On this sunny afternoon, Olamilekan Deji walked down Tiwo Street, off Agunlejika Street, Ijesha, Lagos State. On his left hand was a sack filled with his wares, while his right hand was filled with samples of the products. He was halfway down the street when a tricycle, popularly called Keke Marwa, caught up with him and three of his colleagues joined him.
Their collective salesmanship soon attracted a crowd and they quickly conducted brisk sales. In a few minutes, their products had been exhausted. Such a scene of street trading is commonplace in Lagos. What was peculiar was their product, which was a new brew of local aphrodisiac.
In the past few years, the society has been inundated with a farrago of sex enhancement products in the form of tablet, tonic, potion and lotion. Purveyors of these products daily bombard the street and social media with propositions of out-of-this-world sexual pleasure and instant, albeit temporary, solution to sexual problems, ranging from premature ejaculation to erectile dysfunction to small male organ. Women are specifically targeted with ‘energizer’ and organ tightening products for enhanced libido.
With the obsession for long-lasting sex currently the rage, aphrodisiacs, consequently, have become normal drinks in some homes.
Christopher Jidenna had an embarrassing episode the day he visited his friend, Ogadinma, in Ikotun. He shared his experience with Saturday Sun.
“I felt like having a cold drink after walking through the hot sun. I saw a 35cl bottle of a drink with red cork, which I assumed could only be Coca-Cola or Big Cola. And it tasted like a cola drink. I took a few gulps and settled down to watch the analysis of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City. Before the kick-off, I began to feel tipsy. My sight became blurry. My legs trembled and my hands went numb. Surprisingly, I had a strong erection.”
Alarmed, he queried his friend about the content of the bottle in the fridge and was stupefied to learn that he had just consumed an overdose of sex juice. As to why he kept such a large quantity of the fluid at home, Ogadinma told him he had bought it to prepare himself for his fiancée who would be visiting soon.
Pharmacies have also cashed in on the craze, subtly dispensing versions branded as supplements. This was verified by the reporter when he visited Gowon Pharmacy at Egbeda on the evening of October 8. The drug store was filled with customers. But the drugs that were mostly bought were Jamyca and Kongy, herbal supplements reportedly working wonders on sexual appetite. And lo, the buyers were mostly female.
Sex drugs everywhere
The boom in sex-enhancers, whether natural or synthetic, local or foreign, is matched by a corresponding appetite for the stimulants. The unbridled demand is what drives the unprecedented proliferation that brought new products into the market by the day. Besides supplements made of natural aphrodisiacs such as Maca, Tribulus and Ginkgo Biloba, red ginseng and Fenugreek, the market is now flooded by a slew of products from leading supplement brands. Examples include Jalin Herbal Mannex liquid, Forever Multi-Maca, Max ATP Supplement, Longrich Libao and Generic Super Sex Capsule to mention but few. These are in addition to the regular over-the-counter sex pills such as Sildenafil (popularly known as Viagra), Cialis and Stendra. In the past one year, potions with outlandish brand names––Suruka, for example––have been added to the shelves.
Previously, sales of sex drugs were shroud in secrecy. Presently, it has become open-market merchandise. In Egbeda, for instance, a poster of Jamyca Chocolate flavour drug is draped from the first floor to the front gate of the building complex that housed a pharmacy.
Road dividers in Lagos have been turned into boards for posting adverts for penis enlargement.
Mr Ibrahim Amusu, popularly called Baba Ayo on the streets of Okunola Street, Egbeda, reminisced on how these types of drugs were sold in the 1990s. The Lagos State indigene who spent most of his early life in the northern part of the country said: “When we were in the north, the most popular one is called Buruntashi, a local herb hawked mostly by old Hausa. When we moved to the south, I was not married, there was another local potion called Afato sold by elderly women. They didn’t sell Afato to us in the open; we dare not request for it from any seller except known customers. Then, Viagra came. We called it many names––Mr Blue, Blue Diamond, Blue Bomb, and Vitamin V. I think the names were invented to avoid suspicions and promote modesty. We were always smitten whenever we could by one. But as time went by, things changed.”
Sex drugs are no longer sold discreetly in dark corners or with cryptic names.
Social media is a good gauge of the degree of societal acceptance of sexual products. For example, Suruka products are advertised by porn stars who upload their short porn videos and even offer prospective buyers a romp as a reward for buying the product.
Recently, a video advert on Facebook showed a lady, who boasts that only with the help of Biomanchie, a product she was advertising, could she be satisfied sexually by any man.
Saturday Sun had called the phone number in the advert and the voice at the other end introduced himself as Leramo Ibukun, sales agent for Biomanchie. The reporter had requested to know the content of the drug.
“You want me to tell you the substances in it? Brother, I can‘t! We can only tell you how it works that is after you have made payment to the account that would be sent to you,” he responded. “It takes 24hrs for delivery. I don’t have time to be explaining or referring to the website. Many have used it and have praised it. We have [drugs] for quick ejaculation, penis enlargement and libido.”
Reason for addiction
A few users who spoke with Saturday Sun tried to justify the usage of sex enhancements. Yakubu Adams, an indigene of Adamawa State said: “Only those who have never been humiliated after or during sex will have other perceptions of using Buruntashi. I was several times humiliated until I was introduced to it. Then, I moved to foreign medicines which have a longer solution to my problem. I had started with Viagra then moved to Maca. Constantly taking Maca changed my sex life. There was a time I had to beg my ex not to tell her friends about my sex secret.”
Fabian Ukonu, an indigene of Imo State who resides at Ayelegun, in Ijegun, Lagos, claimed sex enhancements drugs have been helpful to his marriage.
“My wife was the one who told me about the pills. It took me a lot of time to accept it, but I am happy I did because I have a happy marriage and a good sex life,” he stated.
Omotayo Alasa also claimed she was not enjoying sex with her man until she started taking drugs to boost her libido.
“I didn’t know what sex was until my friends told me about drugs that could help. They were always talking about orgasm. Since I had never experienced it, I was always quiet. When I opened up to them, I was shown how it was done. Some people think it is suitable for sex hawkers; it is also for most married women because they have the most to lose. Men enjoy sex if they see you enjoying it,” she stated.
Some men, like Uche Ahanonu, a curtain trader in Tejuosho Market, went to the extreme by trying penis elongation. He told Saturday Sun he started the process and stopped when he was satisfied with the size of his manhood.
“I stopped because the lady I have at that time started complaining about the size because I didn’t tell her I was going through the procedures. The truth is, I gained a bit of confidence. I could walk up to any woman I like and woo her, unlike in the past when I was shy and preferred to woo a particular type of woman,” he stated.
Sweet experience with dire consequence
Every action has consequences and that includes swallowing pills or potions for sexual pleasure. According to Agbor Azin, a doctor at Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, such drugs cause arteries to widen in the heart, brain and penis. These, he said, could be dangerous for those who have suffered a stroke, heart attack or heart rhythm problem.
Use of sex drugs of any type is concomitant with side effects including headache, muscle aches, heartburn, diarrhoea, visual changes and hearing loss. Other reactions associated with drug-fuelled sex include facial flushing, nasal congestion and uncontrollable erection.