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Understanding the sexual pleasure perceptions and preferences of black African university going women in the context of male circumcision.

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There is limited knowledge reinforcing notions of a positive and pleasurable Black African female sexuality. This emanates from the fact that studies in the African context have been predominantly preoccupied with the understanding and reinforcement of a Black African female sexuality that is characterised by pain, unequal relations, violence, and power disparities. Furthermore, women are more often than not, portrayed as powerless and submissive, and therefore, with little to no sexual agency in relationships. Even though the latter is to some extent true, it is not representative of the larger narrative of Black African female sexuality, as it often presents instances of sexual empowerment, liberation and pleasure. This qualitative study aimed at providing an in-depth exploration of the perceptions of sexual pleasure and preferences of Black African women at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College Campus in the context of male circumcision and female pleasure. The study critically explored their experiences in terms of sexual pleasure, which, in this regard, facilitated a better understanding of Black African women as sexual beings. Social Constructionism and African Feminism were used as lenses in conducting the study. A purposive sampling technique was used, and comprised a small and intimate sample community of 8 Black African university-going women aged between 18 and 25 and who had sexual experiences with both circumcised and uncircumcised men. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to garner rich and detailed narratives from the participants. Findings revealed that circumcised men were revered (sic) for their ability to offer women sexual pleasure.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.