It was a Friday evening in one of Nairobi’s swanky joints, the sun had not set, no one had gotten thoroughly sloshed yet - the focus at the time was the gentle music and the process of lining up tummies in readiness for serious damage later in the night. My attention was drawn to this young man who was selling some funny looking twigs to who appeared to be his regular and excited customers.
I eavesdropped on him telling one customer, ”nitaleta ya blue usiku ukifika.” After a few infusions of liquid courage, I asked this entrepreneurial trader about the goods he was selling.
He duly informed me that the twigs were omhombero the blue thing was the blue pill, one a natural and the other a man-made solution to what he said has become a widespread problem - erectile dysfunction and failure to launch.
This trader would make a great case study for pharma companies, he seemed to know everything about the ages, conditions of his regulars and in some cases the diagnosis. From the sound of things, the trade in male performance boosters is booming business. This man’s view would be further reinforced by another media article about women in Limuru becoming sexually starved since their men have become alcoholics. Based on the above and on many other conversations, it seems there is a problem of male performance and some are even making suggestions as to why things have gone south for men in the bedroom.
Tremble in motion
Many men like to walk around strutting their stuff, often sharing imaginary folklore and tales about how great they are in bed. It is actually taboo to even share tales of any bedroom disasters for after all men are expected to perform and to rise to the occasion as and when called upon. Things have not been made easier by the adult film industry otherwise known as porn. Despite Ezekiel Mutua’s fervent campaigns to promote puritanism and good morals, Kenyans are serious consumers of porn; most data bundles are used to explore porn sites. All the actors/players in porn sites are usually studs who carry massive equipment and who can go on for hours on end - I guess they must in order to earn their pay.
For many young men today, their first and frequent encounter with sex is the world of porn. They develop these unrealistic expectations - thinking that only endless marathons of stiff, hard pummeling at some nubile lass counts for sexual performance. Any foray into the world of pleasure for men is usually accompanied by anxiety lest he falls short of delivering a porn-worthy performance. The anxiety ends up compromising the ability of the mast to rise and therefore men are finding comfort and solace in enhancers.
There was a time we believed that enhancers were only used by middle-aged men who have massive bellies and who are under pressure to impress young girls. Once again based on conversations with various users and sellers of these products, it seems that this problem has moved to the younger demographic in this country. The entry of fast food joints and the love of sedentary life styles means that our younger men are developing wider girths faster way before their time. Walk around many urban cities and you will spot men in their 20s and 30s with overflowing bellies - those that tremble in motion and that obscure all visibility to anything below the navel. Let no one fool you, girths and performance do not go hand in hand, so we know that most of these obese young men are simply not delivering.
Since many of them have spare cash either through family allowances or their jobs, they have found that popping the pill or chewing on a twig is faster and more effective than heading to the gym or attempting any weight loss programme. So, I guess as long as the bellies remain, then the market for enhancers will continue to bloom.
When it comes to bedroom matters, most of our men like to approach groin matters the same way they approach their cars. They like to say that no matter how drunk they get; their groin will find its way to its home just like their cars. This is high level denial for the fact that booze has come between men pleasing their women. Urban men who frequent pubs, lounges and membership clubs and pontificate on topical issues like to say that they are not like rural men who make news for non-performance.
What they do not tell anyone is that they pay for their drinking sins later in the bedroom. Many suffer in silent denial, moving from one partner to another in the hope that a change of scenery will help bolster and harden their delivery.
This strategy only works for a while and that is why men nowadays prefer to deploy supporting tools and pills of trade. If you ask Kenyan women, they will tell you that most of their men fall way short of pleasure expectations and that the way things are going, male non-performance may become a national crisis.
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