How it Go Look: Trinis and Taboos

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I’s ah South ting and when Outlish asked me to tackle this topic, I realised, my people not so. In South we talkin’ about anything!
The conversations are spicy and the taboo topics are limitless. Homosexuality, bisexuality, family, pregnancy, abortion, masturbation, infidelity – you name it, we’re talking about it. Are ‘town’ people more introverted that South people? I believe they are. Here’s why.
Remember Trinidad has become a smaller version of the US, with a side of bacchanal. The bacchanal has two strains in Trinidad. In the south of the island, one can find a strain of this virus that is highly contagious, with symptoms that include a burning fever to say what’s on your mind, and a constant urge to go by yuh neighbour for more ole talk. The bacchanal virus in the north is not so contagious. In fact, it remains incubated within each carrier, with symptoms of not wanting anyone to know what is going on for fear of how it go look.
When I attended UWI, the bench was always the soapbox for taboo issues. Now UWI represented young people from all over the island and we were all talking. Makes me wonder whether it was the environment of academia and youth that was conducive to the open discussions, or maybe it was the presence of people from South Trinidad that set the stage for the controversial talk?
After UWI, I settled in the East for a year or two and met people like me. Open, scandalous and talking about anything. In fact, they even surprised me at times. Then we moved to the West and made new friends. Great friends. Friends who time and time again, raised their eyebrows at me after I’d had one too many and began lacing into their straight-laced opinion on homosexuality, bisexuality, family, pregnancy, abortion, masturbation and more.
The “how it go look” factor is the main culprit of who discusses what in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s quite myopic really. To me, real taboo topics are rape, incest – the big ones. It’s not like you going to walk in ah dance and tell everyone yuh brother just feel yuh up. You need to be going to the police!
The acronym “TMI” is not in my vocabulary. We is big people. What we ‘fraid to talk about things for? I laugh sometimes at people in Trinidad. Walking around, drinking a Rituals Latte (YUCK by the way!), seemingly trying to be so Hollywood, yet as a society we are still so myopic when it comes to alternative lifestyles.
The word “taboo” is defined as “proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable”. What is a taboo topic in your opinion? I guess for each of us it’s different. For some it’s sex and sexuality. Oral sex. Anal sex. Masturbation. Sex toys. For others, it’s money.
I still know people who don’t want to hear or talk about homosexuality. Why? You’re not gay just because you talk about homosexuality. And if you are gay, somewhere in there, you need to come out baby. Women can learn a lot about sex from a gay man. For example, blowjobs. Ladies you know we get it wrong. I mean it’s not like they selling a product that allows you to fold your teeth back. Have you ever considered technique? In time you learn, right? Let’s take taboo a step further. Do you swallow? And if you do, do you discuss it in the open? Ha ha ha! Didn’t think so.
And so what if you give yourself a “me love you long time” happy ending on a quiet Sunday morning? If the masturbation question pops up, why not say yes? My fellow Outlisher, Joshua, wrote an article last year on masturbation, and, according to the site stats, if yuh see hits? Everybody reading it and nobody commenting? Why not?
I can’t blame them though. It’s a product of how we’ve been parented. I remember when I learned about sex. It scared the life out of me. I was ten and girls were talking about it like nobody’s business. South tings not easy! My parents? They never discussed it. I had to figure it all out by myself. Thank goodness for the Stayfree lady who came into school one day to talk about menstruation and the makeup of the vagina.
In my teenaged years, we talked about sex so much, and because I was listening more than “doing”, I learned a lot about my body and a man’s body. I embraced masturbation at an early age, and that helped me so much with my self-confidence in and out of the bedroom. I’m pretty good at it if I can be honest! Ha! And there are lots of things I won’t do. Anal sex? Not interested. It’s not my thing. But talking about stuff… whether I do it or not? Bring it on. That’s how we learn. That’s how we prevent disease and became more accepting as a society of different people and different things. That’s how we become more open about discussing topics like abortion and homosexuality in public policy fora.
So, in this day and age, we’re still afraid to speak up about things that are taboo? Come nah man. Thing is, through communication we learn. Discussing controversial topics push your realm of thought into new plains. Try it. You might like it.
Eng out.

tabooI’s ah South ting and when Outlish asked me to tackle this topic, I realised, my people not so. In South we talkin’ about anything! 

The conversations are spicy and the taboo topics are limitless. Homosexuality, bisexuality, family, pregnancy, abortion, masturbation, infidelity – you name it, we’re talking about it.

Are ‘town’ people more introverted that South people? I believe they are. Here’s why.

