Let’s talk about DILDOS

When I was growing up, I remember hearing the song “Let’s talk about Sex” by salt n’ pepa. The young…eer..VERY young (ahem!), naïve and shy girl in me used to think “What a BOLD song!” I swear I would blush from hearing the song play on radio. Coming out and talking or singing about ‘stuff’ like that was taboo.

Once upon a month ago one of our local dailies ‘The Standard Newspaper’ decided to tread where angels wouldn’t dare yet (Give it time, am sure such articles will make their way to our tabloids again soon) The paper didn’t just write about sex, which is nothing these days; they carried an article on sex toys! I hear you ask “Kwani they rebranded their publication from ‘The Standard Newspaper’ to Cosmo-Standard magazine?” It came as no surprise when people complained that they had crossed the line and the paper had to follow with an apology. Ouch!

How things have changed! We don’t whisper when talking about sex anymore. We just say it. There is a program in one of our local TV channels that talks about sex and relationships. Though the hosts try to veil everything in ‘euphemisms’ like Miss Victoria, and Mr. Victor for the female and male genitalia respectively, or ‘Mombasa Raha’ for the act of intercourse, they try to talk about this very (pun alert) touchy subject in a candid way not tried before. Forgive my digression; back to matters at hand.

Before you cross yourself and recite a round of Hail Marys for The Standards’ benefit, ask yourself did the paper have an audience? I think sex toys have nothing to do with one’s morality-But that is just me. Was The Standard wrong to carry such an ‘adults-only’ kind of article in their daily paper? You bet your civil African behind it was!

HOWEVER, having read people’s reaction to the article, I got a little bit confused. It’s true that the paper crossed the line in even considering carrying the article in a daily paper which is read by all and sundry. Even school children peruse through newspapers fyi. You don’t know which kid will be sent to the butcher’s for a kilo of meat only for it to be wrapped in an old newspaper that just happens to have an article on dildos! See? Who wants their 5yr old catching a glimpse at a dildo and asking what it is. We are still trying to find the words to explain to them what a Condom is. Each time the ‘Nakufeel Mpenzi wangu’ advert comes up I curl my toes and hope that my Hailey, who is 3 going on 6, will not ask me what it is. She once went “Mum hiyo ni nini, Sabuni?” I promptly responded “Eeeh..ni sabuni” Never mind that it was a pack of Always Sanitary pads being advertised. She loves that Always “check, check” song and can almost sing the whole of it word for freaking word! Sigh, I honestly think someone out there gets paid to make parents’ lives more difficult than it already is. But I digress. Again – so yes, I totally agree that the paper should not have published that article.

Having said that, we are a generation whose teenagers attend concerts half naked and get dry-humped in full view of the world, amen? We are a society that cannot stay faithful to one partner and make a joke of Jimmy Gathu’s “fanya hesabu’ campaign of discouraging ‘mipango ya kando”, right? Aren’t we the same people who complacently sit back as the ‘bend-over’ generation takes over? Ah-HA! The Muliro Gardens “brothel” comes to mind now. In all honesty, we are not perfect. Far from it. I therefore understand why the paper thought that we were ready for that article. Come on, look at us!

We shouldn’t try to veil our disgust at the publication as coming from a moral point of view because our morals and self-respect went to the dogs a long time ago. Putting this holier-than-thou façade does not make us angels any more than not acknowledging the problem makes the problem disappear. We are failing as a society as our values go under faster than quicksand. This ‘filth’ – as most are tempted to call it, which was published by our local newspaper, is but a negligible part of the bigger problem that makes us stink as a society.

As we rebuked the article and all it stood for, we missed the lesson; A wake up call to put our house in order. We are so two-faced that we don’t even know which face to wear when. We shut our eyes to the fact that our kids have internet access; how many teenagers make part of our social media networks – please close your mouth and stop pretending that you had no clue that your sweet ‘Junior’ is on Facebook! Aren’t we the same parents who buy our children very expensive phones with internet access? How many cyber cafes give restrictions to the underage kids on what sites they should access and which ones not to?

A child is raised by the society. So either we have our heads buried deep in the sand or we are selective on which garbage to feed to our children; and garbage by any other name still stinks, right? We are not doing our job very well. The cyber attendant is not, the TV stations are not, that musician who should know better than to “bend over” a girl who is barely legal has no clue what his/her significance as a role model is, and the radio stations (read Maina & King’ang’i – Lord have mercy!) are most definitely not doing their job!

Lamenting about the article in The Standard is like asking a person with bad breath not to open their mouth. As long that they don’t speak, their breath won’t stink.

So we go “How dare you? What is the world coming to? Dildos? Where are the men? We are proudly African – show some respect! We demand an apology!” All along, our sons and daughters access any adult sites they wish, we live with child molesters in our homes and refuse to oust them, and we encourage promiscuity by refusing to stay faithfully married to one partner.

For a mature woman old enough to have sex I believe that the choice on whether to use dildos or not is personal just like her choice of underwear and she should not be judged for that. Why do men become so insecure when women take matters that the same men have neglected, in their own hands?

Should you ask me whether The Standard Newspaper went too far in publishing an article on dildos I would reply thus:

A young teenage girl is feeling depressed. She had come to Nairobi to look for employment but nothing was forthcoming. She lived with her sister in Eastlands who was also struggling to eke out a living and pay for her siblings’ education. They could barely get by with her sisters meager earnings and so hoping to ease her sister’s burden, she asked her friends’ advice on where she could make money to assist her sister in paying the bills. One friend advised her to go to the city centre – there were some generous men roaming the street at night. “Just dress well and look good, that’s all”, the friend advised. She even offered to lend her some of her own clothes and make her hair. “We can go together if you like”

The friend took her that night to Koinange Street and when she waved at a vehicle and it stopped, she asked her to go with the man in the car. She went with him and when she asked him if he could give her some money, he said of course. They reached their destination (a hotel room) and once inside, the guy was all over her. He kissed her, she kissed back. He fondled her and went ahead to undressed her; she was slightly puzzled but then raised no objection. When they were both nude and the man wanted to have sex with her, she was shocked, utterly offended and disgusted! Angry, she asked him, “What made you think that I wanted to have sex with you!?”

Where do you begin to answer such a question?

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