By Martin Tachio
It was a rainy day in August of ‘thaat’ year, a time when it drizzles almost daily across every region of Nigeria.
Naomi (not real name), a graduate awaiting national youth service call up, agreed to an outing with her father’s special assistant, a male named Suleiman (not real name).
Well, the outing went on fine…a few snacks here and there. Then they stopped at a bar for a glass of ‘Red Wine’ as Suleiman suggested. After the drinks they got quite romantic with each other then all agreed to a short rest in a small but cosy hotel in the heart of the city.
After a mind bending session of completed sex, Naomi went into the bathroom to freshen up, ha! Just as she poured warm water on the surface of her vagina, pain stung her like a wasp to the back of the head! Huh. Everywhere felt numb, from the vulva to the vaginal introitus. The inner walls felt awful as though she had just given birth to a child! The more she washed the more the warm water burnt like acid.
She knew Suleiman was married with children, but did not know he has two wives and was a regular user of aphrodisiacs – both synthetic and herbal.
Sex enhancing drugs and herbal mixtures these days are advertised on many Nigerian streets and markets and the clientele is quiet huge – especially with many homes evolving into polygamous families.
Some experts I spoke to in the course of this article espoused the dangers of using these drugs regularly and were quick to conclude that societal pressure leading to men’s erectile dysfunction and increased sexual aggression among the active population is responsible for this.
To recall a personal experience while on a trip to Lokoja a few years back to do an investigative story on poor governance in Kogi State. The small guest house I stayed in was brought alive on this particular night by loud bangs on the door of one of the guests resident in the hotel. The noise was coming from the second floor around 3am, and every guest came out to see what was happening – myself inclusive.
The gentleman who was knocking aggressively on the door of his own room was causing so much nuisance that hotel security and the manager all came to find out what was going on.
His girlfriend was in the room and had locked him out and she refused to let him in. Ah ah! Everyone chorused as the young man explained.
The lady inside, on sensing people had gathered outside, opened the door and the hotel manager confronted her respectfully on why she locked her ‘spouse’ out. Everyone was left speechless except with shy smiles on our faces as she told her story.
She said: “this man brought me here and started having sex with me since 11pm without giving me break or small time to rest. It was when I told him I needed drinking water and the intercom was not functioning that he now went downstairs to the bar to buy the water that I locked the door to rest. ”
She added rather shamelessly to say her genitals are all bruised and if we can come into the room we will see how she bled and stained the sheets! Ha, seriously? Well l, we pleaded with them to let peace reign and take it easy as we all went back to our rooms.
The volatile couple checked out by 6 in the morning. Later that day, the journalist in me became curious and accosted the hotel manager on what he thought was possible for such ‘endurance sex’.
The manager confided in me that when the house keepers went in to clean after their checking out, they found along with the bloodstained bedsheets, small bottles of herbal mixtures, four in number, resembling those ones ‘malo’ guys hawk on wheelbarrows in streets and markets. Apparently consumed by either or both partners. He told me it was regular sight for him, that most of the time in the lodge both men and women consume these aphrodisiacs.
Studies have shown that some side effects of sex enhancing remedies include: stuffy nose, headaches, stomach pain, partial colour blindness not to mention ringing ears and memory loss.
Not long ago, authorities at the national agency for food and drugs administration and control in Nigeria (NAFDAC) claimed that chemical substances in most aphrodisiacs are dangerous to body organs such as liver and kidneys.
Medical experts also warn that sex enhancers contribute to cases of stroke and heart attack, drugs interactions, eventual loss of sex drive and many allergic reactions.
Despite the risks, the industry is a multi billion dollar market competing with tobacco and euphoria causing drugs.
Aphrodisiacs, named after Aphrodite the Greek goddess of sexual pleasure, are made for improving sex performance and compelling even the most hesitant partner to partake.
Good news is that we do have alternatives in the food we eat that experts believe do not have the damaging effects of over the counter prescription or the mostly unhealthy herbal preparations.
To have a healthy sex life, replace the drugs with oysters which one can buy in a good fish market in the big cities. Oysters have been proven to contain natural chemicals that stimulate libido.
Daily intake of bananas can change your sexual appetite, as well as coffee, natural honey, chocolates, red wine, avocados, water melons and natural Cocoa powder are packed with natural sex enhancing chemicals.
Consistent consumption of any of these can help both males and females overcome ED and hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in females. There is some science to back this up, as each of these foods contain proven nutrients that can increase blood flow, stimulate the central nervous system or help with hormones production.
According to Martha Kempner, a sexual health expert, ‘instead of relying on the latest drugs to get us in the mood, we could focus on flirting and getting closer. Instead of drinking that powder made from a rare tree bark, try sitting down with a glass of wine or a cup of tea with your partner. Instead of buying a supplement that promises to improve your libido, invest on a sex toy or a really good Lube. It is good though to put an effort into improving your sex life, but not when doing so risks your life”.
Once it is sweet but painful…be sure it can kill quicker than you think.
Martin Tachio writes from Abuja at firstname.lastname@example.org