The Penvoice Blog | Telling the African Story

untold secrets


Untold Secrets Blog Series chronicles the different hidden lives of different people of African descent. It tells about the untold pains, struggles, fantasies, escapades and lots more of the everyday lives of people who could not share these stories with people as a result of one personal reason or the other.


Sometimes I count myself lucky; other times I think I am ruining myself and the future I want to have.

Addiction means different things to different people; but to the addicted, it is an itch that always needs scratching even when you are scratching it. The need hardly ever goes away and with every release your threshold of need increases to the point you can scarcely remember a time before the ordeal.

I think I am lucky because my addiction is sexual but not with the opposite sex; no no no, my addiction is masturbation.

It pains me every time I admit this to myself, I feel a great shame that washes over me like a tsunami but it does not wash the need away; it intensifies it because my brain reminds me of the pleasure I feel after I please myself. It is a constant cycle of shame and release on and on for 15 years. My greatest shame and my biggest mistake, if only I had resisted the curiosity on the very first day I was told about this act. I wish I had banished the thought.

It was in my school days when I was young and impressionable; I was curious about new things, and I was naive to the consequences. I was in the boarding house in my secondary school when a foreign student from the U.S. came in and started in my class.


The newness of the situation made all of us giddy and excited to be exposed to the experience. I was hesitant at first to socialise with the new student but over time I was swayed by his stories of a different life he described, soon I actively sought him out to hear more of his experiences and that was the beginning of my fall.

It was on a Sunday of all days after we had watched the girls dance and sway in their hostel wears that was usually fitting; for a boy my age that was enough to have me thinking about sex. So I went to my new web of experiences to ask if he had any stories on the subject and by the smile that crossed his face I knew he had juicy intelligence that would be enjoyable so I perked up and listen attentively.

He told me about many experiences with sex in the U.S. and I remember looking at him with respect and awe, by the time he was done recanting I was so curious but the new word I had learned. An orgasm he called it, such a simple word that has given me complicated feelings of shame and regret. He could tell I was curious and once again a smile danced around his face.

Read the previous episode: UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 2

I wish someone had interrupted our conversation at this point but to my present regret, no such thing happened. He told me about masturbation and for a short time I hesitated to try it but my curiosity and need won over and I did everything as he instructed.

Fast forward to the present and I am plagued by the mistake of my youth. It has become an addiction that even sex cannot quench. I have tried to replace this feeling of release from masturbation by having sex with different women but it never works.

Once after having sex with a girlfriend, she caught me masturbating in the bathroom right after, I was mortified with shame. I begged her to understand, to keep my secret and till this very day when a friend asks me about what happened to the relationship I am dumbfounded. How do I begin to confide in anyone about a shame this big?

After 15 years of this addiction, my member no longer looks like it used to; it has become a different shade than the rest of my body, and sometimes I end up with blisters and sores. It got so bad this one time that I had to be rushed to the emergency room, it had swollen up with a throbbing pain that was so intense I was screaming but did that deter me? No, it didn’t because soon I was back at it again.


I have resigned that I need help with this but where do I begin. What do I need to do to begin to get the help I need? How do I fight the shame of confiding in anyone that I have a problem? Now, I am so scared for my health that I cannot bring myself to search on the web for the side effects of masturbation because I know it will confirm my worst fears.

I am stuck in this spiral and the only thing that helps me cope is the same thing that I fear is chipping away at my health, so as I sit here in the clinic close to my neighbourhood I am summoning every bit of courage I have to walk into my doctor’s appointment and explain it all because I think my worst fear has been realised. I need to confide in whoever the doctor on duty is because I woke up and my member feels numb, I cannot feel it: it’s like the nerves around it have given up after years of abuse.

Read the previous episode: UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 1

This very moment is my worst fear and I hope the doctor is kind and understanding because I plan on telling him everything so he can help me begin to overcome this. I hope for my sake and for the sake of the children I hope to have one day that it is not too late to resolve this medically and most importantly mentally. I want to overcome this, after 15 long years of slavery to my addiction I am ready to change. 

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