Erotica. Written porn. This surely has to be one of my favourite part of the written word. Xaviera Hollander is the erotica writer who got me hooked many years ago with her The Happy Hooker: My Own Story memoir about her life as a sex worker. That was in high school.
Since then I have seen erotic writing a lot when I am reading stuff from Western writers. Many of them. Unfortunately, I don’t tend to see enough of this kind of writing in with my African writer friends. I know, I know David Maillu and all that. But in the new writing for folks under fifty the act of sex is very “Hollywood movie” style of writing; couple meet go on a date and then we move to the morning in the next scene in their underwear. What happened in between 10pm and 7am is only to be imagined. Unfortunately dear author I don’t want to imagine it, I want to be given the details. Is that too much to ask surely?
So when the folks from Jalada decided that they were planning on doing an anthology with erotica at its centre I stood up and noticed. Written porn from African writers? Yes please.
The offering (its not a book or an anthology only when you go there) goes by the name Sext Me poems and stories and it was published quite a big team with Orem Ochiel taking on the Managing Editor role. Its 21 stories and poems from those who were brave enough to write in such an anthology concept that includes interludes that follow the erotica theme which was conceived by Keguro Macharia (Prof to you).
Many of the stories here are more literature that pure erotica (I don’t know why I thought that would be the offering pervie me). They are stories of Africans of every shade of stripe as they get down and dirty and have sex physically or virtually (
Sext me" by Aleya comes to mind).
So how does one enjoy really enjoy good erotica. This involves going into a dark room alone and using a torch to light the book that you are reading; in the modern age a tablet or Smartphone is an acceptable alternative. Depending on the intensity of the erotica one needs to have either a spouse nearby or at least some tissue on the night stand. This anthology has a lot of stories that lend themselves to this kind of reading. “Sex Ed for village boys” by Alexander Ikawah is the story of a village boy and his initiation into the world of sex via his best friend. “The first time” by Aisha Ali is also very good for inducing horniness in the right mind as a young girl experiences the feeling of what sex is for the first time. “Bound” by Anne Moraa also titillates as a dude shags women and dumps them and then finds his match; I am reminded of the Eddie Murphy character in Boomerang here.
There are stories that veer more toward literature as opposed to the only people shagging theme with Nathan Obungu’s story “Bobbitt wars” talking about to paint (for a guy) of losing your penis from the view of the his secretary who slashed it away from his. “Miss fucking you” by Orem Ochiel is a story about a dude that used to get in on with some babe all over town and now she has dumped him which he doesn’t like a lot. “The oink in doinker” by Tuelo Gabonewe is a story about a woman who finds a penis outside her home and brings it in and nurtures it until it becomes a fully grown man who…
There are some stories that get to this reviewer.
The most stunning story with the disturbing literature theme has to be “Kudinyana” by Linda Musita in which she talks about an orgy between kids of primary school going age. It is so disturbing for me erotica is to be enjoyed but not to show why the government is justified in their reasoning that we need to give kids condoms in schools.
With this anthology out there I hope that we see more sex in our books. Seriously.
P.S. The interludes. Very good.