Female ejaculation is considered rare in the west, and even, by some, abnormal. In Rwanda, however, it is the norm.
Social scientists Marian Koster and Lisa Price of Wageningen University in the Netherlands interviewed 11 women and two men in Rwanda about “gukuna imishino”, which is the practice of elongating the labia minora, the inner vaginal lips. “The Rwandan women and men we interviewed were clear in their opinion that all Rwandan women are able to ejaculate, the ejaculation being different from the mere squirting of urine,” Koster says. “Elongated labia are seen as crucial in this respect.”
From around puberty onwards, Rwandan girls start stretching the labia minora using plant extracts with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, with the aim of achieving a length of about 5 centimetres. The WHO considers this practice as a form of genital mutilation, but Koster and Price argue that it should be reclassified as genital modification. “We believe that there are cultural practices that are not harmful to women’s integrity and rights,” says Koster.
Their interviewees reported, and Koster and Price speculate, that labial elongation increases the sexual pleasure of both sexes. “Since the labia minora swell during sexual excitement, there is a larger surface area for penile friction during coitus,” they write