Valentine’s Day and sex myth: Examining the new normal among Nigerian youths

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By Euphemia Nwele

…”Valentine’s day in this part of the country is actually sex day because that is what we have made it look like and it is a tradition that is fast spreading” – Bright Clarkson

February 14 — this year’s Valentine’s day is almost here and looking at around, I guess you can feel the groove already.

We even have a released song directed at our ladies dubbed “Valentine is coming, where is your boyfriend.”

As the day closes in, I sit wondering the panic in the hearts of our youths.

The trend in Nigeria is for most ladies to wait expectantly for their boyfriends to rain sliver gifts on them and in turn they would say ‘thank you darling’ in an appealing 12am towel.

But why must this be? Why is the notion, the breeze of Valentine accompanied with vibes of sexual affairs? Is that the only way to say ‘I love and Cherish you?’

An interview I had with some youths showed clearly that this notion might not be buried soon.

Jennifer Uneke, a student of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria Nsukka, says the notion is just like telling someone you are in relationship in Nigeria, the person believes and assumes you are ‘doing it’ (you know what I mean).

“Maybe it is presumed to be one of the few things that  commemorates the day (to those concerned) after all the intensity, mushy-mushy, kisses, exchange of gifts e.t.c, guess that should be the last package”.

A university graduate, Ekene Ejiofor, however, countered Jennifer’s view, noting “Valentine is a big hoax.”

“I personally don’t celebrate it but I think the world got this far because of pop culture which sexualized an occasion initially meant to be symbolic to sacrifice and martyrdom.

“So the hoax comes to play in the sense that the real thing has been hijacked and something else put in place. And that next thing is sex.”

Youths all over the world are trapped in this conception about Valentine’s day, it is no longer the married couples who enjoy sexual bliss, the youths seem to have crowned the love celebration a “get laid or get out” day-theme, But what resulted into this?

Valentines’ day in Nigeria has no doubt lost its original essence. There’s no point going around the world inspecting the cultural practice of their Valentine’s day celebration. Nigeria is more than enough, a case study.

Traceable to history the day the Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.

According to Wikipedia, the day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).

Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).

Man however express love and affection in different ways such as gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, touch and attention. It is man’s nature to have a sense of touch which creates room for sexual relationship.

Sex on the other hand is an emotional relationship, a consecration that should not be abused by people’s conceptions of what valentines day should look like.

Ending your Valentine’s Day with sexual affairs with your partner is not a bad idea, if it is done for the right reasons and with the right person.

However, sex on Valentine’s Day should neither serve as payment for the amount of money spent on a woman nor should it be something done out of a woman’s pity for a guy.

Rather, it should be an endless bliss coiled out from understanding and bond shared between two partners.

However, sex on Valentine’s Day should neither serve as payment for the amount of money spent on a woman nor should it be something done out of a woman’s pity for a guy.

As Williams Shakespeare’s  Sonnet 18 puts its, “Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: (…) But thy eternal summer shall not fade.”

Remember to leave your loved ones a note under their pillow. Keep up with us for more interesting articles.

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