The Mrs Club
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 Sex, lies and the African

When I was in Nigeria promoting my book, one question I kept getting was if I was concerned about the racy sex scenes in the book. Ok first off let me say that yes there are somewhat explicit scenes but I don't think that it is gratuitous. Actually when my dad read it he said and I quote "Some parts of it border on pornography and that Titi, my God", but please note my dad is pushing 70, a professor type who would consider sex and the city xxx-rated. In any event I think he was more shocked that his child wrote those scenes than the scenes itself.

What is it with the way we view sex? Don't ask, don't tell. I wrote a story about thirty something women who have sexual encounters as part of their broader dating stories, meanwhile young girls today already have more experience than I have the imagination to describe and they are not even doing it within the confines of loving relationships. It's funny, I didn't know this at the time, I was a dry chick, but my while my high school was known to produce well mannered, sophisticated, smart girls, in other words correct chicks...apparently some of these girls were known for their oral skills and I am not talking about the debate team.

By the time I was ten, I had hit puberty and I was getting all sorts of attention. It was unwanted and frightening and most of the time I didn't have the tools to manage it. My mother was a hawk, she practically locked us in the house, maybe this was how I managed to escape a different fate, but I keep thinking about other girls I know who were like me, trying to survive in a society that can be predatory towards girls and not having anyone to discuss it with. Girls who had sex (were raped, victims of abuse)were labeled as loose girls. I remember a story about a high school classmate who went to her boyfriends house possibly quite innocently because she thought his family would be around and found herself raped by her boyfriend while his friends watched. I remember hearing this story in my form five and being shocked but not knowing quite how to process the information.

When I had my period my mother handed me a book to read on the subject of puberty, girls and sexuality. It must have been written in the fifties. When I finished reading she asked me if I understood the book. I nodded yes and that was basically my conversation about becoming a woman. I smile when I think about this. My mom is my mom and she did the best she knew how and when I think about it, she did a great job. Yes she was so strict, I never partied but she kept me as safe as she could and I am here to tell the tale with only a few minor bruises... not everyone was so lucky.

So I speak freely about sex. I will tell my daughter about it when she gets older. Actually we already have conversations about private parts and who should and should not be touching and why. Yes, she's only two but we live in a crazy world and don't be fooled pedophiles are not solely a product of the western world.
When she is older I will tell her my truths about sex, about how it clouds clarity in an undefined relationship, about how men and women view it differently, about how it should not be used as a pawn in a chess game, about how if you make a decision you later regret, you can stop and change direction, about how I don't believe in labels but in people and about how much her father and I love and value her and how she should know that as a woman, sex is a gift and a responsibility, and more important than sex is love.

So yes, I wrote a book about life and love and a lot of stuff in between...and yes, my heroines and real live chicks who explore their passion for life in a variety of ways, orgasms included and yes I think it's about time we stop being so hypocritical about sex. We need to talk about it, address the promiscuity among some of our young women, the perversity among some of our old men, the lack of self worth, the damage to self esteem, the joys of sincere intimacy, the sensuality of touch, the fact that spirituality and sexuality are not mutually exclusive. (Yes O, I am a Christian and I believe that orgasms are a gift)

Even as I write this I am concerned with being misunderstood but c'est la vie. You can only speak in your language and hope that the people around you are fluent.

My people. Be well. Be happy. Be loved.

The Mrs Club
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Posted by Naija Babe :: 10:27 PM :: 2 comments

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