My Struggle with Sex Addiction
Titus Ndiritu, 32, is a recovering sex addict. He abused alcohol for many years to cover up his sex addiction. He spent time in rehabilitation centres, each time recovering and then relapsing. Now on the path to recovery, he is remorseful about his past life and wants to help others faced with similar problems. He shared his painful experience with MWAURA MUIGANA.
Titus Ndiritu would spend hours at bus stops and other public places staring at women, hypnotized by bodies. He would remain locked up in his room for days watching pornography and masturbating. Then he would wander through the Nairobi Arboretum exhibiting his genitalia to unsuspecting women. He spent years having sex with different women without any emotional attachment. Sex left him overwhelmed by pride and he felt no shame. The more he had sex; the more he wanted it. It didn’t matter that he hurt so many women along the way.
His journey to sex addiction began in January 1987 when he was seven years old. He remembers events of that day as if they happened yesterday. His family’s new house help took him to her room, undressed herself and also helped Titus to undress. She then got into her bed and asked Titus to join and lay beside her.
“Be a good boy,” she said before taking his hands and placing on her breasts. Though confused, he was too young and innocent to know what was going on or even ask questions. She navigated his hand along her chest and down her body, while assuring him that everything was okay. She was using her other hand to navigate his body. When she touched to his penis, he recalls feeling pleasurable sensations throughout his body. Then the ultimate pleasure came when she guided his penis inside her body. When it was all over, the house help warned him that he risked death if he ever told anyone about their “little game”.
He remembers asking himself why the house help did that to him and what it meant, and whether it was wrong. He also wondered if it was not wrong why she would warn him not to tell anyone. He was afraid that she may tell on him to his parents and he would be in trouble. This “little game” was to be the beginning of Titus’s troubles.
Something died in him leaving an empty feeling in his soul. Whenever he lay in bed, his mind was occupied by desire of feelings of that day with the house help. These feelings tortured him to the point that he could not sleep and yet he could not tell his parents because he had been warned. Having to keep such a secret was strangling his young mind.
The “little game’ continued for months with the house help abusing him any time she got a chance. She encouraged him to touch her and express his feelings, telling him not to feel any guilt since he was enjoying it. In time, she made it look like it was his idea. She devised all manner of tricks to be alone with him, including asking him to feign illness so that his parents could allow him to sleep in her room at night. Titus played along and while he was enjoying the sensations, guilt was eating him up, as he was now sure what they were doing could not be a good thing.
After being introduced to sex this early in his life, Titus grew up with an insatiable appetite for sex. Any attractive girl he saw elicited feelings of desire. He would make sexual advances towards them and if they turned him down, he compensated by masturbating all night long. For those who consented, he did to them exactly what the house girl did to him.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
When Titus joined form one in 1994 at the age of 13, he was not circumcised. This made him the joke of his peers, most of who were circumcised. They called him a ‘Kihii’ (an uncircumcised man) and often bullied him while demanding he displays his penis. To get protection from the bullies, he joined a group of boys who were feared for their bad behaviour. “I felt safe in this group as no one could touch me, but it also came with a price – I had to be like them to belong. They introduced me to alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, petty theft and sex, yes, sex – my hidden perversion,” Titus recalls.
Titus became circumcised during the school holidays and on returning back to school, his protectors would not accept him back in the group until he had sex with a girl to prove he was man enough. Moses, his main protector, was tasked to ensure Titus proved his sexual prowess. This happened during a schools’ drama festival in Kiambu when Moses organised for him to have sex with one of the schoolgirls in a nearby bush. He congratulated him when it was over for becoming a ‘total man.’
“He assured me from then on nobody could taunt me. Not only was I elated by my new status, but from that day sex became a necessity, just like food. It was my remedy for pain, a reward for success, a source of excitement and a cure of boredom,” he says.
INTO THE SWEET WATERS
Titus joined a mixed secondary school in form two after being expelled from his previous school for organising a strike. With girls now so close, Titus was sorted out. He indulged in sex with multiple partners. “By the time I completed form four in 1997, I was deep into smoking marijuana and alcohol. I was also into sleeping with prostitutes. I often sneaked out of school to drink, smoke marijuana and have sex. I stole from other boys to finance my expensive habits,” explains Titus.
After KCSE he joined Mathenge Institute of Technology in Othaya, Nyeri. To paint a different picture of himself, he became a ‘born again Christian’ graduating to a preacher, youth leader, and chief campaigner for True Love Waits campaign. Yet all this was fake as he was having sex with several girls from his church and extended his wings to other parishes.
