The Down-Low Men

As a queer man who grew up in a very homophobic environment (read Nigeria), I totally understand that queer folk in our societies have different journeys and trajectories regarding coming to terms with their sexuality. I also appreciate the fact that we all have different upbringings and priorities that shape our decision-making processes and life choices.

When I was much younger, I did not have a problem with hooking up with people who required me to sneak into their houses so the “neighbours” would not see me. I was also absolutely fine with having stifled sex where I was not allowed to moan because “people might hear” that two men were having sex in this broda’s apartment.

However, as I grew older and eventually got my place, I outgrew having to go on such covert missions of sneaking in and out of people’s houses and keeping quiet and being told not to wear too-short shorts or flamboyant outfits so that I would not end up outing somebody’s son. As I stated earlier, I understand how unsafe it can be to be queer in a homophobic environment – but abeg, I just did not have that strength anymore.

Thus, for the last couple of years, I have had hook-ups in comfortable environments, where I am free to be myself and enjoy sex without fear of being outed and all that.

So, my dearly beloved queer folk, imagine my shock when I got to the UK to find out that someone I was chatting with on Grindr wanted me to come in through his garden and back-door so that his neighbours would not see me. When I asked him why, he said that it was so that they would not suspect that he was gay. At this point, I honestly could not believe what I was reading as I stared at his response in our chat. I tried to shrug away the annoyance I felt and put the bizarre situation down to this particular man’s preference, believing that the likelihood of people like this existing in the UK was in the minority.

Alas! I was wrong.

I quickly found myself interacting with other men who were either married or straight-presenting, who’d want me to be all sneaky and hiding and coming over under the cover of the night and all-what-not. And these were actual British people! In all my life enduring sneaky hook-ups in Nigeria, I never thought I would come to the white man’s land and that would be the same case with the men here for whom homosexuality had been decriminalised for the greater part, if not all, of their lives.

And don’t get me started on those who’d claim they are straight –

But they still want to fuck guys.

When I asked them if they would be willing to engage in foreplay and mutual blow jobs, they would immediately act all cringe and hurry to tell me that they are straight and do not do all that “gay stuff”, that all they want is an ass to fuck.

After chatting with a couple of such guys, I got angry during yet another chat with yet another one of these ‘straight’ guys and I snapped, “You know you can have anal sex with a woman, right? There are women who are into anal, you know? If you’re so straight, you should find those women and fuck them instead.”

Baba said no o, that he was interested in anal sex with a man.

It was at that point that I told him that the very fact that he enjoyed anal sex with men meant he was somewhere on the queer sexuality spectrum – because what nonsense is this?!

It was not much different with some Africans I met too. When I was still in Nigeria early last year, there was this guy I chatted with. We did not get to meet because he refused to send his picture even though he was asking me to come over, and I did a hard pass because I was not interested in getting kitoed. However, by some stroke of luck, I ran into him again on Grindr in Manchester a few months after my relocation. I was surprised to see his profile pop up on my screen, and I went on to start a conversation with him. Pretty soon, we were planning a hook up. From the way he responded to my messages, it was apparent he did not know we had chatted before. When the time came to exchange pictures, to my greatest surprise, he said he was not going to send a picture or do a video call or anything of the sort. Mind you, there was the option of sending a disappearing picture, and he declined that still. When I asked him why, he said he’d just moved to the UK and he was being discreet. He also said he did not want people to know about him. I was confused, because I was like, ‘Oga, you aren’t part of a community here yet, so who would know about you?’

Of course, none of it made sense to me. I sha told him that inasmuch as I respected his choices, I was not interested in doing a mystery hook-up. Much to my greater amazement, he responded by going off on me, ranting and accusing me of being a time waster, before going on to ‘advise’ me that I need to be discreet instead of exposing myself everywhere and getting popular on the streets. Infuriated by this, it was my turn to lash out at him, as I explained to him exactly where he could shove his ‘advice’. Immediately my message read as ‘Seen’, I went on to block the mumu.

In my opinion, I think there is a big difference between being discreet and being ashamed of who you are. I understand the need to keep my business to myself, as opposed to having it become public knowledge, especially for homosexual people in extremely homophobic environments. However, I think it is important to ask oneself if they would be as ‘discreet’ as they are if they did not face the risk of being prosecuted or kitoed. I feel it is when we can answer these questions sincerely that we can truly draw the line and distinguish between being discreet and being ashamed; because the former comes from place of seeking privacy and the latter from a place of some level of internalised homophobia.

Written by Bryan Peter

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  1. Goodade
    March 31, 07:59 Reply

    This so well written. I got to the UK and i saw my first drag queen on the street and they were respected at the shops like he is (normal) of course he is. Not for me to log on Grindr to see white men, british men, saying they are straight but in the room freakiest things have ever seen. Am like you have senators and governors that are out and gay. Like ppl cant freely use homophobic slur without everyone around them canceling or cursing the homophobe out. Why are you putting yourself in a cage?? Like if you come out, it’s unlikely your family will disown you hell you might be treated specially in most cases.

  2. Loki
    March 31, 08:34 Reply

    Pinkie please take the microphone and tell us y we have to wait for ages to get new uploads here🥺🥺🥺💔.
    This is like my coping mechanism coming to check it out everyday and finding no new upload is so disappointing and heart crushing.

    • Pink Panther
      March 31, 10:37 Reply

      My apologies. Life keeps getting in the way, but I’m on my way to returning to more regular uploads.

      • Loki
        April 01, 06:47 Reply

        Awwn, sending u love and hugs dearie. Life can be a maternal bitch sometimes.

      • Gustafson Eiffel
        May 01, 18:37 Reply

        I’ve always wondered if Pinky has any plans on how to keep this platform sustainable. I mean life happens, and it will be good to have support for the times you are not able or available to post or approve entries.
        Kisses from Paris 💋 😘

  3. Rex
    April 04, 14:59 Reply

    Well people dey shaaaa, Pinky darling please I sent you mail for a new entry…. Mbok check am

  4. ken
    April 05, 12:25 Reply

    i think in addition to fear of being kitoed, many people have internal shame creeping over their soul. Shame of realising you are attracted to a man. Its shame mixed with fear of not only being found out, but more fear of facing reality. Not many people can look themselves in the mirror and admit “i am gay”. They rather convince themselves they are straight men who just have a weakness for gay sex. Unfortunately, there is nothing anybody can do to rescue such people. They live in a self-made mental prison of fear and shame. Regardless of whether society accepts them, they may still not accept themselves.

  5. Just Me
    June 25, 02:54 Reply

    Pink Panther how do i get to submit my experience here.

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