By Busuyi Mekusi
Peer interaction among human beings is not uncommon, as humans, being social beings, facilitate different forms of exchanges to attain integrative coexistence. Such attitudinal dispositions are, however, fluid and changeable because the actors could alter certain dynamics about the basic norms that guaranteed such engagements. It is for this reason that an old time strong relationship could become frosty or terminated by either of the many sides to it. Little wonder that Yoruba people believe that it is the same teeth with which a mother-dog plays with the puppies that she bites them, for warning or hurt. This means that humans have the innate powers to slay or soothe, at the same time. The fickleness of one’s reliability or reliance in relationships must have underlined the associations and dissociations practised by Nigeria politicians, as Wike continues to taunt political detractors, riding on the exquisite glamour of the luxurious Government House.
The biological growth and socio-cultural evolutions of humans could be interrupted or tamed by religious influences, which are deliberate leash applied to get someone to act in certain ways. It is very clear, though, that such subjection of the human body to incinerating elements may not absolutely produce the desired result. The multiple personality or identity somebody that is surrendered to religious manipulations has created more avoidable complications among pretentious players. The light skin-layer covering the wicked content of atrocious human beings is similar to the smokescreen with which the truth is submerged. The foregoing explains the reason behind the Judas-kind of betrayal that has by extension precipitated the negative order of stabbing at the back. Today, people do not just stab with daggers, reminiscent of the defensive ones herders are adorned with, but with the mouth/tongue, as Akure people are reputed for in their panegyric.
The group engagements of humans, particularly females, are enriched with both peer talks and gossips. Every member of a gossiping group is susceptible to being targeted by others for gossips. Such a member so tongued while away would be excitedly hailed and appreciated in an apparent desperation to neutralise the poisoned environment, and to get her back into the scandalous betrayal in relationship. Topics of peer talks and gossips could range from economy to politics, from marital challenges to cheating on spouses, from unpaid salaries to sexuality, etc.
Noteworthy is the fact that membership of a gossiping group could be made up of both sexes. For this, the sensitivity of the topics of discussion would not hamper members of the group from partaking in both the ridiculous and obscene. In some cases, trivialising profanity makes casual sexual transgressions easy among cheating married people. The office-place remains a field for sexual atrocities, as alibi becomes easy and sustainable.
Eve dropping into peer talks or group gossips, both deliberately and accidentally, could be revealing and refreshing. The blindness of the group members to the presence of the unrecognised participants would allow them talk freely, with such talks being deeply and downright sincere and unhindered. In some other cases, however, audacious members of a peer talking or gossiping group could deliberately ignore an outsider, and run their conversations crudely and defiantly. Such people are believed to have been exposed to raw socialisation, with tenacious audacity to deconstruct moral restrictions, taboos, fluid norms and contentious tropes. Rather than for this set of people to use euphemism in discussing sexual matters, including parts of the body considered sexual agencies, they are conceptually bold, verbally flippant and repetitively touching.
My recent unaccredited participation in a peer talk recently exhumed the buried human characteristics that should be interrogated constantly as part of the quests to make human existence worthwhile and defendable. Stepping out of the library, armed with borrowed books to attend to an assignment, I moved pass students who were either walking alone, or in groups. On the paved road leading to the bus stop in this emerging citadel of learning, three female students that walked side-by-side in a roll were talking gleefully until one of them sighted a male student afar of, and jeered at him, seeking to know in Yoruba language where he was heading to. The excited boy simply pointed his finger to a direction, indicating the destination that could possibly be a faculty building. As soon as this short verbal and non verbal transactions ended, the apparent garrulous girl resumed her conversations with her colleagues in Yoruba, gossiping about the boy she had the interactions with, that the foolish boy told her he would ‘like to f*ck her inside air conditioner’.
Wondering why he felt sexual intercourse in an air conditioned room would move her easily, she quipped that he felt he was a ‘bush girl’ like others. My fast paces denied me the knowledge of the lady’s friend’s response, as I reflected within myself on why sex is putative in discussions among both the old and the young. My mind flashed back to the work-place gossips and peer talks that I was privileged to remotely benefit from when growing up as well as the concerns about the flippancy of colleagues a woman complained to me about, both male and female workers at her work place, that would literally mention names of genitals, devoid of euphemism, and proudly narrate their sex exploits, ranging from the many positioning and styles that could be adopted, to when and where sex could take place; from how natural herbal sex enhancer could drive their partners to voracious rampaging orgies to how satisfactory sexual escapades could promote sound sleep, either at night or early morning.
Others believe that sex is no food, and that the turgidity of the male genital is a function of the state of his mind, as against the stimulation from outside. It is for this that the saying got popular that hunger and other thoughts would not dwell in somebody at the same time. If an empty stomach would not allow for frivolities, including desire for sex, it is simply understandable why people that abuse sex or are alleged or guilty of sexual violations would consume manipulative alcoholic and drug substances to increase their libido and fire their erection. Children, adolescent and adults male and female victims have been preyed upon by such sex predators. The issue of rape are usually scarcely reported because of unfounded possible social prejudices against the victims and their families, while the offenders go free, and widening the dangerous basket of victimhood.
Scholars have opined that interest in sexuality increases with poverty, with sexuality constituting a major aspect of a teenage life. Sexuality is believed may be expressed in ways that include flirting, caressing, kissing, masturbation, actual sexual penetration, involving a partner (oral or vaginal, and repugnantly anal), etc. With researchers and organisations taking ownership of different data that are mere products of random evaluation and extrapolation, it has been approximately estimated that 40% of youth between 13 and 21 years are sexually active, while a specific report claimed that 80.8% of students are sexually active. Without being burdened by the accuracy of these reports, experiential realities that have been gleaned, annotated and prosecuted, as the case may be, indicate that sex is freely circulated among students in secondary and tertiary institutions, fired by the liberal socialisation of postmodernism. For the umpteenth time, it is worth noting that sex is visibly performed by singers, actors and actresses, and demonstrated by sex-enhancing herbal sellers.
As the old moralistic African euphemistic approach to sexuality wanes to the relativism of modernity, we should remind ourselves that sexuality has always been a part of us, with the frugality of its discussions dependent on the personality involved. The music industry has always played a major role in discourses on sexuality and the centralisation of female as the receiving agency. While Ebenezer Obey and his inter-reformer band was mild with sexuality before he became ‘born again’, Sunny Ade has always been euphemistic. Even though Adewale Ayuba was reasonable with his brand of Juju, Abbas Obesere was largely almost pornographic in his Asakasa kind of Fuji music. Talking about African literary artists too, the older generation artists, like Achebe, were implicitly descriptive about sexuality in their texts, while postmodern cosmopolitan writers, like Adichie, are explicit, detailed and imaginarily sexual. It is a case of different strokes!
With liberalised sexuality dominating contemporary civilisation, particularly the centrality in the activities of youth, one may like to examine the implications this would have on them and the society, on both short-time and long-time bases. These range from sexually transmitted diseases to unwanted pregnancy, as a result of unprotected sex that is also part of the casual approach to sexuality; emotional and psychological defeatist feelings, complications with orgasm and sexual arousal, increased risk of having multiple lifestyle sexual partners, etc.
The vulgarity around sexuality among youths may be a way to celebrate their liberal postmodern civilisation, but we must remind ourselves that the ripe plantain is nonetheless on its way to rottenness.