Relationships

Do Long Distance Romances Work?

I used to be very skeptical about long distance relationships until a personal experience recently changed my view. Love is a beautiful thing but my reasons for being skeptical in the past were largely due to the fact that, many men I encountered made it clear that a long distance relationship would not work.

All these men happened to be in the same country as me, but felt that a distance of a couple hundred kilometers from a woman they were in a relationship with, would definitely pose a challenge. I also used to feel that being in an LDR, required an extra huge amount of investment in terms of keeping the spark alive.

Image courtesy of glamour.com

However, my eyes have since been opened to the fact that you can indeed have a successful LDR only if you pay attention to these few pointers;

Communicating via a medium of communication is not similar to communicating in person.

Of course many LDRs start online. Therefore, the initial conversations may be through skype or over the phone or via facebook or whichever other medium of communication, that can facilitate long distance interaction. It may surprise you to learn though that interaction in person may be/can be different when you two eventually meet.

You may quickly discover a significant difference in personalities and/or perceptions which was not quite evident, while the two of you were chatting since you are now able to read body language, see the other person’s reactions and experience first hand how they normally act. So it’s always important not to set your expectations and standards based on your online initial chats.

You might not feel the spark in person.

Meeting someone you have been talking to online is definitely a new experience that might make anyone nervous. So of course all these mixtures of anxiety, nervousness, fear of the unknown, shyness etc. etc. might interfere with that “spark” feeling. Give it time.

Cultural differences.

This is a crucial factor that often determines if an LDR will survive or not. If you two come from different countries, go into the relationship keeping in mind that your cultures are different and therefore your values, way of life and perceptions may totally be different. Compromise may be required. Equally, considerations of whether the both of you are up to the challenge of accommodating each other’s cultures have to be factored.

If it is meant to be, it will be.

Normally, we have a tendency of placing relationship expectations and this is no different with LDRs. However, if at all you do meet and feel uncertain about each other, don’t sweat it. Take it easy and enjoy the moments you two spend together. If it is meant to morph into a serious relationship, it will. If it is not meant to be anything romantic, then count your lucky stars for adding you an additional long distance friend.

LDRs need double the work in relationships within the same locality.

The fact that you two are miles, kilometers or continents apart requires the both of you to go the extra mile in making the relationship work. You need to both develop a certain level of trust, loyalty to each other, patience, tolerance and optimism.

Those periods when you will be apart for months and there’s nothing you can do about it because you are both bogged down with work or your respective life demands, these attributes will come in handy. So if you both feel ready to be in a serious relationship, a  huge amount of planning on how you will be organizing your meetings, communicating, solving disputes and working on your relationship is required beforehand.

 

 

Are You Happy Being Single?

My tastes in men have been changing over the years.

In my late teens, I fancied any guy who had a stable job and was pursuing a Masters degree. Sounds really weird right now when I’m writing about it, that I would have wanted an already established man then, when I hadn’t even joined any higher learning institution at the time. But I did date a couple of guys in their mid twenties who had stable jobs and were pursuing Masters degrees at the time. And some broke my heart so it wasn’t smooth sailing.

In campus, I became realistic and surprisingly dated a guy in campus for well over two years. It wasn’t the all bliss kind of relationship and probably he was a wrong pick for me or I was the wrong pick for him, but we shared lots in common including having our tea sugarless. Anyway, who wasn’t dating on and off with the same guy in campus? At least our on and off thing lasted well over two years. Plus at the time, I had a thing for anyone with height and he was well over 6 ft tall. I still do, by the way. Biceps are a plus too haha!

Fast forward to the real world and after that on and off thing I had in campus, I have largely been single since then. A couple of try outs here and there, never lasted long enough to qualify as courtship and eventually, I decided to stop trying. This week, I got thinking about my single status. Am I really happy being single? Do I need someone in my life? Will I ever find that someone? Am I getting used to being single? What do I consider ideal in a man?

Happy African Couple. Image from Google

First of all, I nowadays have near zero tolerance for things I consider a waste of my time. So definitely at the moment, my decision to stay single is because I don’t want to get into something, then regret almost immediately why I got into it. I have nursed broken hearts in the past and it was never a good experience. For me, that is.

Now I admit this begrudgingly, but I’m kinda starting to get used to being single. Like I’m not attached to anyone and I can relocate to whichever country if need be and not have to worry about distance stuff and whether we’ll survive it or not. I don’t have to constantly keep contact with one particular person. I get to do my stuff and not feel like I owe someone my time. Sounds selfish I know, but if you haven’t been in any serious, lengthy relationship from mid 2014 like I have, you get used to the single life bliss. And you actually get to enjoy life just being you, interestingly. Call me out on that last fact, later.

