Sex

I couldn’t even really say the word sex out loud until I was 14. Even then it was whispered, or mimed or camouflaged as “banging” or “IT”.

Growing up in a semi-conservative African family, sex was one of those things that no one really wanted to acknowledge or talk about. I remember perfectly the awkward moment when my mom walked into the room just as Noah and Allie decided to consummate their love (on the floor) in The Notebook; I froze not knowing whether I should change the channel or not.

It is funny how the absence of dialogue is also what makes it more necessary.

Sex, much like everything else in life is a journey that can only be defined by the individual. We have to be sensitive to people’s bodies, to the most intimate parts of their physicality. We have to grow towards a society where virginity does not exist and the naked female body is not a commodity; where consent is nonnegotiable and mutual understanding the foundation. Where there is respect of female and male bodies and we are not condemned by our communities because of our sexuality. Where sex is not the only reason for conversation, but part of the conversation.

I think one of the things that get to me the most is the over ‘sexualization’ of nakedness. Being naked DOES NOT equal sex. Unfortunately, people see a nipple and freak out; a nipple is a nipple is a nipple, get over it. Please.

Perhaps we are all just the product of an oversexed and over stimulated generation? I don’t have the answers, but I do have some questions.

  1. Cosmo Mag, as a teenager reading your magazine I always wondered why most of your content was centered around pleasing a man and satisfying his needs. Why wasn’t there more content about our needs and our pleasure?
  2. Why is someone’s sexual orientation the business of the government or the law? Like really? It’s not as if the economy will fall just because two men want to be together.
  3. How do 98% of the half-naked women on Instagram have that waist to hip ratio. It’s stressful -__-

All jokes aside, growing up African, and Christian and a woman, my relationship with sex has always been a little bit blurry and probably why I struggled so much to now think the way I do. It took me a long time to not associate sex with feelings of guilt or as something “sinful”, it took me a long time to open up my mind about the different views and practices around sex, and it took me a long time to accept myself as a sexual being, a definition which changes from person to person.

In my opinion. Sex and sexuality is one of those things that is at the essence someone’s identity. We all have our own different encounters and experiences with sex and the most important practice is to be sensitive to each other and to stop marketing set ideals around sex and sexuality, especially in ways that it appears vulgar. It is a way of expression that should not be categorized, exploited or vilified.

Sex. Let’s talk about it in our households, in our communities and even in our places of prayer.

x

 

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2017

 

I have managed to get my thoughts together, after surviving the agonizing anxiety of the first 2 days of the year. “What are your plans this year? Any resolutions? What do you think needs to change?” Even if (by some supernatural force of nature) I had all these answers I surely wouldn’t be comfortable sharing such personal information disguised as “small talk” so I awkwardly smile at my respectable elder and say “we’ll see”. Although clearly dissatisfied with my answer, they move on to asking my brother the exact same questions.

 

  1. Here we go again. To be honest I am none the wiser as to how one gets their shit together than I was a year ago. Actually I think the importance only lies in seeming to have your shit together. One thing I can say is that I know what I want the most. And what I want the most is to bring to light the things I love, to create, to imagine, to make, to write, to pour my truth into whatever the hell I will be doing and hope to God that’s enough.

 

Again. No expectations. Just willingness to make it through another year without losing my sanity completely. Here’s to (the appearance and/or actuality of) shit being together.

enough.

When will you understandThat you will never be beautiful enough 

You will never be intelligent enough

You will never be adventurous enough

You will never 

Be

Enough 

for the man who does not love you 

Stop trying to feed someone who starves you

You are grinding away your heart, trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

Recklessly making holes in a whole thing 

You are already enough, stop taking away parts of yourself to fill in what’s missing in him 

Take him away and be enough for you again 

fading.


At 16. Heartbreak sounded like a thousand buildings crashing down, a tornado, a countless number of sleepless nights and twisted sheets. An unfamiliar pain and tears coming from places you didn’t know could cry 

At 20. Heartbreak sounded like a car crash, ambulance sirens, a crime scene filled with broken promises, torn love letters and eyes so welled up they just might need a damn to contain them 

At 26. Heartbreak sounds like a forest fire, the crackling of wood turning to ash, a violent wind, breaking of your favorite piece of fine China. A quiet river running down your cheeks when you are caught off guard. 

The noise continuously fades. And I can’t help but think that maybe someday it will all be too familiar. Like an empty home with forgotten memories. The sound of the night when you can’t see the stars. Cold and bare when you realize you have no more tears to cry for love.

adjustment.


My heart is a construction site. 

It echoes like a drill in my chest 

Slowly coming apart 

I sigh deeply 

Pushing back the tears that have been welling in my eyes for weeks

I pace my room 

Gathering courage to leave it. 

Everything in here

And everything out there 

Makes me see you

I’m frantically searching for a way 

To untangle you from me 

I dissolve into numbness 

And then implode into emotion

And somehow I can only remember your smile 

Nothing makes sense and the world is upside down 

I move things, in my mind… Like furniture

Rearranging it, and throwing things out in hopes of unloving you 

Something that my blood knows it could never do 

It feels like I’m walking barefoot 

On a cold and broken ground 

And whether I’m walking towards the light or the darkness 

My bones weep silently, the further away they move from you 

home.


Home is not where the heart is

The heart is always fleeting 

So home is always fleeting 

Home is where you are now 

Where you find solace for now 

Where you can be the best version of you now

Home is what makes you feel most yourself

Exposed yet safe 

Displaced yet calm  

Breathe love bug

You are displaced but not lost 

You have love within you and around you 

You are not alone 

And everytime your soul is full and your heart is bursting with laughter and sunshine …

Remember that feeling. That is home.  

refuge.


I’ve been searching for refuge I might as well have been scratching through dustbins overflowing with waste

I looked for it in in the walls of churches, in the words of friends, in the beds of lovers, in the pages of books, in the sun, in the moon, in the burnt earth, in my birth home. 

And there were times I convinced myself that I had found it 

There were times there was more calm than storm

There were times when my heart lay still. 

But that wasn’t refuge

It was comfort

And now 

My spirit is presented

With the single reality

That the only refuge 

That will ever hold true through time

Is within myself.