He spent Saturday nights scheming on his next prey. He would remove all furniture from his room and only leave the bed. He would spend Sunday mornings in church activities while targeting his prey for the day. He would walk the girl he chose to his room and because there was nowhere to sit except the bed, she would end up there.
“It was easy for me to have sex with these girls because they believed I was saved and therefore had genuine love for them. I would tell them it was my first sexual experience and that they will remain my ‘one and only’ girl,” says Titus in great remorse.
Titus used sex to validate himself and objectified women. When he couldn’t get his way with a woman through negotiation, he would blackmail her by threatening to soak her clothes in water and if that failed, he would rape her. Since most of his rape victims would fight him at first then give in, he consoled himself that this meant they actually wanted sex.
LIFE IN THE CITY
Titus left the Nyeri College in 1998 after he got wind police were looking for him to charge him with rape. He had also slept with so many of the girls around that his hunting ground was getting smaller. He joined a college in Nairobi to pursue an accounts course. His sexual life moved a notch higher in the big city. Koinange Street became his hunting ground. He also got hooked to pornography and strip clubs. He could now have sex anytime, anywhere, in any way and with anyone without minding the consequences. When he couldn’t get hold of a woman, he would spend hours watching pornography and masturbating.
“Masturbation always left me with a guilt feeling that lingered on,” says Titus. Titus soon turned into a pervert, yearning for a woman’s body every minute of his waking hours, even if just to look at it. He couldn’t meet a woman and not stare; while talking to a woman, his eyes would be busy undressing her; and in crowded places he would touch women’s bodies and pretend it was accidental if one noticed. “My life was completely out of control as my mind was focused on only one thing – sex. I felt terrible and wanted to stop but the itch was too much.
I became depressed and turned to more alcohol and drugs to ease the depression. Not able to cope with life outside my perversion, I eventually dropped out of college in 2001,” explains Titus. His parents were very concerned about his alcoholism as that was the only addiction they knew about. They had no idea that it was to cover up his worst addiction – sex. His father sent him to Asumbi Rehabilitation Centre in Homa Bay in 2004.
“By the time I left Asumbi I had quit drinking and was feeling good that now I could re-start my life. My father got a job for me as a bursar in a school in Marmanet, Nyahururu. With some money in my pocket and girls from the school, I slid back to drinking and indiscriminate sex with the schoolgirls. To finance my lifestyle I embezzled the school’s funds and this, together with sex scandals with the schoolgirls and impregnating one, caught up with me. Police were also looking for me for raping a woman. I sought refuge from a prostitute who was my good customer to let matters cool down a little,” says Titus.
Seeing he had returned to his old habits, his father took him to Jorg Ark Rehabilitation Centre in Limuru in 2005. He sobered up and was determined to start afresh. His father enrolled him at the Vision School of Accounts in Nairobi but he left to go and live with a much older and very rich woman in Ngara. The deal was she would meet of his financial needs and he in turn would meet all her sexual needs. This was not a big deal for Titus. Indeed, the woman who was too sexually demanding was not even enough to satisfy his needs and he supplemented with Koinange street girls using money he got from her. His perversion for women’s bodies was still haunting him. He would stroll at night peering into women’s bedrooms as they undressed. He waylaid innocent schoolgirls in alleys and exposed his private parts to them and would then run away feeling embarrassed and demoralized and promising himself not to do it again.
Yet every time he relived the incident he would get a thrill and end up doing it again. It was not until 2008 while undergoing counseling that Titus discovered he was addicted to sex and that alcohol was only a cover up. He started on a new journey to recovery with his therapists concentrating on helping him get out of the addiction.
Facing the real problem has greatly helped him and he can say without a doubt, for the first time, that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. While his addiction still brings shame to him, he has dealt with this and continues with life. As a recovering addict, his life is slowly taking shape. He has trained as a counselor and now works with addicts, helping them to reclaim their lives. He regrets the hurt his addiction caused many people, especially the women he raped or coerced into sex.
“Though I may not be able to give back what I have taken from those whom I caused so much pain, I acknowledged that I have a responsibility to help others with problems like mine so they don’t hurt other people,” says Titus.
He has written his memoirs: What I Never Told You, where he openly talks about his addiction. He hopes this book will help families, friends and victims of addicts to understand the nature of addictions and help and support the victims. He also hopes it will help other addicts come out and tell their story, as this is one way of healing and helping others.