Remember Trinidad has become a smaller version of the US, with a side of bacchanal. The bacchanal has two strains in Trinidad. In the south of the island, one can find a strain of this virus that is highly contagious, with symptoms that include a burning fever to say what’s on your mind, and a constant urge to go by yuh neighbour for more ole talk. The bacchanal virus in the north is not so contagious. In fact, it remains incubated within each carrier, with symptoms of not wanting anyone to know what is going on for fear of how it go look.

When I attended UWI, the bench was always the soapbox for taboo issues. Now UWI represented young people from all over the island and we were all talking. Makes me wonder whether it was the environment of academia and youth that was conducive to the open discussions, or maybe it was the presence of people from South Trinidad that set the stage for the controversial talk?

After UWI, I settled in the East for a year or two and met people like me. Open, scandalous and talking about anything. In fact, they even surprised me at times. Then we moved to the West and made new friends. Great friends. Friends who time and time again, raised their eyebrows at me after

I’d had one too many and began lacing into their straight-laced opinion on homosexuality, bisexuality, family, pregnancy, abortion, masturbation and more.

The “how it go look” factor is the main culprit of who discusses what in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s quite myopic really. To me, real taboo topics are rape, incest – the big ones. It’s not like you going to walk in ah dance and tell everyone yuh brother just feel yuh up. You need to be going to the police!

The acronym “TMI” is not in my vocabulary. We is big people. What we ‘fraid to talk about things for? I laugh sometimes at people in Trinidad. Walking around, drinking a Rituals Latte (YUCK by the way!), seemingly trying to be so Hollywood, yet as a society we are still so myopic when it comes to alternative lifestyles. 

The word “taboo” is defined as “proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable”. What is a taboo topic in your opinion? I guess for each of us it’s different. For some it’s sex and sexuality. Oral sex. Anal sex. Masturbation. Sex toys. For others, it’s money. 

I still know people who don’t want to hear or talk about homosexuality. Why? You’re not gay just because you talk about homosexuality. And if you are gay, somewhere in there, you need to come out baby. Women can learn a lot about sex from a gay man. For example, blowjobs. Ladies you know we get it wrong. I mean it’s not like they selling a product that allows you to fold your teeth back. Have you ever considered technique? In time you learn, right? Let’s take taboo a step further. Do you swallow? And if you do, do you discuss it in the open? Ha ha ha! Didn’t think so. 

And so what if you give yourself a “me love you long time” happy ending on a quiet Sunday morning? If the masturbation question pops up, why not say yes? My fellow Outlisher, Joshua, wrote an article last year on masturbation, and, according to the site stats, if yuh see hits? Everybody reading it and nobody commenting? Why not? 

I can’t blame them though. It’s a product of how we’ve been parented. I remember when I learned about sex. It scared the life out of me. I was ten and girls were talking about it like nobody’s business. South tings not easy! My parents? They never discussed it. I had to figure it all out by myself. Thank goodness for the Stayfree lady who came into school one day to talk about menstruation and the makeup of the vagina. 

In my teenaged years, we talked about sex so much, and because I was listening more than “doing”, I learned a lot about my body and a man’s body. I embraced masturbation at an early age, and that helped me so much with my self-confidence in and out of the bedroom. I’m pretty good at it if I can be honest! Ha! And there are lots of things I won’t do. Anal sex? Not interested. It’s not my thing. But talking about stuff… whether I do it or not? Bring it on. That’s how we learn. That’s how we prevent disease and became more accepting as a society of different people and different things. That’s how we become more open about discussing topics like abortion and homosexuality in public policy fora.

So, in this day and age, we’re still afraid to speak up about things that are taboo? Come nah man. Thing is, through communication we learn. Discussing controversial topics push your realm of thought into new plains. Try it. You might like it.

Eng out.

 

Check out the rest of this week’s issue (24/01/11; Issue 42):

Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday.

Michelle Eng Leang

Michelle Eng Leang is a Trini living in the UK. Married for almost ten years, she is a mother to a two-year-old-son. She eh really cater - and that's all you need to know. You want an honest opinion? With her, that's exactly what you are going to get. Check out her blog http://mamaengsthoughts.blogspot.com.

2 Comments

  1. come on people

    January 27, 2011 at 4:40 am

    I think thing like sexuality needs to be discussed in the open. The bible talks about it, very plainly. The mozaic law was read before women, men and children, so children then had an early education about sex. Go back and read leviticus, your mouth will drop.

  2. Johnny English

    April 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Its bizarre that I find that Afro-Trinidadian people talk about sex the most but never seem to do it. They can be very inhibited in bed. Indo-Trinidadian women are the most reserved but are much more freaky in the sack. Anal, oral, 69, you name it.

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