Dry and tight: sexual practices and potential AIDS risk in Zaire

Social Science and Medicine, Volume 37, Issue 8: Pages 989-994, October 1993.

Brown JE, Ayowa OB, Brown RC
Institut Medical Chretien du Kasai, Kananga, Zaire.


Both men and women in central Zaire like a dry, tight vagina because it increases pleasure during sexual intercourse. In focus group interviews, they described wiping and washing procedures, as well as 30 different substances, mostly leaves and powders, that women can insert into the vagina to produce the desired effects. Women who use leaves said they crush them, insert them for several hours, then remove them before intercourse. Women who insert powders leave them in place during intercourse. Individual interviews with 99 women (half of them unmarried prostitutes and half married women) showed that over one-third of each group had used intravaginal drying or tightening substances at some time. Vaginal examinations by a physician revealed that several of the substances cause inflammatory lesions of the vagina and cervix. Furthermore, some products cause extreme dryness that could foster epithelial trauma during coitus, both for the woman and for her partner. Breaks in the epithelium may promote the passage of organisms that cause AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. Thus the sexual practices of drying and tightening the vagina may be increasing the risk of infection.


The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages are a not-for-profit educational resource and library. IntactiWiki hosts this website but is not responsible for the content of this site. CIRP makes documents available without charge, for informational purposes only. The contents of this site are not intended to replace the professional medical or legal advice of a licensed practitioner.

Top  © CIRP.org 1996-2024 | Filetree | Please visit our sponsor and host: External link IntactiWiki.