Many times I’ve heard the tales of African men’s legendary sexual escapades—always from African men. But my own empirical experience suggests these “mad skills” in the bedroom may be simply legend.
Picture this: A dark and handsome young man with the intellect and confidence to match. We’re in my apartment and tensions are mounting. The urgency is electric. Among the flurry of hands, I am relieved to find that what is not legend is how my African man is well-endowed where it matters. But before I can appreciate my good fortune, I’m thrown onto the bed and after ten minutes of thrashing about, I’m left wondering, what happened? Was that us having sex? Variations on this scenario are experiences that African sisters like myself know all too well—bystanders to sex that happens to us instead of sex that we partake in equally and enjoy.
In the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “We teach girls that they are not sexual beings in the way that boys are.” And so I have had to navigate this space largely on my own. Far from a single occurrence with a dark stranger, disappointment in bed has long been a part of even my most committed relationships. In the spirit of social progress, I will share with you my findings. In particular, I want to discuss the startling emergence of roughly three types of African men in bed.
First up, we have the ones that could definitely take a page (or a few or just the whole damn book) from the Kama Sutra for all the imagination they lack. I’ve found that these African men simply refuse (or perhaps they’re scared?) to explore, opting rather for the plain old missionary with the lights off and the pillows fluffed just right—day in and day out.
In close pursuit are those men who could use their Kama Sutra-esque moves a little more considerately. These men will toss me about in all sorts of directions without so much as asking how I’m doing while they happily hammer away.
The last of these African men (and dare I say the least), may have the D but they desperately need to get a handle on their ABCs—the absolute basics. These men have had me holding their hand trying to help them make that hole-in-one and yet, still not getting it quite right.
What I’ve also observed is how these men all have certain unsavoury traits in common. Chief amongst them is the issue of foreplay or rather the distinct lack thereof. The African men in my study are really averse to foreplay and I’m not certain if this is because of their general ignorance of the female form and the extra effort required on their part to get us turned on and into it or if they just couldn’t be bothered—I’m personally betting on the latter.
I have experienced the horrifying abomination of fingers being hurriedly shoved into various uncomfortable places. But to the African men who may be reading this and are guilty of this lackluster effort, it’s pretty clear to us that it’s an afterthought and one that you pursue as such; a formality that you simply want to get out of the way.
Secondly, is the issue of reciprocity. Put simply, if I’m heading all the way down south on you then best believe that I expect the same of you too. African men have the exasperating ability to conveniently forget about this when it’s time to return the favour and it has me asking myself why I’m even going through the trouble in the first place. Lastly, and as always, the male physiology still decides when sex ends which means on so many occasions– no orgasms for me.
The thing is, I really want the big O. Sure, African men have upped their endurance game and added a few more minutes to that clock but their sole motivation for that has been born out of wanting to compete with other men instead of using that extra bit of time for our benefit. Naturally, African men are selfish in that regard and I’m calling them out on it.
For all the pressure that we as women put up with: having to look like a Victoria’s Secret model, having to constantly shave and be a wildcard in the bedroom, we’re certainly not going to be putting up with below-average performances from men who constantly blow their own horns about a sexual prowess they simply don’t have.
Gone are the days when women smile in silent acceptance of bad sex—wearing the hidden badges of their sexual frustration like martyrs. And so, for all the bad sex that has been endured by our mothers and their mothers and their mothers’ mothers, us young and empowered African women are saying ‘it is quite enough.’
Lastly, to all my African men, this may seem like a dagger to your egos, but we cannot allow you to continue to claim that you know all there is to know about the sexual needs of the women you’re having sex with more than the women themselves. There is an African proverb that says that wisdom is like fire and it is taken from others.
So take it from me, women are in conversation about this and we will be heard whether you personally choose to pull up a chair and listen in or not. But in all honesty, there really is no sex like good sex especially when it’s good on both ends. So do yourself a favour and pull up a chair.
Rufaro Samanga is an intellectual, aspiring literary great, feminist and most importantly, a fiercely passionate African.