Whenwomen talk about sex one can’t help but stop and listen. The rise of women speaking about sex is something many, including the internet, cannot ignore and African women are not lagging far behind. From platforms hosting stories about bad sex, and ‘entering through the back door’ to podcasts discussing faking orgasms; women on the continent are digitally delving into what makes them ‘wet’, what turns them off and what makes them think twice.
The notion that African women are sexually prudent and conservative are increasingly being challenged in various spaces to counteract the harmful ideas about sex and sexuality plaguing our social spaces. One online platform is leading the conversation – The Spread Podcast – is sex and sexuality in your speakers.
It is a podcast about sex and according to Kaz, one of the founders and presenter, “absolutely nothing” is off limits as a topic. The platform kicked off in 2015 after herself and co presenter Nini noted that there was a gap in the industry for a sexuality based talked show on the continent and in Kenya specifically. According to Kaz:
“conversations about sex and sexuality are lacking in homes and schools and around young people. The rate of HIV and young pregnancies (unwanted) are also on the rise so Nini and I believe there are ways in which we could eventually curb that by educating people and creating a bigger change.”
Nini and Kaz love to speak about sex and find themselves in constant conversation about it, making them the perfect women for this job. They are brave enough to actually stand up and speak about topics that would otherwise have women vilified for even broaching the topic. They take this risk and choose to get hot and heavy on the internet.
When asked how they got to this point in their sexual journeys where they could speak so candidly, Kaz stated that “I’ve always been highly sexual. I remember having a thought about becoming a sex worker when I was around 7”, imagining that the work of a prostitute was dirty dancing in clubs every night. She goes on to say that the older she got the more society made her feel that her stance on sex work was wrong and believed that she was sick because of how highly sexual she was. She credits her mother for guiding her safely through this time of confusion.
“My mother saw it and tried to tame it but ended up just guiding me in the right direction. I’m so grateful to her because I have done things in a safe way for the most part”. This good basis, coupled with the podcast, personal life growth and meeting other sex positive women has meant that Kaz has managed to come into the ownership of her sexuality and sexual desires.Meeting Nini, Kaz managed to find someone who she could create a safe space to speak about sex with using the foundation she has that made her comfortable in speaking about the sparkle between her legs.
But it has not been all sunshine and sexy roses as Kaz and Nini recently found themselves at the centre of a whirlwind controversy after the Kenyan Film and Publication Board came down on them and their podcast after they were labelled “a lesbian TV show” and were threatened with an investigation for violating Kenya’s anti-gay laws. The online backlash, due to the high levels of homophobia within the country, meant that Kaz and Nini faced a host of online abuse, mainly from people who had not actually listened to the podcast. However, the two managed to ride out the wave of controversy and came out on the other side after with new followers, international recognition and immense support from their fans.
The podcast comes from a very sex positive space, understanding that the need to have the space to speak about sex is not only just about being naughty, but dealing with deep seated societal, bodily and even political issues is important. Speaking about sex can be linked to tackling everything from children understanding the dangers associated with sex, sexual abuse, HIV and STIs and just being generally informed.
Unfortunately, we as women are being held back from these conversations by good old fashioned ‘Christian guilt’ according to Kaz, as the church has “taught us that our bodies and our sexuality is dirty, so obviously conversations around that are dirty and un godly too.” Kaz urges us to remember that sex education and sex and erotic knowledge does not only exist abroad in the west. There are those within cultural, urban anddigital spaces who are speaking on how to negotiatesex and your sexuality in a way that is powerful and empowering.
But in order to tackle some of the pertinent issues linked to sex and sexuality, including rape culture and STIs on the one hand and multiple orgasms on the other, we need to be able to openly and frankly have conversations about sex in all its ways shapes and forms. This is why SpreadPodcast and other platforms like it, are very important.