When Human Resource places condoms in office washrooms, they all vanish in an hour. But you think Nairobians are using them? Hell no!
A survey conducted by UNAIDs revealed that most new couples only use protection on the first two days after hooking up and then bang! they are going 'skin-on-skin' like rabbits. If you think they visited a VCT first, you are crazy. Nairobians simply hate condoms, never mind that annually, the government distributes 180,000 pieces of free rubber 'begged' from development partners.
Here us how it plays out. She whispers, "Babe, that thing feels like a paper bag. Are you okay?" And the man she met yesterday on Facebook lies, "I am a virgin and too big for these Chinese tu-things." Never mind that last time he got tested was 2008. And before you know it, chlamydia, a bacteria or two, a nasty virus and unwanted babies are getting exchanged like no one's business.
So what exactly makes Nairobians lose their guard when it comes to sex?
This week, we sampled some of the lame excuses that couples tinged with pride and bravado that make new lovers live by the reckless dictum, condom come-condom go.
1. Babe, I'm clean
This is the most common reason that people use to justify unprotected sex.
Paul Mwangi*, a public relations officer in a leading PR firm, reveals that he uses this phrase to sleep with any woman he meets.
"Not that I'm proud of it, but sometimes that's the only phrase that works. Somehow, every girl falls for it. I have never bothered to know my HIV status," he said.
Tracy Mongare, a fashion and design student at a city college believes that most men who use that phrase are most likely to infect you with either an STD or even HIV.
"The guilty ones are always scared. When a man feels the need to inform you that he is clean even without you questioning him, then, it's time for you to run!" says a paranoid Tracy.
2. Come on babe, raw is sweeter
Most couples believe that using a condom kills the thrill. They argue it is like wearing a paper bag. Some men will argue they can't even ejaculate when the rubber is on. In effort to please the men, poor Susan will buy this line and go 'condomless'.
"Thrashing a woman with a condom and leaving the bedroom smelling like a latex processing plant is not my thing. So I try and choose my women very well. Besides, you only live once and HIV now almost has a cure," Phillip Mungai, a technical officer revealed in an online questionnaire posted by The Nairobian.
He further revealed that once he sleeps with a woman without a condom, he can never use rubber again. The deal is sealed.
"Ladies, you ever had condomless sex with a man and then tried to get him to use condoms again? You can't, can you? Why? Because no man wants to do that. Once you go raw, it feels like the world just opened up and let you in on one life's greatest pleasures. Birds chirp louder. The sky gets bluer. A man's walk is a little taller and his head is lifted a little higher," said Phillip.
3. No repercussions yet? Let's do it again!
Couples who spoke to The Nairobian claimed that after having unprotected sex and one doesn't become pregnant or gets infected, then, there is always that 'relief feel'.
It is easy to go back to the cookie jar, again!
" I once dated this man and every time we had sex, I was scared of getting pregnant. We agreed on a family planning method just to be safe. I think I became too comfortable and it never crossed my mind he could infect me with HIV," says Ann, adding, " After doing it once with no consequence, individuals get braver or downright reckless.
He views are shared by Tom Ngao, an accountant.
"I cannot have sex with condoms. Common! Not at my age! I always withdraw during sex and when I fail to, then I ensure she swallows an emergency pill, which I always carry in my wallet," he said.
Tom's greatest fear is impregnating a girl. Sexually Transmitted diseases are not part of his fears.
4. Too drunk to care
After a night of drowning vodka shots, most men will not remember to wear a condom, leave alone the name of their chips funga.
" Last week, I meet this hot girl in the club. I was so high and when I got home, I couldn't even remember where I hid my packet of condoms. We had unprotected sex and I woke up cursing in the morning. I was shocked since I consider myself very careful," Mark Kamaua told The Nairobian.
In 2011, Canadian researchers looked at 12 studies that examined the link between people's blood alcohol content (BAC) and they likelihood of using condoms during sex.
The researchers split the participants into two groups, and asked one group consume alcohol, while the other group did not drink.
Findings from the research according to Jürgen Rehm, the director of the Social and Epidemiological Research at Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, revealed that "Alcohol influenced their decision processes."
Participants who took alcohol were more likely to have unprotected sex than the sober ones.
5. A baby is unity, right?
Most women confessed to engaging in unprotected sex to 'trap' a man with a baby.
When the biological clock is ticking and there is no man in the horizon, then, most women will try their luck with any man that comes their way.
" I had just turned 34 and I had just broken up with my man. I was desperate for a baby. I had too much pressure from my parents and friends. The next man that I met, I sweet- talked him not to use condoms. That is how I got pregnant," says Ann.
6. No blood samples, quick visual HIV test will do
Despite the many HIV trainings that most Nairobians attend most couples still believe they can 'visually' detect someone who is HIV positive or not.
"My former boss, as educated as he was, believed that he could tell whether it was safe to have sex with a lady without a condom. He used to say that a good woman is like a piece of meat at the butchery, you can tell from just a glance," Enock Wandera, a journalist told The Nairobian.
7. Don't you love me?
There is a joke that goes like; "If a man tells you he loves you and he hasn't had organic sex with you, he's lying." Whether there is any truth in it, that's debatable.
Some men like Lenny Mwamba, a club bouncer believe that sex and love are two different entities.
"Sex is so good; it will really fool you into thinking you're in love with them. 'Skin-to-skin' sex will have you all confused in your emotions," Lenny said, adding, "I don't know what happens when I sleep with a woman on the first date. I just loose interest and it even gets worse when we don't use a condom. I probably initiated it but I end up backing out," he explained.
8. It is midnight, the shops are closed
Have you ever been at the heat of a moment that you had not even planned for only to realise that the last packet of condoms was 'borrowed' by a friend? It is midnight and you live in Muchatha where shops are closed as early as 6pm.
Do you start reminding your partner that you need to call a taxi to take you to the nearest shopping centre or go on and keep her focused?
Of course, no man can allow such a moment pass!
"Truth be told sometimes you just can' avoid it. You will do everything it takes to convince her that all is well. Besides, who wants to wake up with blue balls?" Alex Kipchumba an upcoming blogger told The Nairobian.
9. Oops, just happened!
Accidents do happen, even in bed!
Most Nairobians argue that whenever they have unprotected sex, it was err...an accident!
Some will blame the devil or say they were carried away and couldn't say no.
"Sometimes it's totally unplanned for. Your partner won't just stop. There is no turning back at that moment," explains Anne, a hairdresser in a top beauty parlour in Nairobi.
10. Too much of a hustle
Isaac Kiala, an environmentalist, confessed that as he grows older, he finds it more tedious to peel off a condom and make out with a woman at the same time.
"When you get to my age you have to do everything to 'keep it up'. A little destruction and you are back to square one, yet we all know how impatient ladies are. One simply cannot risk losing her in the initial stages of dating," Isaac told the Nairobian.
- The names of people we spoke to for this story have been changed to protect their identity