A friend of mine recently put me on blast for fancying significantly older guys than myself. Not people’s husbands though! Don’t even start thinking on those lines. At 19, I dated a guy who was 7 years older and frankly age, doesn’t really concern me. That doesn’t mean I’ll go for an old, wrinkly guy. I never really see a 10 year age gap being a big deal. Relationships to me nowadays are more about respect, genuine support, care, getting along, sharing ideals and just enjoying being in each other’s company. If I do get that in a guy who is 12 years older, that’s fine. If I do get that in a guy who’s my age, that’s fine too.

Finding someone eventually will happen. We all know the dating advice that someone comes along when you least expect him/her to. I tend to find some truth in that. I think the best relationships started out rather randomly. You never really plan to talk to this particular guy and date him for 3, 4 years to come. Frankly, relationships I have been in that lasted really long, I never kept tabs on. It just happened and I looked back one day and realized that I had been with the same person for this length of time.

And yes, nobody should ever lie to you that it doesn’t sometimes get lonely being single. It does! I think this week has been that loneliness phase for me. We are social animals who desire to feel loved and so some days, you are reveling in your single life bliss, other days, you feel cursed for not finding the one person that makes your insides turn into jelly. Or that one person who will take you to an idyllic setting one day and look straight in your eyes while proposing.

Yes, I would love to be a wife and mum someday. That would be nice. But hey, being single does not signal the end of life plus one particularly positive thing I have learnt while single, is that you can only give love to another when you finally understand what kind of love to give to yourself.

I would love to hear your single life experiences if any. Do you feel left out in the dating scene sometimes? Has it been hard finding someone that you click with? Share below.

 

 

Why I Haven’t Been On A Proper Date In Ages

Let’s talk about disastrous dates whether first, second or third if you get lucky enough to be asked out on a third date. The ones that make you cringe and wonder why you even agreed to a date in the first place. I’m reminded of my sister’s friend who went out on a date with a guy whom I would like to believe, unintentionally farted at some point. He then proceeded to pretend like he didn’t notice the gross combination smell of cabbage, eggs, beans and whatever foods you might think of, that transform into nuclear weapons of mass destruction, once there is an emission of gas from the body. Needless to say, any forms of attraction toward him from my sister’s friend evaporated that very minute.

I have had my fair share of bad dates, barely there dates and good dates. There are men I met who were chivalrous enough to take me out on proper dates to really nice restaurants. There were also men I met whose idea of a date was, a pretence of requesting I pay them a visit in their homes, in the hopes of getting some from me that night. And they were clueless enough to think that I would believe the visit would be entirely innocent and would only comprise of a dinner and singing of religious hymns before I got escorted back home. There are also men, who for some reason decided to take me out on what looked like a proper date at first in a nice place or setting, only to proceed to behave in the most neanderthal of ways.

I once went out on a date with a guy I really fancied, who decided to spend the entire period, stealing open, obvious glances at an Ethiopian girl’s back in a bare back top. To make matters worse, with the most silliest of grins on his face, he proceeded to mention that he thought the people sitting on the table where the Ethiopian girl was, were students. Now when you take me out on a date and I have spent hours getting ready for you, including doing my toenails in the most luscious of purple color, then you proceed to ogle at another woman, I will be thoroughly pissed. Even more pissed when you decide to trivialize your bad manners. Since when did university students become tourist attractions to be stared at?!

Bored couple on a date. Courtesy of Google Images.

Bored couple on a date. Courtesy of Google Images.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I can barely remember the last time I went on a proper date. It has been a lengthy period of time. Some years, I’m totally sure of that. Of course in that duration, I have been invited out for drinks, dinners or lunches by people, who thought it would be lonely enough to have a meal or drink by themselves and I equally thought, having restaurant meals and drinks once in a while broke the monotony of me sitting by myself, in the house. But I wouldn’t qualify them to be dates because there was no mutual attraction and we were probably feeding the need of having someone else’s company. We were just but two lonely individuals wondering why the odds were always against us in this oh, so cruel, cruel dating world. Trust me, there are many lonely millenials walking around.

Most of the time I have declined random suggestions that were packaged as dates but came at odd hours of the evening or night. Plus I have experienced lengthy periods of time when I have been out of work and therefore, too broke to even think of agreeing to go out on a date. Reason being, that an increasing number of men nowadays assume that you come for a date with your own fare back home. And if you seem like you never carried extra money, then it would be easier to accompany their sly selves back to their houses. So even if I desperately wanted to be asked out on a date, the thought of being broke scared the wits out of me.

Let me emphasize on this, being asked out on a date in a pub or club or to a man’s house or to accompany him and his football loving friends are in reality not dates. So to avoid tainting my image as the girl who is always available and down for whatever shenanigans thrown her way, I have steered clear of dates for a long, long time. Chivalry is pretty much dead in this generation of millenials who have a wide array of booty calls at their disposal. It’s simply the sad reality of how things are. Plus I’m just tempted to think that people are too broke nowadays, with too many needs to even remember how proper dates are supposed to be conducted. Or we simply became too lazy and selfish.

