You didn’t love your husband so much when he was alive, so you slept with young men old enough to be your children. You took them along with you on trips. You bought them expensive cars and made charms to ensure that no young woman came close to them. You didn’t give a stinking damn what your husband said. He could go to blazes for all you cared.
Now he is dead, and everything is fine.
No more unmarked cars following you about. Your phones will no longer be tapped. No erratic man sitting cross-legged waiting for you at the door when you returned from your rendezvous with boys. No more endless cross-questionings.
You let yourself lose. You’ve become a kite escaped from the hands of the little child holding it. You fly and soar, and you don’t give a fucking damn.
When your friends, all of them, began attending Saving Grace Incorporated, you joined them. Most of them attended because they needed the fruit of the womb, others because they wanted more success, others prosperity, some because the church is the new vogue in town. You attended merely for the thrill of being able to gossip with them about the men with new Hyundai cars, about the ladies with Brazilian hair, about the young men wearing blazers and sport coats worth hundreds of thousands of naira. You also joined the church because since it is a new generation church and a lot of young people troop into it, you are sure that there will be lots of handsome young men to wink at.
You love Saving Grace Inc. because even though it is large, there are enough air-conditioners to go round and cool the place. The first time you attended the church service, the senior pastor wasn’t around. He was out of the country on a trip. Your friends told you that you missed his preaching. But when you visited Anna’s office the next day, she said that you did not just miss the Senior Pastor’s sermon but also his handsome face. So today, you sit side by side with Anna and Oseh, discussing in hushed tones when a tall, broad-shouldered man with a squared face and well shaved jaw mounts the podium. You raise your face, behold him, and lose your breath.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!”
“What is it?”
“Oh!’ you exclaim, ‘This man is the sexiest man I have ever seen in my life—“
“He is the pastor,” Oseh informs you.
“The Pastor! He is nothing like what I see on the posters and bills…. He is simply breath-taking.” You all discuss in hushed tones. You begin to feel sweaty even though the air-conditioner is on. You watch his every move, the way he walks in giant strides, the way he flips his long fingers on the screen of his iPad, the way his alluring voice draws your soul away from your body and sends you feeling sleepy. You marvel at his voice when he sings praises to God. You envy God for having such a divinely handsome man in his service.
By the time the church service is over, you are already feeling wet beneath your underwear, so you rush out to the back of the church where the pastor is standing and shaking hands with some of the congregants. You are trembling, and your friends are asking you to be calm.
“God! I think I am in love.”
“In love? You are fifty-two!”
“Does it matter? I look younger than fifty-two!” You all laugh aloud. When it is your turn to greet the pastor, your friends are with you. The pastor shakes your hands. When his hand touches yours, you notice that it is warm and sensual. You imagine it caressing your neck, the back of your ears, your breasts. Yes, you feel it tickle your nipples.
“It is my pleasure to meet you, ladies, in my noble church,” his gaze is fixed on your face, for you are the most beautiful of your friends. Even though you are fifty-two, you are still extremely beautiful and in shape. Your curved waist and protruding butt make men, especially, young men to swallow some saliva when they see you.
“It is an honour to become members of this great church of God, pastor,” you reply. “We are very delighted. Pastor, I enjoyed your sermon.”
“This surely is your first time in my church. I haven’t seen you before.”
“Oh no, Pastor. We were here last Sunday. Our first time was last Sunday,” Oseh informs him. She is faking a new voice that sounds so sexy but childish. You wonder if she has fallen in love with this handsome pastor too. You wonder.
“Do you know every member of this church? The thousands of them?”
“I don’t know everyone, but I notice new faces easily. It is my pleasure to have you in my church. I hope you’ll continue worshipping with us?”
“Pastor, can I see you briefly?” you nudge your friends to excuse you. They do. You step aside with the Pastor. You stare steadily at his face and say to him:
“I need your prayers.”
“Oh, dear sister. My prayers you must have then, for I always pray for every member of this church.”
“I know Pastor, and God will bless you for that. But, I need special prayers. I am a hardworking woman, a widow who is working hard to survive in a bad economy. My kids are all abroad with their uncle. I am all alone here.” Your words are suggestive. The way you say them, even the way you wriggle your hands when you say them are sexually provocative. You wonder if he gets the meaning of what you just said.
“My dear sister, sorry for the loss of your husband. I hope you have been managing well?”
“Pastor, financially, yes. I manage, but then, sexually…Look, I am a woman, a wealthy woman at that, and a lot of men are disturbing me. I don’t want to fall into temptation, Pastor. I am a child of God. I don’t want to sin.”
