other parts of his body hadn’t woken up yet so he just laid the gawking at him grinning like a school girl staring at her crush. It was the weekend so he had nowhere to be but right there. Segun got up and handed him the water and painkillers before going to fix him some breakfast. The whole time Lanre never took his eyes off him; he didn’t care too much about the eggs, bacon and toast Segun was making him, all he wanted for breakfast was him. 

By the time he was done cooking all the sleeping parts of Lanre had woken up from their slumber. He was sitting upright with his feet on the ground. As Segun walked up to him with a tray of food and some orange juice, Lanre didn’t want to waste any time dilly-dallying. He wanted Segun inside of him, not an English breakfast. He told him to place it on the chair where he sat, then pulled Segun towards him and stamped him with a kiss. A little shocked, he pulled away to ask Lanre if this was wanted and his response, “I’ve never wanted anything more” was all the confirmation he needed. They’d spend the next hour and a half making love. For the first time in Lanre’s 27 years on earth, he’d never felt this free. He was ready to take on the world with his new boo. Truthfully, he didn’t give a damn what his relatives, friends, or parents thought. Anyone who wasn’t happy for him didn’t deserve to be happy with his money because he was taking care of everyone else.

Sadly, that happiness was short-lived. While he was in the bathroom reluctantly washing off Segun’s love, he was unreluctantly getting robbed by his supposed boo. By the time he came out, Segun was gone with his most prized possession; his heart and left him with a note that read; “I’m a worthy douchebag not worthy of your love.”

Although he is now married, with two kids, he has never forgotten nor seen Segun again.


This piece was originally published in Modaculture magazine’s October – December 2022 issue. Get a copy here to read the full original story.

Author

In addition to writing on sex and relationships, Tilewa Kazeem is a cultured culture writer. But don't just take his word for it; look him up on Twitter @Tillyofourtime and IG @Tllyofourtime. Who knows what you might find?

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