When I clicked play on this video, I was astounded to find it so literal. I have watched it 4 times since discovering it yesterday and I think it is brilliant in its simplicity and so refreshing in its candid approach to a strangely strange question. How do Africans kiss? The first answer ''I don't see Africans kiss'', at first seems silly but there's some truth to it, that Africans kissing isn't something that continues to be pervaded in popular culture. I don't know how true it is what the man with the long dreadlocks says when he says ''African's don't kiss''. He killed me when he says ''I only learned how to kiss when I came here to America. Kissing with tongue is like having meat in your mouth. It makes you want to throw up at first but now it's nice''. The fact that this video was made though means there's a definite element of mystery and simply a lack of education about African sexuality.
When I was a teenager, I used to think about the correlation between Missionaries and the missionary position. Did Missionaries ''teach'' us to have sex like that? How have Africans been having sex through out history? Did blow jobs and culliningus come with the white man and the white woman? Have we been misled into thinking that this was the case? Are we that ignorant? Were we indeed really practical when it came to sex? These are questions I have always wanted to know.
My father's PhD Thesis briefly deals with this matter. It's a broadly cast but detailed undertaking to explain Xhosa culture and cultural practices and it looks at the cultural practices and their significance in all 13 groups that make up The Xhosa Nation. Traditionally, Xhosa teenagers who had not yet come of age, who had not yet gone through Ulwaluko (male circumcision) and Intonjane (a ceremony celebrating the transition from girlhood to womanhood which thank God did not involve female circumcision) but had reached puberty, were encouraged to engage in sexual play. There would be times when a parent would know that her daughter has gone to that particular part of the river to ''play'' with a boy from the same village. I don't know if it was entirely celebrated but human sexuality was acknowledged and accommodated within the society. I don't know if they didn't engage in full on sex but teenage pregnancy wasn't a problem in pre 20th Century Eastern Cape. Girls would hardly have their periods until around the age of 18. This was because their diet didn't have the protein and hormones our modern diet has so their bodies took longer to ''develop'' meaning they had an extended period to fool around without worrying. I remember an old relative of mine discouraging us from eating eggs as teenagers because girls were never allowed to eat eggs for this reason. It was only when Victorian English culture and it's draconian attitude towards sex and sexuality, did the attitudes about sex and sexuality in this part of Africa change. I wonder how many similar stories can be found in other parts of the continent.
I have never sought this knowledge out though, I'm pretty sure there is a thesis somewhere that delves into African sexuality. I remember watching Generations in varsity with friends and a kiss between Sibusiso and Karabo or whoever, always being followed by an ''eewww'' because Sibusiso couldn't kiss in the way we were used to. I remember words like ''Their lips are too big'' being bandied about and it being normal to associate abnormality and even antagonism to Africans kissing. Isn't it fascinating how self loathing can seep so deeply and sit so comfortably in our psyche? I refuse to believe that we didn't have our own ways of engaging in sex, that we didn't have kissing, even if it wasn't the Hollywood style passion kiss. If anybody can save us from our ignorance by sharing some information and shedding some light into the matter, please come forward. I'll also take book recommendations.
Yesterday I borrowed ''All About Love'' from my friend Stephanie, a book that deals with Love in general but because it's written by bell hooks, focuses its gaze on love in black communities and the lack of a particular, necessary kind of love in black families in America. It also talks of the lovelessness in our society in general, how we all cower behind the fear of loving or seeking love because we've been exposed to how much one can hurt as a result of being in love. How a lot of us engage in risk free casual sex affairs that are devoid of an emotional connection because it's easier to not be vulnerable to somebody else. I'm digressing but it's a lovely thick topic to discuss on another day, how normal it has become for people to say ''I don't want a relationship, I just want to have fun'' meaning they just want sex and not the responsibilities that come with sex. How on earth is that fun if you're the one that's being somebody's c*m bucket? I've fallen into the trap and I know plenty of people who have engaged in casual sex relationships. Yes it's fun in the beginning but somebody always gets hurt somewhere along the line, because to some degree, sex without love is violence. Many of my friends disagree with me on this, as I'm sure many people do, but over the years, my stand point on the subject of casual sex hasn't changed. Somebody is always being short changed because they are too afraid to come clean with their emotions. And whether you like it or not, you do form an emotional connection with someone you are casually boning for a certain period. Remember Hannah and Adam in Season 1 of Girls? How many of us can truly continually divorce emotion from a sexual experience? Men have learned to do that but I refuse to believe that they have less emotions that women. They hide them somewhere good but they are there. Again, I digress. I need an editor man. Once I start writing about a subject I am passionate about, I can't stop. Please lend me your thoughts on any of these subjects.