Do you see yourself in depictions of sex and sexuality?
This is the question that the curators of Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women and HOLAAfrica asked ourselves when we looked back on the years of sexy stories, online engagements and conversations about coitus. After years of working with women and gender non conforming persons of all backgrounds, sexualities and contexts to document their sexual experiences, one of the gaps we identified was a lack of positive, empowered and diverse images of African women, sex and sexualities. So, we decided to start a project that would create the kind of images that we want to see more of in the world.
Some of the questions we put to ourselves were:
= What does good sex look like for today’s contemporary African woman, no matter how she or they identify, whatever her sexual orientation is, whatever her body is like?
= What does amazing sex look like for women who are queering traditional notions of sexuality?
= How about women who are calling the shots in their relationship by claiming their right to pleasure?
= What does it look like when we feel comfortable in our own bodies?
Some of the answers to these questions we can now begin to unpack and present visually in this project. And so the images were born.
This fierce, fashionable woman adores good sex. She loves to role-play and surprise her lover when s/he comes home. She is in control of her own body – and also happens to be a wheelchair user.
This woman is a person of faith whose spirituality is central to her life. She believes that sex is a spiritual act and a way of connecting with her partner at an even deeper level. She makes time regularly to commune with a Higher Power.
For this sister, strap-ons can be fun. She loves how powerful she feels when she dons one – and her partner loves it too.
The reverse cow girl, a classic
As she has grown older, this woman has become more and more confident in her body and sexuality. Her lover, although well over the legal age limit, is several years younger than her two decades younger, to be exact. Their sex life is amazing, and so is their deep, intimate relationship with each other.
In all skins
The politics of colour run more than skin deep, as do the politics of pleasure. This albino woman is depicted experiencing the feel of sensuality and sexuality at her fingertips.
The article is part of a series of articles under This is Africa’s collection titled, Flame, Fever and Fantasy – A collection of African desire and pleasure.