I have always wondered what African women history were regarding sexual pleasure. In Yorubaland, mothers don’t talk to their girls about sex let alone the pleasure of it. And for some reason known to mothers, they want their daughters to get married and have a happily ever after type of marriage.
On my quest for knowledge, I came across an eye-opening video online about a year ago, it featured a group of older ladies from Uganda talking about labia elongation. Really? Why? Here is what I found.
In Uganda, when a child turns 13 and perhaps after her first period would be called to have the ‘talk’ about labia pulling and how to go about making sure she does it everyday for about 10 minutes – that’s a serious dedication, I think. The part of the labia being pulled is the minora – the inner layer, this is done religiously and overtime it can stretch up to 3 times or more of the original size. Local herbs is used as lubricant to ease the friction.
The person who does the pulling varies, sometimes it could be the a close friend of one’s own mother or a grandmother and sometimes a friend/school mates. A close friend who is Ugandan and went to a boarding school confirms that when she was at school, parents actively informed the school that they’d like their children participate in ‘pulling session,’ this is to make sure they continue with the routine while away from home.
I read a few online articles whereby Ugandan women fervently defended the age-long tradition as something they were really proud of and did not want WHO to mistaken it for yet another FGM.
Why is this practice? Muganda, the major ethnic group in Uganda believed active sexual life in relationships will prevent infidelity and it is important to them that both couples have fun during coitus. And in fact the women loved to make pleasure noises as a way to communicate their satisfaction to their partners.
The belief was that long minora when clasps around penis provides soft but firm grasp – both feel the touch and the gentle friction will heighten the desire for each other. Also, as the man pulls away during withdrawal, last-minute pleasure is experienced as the elongated minora gently peels off the penis.
The practice of labia elongation is not limited to Uganda alone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi all do it. What do we do in Nigeria? I wish to know, seriously.
Like many other African cultures, labia elongation is being faced out because of the procedures involved. Getting other girls pulling one’s private part isn’t especially appealing these days because of increasing awareness of possible dangers such as HIV/AIDS, Christianity has influenced many parents out of the tradition and because elongation is best done when young and children were too young to voice an opinion – rather like child abuse.
Seems people tend to agree on the benefits of having elongated labia but most disagree on the procedure. Also, speaking to a male friend who lives in Uganda, he thinks that the length of the labia varies considerably that sometimes some pulls out a little longer than others.
I wonder if there is a way of having a standard length to aim for and of course better ways of doing it to exclude children. It will be such a shame to let go of a tradition built to keep family happy together – happy couples = happy family.
It is exciting to know that African women do have a practice that celebrate sexuality and the of pleasure of it. I have heard too much of the other side.
Please do share if you know of any African women related story.