Make Love To Me
By Felly Oyuga
I am forty. They said this would be my sexual peak. I kind of thought they meant that I would have a lot of great sex. I was looking forward to that. I think they meant I would just look forward to great sex and not necessarily have it. I spent my twenties having babies. If there was no baby in my belly, the baby was on my breast. I think I strictly used sex at that time for procreation. I used to be a Christian, so yeah. In my thirties, I basically just gave in to the fleshly urge. I had an itch, I scratched it. So when I got to my forties, I somehow expected heaven. I mean, I have done my time. I have come to accept my body and I even love my belly (Belly gang strong!). I know how to pose, so that what I feel are my best attributes are show cased. I know the styles that get me there. What I was not prepared for was the partner. Wait, why was I thinking anything would really change?
As young women, we are taught how to handle a man’s ego. Most men walking around really are horrible sex partners, but as African women, we have good manners, and will uuuuuhhh and aaahhhh and shake at the right intervals, to protect your ego. In fact many of us are really wasting our acting skills. We should go to Nollywood and start our side hustles. We have all attended a sex class, googled best sex positions, and spent countless wine drinking hours with our girlfriends, trying to get a way to have good sex. We have bought the thongs, gels and apparatus. No one ever says, “hey, maybe your man should learn a thing or two?”. It has always been our cross. Whether we enjoy or not. That HE enjoys, is paramount.
Something happens at forty though. Aside from the self acceptance, life has taught you a thing or two, and you realize sex is not just about the man. You want to enjoy it too. You realise that whereas you were protecting a man’s ego because in most cases you did not want to offend your protector and provider, now you can protect yourself, maybe even provide. You catch yourself many times about to ask him what the hell he is doing on top of you. Or under you. Or beside you. And now the man who has received applause all his life for his less than average performance (we cannot blame him, for we have lied to him all through), decides to spice things up by watching some creative nude films. Picks up a move or more, and thinks this is the icing he needs to provide a stellar performance.
I do not think men will ever understand the disappointment women go through. A man tells you how he will make you scream, nay, and beg for more. Your body tingles in anticipation. You prepare carefully. You shower with you favourite shower gel, apply half a bottle of coco butter lotion (even between your toes), and wear you sexiest underwear. Only then to have a grown man grunt and heave on top of you while prodding and licking, mostly drooling on whatever holes he can reach. Then after a whole two minutes, asks you if you enjoyed. Well of course we enjoyed. Enjoyed the fact that the ordeal took just two minutes.
Listen, at my age it is not a sprint. We are not trying to see if we can light a fire by gyrating on each other. Can it mean something please? I am well aware there are sex machines my age, who do not mind the innings and outings at 100KMPH. I am speaking mostly for myself, but I am sure we are more than just me.
Let us go dancing. Take me to dinner (eating meat and drinking beer with your friends is not a date!). Get me in the mood. Laugh with me. Touch me elsewhere. Believe me, I have more body parts than just my breasts and between my legs (did you not attend a biology class?). Learn how to kiss, pace yourself. There is nothing sexier than a man on the verge of losing control, but somehow overcomes. Talk to me, do not shout eh! It is just the two of us in the room. Make eye contact. Put the correct things in the correct holes. Dude, I am not trying to ‘keep’ you. I am not interested in that freaky, most times risky, activity just to keep your attention. I am more than hanging from chandeliers.
Lying down looking up at the ceiling, I understand what my mama meant, or tried to pass on when she asked, “did you enjoy the sex? If you didn’t, you must not go back.”
PETER KASAIJA / 17 June 2019
Bold, provocative and unsettling! It turned just the right screw to get my mind thinking deeply about the essence of Oyuga’s perspective on female sexuality. More than a decade ago, the now (in)famous Vagina Monologues hit our doorstep right here in sexually conservative Africa, Kampala to be specific. I remember then, it caused such an uproar of epic proportions, that it came and went without any meaningful audience being given to the message it’s emissaries had carried. Perhaps if we were more alert, more sensitive and more attuned to the glaring injustices, sexual, political and otherwise, meted out on women within the boundaries of norms circumscribed by society we would have received the message, and acted on it accordingly. But alas, we were too blinded in our resistance to everything Western, that it passed us by. Thankfully, it seems a few seeds of the female sexual revolution were planted here and there, and they are now emerging to awaken us to this critical matter. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of the emancipation movement, or its blind-spot, is the issue of female sexuality. Yes, we have all been prudent students of the urgent call for gender equity in matters of decision making. And yes, baby steps have been made in that direction to liberate women socially and politically. However, we have fallen short where it matters even most, on a personal level: liberating female sexuality from the clutches of a seemingly entrenched patriarchy. While women can now vote, stand for office, pursue positions previously known as male dominions, their bodies remain enslaved, objectified by the clutches of patriarchy. Women’s bodies have been enslaved for ages to the whims of us men through domesticated servitude in the conservative era, and then by fashion, pornography, beauty pageants, film, advertising and so much more ways in this age of neo-liberalism. It is especially ironic, in the latter case, where an age that is built on assumptions of freedom of speech, expression and action, the shackles on the female body have remained, controlled ever so strongly by us men. It is tragic, to say the least, that all around us, this is the norm playing out. But voices such as these rising to against the tide signal a change: most heartening, a change coming from women themselves. I have listened to a few stories of women in sexually barren marriages and it’s very disturbing. These were all intelligent and beautiful women, but all had one thing in common: they were held back by the fear of expressing their dissatisfaction with their sexual lives. It not only harms how they perceive the selves in society, but also denies them fulfillment as women. It holds them back from achieving that self-actualization, a very important part of any human being’s journey in life. The message here is loud and clear: women need to speak out, speak up and speak loud! Sexual gratification for them is not just a personal whim, trending fad or mere physical vanity. It’s an essential element of realizing who they are, what they want and need to achieve completeness. Yes, procreation to bring into this world our progeny is important and motherhood to nurture future leaders is incomparable to any other calling. But that does not mean sexual satisfaction cannot go hand in hand with these! Actually, they should be complementary, where no women should sacrifice the former two for the latter or the other way round! For us men, it’s about time we realized that it’s not just about the short-lived selfish excitement of a phallic ejaculation once we have been ushered into ‘the promised land’, but seeking to build a sexual conversation and dance, which enables mutual satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfillment! Yes, the body of a woman is more than just her breasts and that most coveted real estate between her legs. It’s about discovering the subtle but powerful sensations that emanate from those other places: the small of her neck, the ridge and valley of bone and flesh that run from her neck’s back to her tail bone, the soft inner thighs that tingle from a mere touch, her fingers, her toes, her soft calves, curvy bottom and so much more! Today, I toast to that woman who has chosen to sexually liberate herself, and demand to be heard thus, be it at twenty, thirty, forty or more!