Is Jamaica a sex-crazed nation?Friday, May 07, 2021
Recent news reports of sexual assault, including rape and buggery, have once again highlighted the fact we do, in fact, have a sex-crazed nation. Add the ugly spectre of domestic violence to this turgid mix and one is forced to come to the conclusion that Jamaicans have a more than normal obsession with sex — which oftentimes is played out in a violent manner.
The all-pervasive dancehall culture mirrors much of this seemingly overwhelming preoccupation with sex based on the sensuous lyrics, and even more hedonistic gyrations that are played out on stage, in the streets, at carnival, and in suggestive videos.
Interestingly, most Jamaican men, especially the young ones in the lower socio-economic sector, most times refer to having sex with a woman or girl in t he most violent terms. “Beat the plate”, “stab up di meat”, “wreck a p..p”, “wickedest slam”, and “mash up di ting” are but some of the frequently heard expressions when young men meet to talk about their sexual exploits.
Interestingly, many women surprisingly do not mind this violent approach to sexual activity as the more they are punished is the more they feel satisfied.
Some years ago this writer came across a play entitled, No sex, please, we're British. Whether true or false, it has been perceived that our former colonial masters were quite frugal in their sexual pursuits; maintaining a great deal of restraint and a stiff upper lip (no pun intended) most times, unlike their other European neighbours, namely the French, Spanish and Italian, who were known for their many “sexcapades” a la Casanova. In this context, readers will recall the Victorian Era (1837-1901), relating to the reign of Queen Victoria, when prudishness and high moral standards relating to matters of the flesh were upheld.
According to historian Ilana Miller, “It was a time of prosperity, broad imperial expansion, and great political reform. It was also a time which today we associate with 'prudishness' and 'repression'. Without a doubt it was an extraordinarily complex age, that has sometimes been called the Second English Renaissance. It is, however, also the beginning of Modern Times.”
Ironically, the story has been told about Queen Victoria, who on the first night of her honeymoon, after having blissfully consummated her marriage with her husband Prince Albert, cosied up to him and purred, “So, tell me, dear Albert, do the common folks do this too?” His reply was, “Why, yes, Your Majesty.” And her tongue-in-the-cheek remark was: “Much too good for them!”
Who knows, maybe less sex will help Jamaica to become a more prosperous and enlightened nation? Serious thing! After all, we are a country that is laced with promiscuity from top to bottom. (Again, no pun intended.)
From all indications, Jamaicans spend too much time thinking about or having sex. From 'schoolers' and their 'no panty day' to the culture of “come inna mi rompin' shop”, to “sorting out”, to incest, carnal abuse, not to mention the 'rent-a-dread' syndrome, surely, outside of Cash Pot or perhaps Obeah, sex seems to be the most popular national pastime. So, unlike the British who once ruled us, it is not a case of no or less sex, but more sex, please, we are Jamaicans!
One of the obvious results of this mass philandering is the vast number of unwanted children in the society. It is a common scenario to see many young babymothers having several babyfathers. That there are so many instances of men getting “jacket” (children not theirs as claimed by their female partner). And it is no secret that the majority of our young gunmen who continue to wreak havoc on the society, and especially inner-city communities, are usually those who have come into this world by virtue of a forced, violent sexual encounter. The result is the widespread breakdown in family life that has led to a nation of crassness, indiscipline, criminality, a lack of good manners and desirable values and attitudes, which come against this background of the overwhelming pursuit of sex without purpose. In this context, so many of our men have become sperm donors, and our women, some of whom become grandmothers in their 20s, are left to raise these unwanted, unloved, and oftentimes uneducated, unskilled children who then menaces to society.
Some sociologists have argued that slavery is to be blamed for our men having become mere studs with no sense of fatherhood or parental responsibility. Pathologically, some experts in the field of medicine have posited, although not totally conclusively, that the high rate of prostate cancer among Jamaican men (said to be the highest in the world) may well be linked to their having sex with multiple partners. Then there is the HIV/AIDS spectre that has swarmed the land with a vengeance, with thousands out there not knowing they have been infected or not wanting to know.
It is also noticeable that there are so many so-called energy drinks on the market that promote sexual prowess among our men. A number of concerned doctors have also told me of the abuse of Viagra and other sexual-enhancing drugs, even among schoolboys! Needless to say that, on the downside, there has been an increasing number of young men who cannot get it up any more, because of overuse, misuse, and abuse of their libido.
Of course, the stepfather scenario is well known and accounts for a large number of carnal abuse and rape case, as well as unwanted pregnancies, most of which go unreported. The end result of all of this is that, while Jamaica remains productive in its sexual pursuits, the same cannot be said otherwise. A recent survey revealed that Jamaica was among the most unproductive countries in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
Against this background, there needs to be a national campaign not just promoting safe sex, but responsible sex. Enough of the “sorting out” business. Some years ago a female writer outlined in graphic details the carryings-on of an unidentified politician who she claimed was 'sorting out' an entire family, including mother, daughter and son! Can we get any lower than that?
My investigations have also revealed that bestiality (sex with animals) has become very prevalent, especially in rural areas where donkeys, goats, cows, and even the occasional dog have been violated. In this vein, curried goat which is a national delicacy is mostly attractive to the pallets of most Jamaicans if it is the meat of the ram goat that is used as the she-goat is nowadays referred to as “dem bwoy gal”.
In the final analysis, while there is much focus on gender-related affairs, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, more needs to be done socialise our boys from an early age. Then again, with the advent of social media and technological landscape, which exposes everyone, including our kids, to every aspect of sexual activities, we may be fighting a losing battle. And, as they say in the dancehall, “A So di ting set.”
Lloyd B Smith has been involved full-time in Jamaican media for the past 44 years. He has also served as a Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He hails from western Jamaica, where he is popularly known as the Governor. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or email@example.com.
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