Queering the Space; Safer Sex and Owning Your Pleasure

Candles, condoms and dental dam contraceptives
Image of contraceptives from Hola Africa

Women’s sexual pleasure is not a subject that is often talked about and there aren’t many safe spaces for women to gather and have honest insightful conversations about safe sex, consent and pleasure. The internet barrages us with a lot of information about sex, usually centring men and their pleasure but not enough about women’s pleasure, particularly lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

Last Sunday, Rita and Nana created and hosted one such safe space for LBQ women to gather and share wisdom with one another. The gathering, facilitated by Siphumeze of Hola Africa discussed critical topics around consent and having safer sex, fun topics like freaky sex positions and cute topics around romance, giving and receiving love. Part of the learnings included how to have honest conversations about your sexual pleasure with your partner, how to clean your sex toys (tip; how you clean your sex toys is largely dependent on what material it’s made out of, so check the box/manual to be sure ), how to use dental dams and where to get some (tip for those in Accra, Ernest Chemists have dental dams and handy vibrators!)

Speaking about their experience at the gathering, a person who wishes to remain anonymous shared their story, “I’m a 50-year-old married woman with 2 grown children. I have been married to a wonderful man for the past 20 years. As a young girl in secondary school was attracted to a couple of girls and had an encounter with one. However, “the relationship” fizzled out after we left school. I have never thought about it again and indeed never had the opportunity to explore these emotions towards other women. Now I’m 51 and in the past 2 years, I started to wonder if these emotions still exist. Obviously, the society in which I live doesn’t provide the space for such conversations to be had freely. Well, so I thought until I came to the HOLAA Africa event in my friend’s house and bam!!! A real eye opener!!! This event was the first time where I’ve had the chance to talk about how I feel. I was particularly very happy for the group of young people at the event who are fortunate enough to have such an opportunity to be themselves without being judged. I learnt a lot especially the fact that lesbians can also spread STD’s I volunteer for an HIV organization and our focus has mainly been on heterosexual relationships. I am definitely going to share the insights I got from the event with my colleagues and ensure that we extend support to this community. Thank you, HOLAA Africa and big hugs to Nana for inviting me into this space.
P/S it will be interesting to know the number of “married women” who discover themselves later in life.”

Dziedzorm also wrote to us about her experience saying, “I had never once been in a space like the one I was in both on Friday and Sunday. This wasn’t just queer women running into each other and finding that the conversation had branched off into sex and other related topics. This was an intentional space. A safe space. A space deliberately created by Queer women for Queer women where we could talk. Talk without fear of judgement, without fear of being wrong, the aura of acceptance filling us with the knowledge that we were in a space full of women just like us. From the conscious effort to address everyone by their preferred pronouns to the ease with which the conversation wove its way through sex, to sexuality, to sensuality while effortlessly encompassing consent, safe sex, BDSM, love, relationships, sex toys and even sex positions. It was an exchange of knowledge rather than a teacher-student situation. What you didn’t know, you asked and what you knew, you shared”.

One major takeaway from the discussions is that we’re responsible for our sexual pleasure and that includes having safer sex, having genuine conversations with our partners about what we like or don’t like in bed and most importantly loving our bodies wholly enough to enjoy sex.

In what ways do you own your sexual pleasure? What are the things that get you off and how do you communicate it to your partner?

Photo Credit: Tiffany Kagure Mugo

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