So to save myself the horror of a disastrous date, I would rather let it pass. Which disastrous dates have you ever been on?

Flashy Weddings And Keeping Up Appearances

Some years back, when I was still figuring myself out and what I wanted in life, I had this Kakibarua (small job) I was doing in my hometown of Nakuru and it so happened, that one of my workmates had a wedding coming up. He was a nice guy and of course all of us who worked with him got invited to the wedding. At the time, it was the advent of wedding shows which frequently showcased flashy Kenyan weddings on our TV Channels. Inevitably in our young, inexperienced minds, we expected such a grand wedding with an evening reception in tow.

The wedding turned out to be farely modest and ended by 5pm. We thought there would be a wedding reception afterwards which of course was not to be. Oddly enough, this is one of the weddings in my lifetime that I have attended dressed in jeans. I mean, literally all of us workmates to the groom who fell in the 20s age bracket, showed up in jeans as if we were attending a casual weekend event. I still have that particular photo on Facebook and it does not look anything like we were attending a wedding ceremony.

He must have been so disappointed in us although he made a good show of successfully concealing it. We didn’t even think of getting him individual wedding presents and only tagged along, to present the collectively bought table as the wedding present from the workmates of the groom. As if that was not enough, in our apparent disappointment with no wedding reception, we decided to spoil ourselves silly with drinks at a pub in town later on.

An African bride with her bridesmaids

An African bride with her bridesmaids

About a year back, I had accompanied my cousins for a goat eating party as we call them in our country. Now this, for my foreign readers, is a coated term for a wedding fundraiser. They call it goat eating party, just to attract more attendees since there will be nyama (meat) and Kenyans are known to love their meat.

If you have ever attended some of these parties, you definitely know how annoying they can get because you have to part with more money, than you had budgeted for. These are the kind of ceremonies where you get fined some amount of money for not introducing yourself loud enough for everyone to hear, speaking while the MC is speaking and just for being there.

This particular goat eating party was no different. And all because you want to fund a wedding that will be grand and remembered for years to come. By the time we left, we wondered why people didn’t simply save for their own weddings yet they could afford to hire an umarpket venue for a goat eating party.

I remembered these two incidents when one Kenyan man, decided to wow his in-laws by arriving in style for the dowry proceedings of his wife-to-be, complete with a convoy of vehicles and a helicopter, that caught the attention of Kenyans and the media. A flashy wedding would cap it all off. Just last Sunday, the guy in question was in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, he had made his millions to afford such a wedding, from swindling foreigners into buying gold. Well, we are yet to see how the story unfolds.

A wedding venue. Image courtesy of Google

A wedding venue. Image courtesy of Google

Kenyans will agree with me that there has been an over commercialization of weddings in recent times. A wedding nowadays, is gauged by how much money was used in arranging it and not so much on the value of a wedding, for a couple who have decided to spend the rest of their lives together. Kenyans are increasingly trying to outdo one another in just how they conduct their wedding ceremonies.

Since an increasing number of middle class Kenyans earn good salaries and are exposed individuals, a grand wedding is indeed made possible. But because we often have a budget beyond our means despite the good salaries we are earning, the annoying wedding fundraising cannot be totally ignored. So we will arrange for these and have disgruntled workmates and friends attend, some deciding not to attend the wedding out of their dissatisfaction from being forced to help in funding it.

We understand that African weddings are a community affair, but we do not want to part with our hard earned money, yet we can clearly see that both the bride-to-be and groom-to-be, have good jobs to sustain themselves. And so, in the wisdom that I have since attained over the past few years, I would gladly congratulate my former workmate for holding a wedding within his means. None of us was asked to contribute a dime to the wedding and therefore, it was shameless of us to come with our own selfish expectations.

Asking other people to fund your weddings and going overboard with the ceremony, just to make an impact, takes away the initial value of a wedding as a ceremony of being joined in Holy matrimony to the one you love. I have no issue with someone who can afford the helicopters, imported gowns and 10 tiered cakes on their wedding day complete with a honeymoon around the world. If they are making the money with their honest means, then it’s theirs to enjoy. However, it would indeed be a tragedy if stories such as the one mentioned above, came up just when they had settled down to start a family.

It kind of puts a dent in the perfect image that their weddings had created in the minds of the public whose attention they intended to capture. So if you intend to do a flashy wedding and lack the means to do it, why not scale down the budget a little bit? It may not be considered that entertaining or grand of a wedding but in the long run, it is the couple who matter and not what the attendees think or imagine.

 

Advertising For A Wife

Quite recently, I came across an article on the Nairobian, about a 32 year old Nairobi man who had decided to place notices all over the city advertising for a wife. Apparently, he had spent about Ksh3,500 on the whole venture and his notice included the specifications for the woman he wanted and a deadline date of March 30th 2017. Among his list of specifications was an insistence that the woman should not have kids and should be able to work in the farm.

