6. Zambian Sex Lessons
Sex is the foundation of many marriages, as it ensures the continuity of generations. The first sign that a marriage is going downhill is usually a lack or cessation of sexual intercourse between the couple. It’s no wonder, then, that many forms of advice exist today on how to achieve optimum performance in this very important activity. While some people feel hesitant to talk about sex with their children and leave the kids to their own devices as they grow up, others teach their children the ups and downs of sex.
In some African countries, a woman can’t get married without sex lessons. In eastern Zambia, there is a well-known custom called chinamwali, which is an initiation practice for young girls aged around 11 and 12 years. It’s aimed at teaching the young girls every detail they need to know when entering into puberty. By the end of the three-month course, a girl is expected to be qualified in handling any man sexually. The main thing taught in chinamwaliis sex, although other things like cooking skills and cleaning are taught.
Graduates of these lessons are sworn to secrecy about the details of the age-old custom, but some have spilled the beans. Girls are taught on how to move their bodies in different sexual positions. They are made to practice some moves which can only be described as acrobatic, above planks of wood with protruding nails to discourage them from feigning fatigue. They learn to apply traditional herbs to make sex more pleasurable for the husband.
They are also taught how to elongate their labia by pulling until they reach the desired length. It is believed that this process should be done while the girl is young and her body is still developing. Women who come from other Zambian regions that do not practice chinamwali have tried to “enhance” their labia after their husbands threatened to divorce them for chinamwaligraduates. However, they have painfully learned that past a certain age, it backfires terribly, resulting in swollen and sometimes damaged labia.
In the past, after the lessons, a girl had to go through a “tester,” who was preferably an old man and thus more experienced. His role was primarily to check that the girl understood all the important aspects of chinamwali, which mainly involved having sex her. If the girl was found to be lacking, she was sent back to “school.” Although the custom is still actively practiced in this region, the tester has been ditched. While chinamwali is aimed at preparing the girls for marriage, naive graduates will fall prey to men who want a taste of their sex skills, which have gained popularity across borders. Other chinamwali graduates have utilized their special skills and turned to prostitution, even advertising themselves as graduates.