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I'm an 18 year old black girl and I wasn't born in Africa but my parents were. So, I went to Africa last month to visit where my parents were born. The only language I know is English so I didn't understand what most people were saying there but luckily, some people spoke English. Anyways, I saw something really weird on my trip to Africa... I saw some Africans have group sex! And in public! I didn't tell my parents because I would've probably gotten in trouble for spying on people having sex. But I told all my friends. I was alone and spying on an African village to see if the women are really topless. But I saw everyone naked... And having sex! I was watching from behind a tree and I counted 16 men and 16 women on the ground completely naked and each man was having vaginal sex with a woman. I was so shocked! I had no idea that Africans had group sex... And in public! Is what I saw rare or is this a part of African culture? Because if it is... Weird!

Answer
Lilly,

Thank you for the very interesting question.  I'm not an expert on African sexual behavior, but perhaps I can help frame your perception of what you witnessed into an attitude more comfortable for you.  First, when we talk about Africa, we are talking about a great many cultures because the continent is 5 times the size of the USA and with thousands of language groups and hundreds of tribal ethnic groups.  So, we can't generalize about the sexual behavior you saw until more is learned about specifically which tribal group you experienced.  I find your description a little sketchy and would recommend a private message to me providing more details of this event so as to maintain the confidentiality of the tribal group.  Tourists from the USA and Europe, I'm afraid, are more likely to engage in "weird" behavior than any tribal group, as you may understand.

On a positive note, one of the things I find most remarkable about African cultural habits in general is a tendency to do things counterintuitive to European and American cultural sensibilties, so this case provides a very interesting cause for thought.  For example, in my observations, I did find that in villages, African women didn't share the habits of modesty regarding the covering of their breasts.  West African women are typically large and muscular women used to working hard and wearing lots of clothes in a hot climate doesn't make a lot of sense.  In the night clubs I visited, African women danced with me very intimately, and frankly I kind of liked that experience.   A couple of situations made me feel a bit awkward though.  In one Animist village that I walked into, I was introduced to a girl about your age who was topless, smiling, and pounding meal as women in West African commonly do.  She was really quite beautiful and proud of her slim figure and well formed breasts, and so my camera hands shuttered as I peered through my view finder.  My Muslim guide was even more nervous than I and he wanted to leave the village very quickly.  On another occasion, I walked into a village where several older sisters with children were topless.  One very pretty one wanted her sister to take my camera and shoot an image of myself and her together.  I was grateful for this experience as I realized that these women had a degree of happy confidence about their sexuality that I would never find within the industrial society of California.  But, I also know that many women in these villages are being persuaded by Muslim and Christian missionaries to acquire the habits of modesty found in Europe and the USA.  I frankly, find this unfortunate, as the African may have much to teach Americans.  Young children and girls even as old as 10 may run naked within the confines of the village, but I observed that that young girls may be inclined to cover up in a situation where they are found alone.  Once, while I was walking along a river in Burkina Faso, my guide and I came across a young girl, perhaps 12, who was washing family clothes while she was completely naked.  Surprised, she was at first afraid of us, probably afraid of what sexual violence an older man might do to her alone.  I gestured for her to put on a dress that was drying on a rock in the sun before I took photos of her smiling face.  I don't like to take photos of people against their will or with frowns.       

The group sex situation you witness seems to me a more unusual experience, but I would hesitate to call it "weird"--unless of course, they practiced this in the USA.  I hope my ideas help.  Please reply in private and describe me more if you are able to do so.  This sort of knowledge is not well understood, and so you have found something very valuable here.  You have to admit that African cultural can be very interesting :-)

Alan

Africa

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Ernest Tufft

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I can help with adventure travel to Egypt, Mali, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. I also have resources for travel in other areas that would be of help to the adventure traveler interested in Africa

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