He also made a point of mentioning to the Nairobian reporter who did his story, that he was not interested in Nairobi women as a result of their indignified ways. And that so far, he had started narrowing down to his choice despite the fact that many pranksters including men, had already contacted him. Well, that is the most stupid thing I’ve come across since the year started and here’s why.

I find it very stereotypical when men living and working in Nairobi thump their chests and declare, “Mimi siwezi oa msichana wa Nairobi” (I can’t marry a Nairobi woman). Then what are you doing in Nairobi?! Pack your bags and relocate back to the village where you will find a village woman of your choice! Even more so irritating, when some Nairobi men arrogantly assume that a Nairobi woman, is just like the rest of the “bad” women they have been involved with in the past.

A workmate of mine once asked me if I was married and I replied in the negative. He then went on to ask if I had children and I replied again in the negative. Then the fool said in a huff, “nyinyi wasichana wa Nairobi mnadanganyanga hivyo na mko na watoto nyumbani” (you Nairobi women pretend that way yet you have kids back in the village). Were it not for courtesy, I would have smacked him right in the face. Why was he asking me if I have children yet he supposedly knew the answer?!

Nairobi men I speak to you today, those stereotypes that you have over time developed about Nairobi women are the reasons why you are probably still single in your 30s.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

For someone to even think of advertising for a wife and with such dumb specifications like she should not have children, I think quite a number of Nairobi men are fumbling in the dark. Those horror stories you were once told about evil Nairobi women, are probably lies from a male relative or friend, who was unlucky enough to date a particular woman lacking in morals. They lied to you and you foolishly believed them and began viewing all Nairobi women as conniving witches only interested in money that you may not even have.

I find it insulting for a grown man to look down on a woman who has a child to show for a past relationship. Would you have liked it better if she had aborted that child and then proceeded to lie to you that she had never been pregnant before? I wonder. Along the way, I stopped being judgmental of single mothers as I have personally been a product of a two parent home and eventually a single parent home. Before you decide to judge a woman for having children out of wedlock, find out what happened first with the child’s father. You are equally not a saint. Or would you like us to believe that you are still a virgin male at 32?

Enough of this nonesense about Nairobi women or town women being this or that. Are you even looking in the right places for the right women? If my memory serves me right, one Nairobi woman/girl if you would like, since we have developed a Kenyan habit of referring to women in their 20s as girls, recently married her Nairobi man in a union that cost only Kshs 100. Before all these other companies chipped in with their contributions of a grand wedding, tiered cake and double honeymoon to Diani in Mombasa and Dubai, this Nairobi woman agreed to be joined with her fiance in holy matrimony, that only cost Kshs 100 for both rings. I repeat for emphasis. She did not exhibit any signs of being materialistic as the stereotype often states.

So if you are working as a security guard at a firm in the city and are busy setting your eyes on a lady professional in the company that you man the doors for, do you expect her to fall for your charms? Don’t you see the disconnect there and that your priorities, let’s be realistic and honest for once, may not align to each other’s? I have been an employee before and I’ve had security guards and other men too not only the said profession and with all due respect, at the place I worked at hit on me. I made it a point to politely make it clear that I wasn’t reading from the same script. Not because I was a snorty, materialistic Nairobi woman then, but because it was the honest truth.

Oh, I understand that some of these women you are trying to hit on and hint marriage at are not even in good careers but still resist your advances. Did you take your time to read the signs of whether she was on the same page as you or you proceeded to simply announce your intentions, assuming that it’s traditional for a woman to readily agree to settle down with any man, who exhibits signs of being serious?

Wake up and smell the coffee! There are rules to the attraction game and you should never proceed with your advances on a woman, who clearly shows the signs that she is after your money and does not even seem to care about you. Because you just know it when someone is golddigging you!

Don’t lie to us Nairobi men, you knew it when she always contacted you when in some financial need. But for one reason or another you chose to ignore all the glaring signs just like we women have a habit of ignoring certain obvious red flags. It’s a human need to want to feel loved and to strive to achieve that. Probably that’s what makes us ignore some uncomfortable truths in our dating life. But hey, I’m no moral judge! Been there, done that!

I simply implore on men who hold onto the mentioned stereotype, to kindly consider changing their views. Not every Nairobi or town woman is no good and you probably just need to work on certain aspects of your life to attract the right people in your life. I’m not sure if this man advertising all over for a wife will be successful but I’ll be honest, it’s just dumb.

 

 

Why Online Dating Is Another Form Of Being Lazy In Love

I have logged onto Online Dating sites in the past. I have managed to create an incomplete profile on one. However, I didn’t last more than a day on those sites. One site required that I pay some amount of money in pounds, to be able to read messages from guys who had commented on my profile.

