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Like it or not sex trade is here to stay

By Njoki Kaigai | December 10th 2017
(Photo: Courtesy)

Last weekend, I stumbled upon an article that featured an unlikely coalition of nominated Senator Millicent Omanga and the atheists defending commercial sex workers. For those in the dark, some MCAs think that we have a commercial sex crisis. In their view, we suddenly have too many people selling sex including men who target male clients. It is amusing that there seems to be a conflict between politics and prostitution given that Ronald Reagan once said, “ It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

To solve the ‘crisis’, MCAs have come up with the most ingenious solution — outlaw prostitution. This solution is not only archaic, but also laughable. It is bound to fail on various grounds.

These MCAs must be in their own world. Maybe they have been so immersed in politics they have become oblivious to the reality that we live in. So today, I hope to shed some light for them.

All animals, humans included come into this world with a need and desire for sex. Most animals approach sex with some fair amount of common sense — they respond to the call of their hormones and only do so to procreate. Human beings, who consider themselves intelligent, have sex for many other reasons —adventure, power and at times as a workout.

History books tell us that the exchange of money and goods for sex (also known as prostitution) has been around for thousands of years.  They also tell us all human development that brings material wealth also brings with it some form of prostitution. It is therefore absurd to imagine that a county such as Nairobi, which seeks advancement, should not have some form of prostitution. Thanks to technology, we have created even more ways to modernise the sex playing field.

Just with one click of a button, one can discover different ways to sexually pleasure themselves.

The ancient books of sexual pleasure like Kama Sutra have morphed into an inexhaustible online encyclopedia that provide lots of interesting things one can do to achieve sexual nirvana.

All these types of sexual adventure must find release. Some people opt to find the release in the safety of comfort of their homes while others go elsewhere.

Since time immemorial, commercial sex workers have been meeting the world’s demand for sex.  The MCAs themselves have acknowledged that the demand for sex is so high that many high-end bars and restaurants have become secret brothels.

It therefore follows that any attempts to wipe out commercial sex is bound to fail and will instead create an underground world where cunning guys will make lots of money at the cost of gullible and innocent women.

In view of this, the MCAs need to dedicate an environment that allows commercial sex to thrive, where the workers and the county co-exist peacefully while making tonnes of money.

A starting point would be to have designated operating hours, zones and websites for those willing to buy and sell sex.  While it would be imprudent for the MCAs to prescribe the ideal rates and charges, they can introduce reasonable levies and licensing fees for those who choose to operate in the commercial sex industry.  The MCAs would not even have to work too hard to develop rate cards since the market has already created different charges for streets.

For example, there is a significant difference between rates in Koinange Street and Wood Avenue. Who knows, they could even make money by providing certificates of good conduct— following medical and financial checks of course. This is not rocket science, other countries such as Thailand and the Netherlands have done it and reaped huge dividends from it.

MCAs are of course very well meaning in their attempts to fight the ‘sin’ of commercial sex, after all we Kenyans like to pride ourselves as a God-fearing nation.  However, they need to establish some form of conduct and etiquette for those Kenyans who benefit from the pleasurable services of commercial sex workers.

Some users have been known to fail to pay upon receipt of services, others beat up and eject the sex workers after they are done with them.  Others do not pay the reasonable fee for services rendered which is a catastrophe considering all the occupational hazards that commercial workers face.

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