While a number of those present raised their eyebrows, those in the know believed the use of sex toys is a phenomenon that is fast gaining some ground in the country presently.
And though there are no statistics yet, sex and sexuality analysts are pointing fingers at women as the more frequent users of the erotic toys. What is more? They also believe that the trend shouldnÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt really be a surprise.
Princess Sola Oladimeji is the chief executive officer of Oju-OgeÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs World. Some of her services have one thing or the other to do with sex enhancement. She says many women resort to the use of sex toys when they donÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt get satisfaction from their spouses.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂThere are a lot of women who keep several lovers before marriage and you know these men would come with various penis sizes. So when such a woman gets married, she might end up with a man who may not satisfy her in bed. But in order not to commit adultery, she would resort to sex toys. It will satisfy her and also save her marriage. So it is the married women that we reach out to,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
A sex and marriage therapist, Mrs. Funmi Akingbade, also toes OladimejiÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs line. And she should know, having spent the last two decades counselling couples on sex and sexuality issues. Ã¢â‚¬ÂMany Nigerian women are sex-starved, even pastorsÃ¢â‚¬Ëœ wives,Ã¢â‚¬Â she declared.
While she fingers the absentee husband factor as one of the causes, she insists that many women who stay with their husbands are usually deprived of good sex for several reasons. Ã¢â‚¬ÂSometimes the man will have other women, especially the young girls outside and he wonÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt have time for his wife.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂSuch men are always giving one excuse or the other to their wives when they get home. Then another thing is that many of our men are always in a rush when they want to have sex with their wives. They donÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt have time for foreplay at all and therefore they hardly ever satisfy their wives. Many times many of these women have approached us to assist them in purchasing sex toys for them,Ã¢â‚¬Â she explained.
She even gave the instance of a woman who claimed that her husband encouraged her to buy the sex toys. Ã¢â‚¬ÂHe told her to think of him while using them,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
But hate them or love them, sex toys, which are primarily used to enhance human sexual pleasure, seem to mean a great deal to some people. And this is because of the functions they purportedly perform.
According to the managing director, Zee Virtual Media (a company that sells sex toys), Mr. Uche Edochie, sex toys serve a variety of purposes.
Such purposes, he says, include not only enabling adults achieve sexual gratification, but also to achieve this gratification whenever they want, wherever they are and as often as they want it. Ã¢â‚¬ÂSex with a human is never this generous,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Furthermore, he opines that they are educational as well. Ã¢â‚¬ÂA careful study of certain toys like the vibrator for instance, enables us to figure out the erogenous parts of the female body that require the most stimulation for the best results,Ã¢â‚¬Â he states.
But he warns that they can never replace the real thing. He said, Ã¢â‚¬ÂSex toys werenÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt designed to replace real sex and can never replace real sex. For a start, real sex takes place between two people who care for each other and can live together, bear children together and forge a life together. A toy cannot provide a human being with any of the above; neither can it provide companionship for single people.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Edochie, whose organisation has been credited with popularising sex toys and other adult products (he has an online shop which stocks and sells sex toys), believes more women than men embrace the use of sex toys in Nigeria
Ã¢â‚¬ÂMen masturbate more than women, but women invest more in sex toys than men do and toys for women sell a lot more than toys for men,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says. He reveals that a lot of young people tend to use and enjoy the use of sex toys. Ã¢â‚¬ÂYoung people are more adventurous and more sexual therefore they tend to use toys more often than the older generation,Ã¢â‚¬Â he adds.
Sex toys come in different types: Vibrators, dildos, dongs, strap-on and clitoral stimulators for women; the men also have theirs.
Obviously because of cultural considerations, many people who use sex toys prefer to operate discreetly. Ã¢â‚¬ÂMany of my customers patronise me in secret,Ã¢â‚¬Â Oladimeji reveals. Even EdochieÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs outfit doesnÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt have a physical shop where people can walk in, look at those displayed and perhaps order. Rather they take orders online or on the phone and then deliver to their clients.
But are sex toys also completely harmless? While there is a general belief that there are really no side effects (Oladimeji claims that even people with hypertension can use them), the fact that they are addictive in nature is one factor that concerned observers believe should not be just glanced over. Ã¢â‚¬ÂMany women get addicted to it and wonÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt even notice their spouses anymore and that is not good for the marriage,Ã¢â‚¬Â Akingbade said.
Edochie agrees that sex toys can be addictive, but insists that the advantages of acquiring and using them shouldnÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt be dismissed. Ã¢â‚¬ÂThey prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS by limiting promiscuity amongst adults. They also serve as aids to our regular sexual routines by enabling us make up for areas in which our partners are lacking, such as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœstaying power,Ã¢â‚¬ËœÃ¢â‚¬Â he insisted.
By The Punch