Another site went ahead and matched me with some creepy looking fellows  from my locality. Actually, none of those guys came from within my area of locality. They simply were from the same country as me. So being one with such little faith in Online Dating, I quickly decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. In a country of about 47  million persons as of this year, I couldn’t miss eligible guys to date, so I figured.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

I find Online Dating to be quite a lazy way of trying to meet potential persons to date. I’m aware of it’s popularity in the West. One person in the UK was gracious enough to explain to me that the reason why he preferred Online Dating, was because of his area of locality. It was a small town, with an equally small population so you literally knew everybody and had already exhausted your options. Online Dating was the only way you could go to find someone.

However, it is a known fact that Online Dating hasn’t quite caught on in the African continent. And for those in especially my country who engage in it, it is largely for ulterior motives. If you were to go the Online Dating route in Kenya, you are bound to meet with many guys online, who are just doing it for fun, looking for a sugar mummy or soliciting for sex.

Most of the women in my country who equally try Online Dating are those who are looking for foreign guys to elevate them. Indeed, there have been numerous cases in the past where Kenyan women met a White guy online, met in person eventually and started dating, only to end up sexually violated, dead or missing. For the few who met genuinely serious White men on the same platform, they only have their lucky stars to thank.

Love has over time taken a different dimension altogether. It is the reason why many people actively engaging in Online Dating, see no problem with sitting at a computer for hours, chatting with someone who is virtually a stranger to them. The most common explanation given for this being that, they lack the time or conducive environment to actually meet someone in their day to day activities.

Men on the other hand no longer have to chase if the Internet can do the chasing for them, by matching them up with women within their localities. Online dating has even made it easier for creeps soliciting for sex to get laid.

I’m very aware of the numerous online dating success stories, but that does not completely erase the fact that, these people were in reality, too lazy to meet someone eligible in person. Online Dating, despite its positives if any, is just but an easy fix for many who do not desire to put themselves out there in the real dating world. They therefore resort to technology that is going to speed up the process for them to get into a relationship.

Nowadays, we no longer value first dates and deep one on one conversations with someone we are attracted to. We do not even care to read facial expressions! I personally do not believe in connections formed via a computer or laptop. How sure am I that the person sitting on the other end is actually a genuine person not someone with ill intentions? How confident am I that if I send him photos of mine, he is not going to use them to create a fake profile elsewhere?

In this generation, we have reduced one another into commodities which can be solicited for, with a few specifications of how we would like them to look and where we would like them to come from. If we finally meet them in person on a date and decide that we do not like how they look or act, we can always relegate them to the back seat and get online once again, to search for another. So in a month’s time, we discover that we have been on numerous dates with people we hardly knew and we call that putting ourselves out there.

In reality, I find this exhausting. If I’m going to be out on dates most days in a week with people I decide I do not like, then I might as well resort to the old fashioned way of meeting eligibles. That way, at first glance and a few exchange of pleasantries, I can tell whether I would agree to a first date with this guy or not. And it is totally free. No payments.

Connections to me, are better formed in the real world. Sadly, we have decided that we do not want to put any effort in our love lives and prefer the easy way out, that is Online Dating. Indeed there is so much we can do to actually meet someone in person. We can decide to go out more, improve on our personal grooming, interact more with others, be more approachable…but we seem too lazy nowadays to successfully achieve that.

We just know that a dating site somewhere, will do all the work for us and we get to sit pretty, as we chat away with someone else, who is equally as lazy as we are. Never mind that you are going to encounter lots of dodgy characters online and suffer unnecessary frustration until you finally, if possible, meet that one person with whom you expect to click.

 

Teenagers and Sex: How Young Is Too Young To Be Having Sex?

Hello Parents, your children are having sex!

Surprised? Shocked? It’s happening. That lanky, innocent faced teenage son is getting some from a sweet faced teenage or younger girl somewhere.

But how would you know if you are a busy parent, who leaves the house by 6 am to beat the jam and gets back at 7 or 8 pm after being stuck in traffic for hours?

How would you know when you firmly believe that your children could not be exposed to sex at their young ages?

How would you know if you consider our parliamentarians to be working for the devil, for suggesting that the age of consent be lowered to 16 and not the usual 18?

Did it ever occur to you that an underage boy child can end up charged for defilement, for sleeping with a girl child who is equally underage and that the suggestion stemmed from a desire to protect the boy child?

But do you care anyway? After all, it is your underage daughter whose innocence was taken so this underage boy deserves to pay, doesn’t he?

Parents and especially Kenyan parents, you need to wake up and smell the kahawa!

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

When your 15 year old daughter ends up pregnant yet she has been in a strict boarding school for the better part of her life, in addition to residing in a gated community, where the watchman knows every resident by name and you realize the father is a clueless 15 or 16 year old boy from the neighborhood, then you will know she wasn’t raped as she would like you to believe.

She had actually been engaging in unprotected sex with the said young man while popping emergency pills afterward until sh&t happened, the pill failed to work and she is now expecting your grandchild. What more proof do you need that your children are getting it on like there’s no tomorrow and are none the wiser, on what precautions to take while engaging in sex?

