Unmasking labia stretching

Girls are usually taught about labia stretching at a chinamwali like this
Girls are usually taught about labia stretching at a chinamwali like this

There are various things that women do with an aim to make themselves attractive, especially to men.  A lot of things have been done by women with an aim to keep their marriages and relationships going.

Improving sexual organs by stretching the labia using herbs is one of the things women do to secure their marriages and relationships.

For those who attend initiation ceremonies, this is very well communicated to them and they are even helped by the counsellor (nankungwi).

According to traditionalists the act is done with an aim to prepare the young girls for marriage. Stretching the labia is done to increase sexual enjoyment. However, the major role that the stretched labia play to women is helping them by making the path of the baby bigger when giving birth.

“As per tradition, a real woman should have her labia stretched because this is what our parents used to do back in the days so we just can’t throw this tradition away because surely when they came up with this idea they knew what they were doing”  explained Ngoni chief  T/A Kachindamoto.

Kachindamoto says even churches should sensitise women on the importance of having their labia stretched saying marriages are falling apart because men move out of their houses in search for women with stretched labia.

Even though there seem to be such significance of the act, there are mixed views among people about this practice. Other people think it is of no use to have one’s labia stretched while others think it is important to have them stretched.

“I had my labia stretched when I was as young as 15, I was encouraged by friend way back from secondary school,  however, I don’t notice any difference or the role they play in my sex life,” explained Mary Banda.

While others think there is no difference between stretched and un stretched labia, some think it is necessary to have them stretched.

“People say they see no difference but there is more than just the sexual enjoyment the stretched labia play to women, it helps us to get wet in no time besides  I don’t feel much pain during sexual intercourse,” said Agnes Phiri (not real name).

However, research done on this topic, indicated that women who have grown and lived in rural areas are those that have their labia stretched.

“For us who attended initiation ceremonies in the villages have our labia stretched because we were told the importance of stretching these things” explained Phiri.

Other people have argued that stretching  the labia may cause some complications and even harm the women but well experienced women who have done and helped others do this say  stretching labia is harmless.

“Stretching the labia does not endanger any lives at all but the stretching should not be done extensively for this may result in too much vaginal fluid,” explained Sipheliwe Gondwe (not real name).

Other men are interested in women who have stretched labia but they feel shy to communicate to their wives for fear of being questioned as to where they saw them from.

“I want a woman with stretched labia because there is extra enjoyment in sex with such a woman but I can’t tell my wife because she will wonder where I experienced it” said David Changu (not real name).

As evidenced from a survey done on Facebook women have ceased to conduct this practice considered a part of Malawian culture. Traditional leaders are arguing that Western cultural influences are overriding our traditional way of life which must not die out.

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