“You don’t have to sin, sister. Our body is the temple of God, and when we sleep around it is a sin against God. But then, sister, always pray, and God will give you the strength to overcome temptation.” Pastor Samuel takes your hand to assure you that prayer can do all things. He releases the hand, and you wish he held it longer.
“Thanks a lot for your kindness, Sir.”
“What kind of special prayers do you need, madam?”
“Ehm… Pastor, special prayers for God to give me the strength to overcome my husband’s people who are a thorn on my flesh.” This is a lie. None of your husband’s family have dared to interfere in anything you do, even the way you manage their son’s wealth after his death.
“I would also love you to pray for God to help me conquer temptation.”
“I will always pray for you, madam.”
“I wonder if we can pray together. Sometimes, when I am in my home I feel scared. I feel as if evil forces are roaming around the premises.”
“Then we will have to pray for you…”
“In my home?”
“Sure. In your home.”
You stare into his eyes and lick your lips unconsciously.
“Now I have to run, madam. Can we talk some other time? Here is my card.”
“Thanks so much, Sir. I will ring you in the evening. Is that okay?”
“Anytime, madam. May God protect you from evil forces and against your enemies!”
When you walk down to the car park with your friends, you swear to them that you must sleep with the pastor no matter what it costs you.
“Janice! That man is a pastor,” cautions Anna.
“Since when did pastors become reverend fathers?”
“Even priests sleep around too.” Oseh butts in. “I once slept with a priest in secondary school.”
“Oseh, you never told me that story” Anna says and laughs aloud. Oseh is glad to repeat the lurid tale about her affair with a priest. It thrills you.
In the evening, when you have showered, you sit on your bed, your white fluffy towel tied around your body. You pick your phone and ring the pastor’s number. He picks after the fourth ring.
“This is Pastor Samuel on the line. How may I help you?”
“Good evening, Pastor. This is the lady you met after service today…the lady who came in the company of her friends.”
“Oh, I remember now. So tell me, what it your name? There wasn’t any introduction earlier today.”
“I am Janice.”
“Nice name, madam.”
“How are you, Pastor?”
“I am fine. God is awesome. I was studying some documents when you called.”
“I just took my bath. I’m calling so you’ll have my number… and to talk about the prayers, Pastor.”
“Thanks for calling, madam—“
“And why don’t you call me, Janice, sir.”
“And why don’t you call me, Samuel.”
“You are my Pastor, Sir.”
“Yes, but you are my friend.”
“Oh, really? We are friends? I am delighted.”
“Yes. We are friends. So Janice, you said you needed prayers.”
“Can you make out time to come to my home, pray with me, bless my home?”
“I’d love to, but I am so engaged these days.”
“I am all alone in this mansion. Most nights I feel scared sleeping here alone.”
“Don’t you have maids, servants?”
“Yes I do, but they stay in the quarters. I am all lonely, Samuel.” Your voice becomes drowsy, like someone who just woke up from a deep slumber. You caress your laps with lotion as you listen to the pastor’s melodic voice. His voice tells you that he likes you too, but you wonder if he is like that to every other person, if he’ll feel insulted the day he comes over to your place and you make a move on him. Perhaps you need to entice him with money.
“By the way, I’ve been researching on the church. It is amazing what you have been able to do within a short period…”
“Thanks, Sister Janice. We do all things by the strength of God. He is our redeemer.”
“I’d like to contribute to the church…I mean sow a seed.”
“That will be very much appreciated sister Janice.”
“I thought, Samuel, that we agreed on Janice. Just Janice?”
“Oh, pardon me.”
“I like your voice, Samuel.”
“Thanks, Janice. Now tell me. What are you doing tonight?”
“Nothing…aside from rubbing some body lotion all over my body and settling down to drink some wine, after which I’ll lie in bed.”
“May God be with you! May he protect and bless you.”
“Amen! So when will you come to my house?”
“Wednesday. After the special prayer session for the young people.”
“Pastor, I hope you don’t plan on coming with your prayer staff”
He laughs and says amusingly, “I will come alone, or with one junior pastor…”
“That won’t be necessary, Samuel. You are more than enough for my prayer needs.” You let your towel fall to the floor and search for your night wear in the wardrobe.
“What if I sow a seed of five-hundred-thousand naira? Will it be too small for God’s work?”
You can hear him exhale.
“Nothing, absolutely nothing is too small or too big for God,” he breaths into the phone, “Thanks a lot, Janice. Wednesday night then.”
Wednesday night. Lagos is shrouded in a sheet of hazy skies and drizzling rain when the pastor drives into your compound. You walk to the car to welcome him and lead him to the sitting room.
“You have a nice place.”