Parents, forget the parent lock on the DSTV channels you consider too mature for your children to watch. Forget the forwarding of sexual scenes you actively do when your children are in the vicinity. These children know much more about sex than what you and your spouse have known in your 20 or so years of marriage.

Your teenage daughter could as well be sexting with a teenage boy who is actively looking up pornographic material. I once mentioned that an increasing number of Kenyans are addicted to pornography on the blog. A percentage of this number are teenagers. How do I know without statistics? Most people admit to coming across porn material in their teens. Many were not even actively looking for it but someone in their circle of friends was and shared with them.

Parents, do not for once be fooled by those innocent faces. Children as young as 12 are engaging in consensual sex. Note, consensual sex. So stop crying foul that your underage daughters have been defiled by boys, who didn’t know better when you discover that they are sexually active.

Since most African parents would rather die than listen to their children confessing to have broken their virginity, these children could be doing it with the utmost level of secrecy. And while many including myself consider teenage-hood or younger to be too young to be having sex, I’m not completely closed off to the idea that an increasing number of teenagers are having sex only taking it a notch higher in campus. And in campus, that is where all the sex happens, since they now consider themselves young adults with less supervision.

We are not talking about campuserians today, but the young boys and girls in high school and primary school in your houses. The ones you leave all day long over school holidays with dodgy househelps and distant cousins. Quite a number of boys had their first sexual encounter with the mboch. Yes, and they never reported the incident to you.

Others had male relatives give them unsolicited sex education that involved experimentation with girls in the neighborhood. Some girls ended up pregnant while accompanying the randy mboch to her weekly trysts. Plus the parents of nowadays are buying phones that can access the internet for children as young as 10, 11 or 12. This is where all the sexting and exchange of nudies is taking place.

So when you hear of teenagers nabbed while engaging in orgies reminiscent of the Roman times, do not be shocked. We have sexually active 16 year olds with raging libidos in our midst. And no amount of beating, teen service on Sunday, paraffin in boarding school food to kill libidos and exorcising of fornication demons, can change the situation unless we sit down and have a heart to heart talk with our children. Parents you need to do much more hands on parenting than what you are doing nowadays. Let the househelps do the washing and cleaning but do the raising of your own children for Chrissakes!

Dating nowadays among teenagers is not about exchanging pretty harmless love letters, in bad English with song dedications as a sign off. Dating nowadays among teenagers involves proving your love  lust by agreeing to let this boy or girl make his or her sexual fantasy a reality.

So if you are talking to your pre-teen or teen child about sex, it is time to cast African societal norms aside and ask the hard questions. Is he/she dating? Is he/she having sex? When exactly did they start having sex?  It may be the most unfathomable thing to do or believe, but it is much better to have a knowledge of what you are dealing with, than a horrible surprise of a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.

Are A Woman’s Strong Features A Determinant Of Her Desirability?

What makes a woman feminine?

Is it the shape of her face, her soft curves, the roundness of her bottom…? Are these attributes of hers considered female, what men are going to look at and say “wow, she’s hot!”? What about a female who naturally has strong features, otherwise considered “manly” or “masculine” in many quarters?

I sought to find out what 3 men thought about dating a woman who fell in the latter category. One mentioned that he wouldn’t mind the masculinity factor, as long as she possessed all the qualities he looked for in a woman.

As a matter of fact, for him, those special qualities would surpass her physique. However, he was quick to note that sometimes, the physical attributes of a woman contributed to the attraction factor, from the opposite sex. But all the same, he went on to mention female sport figures who possessed obviously, very strong features that he considered attractive.

The next man gave a complete no. He was very certain that he would not even be the slightest bit attracted to such a woman, just from looking at her strong features. The third mentioned that he tends to look at the physical attributes first in a woman.

He admitted to this being superficial and a mistake on his part. However, he highly doubted that he would get past the masculinity factor, in a bid to know more about her as an individual and what special qualities she possessed.

Well, not to judge these men for their honest opinions, I think the answers they gave me, are in truth a reflection of what many men and women alike, think about the desirability factor of a woman, considered to possess strong features.

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

One such woman regarded as masculine by many, happens to be tennis star, Serena Williams. To many, Serena could be confused for a man. Never mind the fact that she recently got engaged and could be walking down the aisle very soon. This is just proof that someone of the opposite sex, despite all the hullabaloo surrounding Serena’s physique, found her attractive and is willing to spend the rest of his life with her.

As an individual who has recorded huge successes in the tennis field, it was inevitable really for Serena to look the way that she does. An immense amount of training goes into becoming a professional in specifically, sport. Back in the day, when Serena and her sister were just beginning to learn the ropes of tennis under the tutelage of their father, they were just but normal skinny girls. But it would take a lot to mold them into the huge stars they have since become.

To exhibit the kind of strength and endurance that Serena exhibits on the tennis court, significant effort goes in building the right physique for it. And this is evident on many female athletes engaging in sports that need a high level of stamina, not only Serena whom many have singled out.

