Today on the podcast I have the absolute pleasure of talking again to Tiffany Kagure Mugo. Tiff was the very first guest on Living While Feminist, talking about her book Quirky Quick Guide to having great sex, cancel culture, and everything in between. Since then Tiff has given us a new collection, with her co compiler Kim Windvogel, called Touch: Sex Sexulaity and Sensuality. It came out this year from Kwela. As a piece in the collection by Zanta Nkumane says “The architecture of pleasure is expansive” and this collection certainly illustrates that well.
Tiff is still the co-founder and curator of HOLAA!! – a pan Africanist hub that advocates for and tackles issues surrounding African sexuality. She does ted talks and writing and just general amazingness all the time. She can often be found with a glass of wine, and, in my experience, can always be found with a joke. Earlier this year she was part of the Queering Belonging mini-series hosted by the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, and you can watch her episode online.
But the topics Tiff tackles (try that tongue twister after a glass of wine) are as serious as they are light – sex and sexuality remain taboo points of conversation for many of us. In a piece in March this year in the Mail and Guardian, Tiffany said:
Writing about sex, for me, has been a journey of learning and unlearning, turning things around in my mind to try to figure out how to do it. As someone who is a nerd at heart, I thought being able to understand the mechanics of the thing would help me do the thing. I was also under the impression one could crash course learning about sex.
However, the journey has been the equivalent of thinking you are digging in a sand pit and finding out you are actually in the middle of the Sahara desert. When I began, I thought that simply because I knew a little more than the average person about getting down and nasty I could enter this realm and document sex in all its glory. And for a while, as one of the few voices who had the gumption to write publicly about sex, the con worked.
Eventually, I realised that this was a marathon and not a sprint. I was always one article/sex story/radio interview away from talking absolute nonsense if I did not keep digging and furthering my understanding. When it comes to sex, sexuality and desire there is always something to learn, someone to learn from and something that has been a core part of your thinking that you need to put down and lay to rest.
So today I’ll be talking with Tiff about touch, sexual pleasure, and whatever else we feel like.