I would first of all like to say that this was inspired after I read Darian’s post on her sexuality and Christianity. (I know, it’s from way back in 2009) This post is very much a personal one, and I’m in no way trying to judge the sexual climate in Ghana … I’m just talking about my experiences.
Anyway. I remember when Nana Sekyiamah visited my high school. I was probably in my second year, somewhat naïve about life and in the stage where I was still trying to be a ‘good girl’ but still incredibly inquisitive about everything beyond the walls of my school, home and church. Not that I am out of that stage yet…
I really liked this lady; her enthusiastic self, the dreads colored brown at the edges, glasses on the bridge of her nose: it was all really cool. She talked about her clothing line and the other things she was involved in. And then I remember her vaguely talking about her website ‘Adventures from the bedrooms of African women’; the name stuck and I decided to search for it later on.
Fast forward to a day of aimless web browsing and coming across this website, and that is where this story really begins. I came to the notice allowing only 18-year olds and above to enter the website. Haha, no one was around, and it was a computer system anyway. It wasn’t like it could do anything to me. I am not sure what my 16 year old self expected to see that day: stories of 50-year old African women talking about how their husbands could no longer satisfy them, maybe? Maybe sexual abuses from family members, girls and their boyfriends… You know, stuff you see in the newspapers.
After crossing the line and lying to the computer software, my greedy eyes searched for interesting things to read. Do I need to tell you how shocked and disturbed I was? Lesbian sex? Masturbation? Sex with 10 guys? Porn? What was this, the devil’s website? Still, the stories were amazing and I allowed myself to read for a few minutes before I shut the page and vowed never to go there again. I’m sure I must have mumbled ‘ei these people are really in Ghana’, about 20 times before closing the page.
It’s been about 3 years since then. I have finished my first year of college (the western ideals have caught me), and have had everything shaken, from my staunch beliefs that Jesus saves to my resolve to not curse, drink, have sex etc etc. (All the things that make you ‘pure’ in Ghana). Obviously these variables are all somehow intertwined. Apart from making sure that my mother doesn’t somehow creep up on me to see me on this website, I’m pretty excited to read whatever posts are up. My efforts to be a ‘good girl’ didn’t really pay off… I’m more aware of my sexuality than I have ever been and I am not ashamed of it. I used to read the blog wondering: ‘will I have stories like this? at 30? 27? What will I end up as?’
But I am very sure my story isn’t unique. This is Ghana for goodness sake, and there are probably at least a million girls who have wandered off the paths set out for their bodies and minds, girls who have been doing it before I was born, and many more who are doing it now. I wonder where they are though. And if they think about their lives the way I often do about mine or if they often feel the need to dissect their behaviors in relation to their society.
I am in friend circles where someone having sex with a guy is still news that sells, and where we are all kind of waiting till our Prince Charming comes. Where are the girls who are going beyond the ‘limit’ and going to church the next day singing in the choir? Maybe I’m not friends with any of them It can get pretty lonely here. I often have the need to discuss sex within the contexts of social restrictions, religion and moral obligations. But three quarters of my friends are apparently not doing it till they’re married at whatever age, and those that are fucking guys right now, don’t talk about it. Nothing. The politics of sex? How you can’t really say no sometimes? How you feel when you compromise? We can’t talk till we are 24 and have completely (partially?) rid ourselves of societal norms and shit? Yeah, I can find all that in college and I can go to forums that talk about giving consent and whatnot but I want to discuss it with my Ghanaian ladies. Who shouldn’t be afraid to speak because half the boys in our circles are still calling them sluts. Who shouldn’t be afraid of pleasure just because they might go to hell or because someone told them that it would make them less worthy. Because I was. And if they don’t care or bother about either of these things, I would like to know why too.
Damn, I can’t believe I am writing these words. You see, I’m still my mother’s child. Still the pastor’s kid. Raised with Jesus on my walls and at a point, in my heart. There must be more 19 year olds like me, no? Are there no kids that are transitioning? Or am I just the wuss that wants to sob and talk about how I’m unsure about the sexual decisions I am making, and how unstable my life feels at this moment? Probably. Do I just go with the flow till I’m older and content with what life gives me and become confident in who I become, regardless? Is it okay that I kind of wish I was still the good Christian girl going for the all nights and church services at one moment, and then the weed-smoking, promiscuous lover at other times? (Can I do both? Lol)
I don’t know anything, except that I never thought I’d write for this blog at any point in my life. Maybe I will figure it out one day and wander back to my beliefs about opening my heart to God and closing my legs. But until then.. I’m still that teenager trying to find her way out of the woods.