I tend to find musician Pink, equally possessing quite strong features which can be partly attributed to the fact that she’s also a gymnast. Many of her performances have seen her suspended in ropes while performing various tricks on stage. You need the right body for that.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Sports aside, in my usual routine of poring over the Internet for information, I quickly discovered that there are certain features in women, considered masculine. A square jaw was one of them. Some women I saw being pinpointed as seeming “manly” happened to possess square jaws.

There was equally the racist factor that singled out certain African-American women as being masculine just from their looks and what others considered linked to their heritage. It is sad that the former first lady of the US, Michelle Obama and British supermodel Naomi Campbell are some of those  Black women, whom if you dig deeper in the Internet, you will find many trolls calling them male or other unsavory names. A cruel reality of the many forms that racism can take including bashing genetics.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

Back here in my country, the physical attributes of a woman equally seem to play a huge role for many in the desirability factor. There’s what biology and society’s standards of beauty have over time portrayed to be feminine. For quite a number, a woman is defined by the soft features that make her feminine. If she seems to lean more on the strong features, then something must be wrong, we tend to assume.

The fact that men are considered visual creatures may also partly contribute to this deeply entrenched idea of what a female should look like. Not to seem like I’m bashing the male, but it is accepted by many, that men look at a woman’s features that are different from theirs and therefore attractive to them. If the woman appears to look like a male, then definitely the whole idea is kind of distorted and the man can be forgiven for reacting with unmasked surprise, at this turn of events.

However, the often, negative, unmasked surprise goes both ways. Women may tend to question how female a fellow woman is, if she seems to come across as male. We assume that if this is how we look as females, then the rest of us should look the same. Quite a close minded view, you might be tempted to conclude.

Well, when genetic factors are at play as they always are in determining our individual physiques, there’s nothing much we can do about it. Looking at this whole issue from a feminist view, regardless of how a woman’s physique is, what she possesses in her mind, is far more important than a pair of well sculpted legs that may appear manly to some.

We need to stop this objectification of women, that tends to place more emphasis on what is considered sexy in a woman, at the expense of her talents and what she is capable of doing. Many women in the sports field are increasingly being objectified while pursuing what they are good at. It could perhaps be the reason why the likes of Serena Williams, have constantly endured castigation over how they look.

For many, if she looks like a male, then she definitely acts like a male and quite a number of men, may shy away from pursuing such a woman. Physical attributes have little to do with a person’s personality and a woman who possesses strong features, may turn out to be the most feminine in personality. However, many can agree with me that changing deeply entrenched perceptions may prove to be the hardest.

Thoughts?

Why Our West African Brodas Will Always Be Appealing To Kenyan Women

I must admit that this is a topic that has fascinated me for a while. These West African brodas( that’s how they pronounce brothers there for those who are wondering) who land in this beautiful country of ours and within months, have managed to successfully date this Kenyan damsel, who had proven outta many Kenyan men’s league for ages. What is it about these men that makes Kenyan women go gaga and agree to settle down with, after the entire society had already written them off as “too old” for marriage? Talk about classic stereotypes.

Please note that after interacting with Kenyan women who are married to or in relationships with West African men and careful observation, I came up with the below list of reasons;

1.West African Men Are Expressive

A Nigerian man in Nigerian inspired attire. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

A Nigerian man in Nigerian inspired attire. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

West African men are quite expressive. From the way they talk to how they dress. One time I was at the Hub in Karen with some of my relatives and this obviously, West African guy that for some reason looked like someone I had seen before on TV or a magazine, was in all white. From the African inspired shirt, to the trousers, to the sandals. In his company, was this tall, svelte, fashionably dressed lady in jeans and heels whom I had no way of telling if she was Kenyan or equally West African.

Now Kenyan men are going to bash me for this, but you rarely get to see a Kenyan man in all white and sandals and still make the sandals look fashionable in addition to looking damn good! Our Kenyan idea of a man being extremely smart is the official suit. Blame “this official suit looking good” mentality on the British colonial influence, but it has taken a long while for us to see Kenyan men play around with color and other styles that are still dapper. Trust these West Africans to dress in all these bursts of color and still look manly enough, for Kenyan women to literally feel like throwing themselves at their feet.

A West African man will not feel less manly, for expressing himself to a woman about how much she means the world to him. Every woman, not only Kenyan, would want to hear it from a man she’s with that he loves her to the moon and back. We have our own cultures back here in Kenya, that frown upon men expressing their emotions and perhaps prevent our men, from going all expressive about their feelings. I don’t know about the West African culture, Ghana and Nigeria and the likes and what they think about an expressive man, but their men are not about to shy off soon from adorning their women with expressive declarations of what they feel about them.

