I apologize for being missing for such a long time. I had to spend some time in the United States visiting with friends and family, and meeting with my advisors for my dissertation. But, I am finally back in sweet Jamdown, and the time away has definitely affected how I see Jamaica. The honeymoon is over. And you know how when the newest wears off a relationship, the very same thing that made a newpartner soooo endearing, now becomes incredibly annoying. I.e. your sweetheart’s strong commitment to dental hygiene is actually a propensity to stick sharp objects in his/her teeth at the dinner table. Well, I still LOVE Jamaica, but some of things that used to tickle me pink, are becoming less…enchanting. And so this email is about the hypersexuality of this here small island.
Jamaica is an incredibly sexual country. It’s everywhere. It appears to me that Jamaicans have babies like New Yorkers on the subway have Ipods.
When I first got here I was impressed that men just told you straight out that they were attracted to you. I found it straightforward, confident and assertive. I was flattered that no matter how crazy I looked, the gas pump attendant, the grocery store clerk, the bank manager just had to tell me I was the prettiest brownin' south of the Mason Dixon Line. I thought…no more sneak attacks or ambushes…these men go for what they want and they’re upfront about it.
What I failed to realize is that they want only that, and all the time. It doesn't matter the age, the class, or the marital status. They never turn their libido off! And I don’t know if it’s the heat, or the fruits everywhere, or our high intake of fish… The men here seem to me to have a one track mind…sex.
And it’s not only strangers. It’s the guys you know. I am one who loves having a majority male friends. I have been known to thrown a sausage party or two. But I find it really hard to get men to take me seriously/non-sexually here. For one of my few male friends, in EVERY SINGLE conversation we have there is at least one non sequitur sentence that goes like “I know how to give women multiple orgasms” or “Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t listening. I was imaging how good sex between me and you would be”. And he takes me serious at least 70% of the time.
I hypothesize that it all comes down to the Jamaican masculine identity. I believe that there is such an over emphasis on masculinity within the identity of Jamaican males that in order to maintain this primary identity, they have to play up the femininity of the women around them. It’s like “I am who I am, because of who you are” i.e. “I’m tall because you are short”. This would be all well and good save for two things: 1. It makes male/female relationships here way too one dimensional 2. “The Pums” (Jamaican's colloquial term for vagina, abbreviated pum-pum) makes men stupid, it slows their reflexes. In short, it is their kryptonite. As a result, normally rational, mature, progressive men do and say imbecilic things because they can’t even see right from wrong anymore…I have actually been told “If my girlfriend asks, can you not tell her that I told you that I like you”. WHAT?!?
Now please bear in mind that this is a gross over generalization meant to entertain and does not represent every man on this island. And admittedly I have many a stimulating conversation with Jamaican men and even sometimes I glimpse their souls. My guy friends here tease me and say men everywhere feel this way, Jamaicans are just uncensored and unapologetic about it. And they might be right.
Anyway, even given this, I still love living here. And amuse myself immensely observing the antics of these perpetually pubescent men.