Friday, May 18, 2007

Sexuality Article - A Snippet

All right, so this is part of the article that I needed all your input for. The editors are changing it, but this is the version I wrote. It might get published, it might not. But, without further ado, I present...

Virgins and Whores: The Matter of Sexuality in Nigeria

Nigerians don’t talk about sex. There are 140 million of us, so we know that we’re having it (and superfluously so), but nobody talks about it. Oh, we’ll hash out the gritty, raw details within the relative “privacy” of our neighborhoods, the juicy gossip flitting furtively from family compound to beer parlor and back. But as far as public discourse is concerned, we might as well all be eunuchs. It was clear to me from a very young age that Nigerians constitute a fairly randy population, but I’ve often wondered why we ostensibly prefer to blindfold ourselves to our own promiscuity. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” seems to be the policy generally accepted in society, at the expense of our collective health and even our culture. Gone are the days when sex and intimacy went hand in hand. Nowadays, in a land that has become increasingly commercial, sex is just another commodity to be haggled over and sold on the open market.

Recently, I’ve heard several of our young women refer to their sexuality as a tool with which they can “make ends meet”, as though they completely lack other legitimate resources to achieve these ends. Their perspective, however, reflects a large-scale transformation in the national psyche. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t too long ago that such women were aggressively eschewed and derided for utilizing their bodies in the pursuit of monetary gain. But now, things have changed. It was a gradual shift, barely perceptible to me until I realized, with mild shock, that we as a nation have embraced a casual sort of prostitution and simply called it by another name. As women, we are no longer [sleeping around] for money; we’re simply “making ends meet”, because that, somehow, sounds nobler than admitting the truth. What I find most shocking, however, is how the society at large has merely adjusted itself, so that it is now molded around this new mentality, rather than rejecting it with the same defiance and force with which it sets suspected thieves ablaze in the street.

I’m not arguing for the quick and fiery death of young women who don’t know what better to do with their talents. I don’t even think promiscuity is inherently bad. I just want to understand what has happened to our values over the past decade or so, and why we were so willing to let them go. We certainly work very hard to create the illusion of sexual propriety; so who exactly are we trying to deceive?

* The rest of this article might (or might not) appear in the first edition of the BHF magazine, to be launched this summer. "Grab your copy NOOOOOW!" Or later. When there are copies to grab.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who filled out my questionnaire. Your responses were very helpful in giving me a clearer idea of how we view sexuality in Nigeria, but more than anything, I learned that Nigerian men are lazy, lazy, lazy (when it comes to writing...and thinking?). More than half of my respondents were male, and a significant chunk of them (over 80%) never got past the question that asked them to state their gender. Que lastima! They'll have as much sex as possible; just won't talk about it. Boo!

But to the rest of you, you were awesome! I didn't get the number of responses that would allow me come to statistically sound conclusions about our people as a whole, but I can at least make the sort of sweeping generalizations that have granted us infamy :). I truly appreciate y'all.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Call for Surveys: Extension

Thanks to everyone who has already responded.

To anyone who would rather fill out the survey anonymously, I've painstakingly created a survey online at this site:

I previously stated that the deadline for the survey was May 5. I've extended it until May 8. The survey will be closed thereafter.

I anticipate your participation, and preemptively thank you. :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Call for Surveys

Hello people!

I'm writing an article this week about the value of virginity to Nigerian women, and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to take a survey/questionnaire that I've drawn up.

It's pretty straightforward - just a few questions about your feelings and opinions on the issue in general. There are one or two questions that are pretty personal, and you, of course, need not answer if you don't want to (though I'd really love it if you did).

If you're interested in this survey, email me at and I'll shoot you a copy. I'd very much like it back by the end of the week, i.e. by Saturday night. Your personal information will never be made public; and if you really don't trust me, you can always fill the survey under a pseudonym.

Nigerian men are welcome to participate in this as well, by the way. You'll have to tweak the questions (mentally) to make it relevant to you, cuz I'm not creating another one :-p! Just make a note of your genotype somewhere in there.

For my non-Nigerians, I apologize: this is not intended to be an exclusionary exercise - I'm just minimizing my workload.