Childhood allow for sexual curiosity and exploration, probing much the ways an animal would as it becomes accustom to a new environment. During this period sexual behaviors are freely expressed (within limits as Kenya demonstrated) and even tacitly encouraged. This is perhaps encouraged almost with the hope that through expression comes satisfaction, and through satisfaction, comes “control” or discipline. Sexuality is never a question of denial or repression, it is more a question of fulfilment, maturity, and discipline. Sexual expression is an area the imported religions suppressed in Afrika. There pent-up, misogynistic, and repressive attitudes toward the body, and especially female sexual expression would discourage, disrupt, and alter Afrikan sexual attitudes and customs.
Labia stretching is the act of elongating the labia minora through manual manipulation (pulling) or physical equipment (such as weights). The procedure was once part of the rites of passage from a girl to a woman. In an earlier blog, I mentioned that in the nkang’a, an almost universal rite of many Bantu cultures, that as the society of women teach the novice various sexual techniques, they performed this procedure. The procedure and rite are part of the Afrikan conception of the human being and the role of culture. The rite is a communal act that sacrifices” the self-centered “individual” (the child), in order to gives birth to the communal person, a person whose identity is established by the community and simple by themselves. To be human is to be part of a community in Afrika.
This procedure is ancient n Afrika. It is practice among the San. Richard B. Lee in his The Dobe Ju/’hoansi demonstrated that one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Ju/’hoansi San, state a goal of sexual intercourse is for each partner to reach sexual orgasm, tain. Ju/’hoansi women have a clear conception of female orgasm, and many say they achieve them regularly. The Ju/’hoansi, like the !Kung, and other San groups practice, labia stretching or elongation, which would make it the oldest Female Genital Modification in the world. According to the San, it is performed for sexual enhancement/ gratification (of both partners) and aesthetics, often creating symmetry. The San say the procedure facilitate female orgasm and ejaculation, and it enhances sexual pleasure for the male as well. The elongated inner labia swell more during sexual excitement, and in doing so, provide a much bigger surface area for penile friction during coitus. This friction in turn helps to trigger female orgasm and ejaculation. The Khoi-San women of southern Afrika extend their labia (called the “Hottentot apron”) to fit the penis like a sheath. Dickinson claims a woman with a hypertrophic labia is also more responsive to vulgar stimulation.
With the breakdown in many traditional culture due to Westernization, labia stretching is still performed by families. For example, in Rwandan culture, female family members teach girls at puberty how to pull their labia to lengthen them, using local medicinal flora to ease the process. Women continue the practice into adulthood and through marriage. It purpose is to assist the couple especially the woman to ejaculate when a man strokes the elongated labia gently without any form of sexual penetration.
Cosmology is what I have argued is the key to Afrikan societal organization. Cosmology uses Nature as its teacher and not the philosophy of individuals. Using a Western philosophical reference, one could get caught up in their confusion. Take Kinsey for example. He developed the of “predominant attraction.” He used this idea to describe sexual orientation system based on a seven-point continuum as follows: 0-Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual; 1-Predominantly heterosexual, only incidental homosexual; 2-Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual; 3-Equally heterosexual and homosexual (ambisexual); 4-Predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual; 5-Predominantly homosexual, but incidentally heterosexual; 6-Exclusively homosexual. Although this may sound intellectual sound or even interesting, I ask: What in Nature did Kinsey use to exact these ideas? They appear to be his own ideas. And this is the problem. However, it we were to make a scale of the range of Afrikan sexual behavior based on how life is experience, i.e., cosmology, it would in Western terms read like this: The person moves from childhood autosexuality (which often includes mutual sex pleasuring, with some behaviors being “bisexual”) to adulthood heterosexuality to elderhood asexuality. Let me elucidate. Children in their curiosity and lack of knowledge will in their gender based age groups will get involved in "sex-play." This is true in Afrikan societies as well as all societies. It is at this age that twinness makes the children more prone to same-sex behavior--when they are prepubescent children. Hence, to Afrikan thought, that is where same-sex behavior belongs--among children, who are self-centered, lack real responsibility, and at the same time unable to procreate. But with puberty, comes the capacity to generate life, consequently, culture must direct the new adult's sexual energy. The energy of puberty is the same energy of ferility--it allows human being to sustain Creation. At puberty, circumcision removes twinness, and the young adults are steered towards marriage. Heterosexuality is the rule, for it is the only type of sexual behavior that is pronatal. The autosexual/same-sex oriented child must become the heterosexual adult. This is a cultural, not a personal imperative. As the adults age, menopause and andropause renders the once fertile and viral couple into a period of life marked by less and less sexual intercourse, which eventually ends in asexuality.
This is the natural course of living. It has nothing to do with the ideas in some individual's head. It is based on cosmology, not philosophy. Like all customs, values, and mores in Afrika, human sexual behavior iis not philosophical; it is not derived from an individual’s opinion but based on the experience of life; it is based on the experience of human beings and has been pass down for generation; it is based on a tradition of wisdom and not simply theoretical science.
I have written a number of blogs about Afrikan sexual expression. My purpose has not been to titillate you, but to expose the reader to Afrikan ideas and practices. The West has bombarded us with its thinking, acting as if there is only one way, the Western way, of do things. The more to understand our traditional worldview, culture, and practices, the better we are prepare to reestablish our selves as power brokers in the world.
P.S. There is a Western craze of Labia Elongation that is current. These fools have contests for the longest labia, with some extending down to a woman's knees.