For many North American men, female ejaculation is one of the mysteries of female sexuality. Its origins and triggers are contested among women and sexologists, so it’s not surprising that few men can comment on it with much confidence. That was certainly my experience -- until I moved to Rwanda, a country where female ejaculation, or kunyara, as it’s known locally, is a matter of social import.
The tradition dates back more than a century, to the Third Dynasty of the Rwandan monarchy. The story goes that while the king was away on a military campaign, the queen demanded that a guard named Kamagere have sex with her. Kamagere acquiesced, but he was so nervous about the possible repercussions that his body trembled uncontrollably. His penis, instead of penetrating the queen, rubbed up and down against her labia and clitoris -- a technique that became known as kunyaza. The torrent of liquid or “water” the motion provoked from the queen was called kunyara.
The ability of Rwandan women to expel copious volumes of liquid -- more than three liters according to some estimates -- during kunyara, stems from another age-old tradition called gukuna. This custom requires girls as young as 8 to pull out or stretch the lips of their inner labia.