Sexual pleasure is a right

In January 2009, Malaka and I began blogging about sex and sexualities. For me the inspiration had been going on a girls holiday with a group of women from different African countries, and having the most open, non judgemental conversations about sex that I had ever had (at the time). I knew that I wanted to continue talking to other African women about sex, and when I rang Malaka up and told her about my eureka idea, she told me that she had been thinking about writing a book called ‘Adventures from the Bedrooms of African women’. I told her we should create the blog together, and later turn it into a book. And that’s how this platform was born. And yes, the book will be coming soonnnnn. Right Malaka?


Over the years my passion and belief in holding space for girls and women to talk about sex and sexualities has deepened. It seems like everyone has something to say about the bodies of African women. On one extreme you have the neo colonial/high key racist discourse around African women’s bodies needing to be controlled in order to manage population growth, and in order that our descendants don’t ‘swamp’ the West. And on the other you have fundamentalists and patriarchs of all stripes trying to control who we love, when we love, and how we love (feel free to read ‘sex’ instead of love. Somehow in all that mess the African girl/woman needs to find herself – figure out who she is, how she wants to exist in this world, own her body, and own her sexual pleasure. As far as I am concerned, sexual pleasure is a right. Our bodies are amazing instruments of pleasure for ourselves and anyone we choose to share it with. For me writing about my sexual life has been part of my quest to break free of everything I was told as a child about sex – that only bad girls did ‘it’, that girls who slept with lots of boys are sluts, that ‘you’ll fall pregnant if you play with boys and then your life will be miserable’.


Who else heard stories like this growing up? What are you doing today to recondition your mind around sex and sexuality? Share in the comments below.

Photography by Chika Oduah

3 comments On Sexual pleasure is a right

  • My sexual education at home was simply, you make your bed you will lay in it. I don’t believe that the words you echoed in your story have changed much because those sentiments continue to exist within our peers, no matter how progressive we have become. There are judgements that just don’t disappear from the minds of people. The numbers of sexual partners still constitute you a HO even if you are, an independent woman who doesn’t care about cultural norms. Unfortunately, there is some truth in the information that was related to us. The problem with these teachings is that it doesn’t explain the (why) in a fundamental way. Today I just let others assume and talk. I am at an age that opinions have no bearing on my life. I choose to educate the young ladies that can benefit from real talk. Hopefully the right information will allow them to make choices without guilty pleasures.

  • @leslie – yes, it saddens me to think that overall there is still a lack of comprehensive sex education. There are some glimmers of hope that I see though – such as the ‘Lets talk consent’ workshops run in Ghana by Nana Akosua Hanson and her team of facilitators.

    What do you see as the ‘…truth in the information that was…’ relayed to us? Do say more

  • 1. The truth is that you are a slut (according to the definition) if you sleep around with many men and if you do this you will be labeled.

    2. You will fall pregnant if you play with boys because that is the original intention of sex. Pregnancy from fooling around are usually unplanned and bring lots of endured misery.

    So, there are truths to what mama use to say, the problem is that they are incomplete facts.

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