The Story of Sex in the Nigerian Community

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

In Nigeria there is a contradiction in attitude towards sex and sexuality. For instance, a great many Nigerians are shy when it comes to talking about sex. They are not at all brazen and open and accepting of public discussions of sex. Yet, the Nigerian music, dance and other art forms exude eroticism and sexuality.

Within the southern community it is not uncommon for a man to stare at a woman’s bosoms or buttocks; it is not uncommon to comment about the beauty of a woman’s physique and it is also not uncommon to express sexual intentions without the woman taking offense. This attitude is not about a lapse in morality or about moral decadence; or about a perversion of any sort. No. The south is simply more open, more accepting and more gregarious. Globalization and western education is more pronounced here.

But a mile or two up north, the community is a bit conservative and reserve in all matters sex. They enjoy and engage in sexual activities as much as the south but are given to this air of moral superiority and have the tendency to clothe most, if not everything, in religion. Religion and cultural factors are more pronounced here.

But I make no judgment or offer any verdict regarding the sexual attitude or practice of the North and or of the South. Only an observation!

In the North or in the South, the men lead the way especially in politics and governance. And sex. Until recently, sex was primarily for procreation and for the benefit and enjoyment of men. And very few men paid attention to the feelings and satisfaction of women. The women were expected to just lie there and take it and be grateful. And they did. And they were — until recently when the wind of change blew across the country one city and one village at a time.

Formal and informal sex education, feminist movements, Playboy and Penthouse magazines and other pornographic newsletters and movies and mainstream Hollywood productions helped pave the way. Additionally, international travels and exposure to western concepts and western practices also helped in this regard. These and other ideas and ideals gradually seeped into the marrow and consciousness of the Nigerian women.

As women made progress, men began to lose balance and position.

Today’s Nigeria is vastly and radically different from the Nigeria of yester-years. Women, especially those between the ages of 18-40 are almost like their western counterparts: independent, assertive, aggressive and competitive, and can, in most cases, go toe-to-toe with a man. And whether this is good or bad for the well being of the society is beyond the scope of this missive. But the aforesaid is happening. Whether in Sokoto, Warri, Maiduguri, Ilorin, Bauchi or Oshogbo, it is happening.

Women in Nigeria are beginning to find their place and their voice in a society that was for so long dismissive of their feelings and concerns and their sexual needs. In a society where men thought it was their birthright, a sort of entitlement to have 2 or 4 or as many sexual partners as possible now find that women are now demanding, and are indeed excising their rights to as many conquests as possible. This realization is shocking to the men and it is even more so to the community of Nigerians living in the United States of America.

It is not uncommon for Nigerian men to prospect for wives back in Nigeria. Why? Well, two of the “hidden reasons” are that (1) “the girls for America don spoil;” and (2) “I no see better woman for here.” In simple non-coded language, it simply means that the Nigerian women they have tangoed with are either “morally bankrupt or sexually liberated or too independent for their manhood.”

This may be true for some; but the vast majorities are lying. These are men who have slept with, used and abused and then abandoned the girls for the supposed greenhorns back in Nigeria. Sometimes these greenhorns will in turn abuse, use and dump their husbands after a few years or as soon as they have their Greencards or citizenship in hand! Oh Karma…are there sexual greenhorns in Nigeria or anywhere else!

It can be unsettling and disrespectful and ego busting to the Nigerian male to know that his wife or girlfriend sometimes need the services of a vibrator or a dildo. But they are not likely to complain if their non-African partners use such complementary devices.

From Seattle to Miami and from DC to Houston and everywhere in between, I have yet to meet a Nigerian male who will admit, privately or publicly, to sucking his wife’s toes or engage in other bliss-inducing sexual practices. Yet, they will readily and freely do it to their non-African partners. And Nigerian women who engage in or desire such practices are labeled “spoilt” and will have their reputation dragged through a raging cesspool of excrements.

