Zo Kunnen We Een Gezondere, Positievere Relatie Met Seks Hebben

Van onze angst voor vrouwenlichamen tot onze schaapachtigheid rond het woord 'tepel', onze opvattingen over seks hebben een upgrade nodig, zeggen seksuele opvoeders (en hilarische vrouwen) Tiffany Kagure Mugo en Siphumeze Khundayi. Voor een radicale nieuwe kijk op seksuele positiviteit, stelt het duo in deze TED-talk voor dat we naar Afrika kijken voor erotische wijsheid, zowel oud als modern, die ons laat zien hoe we problematische ideeën over seks die we hebben geïnternaliseerd van ons af kunnen schudden, en hoe we plezier kunnen herdefiniëren op onze eigen voorwaarden.

Tiffany Kagure Mugo: OK. So we've signed up, there's no turning back now.


Siphumeze Khundayi: Hi, guys. TKM: Hello, everyone.

TKM: So, you think you know about sex. Chances are you don't, and we are here to tell you that you don't.

SK: We are here to tell you that no matter where you come from, Abuja to Alabama, Dubai to downtown London, sex has and continues to change. And we need to understand this if we're going to keep things safe and spicy.

TKM: So now, the act of rubbing our naked bodies together has undergone a number of changes. And those changes have been affected by eons of ideas. Even you, as an adult, have some internalized ideas about sex that you never challenge. Some good, some bad and some very, very strange.


SK: So when you allow someone to see you butt naked, do you ever think about how the ideas that you internally have will affect whether you will like them tickling your elbow or kissing your thigh or shouting out the name of a chose deity? One must do internal monitoring and evaluation if we are going to live our best sexy lives.

TKM: And we're going to tell you how to have a great sex life, right? But the first thing you need to do is let go of the bad ideas you have about sex.

SK: Think about the things that we need to change.

TKM: And the things we need to embrace in all of their shiny newness. So, we're going to take you on a journey of sex: the bad parts of sex, historically great sexual practices and the future of sex.

SK: Now, judging by the cool seven billion people on this planet, human beings have been doing the sex thing for a long time. And in vast quantities. But this does not mean we are actually good at it. From the top of my head -- rape culture.

TKM: How tradition and culture limit ideas of pleasure.

SK: Or even the idea that the nipple deserves the same treatment that a DJ gives his deck when he's trying to turn up the volume.

TKM: Like, that is a personal pet peeve of mine.

SK: We are so scared of sex.

TKM: And we need somebody to blame for our fear. Enter women, and our fear of every part of their anatomy, unless we are the ones using their sexiness.

SK: Think about it. You can quite easily go to someone and say, "My elbow hurts." But try going to someone and saying, "Excuse me, my vagina has a strange buzzing feeling, do you know where I can find the buzzing-vagina ointment?" And see how well that goes down.


TKM: Does not go down well. I once challenged friends to simply go into supermarkets and say to strangers, "Thighs." No one did it, despite the fact that they could have been talking about chicken or turkey.


SK: So a number of cultural and historical notions have burrowed so deeply within us, we don't even notice that it's strange to freak out when somebody says "nipple" as opposed to "left knee." We refuse to engage with sex properly. And the first step is admitting that it exists outside of trying to sell us products like bottled water or coffee. The unrealistic depictions in movies or that one thing that you saw on the internet "by mistake."

TKM: Mhm. So, now in order to cure this ailment, again, let us just first admit that we have some messed-up ideas of sex.

SK: And breathe in --


And let it all go. Now, it all seems pretty morbid -- that culture and society have failed us in our quest for coitus. But this is not the case. There are things that the past can teach us to help us upgrade the present.

TKM: So now, if I had a glass of Merlot -- which I really wish I did -- I would pour the ancestors a drink, because there are ways in which African societies huddled this sex thing before the C that shall not be named --

SK: (Whispering) Colonization.

TKM: Came through. Within African societies, we had spaces, both social and spiritual, that helped institutionalize healthy sexual practices. We had sexuality schools that taught social and erotic cues. We had spaces where teenagers could engage, understand and like, properly know how to handle sexual urges, and places where adults could handle the stresses and strifes of adulting.

SK: Ways that didn't include you hiding your credit card bill or deleting that toll-free number from your phone. These spaces of old were so important for women.

TKM: There were African sexual practices that centered women and in particular, their pleasure.

SK: And we're going to talk about one in particular that's named "osunality."