“Thank you Samuel. It is the Lord’s doing.” You take care not to call him pastor so that it won’t jostle him back to his senses.
You offer him wine. He sips it gently while you sit opposite him, sipping and interacting with him about business and church. When you hand the cheque of five hundred thousand naira, you make sure your finger caresses the back of his palm. He withdraws his hand, thanks you again, and hides the cheque inside the pocket of his brown trousers.
“You look cute today, Samuel.”
He sips his wine. You turn on the television to Chanel O. You rub your hand on your face as you wonder if your mascara is okay on your face, if your lip-gloss isn’t too thick. You wonder if the Mary K foundation covers the pockmarked patches on your face. You wish you were at least ten years younger. You wonder about the pastor’s reaction when you make your move, the move you have calculated for nights. How would he react when he will feels your flabby stomach and flabby breasts? You wonder.
“Thanks a lot. This money will go a long way.”
“Don’t mention, Samuel. More will come from where that came from.”
“Praise be to God!”
“Amen, Samuel! Amen!” You leave your seat and move to the arm of the couch on which he is sitting. “I am always scared here,” you venture.
“I am here now, Sister Janice.” He raises his face to stare into yours. You wonder if he sees your beauty still, if he sees beyond your age and recognizes that you are still beautiful. You wonder if he noticed the swaying of your buttocks when you walked him through the house.
Your right hand goes to the button of his shirt and plays with it. “Did we not agree on just Janice?”
“Oh, I forgot.”
You play with one of the buttons. When he remains mute, you touch the back of his ear. He says nothing when you kiss the ear and the back of his neck. You kiss his neck faster, then his face. When you find his lips, you swear in the name of your dead husband that no lips have ever tasted that sweet.
When your hand finds his nipples he says:
You are breathing very fast. Your body is on edge:
“Because I am a man of God.”
“Don’t you like this? Is it because I am older than you? Am I not good enough?”
“No Janice. You are beautiful, quite beautiful for your age…”
“You like me then?” You take your hand to his nipples again and try to find his mouth. He pushes you away.
“The bible condemns this. Besides I am married.”
“Your wife won’t find out. And God is not here.”
“But he is seeing us, Sister. Please I can’t.”
He tries to stand but you climb on his lap and sit astride, holding his neck.
You plead: “Look, I fell in love with you the first time I set my eyes on you. I love you, Samuel…”
“But I am married. I cannot do this.”
“Please.” Your hands caress his body. “No one will find out. I will take care of you. Do you need more money?”
“You didn’t give me money before… so why ask if I need more money? You only gave money to Saving Grace Inc.”
“Okay. I will give you money, but you will love me, will you?”
He is calm. You are encouraged.
“Seven hundred thousand?”
You find his nipples, and he is calm, so you mutter: “Please don’t say no, okay?”
You kiss his nipples and unbutton his shirt.
He is still saying “No, no, no…I can’t do this… Janice!” But he is saying it like he doesn’t mean it. He is now lying on the sofa. By the time you unbuckle his belt, he grabs you and throws you on the sofa and climbs on top of you.
Pastor Samuel tells you that he is aware of your numerous boyfriends and that if you must continue to sleep with him, you must get rid of them. He doesn’t want to risk any of them seeing him in your apartment. You swear in God’s name that you have no boyfriend.
He continues to come to your house once a week. Sometimes he sleeps over. He asks for money. You give him double of whatever number he requests. You gossip with your friends and tell them everything. You tell them that no one kisses like him. They envy you.
So this Saturday, Pastor Samuel visits your house. You’ve just paid a lot of money into his account that afternoon. You also agreed to fund his trip to Sweden for an evangelical conference, so he has come to say thank you for paying four million naira into his account.
You are prepared for the rounds of sex that he will dish out to you as his way of saying thank you. You don’t wait for him to come in through the door when you jump on him. You stroke his neck and his chest, and he carries you to the sofa. You giggle because it is the first time he’s carried you. He massages your back and your waist slowly. He caresses your flabby stomach and plays with your breasts and tells you how sexy they look. You even see love in his eyes, and you feel like crying. Who are you to be loved by such a man so handsome, so blessed by God?
“I love you so much, baby,” you say to him.
“And I adore you, my Sweet-pie.”
You undo his belt. As he steps out of his trousers, he helps you out of your nightgown. He is halfway through taking off your panties when the door opens.
Both of you turn. At the sight of the person standing at the door, you are transfixed, turned into stone.
“Mum!” yells Niyi, your oldest son.
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“Holy Sex” is a 7-part series exploring the sex life of Nigerian pastors. Click HERE to learn more about the series.