NSFW: How Has The Internet Changed Views On Sex And Relationships In Ghana

Open conversations about sex in Ghana is sometimes scarce. Back in the day, you would actually have to cover your eyes whenever a couple in a movie scene touched lips.

But that’s far gone. In this era of social media, people seem bolder and more willing to express themselves in tweets, disappearing pictures on Snapchat and Instagram.

Many kids in Ghana did not get the “Birds and Bees” talk from their parents. It was mostly through TV where most young people learned about what goes in the bedroom. Then the internet age came in and kind of changed a lot of things including perceptions.

There have been good and bad effects caused by the internet in the society. With access to the internet, some myths about dating and sex have been debunked. But there has also been some negative effects such as unsolicited sexual advances towards women online.

So has the internet and social media made views on sex and relationships better or worse? and what are the new trends on the internet when it comes to dating?

Tinder Hookups And Online Dating

According to Pew, online dating for US teens tripled amongst millennials ages 18-24 since 2013. But the adults weren’t left out, as increases in online also inceased among the older folk. The rise of dating apps like Tinder has apparently had some effect on this. But is the Ghanaian community receptive to these dating apps and online dating?

Tinder | Image Credit: Wired

A couple of months ago, I created a Tinder account for an experiment. Tinder is a mobile application which plays match maker by showing you potential dates where you can virtually swipe through and approve who you like. If you “Like” someone’s profile and they also “Like” your profile, you’re instantly “matched” and you can start chatting with each other and eventually took the conversation offline.

There’s no data about online dating in Ghana but from my experience, Tinder seems to be full of girls who are actively trying to “hookup”. That’s not to say that there aren’t people online looking for actual dates.

From my experience, it’s almost guaranteed that out of five potential dates you come across on the Tinder app, three will have information about hooking up and even posting their telephone number. But that’s just my observation.

Aside from Tinder, there are also other online dating options like Bumble and Coffee With Bagels which operate on the same premise as Tinder with Bumble allowing women to choose men who like their profile.

But the question is whether Ghanaians are up for online dating to begin with and can we use it for real personal dating and not just for hookups.

There’s no current data I have access to and have real testimonies to say that people actually go on dates from online interactions but some couples who have met their significant other through other social apps like Twitter.

Maybe one day, we’ll get a Ghanaian Match.com or OkCupid (<- Aspiring developers, steal this idea)

The Internet Is For Porn

According to Alexa, the 16th most visited website in Ghana is a porn site. Yes. You read right. What’s the 17th most visited website in Ghana? Tonaton.

Many won’t admit it in public but they could give you a list of all the porn sites they know.

The internet has made porn basically free for a viewer’s pleasure and there are many sites out there for both men AND women to explore. But there’s always the morality discussion especially in a country like Ghana which is considered largely religious.

How many people can really be open and honest and say that they’ve watched porn and their favorite porn categories are “BBW” and “FFM” (Best to Google that on your personal PCs and not at work lol)

As far as negativity consequences for exposure to porn, themes of masturbation and porn addiction come to mind. But make no mistake, Ghanaians access porn. Whether single or married. Again, data would play a great role especially in finding out what percentage of men and women access porn in Ghana and what categories they view.

Sexting, Emojis and Social Media

These days, if you follow closely, you might be aware that people hook up through online avenues like social media (Twitter and Facebook)

Shocking! Or is it?

When Snapchat came around, “sexting” appeared to be a big issue. “Sexting” is basically sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images. Because of Snapchat’s “disappearing” feature, sexting became much easier because photos or videos would disappear after they were viewed.

But Snapchat is not the only place where sharing of explicit images and videos happen. The terms “Sliding Into The DMs” and the conversion of emojis like “🍑” and “🍆” into sexual objects has been almost standard on the internet.

What does this look like to you: A pear or someone’s backside?
This has become a symbol for something totally different….

But sexting sometimes crosses the line when men tend to send women pictures of their privates either through Snapchat or other social media platforms.

There is a running joke on the internet about this. This type of thing was probably happening years ago but with the internet and mobile phones, it’s so easy now to just click and send.

Running joke on the internet

The term #RelationshipGoals is ever becoming a popular trend where couples take selfies of themselves and post it on popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook. Retweeting or sharing other couple’s photos with the hashtag is also something which is popping up every now and then on social media with couples sharing aspects of their personal lives on the internet through pictures and video.

Evolving Views On Sex and Relations

Some personal views on sex in Ghana are largely the same but there does appear to be evolving opinions on issues like premarital sex and sexual relations. On Twitter, there was a topic on #FutureAfricaSex which imagined how views on sex and relations would be like in the future in Ghana and other African countries. Topics are same sex marriage, female sexuality, openness about sex and LBQT issues were discussed.

There does appear to be an “empowerment” thanks to the internet on sharing personal views on sexuality and not being afraid of being of backlash.

A couple of years ago, people would hardly want to discuss issues of sex in public. There is still that hesitation with the onset of the internet and social media, discussions of that nature seem to be taking place a lot more frequently.


I would love to have data on more on this topic but Ghanaians tend to be “shy” and “timid” when asked questions about this. But one day, more topics like #FutureAfricaSex can be discussed and we can have real life conversations. But the internet has played its part on this. We’ll see where we are in a couple of years down the road when it comes to open discussions about sex and relationships.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana. I'm also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!) Email: [email protected]

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