TKM: Also known as the African erotic. Yes, my people, welcome to the Thunderdome. The erotic takes on different shapes and forms as you travel the globe. Now let's take a bow to the "Kama Sutra," the world's first book on the pleasures of sensual living. More than just a mere depiction of contortionist sexual positions, it provided a comprehensive guide on living a good life. What is particularly interesting for us is that it focused on women and creating pleasure for women.

TKM: Mhm. Shout-out to the "Kama Sutra," but back to the African erotic.

SK: OK, my bad, bringing it back. So, Nkiru Nzegwu says that Osun, who is an orisha of the Yoruba people, typically associated with water, purity, fertility, love and, most importantly, sensuality, represents a female-centered life-transforming energy that courses through and animates life. She says that women who typify the osun force brandish their sexuality quite openly and unselfconsciously. And she goes on to say ...

TKM: There you go, you got that line this time. "The flow need not result in conception and birth but doesn't tell the principle of pleasure at the heart of copulation. This pleasure principle at the heart of the creative energy is metaphorically known as 'osun honey'." Sorry, I did not want to misquote that. So now, osun honey and osunality re-affirm the normality of sexual pleasure and the erotic. Osun, like other female deities of fertility across Africa, made sure and emphasized the importance of female sexuality without negating male sexuality. We had the Tonga, the Bemba, the Sande and other similar sexuality schools of thought that taught young women about the power of this inner force.

TKM: So within the African continent, there's a great deal of talk about the synergic nature of sex and how it comes together as a social good. For example, within Rwanda, there is the notion that the rivers are replenished by the act of a woman squirting.


SK: But modern-day ideas of sex have become some sort of battle in which we are all trying to subvert each other.

TKM: We are pounding the pussy, using sex as a weapon, playing hard to get, conquering -- a constant power struggle.

SK: And there is always a loser when it comes to this war.

TKM: So now the ability to openly brandish and explore your sexuality and your sex without it being a threat to others is at the core of engaging with healthy sexual practices.

SK: Now this is where it begins to get really, really good.

TKM: So what does it mean to reconceptualize sex away from this idea of the monster hiding in the night? What is the potential for doing greatness on the kitchen counter, a secluded beach, the backseat of a car or even simply in between the sheets? Now in learning from the past and sliding into the present, a radical theory of sex must identify, it must describe, explain and denounce sexual oppression and erotic injustice.

TKM: And sex positivity is one of the realms in which the new can be unpacked and explored.

SK: We're asking you to call upon the osun honey to engage with new ideas of sex and pleasure so that we can start to build a new identity that feels more like a fitted dress and less like a wooden coffin slowly choking the life out of us. Now there are a lot of people charting their own sexual paths. But, because as HOLAAfrica --

SK: We do sex and sexuality online --

TKM: We would be foolhardy not to mention the digital realm. There are women who are online, creating incredible conversations, chatting about the clitoris, chatting about the reverse cowgirl and also cunnilingus.

SK: I like the word "cunnilingus."

TKM: I bet you do. But that's not the point. Anyway, these women are resurrecting the work of ancestors to have some incredible conversations that have been previously buried and sealed.

SK: They are asking the questions that we are so afraid to ask, so that we don't end up in sticky situations.

TKM: That's true. And another space that we've been seeing the charting of a new sexual path is by queer women and their engagement in kink.

SK: Now, think "Fifty Shades of Grey" without the creepy rich guy who does not understand consent.


TKM: So one fascinating subset of kink is actually rope play.

SK: Shibari, also known as Kinbaku, is the Japanese art of rope play. Originally used as a means of restraining captives, it became sexualized and spreading across the globe as a kinky form of restraint with a respected and erotic aesthetic.

TKM: And it landed on our shores. Who would have thought that African queer women would be kinksters? Coming from a history of sexual violence, slavery and a lack of bodily autonomy. Is it not too soon, you ask.

SK: No, it's not, and these women have taught us that despite the dark history that covers the body of women from our beautiful continent, these women are actively and beautifully constructing what sex and pleasure means to them.

TKM: This is not to say that everyone now needs to rush out and engage in kink. But if these queer women can come out of a history of, again, sexual violence, slavery, colonization and all manner of traditional, religious and cultural pitfalls, to reconceptualize what sex and pleasure means to them, then you can do it, too.

SK: You can do it too, boo-boo. Yes, you can.


TKM: It is in taking the ideas that we have about sex -- the bad ones, and head-butting them, holding on to the good ones and creating new ones that we can have an incredible engagement with one of the most prolific and natural human acts ever.

SK: It's about figuring out what counts as a system bug.

TKM: What to term a classic.

SK: And what new features we should add. Human beings are infamous for their superpower to upgrade. This should count for our sex, too.

TKM: Thank you.


Bron: TED.com
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