AFRICA, LIFESTYLE, SEXUALITY
How Much A Hymen Costs
I’ve always wanted to write about sex and sexuality. I even wanted to start a blog that would revolve around those topics. I wanted to call it “demystifyingsex.com” or some derivative of that. Maybe it’s because I’ve been exposed to sex and sexuality very early in my life, much earlier than most. I started reading sex-ed books and resources as early as 5 years old. It was accidental of course, not planned (not part of my primary school syllabus), although I can say it has helped shape most of my thoughts about sexuality.
The books I found taught sexual health, and they were, expectedly, highly graphic. I read these books passionately, and the pictures were like magnets. They grabbed at me and pulled me in and fed on my curiosity. By the time I was seven, I knew exactly how the male and female sexual organs looked, and I’m not just talking about the externals. The beautiful Y-shape of the female organs wowed me, and still does. I even ‘caught’ an adult couple having sex at some point: my sex education was complete. By the time reproduction lessons started during Biology, I was way ahead of my class.
Growing up, I discovered things weren’t quite as I had experienced. I was lucky. The things I got to learn on a platter had taken some their whole life to learn, and the subject wasn’t quite as open for discussion as I had expected. Heck, parents hardly talked about it to their children, and when they did, it was usually messed up, like, “Don’t bring pregnancy into my house oh” or “Are you still ‘intact’?” or “Don’t let any boy ‘touch’ you oh…”
That’s all the sex education most got, and still get in these climes.
As a sophisticated reader, I’m sure you noticed how those statements hardly cover the gender spectrum. What about the boys, you wonder? Well, that’s where we begin. There’s a crazy lot to say but we’re going to start here.
“We’re certainly much more open about sex and sexuality than in previous generations, but often that openness does not extend to expressing our own wants and desires. A lot of this has to do with gender norms and socialization. Movies, TV, and pornography teach us men always orgasm easily and that they always want sex, which is certainly not the case. Women are still often socialized in a way that stigmatizes female sexuality, which is extremely problematic. Women are slut-shamed, and some worry about being viewed as too sexually forward. Every individual needs to be able to discuss expectations, comfort levels, and desires, whether in a committed romantic relationship or with a one-night stand. Most of us need to step up our communication game.”
— Dana Weiser, Ph.D., associate professor of human development and family studies at Texas Tech University.
How did we get here? Okay, here’s how.
I’ve interacted with a few women who’ve revealed to me some of their thoughts and experiences. I won’t be posting any personal stories yet, but there is a common denominator: Women are still sexually repressed even in 2016, and this goes way deeper than the act. A young woman even confessed to me once that if there was another life after this, she wouldn’t be coming back as a woman. There’s too many things packed into that statement.
Girls are constantly badgered by parents and religious leaders to protect their virginity. Boys are told to, well, make money. Why not? They don’t have hymens, and a girl’s hymen would fetch her a good price. Our society has placed more premium than is reasonable on the state of a woman’s hymen. Women have told me they felt it was the sole right of the man to initiate sex. What could be more depressing?
It’s no news that religion and obsolete traditions have shaped most of these misconceptions about sex, and less religious societies are way ahead of the more religious ones where sexual equality is concerned. Recently, video footage was seen of a preacher who flogged a couple in his church for engaging in sexual activity. Occurrences like this remind us how hard we have to work to bring our society into the future we desire.
We need to raise our kids with the right sexual information, boy or girl. They need to know that in the bedroom and elsewhere, there is no weaker sex. That the worth or character of a woman isn’t in her hymen or lack of it. That women can demand for sex, and men are not entitled to it simply because they have a penis. Religion and religious leaders should help themselves out of people’s bedrooms. The world doesn’t stop revolving when people have sex. That silly halo around it has to be removed. Anyone whether male or female should have access to contraceptives. There’s more to say, and it will be said.
This will be the first of many posts about sex and sexuality on this blog. Please share your stories and opinions either in the comments ‘sexion’ or in the (private) Contact Me ‘sexion’. Thank you for reading.
Dèjì Balógun: Reader, Writer, Observer, Singer, Pianist, Engineer, Humanist, Feminist, Atheist, Philogynist, Audiophile, Fitness Enthusiast, Lover, and Presidential Aspirant, World Beard Gang Association.
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