Greetings and blessings to everyone reading this blog. This is the second blog discussion in the “Our Afrikan Heritage” magazine’s series on sexual education.
In our first discussion we took a look at the “orgasm”. The question was posed, “Do women in the West place too much emphasis on the orgasm”? What we started to get was a sense that we have strayed from the deeper spiritual connection of the sexual experience to a purely physical carnal act. The question is now asked, “How did we get here?”
To even begin to answer this question we have to look at what we consider to be our sexuality, its origin, influences and usages.
Before we go any further, let us stop for one second and define sexuality. Most places of reference that I have researched for this blog give sexuality three main constructs:
- The condition of being characterised and distinguished by sex.
- Concern with or interest in sexual activity.
- Sexual character or potency.
Keeping these three definitions in mind we can begin to look at how sexuality has crashed into our heritage and culture as Afrikan people. In the first definition of sexuality, it is said that it is the condition of being characterised and distinguished by sex. How do we define our characters? Characters are defined by action, which in turn is the manifestation of our thought process. Therefore, it would stand to reason that sexuality is nothing more than a state of mind. So where do our thought processes at this time originate? Are they originating from ourselves as a cultured race of people or are they learned thought processes influenced by Eurocentric cultures, philosophies and value systems?
We can ask the question “Is nakedness part and parcel of what we deem as our sexuality and sexual expression?” Most women in the West would say yes, nakedness is an expression of our sexuality. I have heard the argument made that in Afrika many tribeswomen go bare breasted and actually wear very little, so the mode of dress worn by certain women in expression of their sexuality is therefore justified. I agree that there are many tribes in which the women wear little clothing, but it must also be noted that in those communities the men are in no way moved by the nudity of the women in the village. Thus the conclusion can be made that nudity is not an expression of original Afrikan sexuality.
Makeup and outward adornments on the other hand were always an expression of our sexuality. The way a woman’s hair was styled spoke to her sexuality, her scars/tattoos, the type of beads she wore and her dance were among her authentic expressions of her sexuality. Also note that the makeup worn was interwoven into her stage of life as a woman and not because of dissatisfaction with her natural appearance.
Concern with or interest in sexual activity is the next definition of sexuality we shall peruse. It was interesting to note from the previous blog that Afrikan women were not very open to talking about their sexual experiences. This is a stark contradiction to western attitudes where sex is spoken about freely. Not only is it a topic that is freely discussed and promoted, it has become an act of conquest rather than sacredness between man and woman. Sex has become more a question of what I can get out of the act rather than what I can share. When the act then becomes a matter of selfish conquest, the gateways to sexual perversions are then opened. There is no sacredness in perversions.
Finally “our sexual character and its potency” basically speak to our sexual expressions and their effects. Given that character is manifested in action, how we act regarding our sexual expressions defines our sexual character. The potency of your sexual character is then calculated by the power of the attraction caused.
I ran a small experiment in which I observed the potency of the sexual character. I placed myself among a group of about a dozen men who had a direct view of a roadside in the heart of Bridgetown (the capital city of Barbados). The group of men was busy engaging in various activities. Some played dominoes, others backgammon and the rest talking and listening to music. Every so often, a woman passing would attract the attention of one man in the group that happened to be looking in that direction at the time. This led to a statement on the physical appearance of the woman and her style of dress, which in turn caused all activity to stop with attention now being placed on the passing woman. A sort of sexual frenzy ensued as the brothers called out to the woman paying all sorts of compliments to her dress, lined with heavy sexual undertones. As she disappeared into the distance and the various activities resumed, it was now laden with the residual sexual energy that was left by the passing woman.
The conversation for a few moments was now directed towards what they would do with the woman if given a chance in terms of sharing sexual experience and reminiscing on her attire and how good she looked. The more moderate in dress did not receive the sexual attention that the more daring in nakedness got. It was interesting to see that an attraction also came from some women who were more modest in dress, came along the line of “that is a real queen; that is how a woman should look; I just love how that woman looks” and various others comments that were much more respectful than those attained by the other women. This then is the potency of your sexual character manifested in one way.
Due to the mere fact that energy attracts and repels, one must be aware of what we attract, the responsibilities of what we attract and the consequences thereof. Are we mere sexual beings?
Please leave comments so we can develop a healthy conversation geared towards a deeper sexual educational program in schools in Barbados. We want to have this conversation with youth 15 and up. This program will commence in the upcoming new school term.
Our Afrikan Heritage magazine thanks you for your participation in this discussion.