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Magun Or Penis Captivus?

Recently, a video rocked the popular social media application, Facebook, of a man and a woman who became stuck after a round of sexual intercourse. 

The video showed the man unable to withdraw from the woman. Concerned neighbours had to drag the lovers outside the dingy room. Neighbours poured water from buckets on them while a mischievous neighbour recorded the incident. Comments that trailed the video praised the efficacy of Yoruba Traditional Religion in bringing erring wives and wandering men to book, delivering swift justice. The action, they insisted was the effect of “magun”, a spell peculiar to the Yoruba tribe of South-West Nigeria. 

What is Magun 

‘Magun’ literally means “do not climb” in Yoruba. It is also called “thunderbolt”. Matthias Ojo in 2013, in a paper titled Magun: The Traditional Juju For The Punishment Of Adultery Among Yoruba Natives, described magun as a “deadly Juju usually employed by offended husbands to punish the adulterous men having illicit sexual affairs with their wives”. S. I. Fabarebo, in 2018, who examined magun in contemporary Yoruba traditions, described it as an intricate part of Yoruba tradition woven into the fabric of its culture. For how magun spell is cast, Fabarebo identified some ways; one, being magun ajoje. 

In this case, the wife vowed to commit her body to her husband alone with no other man allowed to touch her body. He wrote, “We ate this together, we shared that together, ajoje magun (a silent magun) food shared by a husband and wife, to kill any other man, besides the husband (in sexual congress with the wife) is never for the adulteress”. Fabarebo and Ojo also agreed on the use of an enchanted string or broomstick place at a position where the wife crosses over it unknowingly. The husband then collected the thread or broomstick with the spell already cast on the unsuspecting wife. Ojo also explained that there are different varieties of “Magun’’ in Yoruba land, identifying two types of magun, the one that killed the trespasser immediately while the other which he likened to a time bomb waited for the trespasser to eat a particular meal and then kills him. Ojo and Fabarebo both wrote about the ‘crowing magun’. 

Ojo also emphasized another where the erring man somersaulted three times before he died. The cure is the woman urinating in his mouth before the third crow or somersault as the case may be. Fabarebo alongside the crowing magun also identified the “locking magun”. 

Cases of Magun 

In 2017, the Vanguard reported the case of a 35-year-old woman, Mrs. Fatima Adebayo requesting the court to dissolve her marriage of 14 years to Mr. Segun Adebayo for casting the magun spell on her. The president of the court adjourned the case because of the failure to prove whether magun was an actual phenomenon. 

Also in 2018, Rashidat Adesokan, a mother of six in Ibadan asked for a divorce for her marriage of 28 years to Mustafa because he “laced her with magun charm”. In Rashidat’s case, she reported bleeding from her private part which according to her was a side effect of the magun laced on her. Fabarebo wrote that sometimes after a woman had been laced with magun by her husband and she failed to have sexual intercourse with her supposed lover, she could die after the period of seven days. The Daily Mail in 2018 reported a case similar to of magun in Kenya but simply termed it “penis captivus”. 

In this case, the offended husband who claimed to have employed spiritual forces to create the situation for the offenders collected the sum of EUR 140 from the wife’s lover as compensation and payment to “neutralise” the effects of the supposed spell. It was then concluded in that report that penis captivus or “magun” happened only with unfaithful couples. In 2014, a BBC story reported the case of a legally married couple who experienced the phenomenon. 

Locking Magun Versus Penis Captivus and Vaginismus

The “locking magun” is highly debated on whether it is truly a spiritual phenomenon or just biology. The locking magun is said to happen when the penis is captured in the woman’s vagina for a certain amount of time, a time long enough for neighbours to have come to the scene of the treacherous act or the husband of the woman to have caught the erring couple. The locking magun bears strong similarities to penis captivus. Dr. Sola Ojo describes penis captivus as “the capture of the penis during sexual intercourse that stops its withdrawal from the vagina. The couple can’t get off each other because the penis has been trapped by the vagina.” Dr. Ojo explained that normally during sexual intercourse, the vagina contracts during sex as well as the penis enlarges but in penis captivus the vagina contractions become pronounced due to heightened pleasure causing the vagina to capture the penis, therefore, disallowing ejection. 

Vaginismus, on the other hand, Dr. Ojo described as the involuntary contraction of the vagina at a given time whether outside or within sexual intercourse, and should not be mistaken with penis captivus. “There is also vaginismus, which is the contraction of the vagina. Some people use it interchangeably, but the truth is vaginismus may or may not occur during sexual intercourse, unlike penis captivus that occurs only during sexual intercourse. In vaginismus, the vagina contracts without influence,” he said. When asked about the occurrence of penis captivus only within unfaithful couples, Dr.Ojo offered a theory, “I have noticed that most of the cases of penis captivus that come out and the videos that trend are those of people being unfaithful. To be honest, I do not think that there is a correlation between penis captivus and magun. If I could offer a theory, I would say it is a mental effect, the couple feels that they are doing something wrong and there is the initial panic. So it psychological, the couple is not comfortable with their action and that alone can trigger and maintain the contraction of the vagina muscles. And this might be why people say it is magun.” 

Solution To Penis Captivus 

As a medical condition, what is known as the “locking magun” and called penis captivus in science can be treated and the first solution is for the stuck couple to maintain a mental state of ease, the couple will need to calm down. Dr Ojo said, “The first and most important thing at that moment is to calm down and failure to do this is why people in this situation do not know how to get out of it. Panic just makes it worse. If you can reduce the size of the penis, it will be able to pull out of it. The blood flow is what makes the penis big, so if the size of the penis can be reduced there is a high chance that you might be able to get off it. Calming down, taking your mind off it will make the blood flow reduce.” He also likened the case to a situation where a man might get an erection in public and will have to change focus to make the erection go away. He also explained that in the hospital, muscle relaxers are used to flatten the muscles of the stuck couple so as to enable the penis to withdraw. “In most cases when such cases turn up at the hospital, what we do for them is to give them muscle relaxers through injection so as to flatten the muscles. A muscle relaxant will lax the walls of the vagina to enable the penis to be pulled out,” he said

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