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Paraphilia among the Sexually Active Nigerian Youth

In the ninth episode of House of the Dragon—the prequel to the commercially successful and critically acclaimed fantasy series, Game of Thrones—Lord Larys, a disabled, is seen trading invaluable information with Queen Alicent in exchange for satisfying his foot fetish. This shouldn’t be perceived as surprising considering the show’s notoriety and proclivity for bringing the ugliest of romantic and sexual orientations, including incest, to the small screen. But, shows like this has opened up a new conversation amongst sexually active Nigerian youth.

Regardless of this unusually new dimension of sexuality strangely explored, a new conversation has consequently erupted among young Nigerians. This new conversation has opened the door and given way to an entirely novel course of discourse among sexually active Nigerian youth. Taking into consideration the various controversies revolving around gender issues and allied topics of sexuality, these issues are often demonized and have become alienated from the sphere of public consciousness.

Sexually-active Nigerian youths

Sexually Active Nigerian Youth

In a country where the demographic group of youth love to be associated with the word “sapiosexual,”. It would be nice to explore the different manners of sexual obsession buried deep in the minds of the youth. Fetishism, in the context of paraphilia, is a trait in which someone is attracted or aroused by an inanimate object or a part of a person’s body. Fetishism means many different things to different individuals. This is evident in the psychological, moral, and physical makeup of one’s sexual orientation, among other things. Likewise the social construct in a demographic and things like social background or past traumatic experiences.

These things usually dictate an individual’s abnormal sexual arousal, attraction, or otherwise, fetish.

Nigerian Experiences with Fetishism

For 29-year-old Cynthia, who has had a fetish boyfriend once, fetishism may certainly cause disgust and distress in another person. In her opinion, she asserts that “[People’s] fetish is one discourse they shy away from, especially in romantic relationships.”
“I think it is not well talked about because it is perceived as inappropriate and irrational. I really think that for some people, their fetishism is natural.

I prefer that I am well informed of my partner’s fetish, or sexual fantasies, as the case may be. My ex-boyfriend used to get turned on only by watching me bite my lips. It took a while before I noticed but he always requested that I bite my lips, I didn’t know why. That may not be a clear-cut kind of fetish but he said it made a difference in him. At first, it was odd, but soon I got along.”

Commenting on her own personal fetish, “my one and only fetish is money, I am jaiyesexual abeg,” joked Cynthia. “I think one weird sexual attraction I have is for the neck. I love when a guy’s neck is broad.”

Continuing Cynthia’s Story

Cynthia also cited an experience with a distant relative with whom she had a one-time opportunity to hang out with during a yuletide in her teenage years. “I was on a night out with this distant relative during one yuletide. I was almost clocking 17 at the time. Things were all good until we reached an empty pavement on a sidewalk and he started to remove his pair of socks to pleasure himself in my presence. I found this disgusting. He said he preferred someone to be there when he does the act without even considering the familial presence. And I think many people walk around with one or 2 kinds of abnormal sexual arousal.”

Although Cynthia did not have a word for the trait her distant relative displayed, she came to realize that it was a mental condition called ‘exhibitionism.’ People having this condition are characterized by the compulsion to display their genitals in public.
In Nigeria, fetishism, together with its implications, is such that people who are usually at the receiving end do not speak out as much as they should. “I have no problem with people with fetish traits, just no bring am near me,” said Folashade, a 24-year-old Nigerian lady who has had her fair share of the experience.

In her own narration, she recounts her experience with fetishism at a get-together. “It was a house party for a departmental get-together. All of a sudden, this guy kept hitting on me for no reason. Then when I granted an audience, he said he was attracted to the material of my dress. I was wearing a tight latex material. For him, the tight material served as some sort of bondage.” Asides from the idea of bondage, the smell of the latex material may also be a reason for arousal.

Final Thoughts on Paraphilia Among the Sexually Active Nigerian Youth

“Paraphilia is a topic folks would rather not talk about, or admit, and so, it is great to see a whole new immersive conversation emerge from such a delicate conversation,” affirmed John, another young Nigerian in his early twenties. Commenting on how common fetishism is among Nigerian youth. John opined that this supposed irrational act is not as foreign as it appears to be. “I don’t think there’s anyone without any form or kind of fetish. Maybe, they’re just yet to discover it.”

He added, however, that the prevalence of this phenomenon has been laced with various veils of pretense. “Nigerians pretend a lot. Most people can’t even openly admit to watching porn.” While many young Nigerians are sexually adventurous, these fetishes are not mere fantasies. Sexual attraction to or arousal at something abnormally sexual or nonsexual, such as an object or a nonsexual part of the body is real, beyond doubt.

Abdulafeez Olaitan

Abdulafeez Olaitan is a Nigerian writer.