Sex between two loving and consenting adults is breathtaking. It has the ability to alter ones minds and perception (for the good). But if you listen to the Nigerian women talk, you will hear them tell you how unsure, how incompetent and how unsatisfying most of the Nigerian men they have been with are. They will tell you that most will not even hug or spoon after lovemaking; that most do not know how to kiss (mouth to mouth or mouth on other places); and that most have no concept of foreplay.

They will tell you that most men still think of sex as procreation tool. And nothing more. If all the aforementioned allegations are true how then do Nigerian men manage with non-Nigerian women who want this and that and that and this…I wonder!

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Magnus November 18, 2006 - 4:39 pm

Believe me, there are some liberated Nigerian men also.

Good writing. It is a new day though.

James February 5, 2006 - 10:25 pm

I appreciate your article! As an American that is planning on marrying a Nigerian women I found this article right on the money! It helps me understand my future wife attitudes toward sex and also her need to want to be liberated! Here in the states we are more open about it especially when deciding to commit yourself. I appreciate you bringing out the other that was hard for me to embrace! Thank You Brother!

Anonymous September 16, 2005 - 12:35 am

I rated this article this way because the writer really knew what he was talking about and he uncover the selfishness attitude of most Nigerian men Anyway ride on Mr. Sabela and keep telling our men what they have been doing wrong to our women may be they will listen. But as for me I will do anything for my wife to get her satisfied so far i did not see her with another man.

Udo September 14, 2005 - 1:06 pm

I think the main objective of this article is to campaign for "cheap popularity" among women and the writer has got it. Every society has its values and norms to follow that makes it unique in its own way and there is always advantages and disadvantages of one culture over another. One of the worst problems that we have in Nigeria today is "Americanization of Nigeria" Gangersterism moral laxity and all other societal ills are now the order of the day in Nigeria. (They saw it on American TV and movies now you are talking about Penthouse and Playboy magazines.) Young generations tend to imitate the American type of English and more often than not do you fine them in winter suits while the temperature is 90 degrees simply because they "wanna be" like the Americans. The truth to the matter is that sexual revolution has not been a thing of any Nigerian culture or should it be because it is in America Sex must be controlled and the only way of doing that is to control our young girls if not we all know the repercussions. America knows how to solve whatever problem they have: sex educations provision of help to teenage mothers and the rest of the things but in Nigeria the effect of the sexual revolution that you are preaching will be borne by the girls and their families. Be careful about the kind of message you are sending. Despite our downfall in all other aspects of life not until now every single Nigerian culture was boastfull of a very high moral standard and we must fight to return to our past glory.Work with me or tell me I am wrong.Peace.

Anonymous August 26, 2005 - 11:16 am

it homes in on the thoughts of women exactly. It was a joy to readthe grammar and words used were pleasing to the mind….enjoyed it thoroughly

Anonymous August 24, 2005 - 1:25 pm

He is a practical writterhe's my mentor.i love the he did his analysis.Keep it up.

Anonymous August 23, 2005 - 2:04 pm

In my view the article is down-to-earth. It addresses the issue of sex in a most revealing manner without being pretentious. Plus the language is very simple and conversational.Keep it up my friend Adidde.

Anonymous August 22, 2005 - 5:11 pm

I have been with an Ibo man….and at first he was not romantic at all…but soon added to his repertoire…like sucking toes…etc. He always spooned with me…and kissed me wellwashed me in the showerand called me his princess. But he always thought it ok to have several other women at the same time….behind my back….

Anonymous August 18, 2005 - 12:21 pm

very good article! well said!

Anonymous August 17, 2005 - 1:08 pm

Objective piece.

Anonymous August 16, 2005 - 8:44 pm

This is an excellent piece because the issues raised are issues that stare us daily but we do not address them. It is possible to date or marry a foreign lady in this country and do not do all those things.

These are issues that confront most Africans in the west.


Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 8:22 pm

I don't know why Nigerian women in America keep behaving as if it is a do or die matter to marry a Nigerian man. What is the big deal Open your eyes and see the beauty of the male specie in America. Beautiful creatures of all hues shades and colors. And you will surprised how much they love Nigerian women. We were raised from childhood to treat a man well and make him feel special and many males in America appreciate that. No body does it like a Nigerian woman. No body knows how to make her man feel that he is the King of her castle. Is it the encouragement the right words the food the way you can change from really local to really sophisticated in a split second. They like it. Also remember that you are exotic and loved and wanted because you are different. If only you will open your eyes and see those who appreciate you. To my sistas if you find a good Niger man go with him. If not there are others that appreciate you. Quit whinning and get yours. The sky is big enough for all of us to fly. I am have me my nice beautiful German-American husband and I have eyes only for him my love my supporter my encourager my sweet passionate lover the father of my child. Yes my family did not like it initially. But when they saw how well he treated me they relented. Gradually but surely. Anyway I am off to make him some amala and ewedu to blow his mind now. I don't hate Nigerian men I just don't sweat the small stuff.

Rosie August 15, 2005 - 5:04 pm

Preach brother Sabella preach!

Nigerian men overate their manhood. Their focus should be on finding a partner who will fight the good fight with them in the trenches of life: the woman who will love your gray hair when you are 70 years old the woman who will work two jobs so you can get that graduate degree the woman who will agree to quit her job for five years to raise all three of your children the woman who will give up her dreams of getting her own advanced degree because she believes your dreams are more important to her. That woman. And she lives here in America and in Nigeria. So I say to these menfind her and quit your whining and complaining.

Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 4:54 pm

Preach brother Sabella preach!!!

Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 3:54 pm

I am in support of this article 100. I believe in the liberation of Nigerian women's sexuality IF NOT ALL WOMEN'S SEXUALITY. It is 2005 for God's sake Nigerian men need to accept that we as women are just as sexual if not more sexual. Our sexual needs should be satisified by those who are willing to please us as much as we please them. Thank you again for this progressive article.

Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 3:14 pm

Well written article and very objective esp coming from a man.

Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 11:52 am

Well written commentary. Very relevant. I had the same dicusison with a group of unmarried professional women in thier late 20's recently at a Nigerian wedding reception. They asked "Why are Nigerian women here in the States good enough for Nigerian men to play "house" with (cook and clean have sex with take to picnics and parties) but when Nigerian men are finally ready to marry they look back home to the village" Even the soft spoken well-mannered Nigerian-American virgins are sterotyped and overlooked merely b/c of thier residence in the US and ability to pay thier own bills. Why are women in Nigeria portrayed as pure untouched or even virgins Nigeria is not under a rock-o! Women are women…PERIOD! Nigerian can't have your cake AND eat it too!

Anonymous August 15, 2005 - 3:31 am

This author speaks candidly about a delicate topic most Nigerian men would not even imagine touching. As a man in a serious relationship I understand the importance of satisfying one's mate to keeping the spark in a relationship. This holds true whether one is Nigerian American or both.

mochi August 14, 2005 - 10:31 pm

good piece! it's so beautiful to know that a fellow nigerian can be objective and truthful about our "sanctimonious' and biased nigerian values on sex and sexuality. i look forward to mo' of such work in future.

Anonymous August 14, 2005 - 9:27 pm

The True Americans in the American society are sick and tired of public display of immorality and sickos and pedophiles and the so-called liberated female that brings about teen pregnancy and father-less children and drug babies aka ADD/ADHD and AIDS etc etc. I guess you want Nigeria to follw the hollywood example and pay later.

Anonymous August 14, 2005 - 6:45 pm

Wow imagine my suprise running across this artical on a nija site i admire you for writing about something that our people don't talk about.

Anonymous August 14, 2005 - 5:20 pm

The writer was very objective in his article despite the fact that he is a Nigerian male himself.


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