Sexual pleasure and controversy in Rwanda

Rwanda has become a world leader when it comes to promoting gender equality in politics, education and, for some, even sexual pleasure.

Kunyanza is an ancient and secretive sexual practice originating from Rwanda.

It is said to encourage female ejaculation and orgasms, the technique involves a man rhythmically and continuously striking the clitoris and labia with his erect penis.

Female pleasure is very important, and it makes them happy. In the Rwandan culture, marriage is all about that. It is all about what happens in bed.

In the village of Nyakinama, you will find some widows, who lost their husbands after the genocide in 1994, and because of that, they are opened to talk and share their experience about ‘kunyaza’.

Some of these women believe that every woman can have an orgasm if only the man does it right.

Whiles ‘kunyaza’ is associated with pleasing women, it is often practiced alongside ‘gukuna’, which is the controversial act of stretching a woman’s labia.

Kunyaza and gukuna can be practiced separately but are both linked to sexual pleasure.

The women of Nyakinama say that, when a man touches them, they feel so much pleasure.

Historically, before people wore underwear, labia elongation was practiced in Rwanda, because, it was believed to prevent infection and increase modesty by concealing the vagina.

Today, women are told that elongating their labia will prepare them for marriage, increasing their partner’s sexual pleasure as well as their own.

Kigali based Gynaecologist, Dr Magnifique, disagrees with the pleasure from elongating the labia of women but believes pleasure would come more from hormonal change.

Julliet Karitanyi, a women’s rights activist, is also against the practice of ‘gukuna’.

She says that, in the Rwandan culture, they were doing it in the early ages because their grandmothers used to get married at 12 or 14 years, but now a 14 -year-old needs to be in school.

Julliet further said, it’s a violation of their innocence.

Though the elongation of the labia can be very harmful to girls and women, some people think it is part of their culture and so they have to follow.