Judeo-Christian-Islamic morality, which has degraded woman and stained sex, continues to cloud our perspective and prevent us from understanding Afrikan sexual behavior. In the Greco-Roman world they viewed sex as an expression of power and in Christendom where the church praised celibacy over marriage, prior to the Protestant Reformation, sex was considered a necessary evil only to be enjoyed by men (and prostitutes). Western sexuality has rarely been associated with the divine, indeed quite the contrary. So while Afrikan cultures celebrated sexuality, the West created a climate of sexual repression accompanied by depravity.
I will now attempt to explain this celebratory attitude towards sexuality in light of female circumcision, which feminists and lesbians argue was designed to denied female sexual expression and was a means of male domination. To begin with, the West has always condemned Afrikan sexual expression, generally being considered lewd or ribald. Yet, this stand in contrast to the idea of repression. Even in the Afrikan Diaspora one see the Afrikan’s celebration of sexuality, be in carnival, social dancing, or the likes. So then where does the idea that Afrikan men tried to repress the sexuality of women come from? All throughout Afrikan cultures we see harmony and reeciprocity is the rule. Do these concepts end at the bedroom door or do Afrikan men (and women) conscious try to make sexual intercourse a mutual activity.
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 notion that Afrikan culture and women were unaware of female orgasm and that it was not an expectation of sexual intercourse is another case of Western projection. It is reprehensible that the West questions whether traditional Afrikan cultures were interested in female sexual pleasure just because European have rarely been concerned with satisfying their women. Even Greco-Roman civilization denied women (and the boys) they had intercourse with, the benefit of sexual orgasm--they were not do suppose to enjoy it). On the other hand, dating back to Kemet, we see awareness and concern for female sexual pleasure. Even in Kemet there is evidence of female orgasm. Lise Manniche's Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt she points out it is implied several times in the Medu Netcher. In one passage it explains how “boring” life is after age sixty when you desire/make love to a woman, and her moment does not come. In another instance we have a woman crying out at the moment of climax.
We must be careful not to let Western writers impose their viewpoints and prejudices in explaining Afrikan practices and concepts. In fact, my view on male circumcision, a practice which originated with Afrikans, is entirely at odds with Western explanations. I argue that one of its purposes was to be conducive to female orgasms. Data in the West seems to suggest women are more orgasmic with circumcised rather than with uncircumcised men. This could be entirely psychological, having little to do with circumcision, however, it is possible the sulcus (ridge of circumcised penis) make better contact stimulating the G-spot, potentially causing more vaginal stimulation. Studies state that circumcised men are just a sensitive as uncircumcised men. However, more recent studies indicate that uncircumcised men are more sensitive. Moreover, circumcision removes the foreskin of the penis leaving the glans exposed, which will develop a thick, dry layer of keratin (toughened skin), making it less sensitive to uninvited stimulation, but also less sensitive to the more subtle qualities of intercourse. Circumcision leaves a man less sensitive. Further, in removing the prepuce (foreskin) which served as a gliding mechanism, a man’s only source of stimulation is the glans rubbing against the wall of the vagina. The sensations derived from the specialized receptors of the frenar band, frenulum and inner foreskin layer are missing. So, from a male point of view we might perceive circumcision negatively, but here is the rub (pardon my pun) if in desensitizing the male, it allows his staying power, then you have actually done the female, and in reality the male, a favor if he is interested in pleasing his woman. All this is to say, that in Afrika, circumcision in lessening sensitivity slightly offers men greater penile control in order to satisfy women.
A last point that will enlighten us concerning the mutual pleasuring that was part of adult sexuality is the use of sexual positions. In the West, the missionary position was the most common, if not the only position used by a married couple (rear entry and pederasty were reserve for prostitutes and boys); however, in Afrika, position generally reflect complementarity. For example, Gisu, Nandi, and Kkundo have intercourse lying on their sides; the Edo, Igbo, and Mossi do it on a stool, making sure not to touch the earth, lest they cause a drought; Leo Frobenius reported that certain Yoruba and the Togo do it with the man kneeling, while the woman wraps her legs around him. Because the Afrikan worldview is antithetical to the Western worldview, it is virtually impossible to make generalization in any area, including sex and sexuality.
While the East has for centuries been associated with sexual rites, such as Tantra and Taoist sexual yoga, Afrika’s sexual secrets are just coming to light. In fact the Afrikan secrets are the basis of the Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese doctrines. In Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger, they tell us that the “Traditions of Indian and Tibetan Tantric tell us the original archaic teachers or ‘lineage holders’ were dark skinned and very short of stature and had tightly curled hair.” Now this may or may not be the San, but phenotypically, it sounds like them. But interestingly, the San tell us that while in trance and also during sexual intercourse they experience Kia, which is a heighten sense of awareness that occurs when healing energy is released. This energy call n/um, a substance in the body that resides in the stomach, which heats up turning into a vapor and rises up the spine to the head, where it leads to increased spiritual awareness. N/um and the entire process is identical to the respective Indian and Tibetan energies kundalini and tumo, and their yoga systems.
In Kemet (Egypt), there was a comparable energy to kundalini and tumo called Sa, which resided in the body in the umbilical plexus.1 As Sa orbited the body making its way up the spine and then down the front, the Kemeyu likened its movement to the orbit of the sun (Ra). Stirred by passion/emotion Sa (vital essence) travels from the umbilical plexus and pancreas gland to the gonads, where it moves up the spine to the crown plexus. Once it reached the pineal gland, it gave birth to the spiritually mature person.2 Although we cannot prove with certainty the San spread their worldview and cosmological ideas Asia, which was actually a secondary concern, however, it is entirely possible they spread their cosmological ideas throughout Afrika, as paleoanthropological information indicates that at one time the entire continent was share between them and the Mbuti. Thus, the San more than likely transmitted their knowledge and techniques to other Afrikans, Kemet being a case in point, and this is consistent with the concept of cultural evolution. Moreover, knowledge of this inner vitality/sexual energy is widespread in Afrika. We confuse matters when we limit it use to energy use during intercourse, which is often the perception one gets from “sexual” yoga. But the San explain that the primary use of this energy is ritual and communal healing but it is also capable of being generated during intercourse. So in fact, this is the same the energy every Afrikan society uses for ritual purposes. It is only in less communally oriented cultures that this energy is use exclusively for private purposes, whereas in Afrika there is no separation between the two. Now we can understand why the Lele of Democratic Republic of Congo require ritual abstinence before a communal hunt and the diviner who performs the hunting rite must be celibate for weeks before the hunt. In this case, the entire society harnesses inner vitality/sexual energy and especially by the person who acts as the intermediary between the spiritual and humans realms. This example can be replicated all over the continent.