Dear Africana Woman,
How are you hun? Amazing is the only acceptable answer. Lol and yet your gurl is not there. I have been very reflective these last few weeks. Let me just throw out a disclaimer here. This post is not for you if you believe everyone who is having sex outside of marriage is going to hell. Don’t come after me just because you pretend sex is only happening in a capsule.
So, what happened was the Africana Woman Book Club are reading “In Every Mirror She’s Black” by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom for the month of March. You are welcome to join the book club by the way. Man or Woman. The conversations afterwards are so enlightening. So, I was sourcing the book and then some other books popped up as recommendations. That is when I saw “The Sex Lives of African Women” by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah. Now if you are reading this blog post, then you are nosey like me. Coz I was like oooo I gotts to read this. I got it …. I finished it in three days. Let me tell you it takes a LOT for a book to grip me. The book is a collection of interviews that Nana conducted over 5 years where African women tell their stories about their experiences with sex. These are women on the continent. Women in the diaspora. Able & differently abled women. There are African women of multiple orientations. Again, if you are holier than though this book is not for you. But If you want to read the book, holler at your gurl.
There is one story on page 79 by Estelle that I really resonated with. She talks about consensual sex. Not just from the perspective of you verbally agreeing to be physically intimate with your partner. But for your mind and heart to also want to have sex with that person. Many of you would agree that from a religious stand point sex is treated like this dirty act that should be kept a secret and be feared. Which means that from 0 years to say 25 years or now even 35 years all you believe is that sex is bad and then you get married and suddenly sex is good. How does the part of you that believes sex to be bad turn off like a switch? You will do the act but there is a part of you that is not fully into it. You may feel guilty, shame or even dirty.
What I recognised in myself, is that my default setting when I come in contact with an African man is one of deep distrust, where I view them as predators. This is not just because as an adult I was raped. But when I trace back over my childhood there have been so many incidents, too many to count, that left me feeling unsafe or victimised by a male individual. I have been abandoned, physically harmed and emotionally/psychologically abused by the male gender. It was from men old enough to be my grandfather all the way through to age mates. I won’t even get into details. I think you can pull those examples up for yourself. What I am trying to get at is, when I have found myself in sexual interactions, my body may have been physically attracted to that person but in my heart, I knew there was a part of me that detached from the experience because I did not really trust the guy. Religious folk would argue here, well you did it outside of marriage. And I’m like, I don’t think signing a paper is going to fix that ish. That is something that I have to work on healing.
In “The Sex Lives of African Women” in ALL of the 32 stories told, the common reality of these women is that they had experienced some sexual trauma as a child. Whilst I have spoken openly about my assault I believe that the majority of women have had similar experiences but have not addressed it by even naming it. You know the theme for International Women’s Day is Gender Equity Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow. Often, we talk about equity in terms of politics, health and education. Today I want you to consider equity in your sex life. I think that you are leaving a part of yourself locked up in a box when you don’t acknowledge your sexuality. Sexuality is not just about your sexual orientation. It extends to your preferences, the way you connect and communicate with your partner. It is how you are intimate with one another. Sexuality can be expressed long before the clothes come off and flesh meets flesh. It can even extend way after the euphoria of an orgasm. You may even require an intellectual or spiritual connection to experience your highest form of sexual expression.
The African men that I have ‘met’ with have not been very giving in this sense of really allowing me as a woman to explore my sexuality. By the way, I was watching A Madea’s Homecoming. Spoiler Alert. And one of the characters comes out to his family as being gay. I was like, why is this even a thing for the LGBTQI community? You don’t see heterosexual people having to publicly declare their sexual orientation. Talking about, “Guys I just wanted to let you know I am straight.” This should stop. It’s nunya business. Anyway, back to what I was saying. I suspect that many women have better sex in their fantasies than they ever will in real life. Well that’s if they even let themselves have fantasies, coz again they might go to hell for thinking such dirty thoughts. What really gets me is how women have been conditioned to believe that if they ever have sex they will go to hell. Whereas, with guys they have been told it’s okay to experiment. You should know what you are doing by the time marriage comes around. So who are they experimenting with? Themselves? Maybe we have more gay men in Africa than we care to admit. Who are these young girls or women that it is okay for men to have sex with outside of marriage? I guess there is a group of females who have just been classified as lost causes that are surely bound for hell, so men can do with them as they please. Make it make sense. Why can a man have his every sexual desire fulfilled but a woman must deny her sexuality. By the way if it is true that we will go to hell if we have sex outside of marriage, then it stands true that they may not be any men in heaven.
Imagine if every woman was fully confident in their body. Imagine if women boldly had sex the way that pleased them the most. That could be the last shackle called control that a man has over women. We would be unstoppable. That is not to say that we don’t need men. On the contrary. If both partners are having an exquisite experience together, it is of benefit to both or all concerned. Okay men I must ask. When you have intercourse have you ever felt a genuine connection with your partner? How often has that happened?
In case you were wondering, I am currently not having any sex, you holier than thou folk, so calm down. Geez. I am at a stage where I feel like sex is chore. Just the thought of it tires me out. Truly what is the point when all that exerted energy will be spent on pleasuring the other person with no consideration to my needs. My intention is to attract a partner that would be intellectually stimulating and spiritually compatible. Someone who would be a friend first before any form of intimacy is introduced because this would give me the space to learn to trust him first. Also my heart is not strong enough for a polyamorous arrangement. My desire is that the next time I have a sexual encounter it will be a consensual experience where my body, my spirit and my soul have all said YES. I hope that makes sense.
I was going to talk about friends as the title implies. However, I think I have written quite a lot already and will have to let you go. Maybe, next time I will dive into the world of making friends as an adult. We can just call this part one. Remember in the Africana Woman world there is a blog,