2. They are providers

I’m not trying to imply that the Kenyan men are not providers. As a matter of fact, just so you know, I have never dated a West African man. I have only interacted with a couple. However, the West African man came to Kenya and took provision to a whole other level. Of course there are those West African men who have landed in Kenya while making money in unscrupulous ways, to be able to throw it carelessly on “trivial” things like spoiling Kenyan women silly.

Kenyan women on the other hand have a reputation of being materialistic. We all get lumped in the same category of golddiggers even though some of us, might have no interest whatsoever in the materialistic things a man has to offer. Kenyan women equally have an East African reputation of being aggressive if the number of single women, successfully raising their children on their own while catering for the childrens’ every need, is anything to go by. Plus there’s a new crop of men who simply refuse to provide for whatever reason.

So it’s not like women generally latch onto men for money purposes. However, the feeling that a man can actually provide for your every need and feel no strain nor complain while doing it, is quite refreshing for a woman. And this is where our West African brodas got the script right. They will provide and provide to their maximum abilities. And especially if he is an upright, law abiding citizen, a woman can’t really complain, can she?

3. Their culture is fascinating

African Print Fabric. Pinterest

African Print Fabric. Pinterest

There’s a fascination with West African culture in Kenya. I mean, we consume enough afrobeat music from West Africa already! Do they listen to our Kenyan music themselves? I have no way of telling. It’s a different culture altogether from their accents, food, names, how they dress, how they act. Even the West African man’s physical build is slightly different from the Kenyan man’s. Different is sometimes fascinating to a woman. It’s a mystery that a Kenyan woman would like to unravel. So coupled with the other two reasons, I believe we are still going to witness many Kenyan-West African unions in future.

Thoughts? I can take the stones thrown at me 😛

5 Red Flags To Check Out For On A First Date

He just asked you out on a first date, you are excited. Probably it has been a while since any man showed signs of interest in you. This looks promising. But what red flags do you need to check out for on a first date?

Photo Credits: Internet Sources

Photo Credits: Internet Sources

1. The guy talking incessantly about himself

I’m one of those types of people who appear tolerant of others. I have equally been on a couple of dates, where I had to listen to a guy ramble on about his achievements and job the entire date, with a face that looked believably interested. However, I consider this a classic red flag of a self centered individual.

When a man asks you out on a first date, the aim is to get to know you a little bit better and to decide whether they want to see you again or not. Therefore, the conversation should be back and forth as you are also trying to know the same about him. I mean, he hasn’t invited you to listen to a monologue about his entire life!

If you proceed to date this guy, he will never give you a chance to express yourself in the relationship.

2. The guy seeming distracted.

This is a first date. You are supposed to be on your best behavior. You are supposed to be on a quest to impress me. But if you are busy checking your phone or wrist watch every now and then and appearing absent minded, you probably are not that interested in knowing or dating me.

If you proceed to date this guy, he will never have time for you.

3. The guy is ogling at you and other women openly during the date.

Creep. No manners.

If he can’t be courteous enough to show you some respect on a first date, he will never be courteous to you in the relationship. Men are visual creatures and female bodies turn them on big time, but that fact should not be a warrant for a particular man, to act disrespectfully to a woman he has asked out on a first date. Huge red flag that you will probably have to deal with countless women of his and baby mamas should you go ahead and date him.

4. The guy suggesting to cook you dinner or lunch at his home on a first date.

You don’t know this guy. You don’t know if he has a criminal record. Why should you trust him enough to head over to his home on a first date? Men who suggest first dates to their homes have no intention of putting any effort to pursue you. In my country, some men have over time convinced themselves that women are too easy so they don’t bother putting in any effort. They simply assume that if they act all sweet by suggesting they want to cook you a delicious meal at their homes, you will interpret this to mean that they are romantic to want to cook for you.

Call me materialistic but this is the most cheapest first date. They get to spend about 200shs to whip up a convincing meal and still get the additional priviledge of a condusive environment for rushed sex to happen. Sorry girl, this man only wanted a lay, used the crudest method to get laid and isn’t going to date you. Give yourself some class woman and avoid initial dates to men’s houses.

5. The guy is not bothered how you make it home after the date and calling to find out if you reached safely.

A friend of mine on facebook complains bitterly, about the misguided form of feminism that often seeems to rubbish the men’s efforts in society and frequently seems to trample on the male gender. I respect feminists and subscribe to feminism thinking when blogging on societal issues but feminist or not, let the man pay for your first date. Let the man cater for how you will get back home from the date.

You prove nothing by trying to show a man on a first date that you can provide for yourself. How will you know if this man is a protector or a provider if you come with money for your food, drink and cab fare, ready to trash his efforts to wow you on a first date? I’m not implying that you carry no money in your purse on a first date. A 21st century, liberated woman always carries enough money for the day in her purse. I’m only implying that you resist the urge to prove to this man, that you’ve got your own cash and can make it home on your own means. Trust me, if you act that way on a first date, he will never try to impress nor pursue you in future.

If he doesn’t call to find out if you made it home safely after the date, he doesn’t care about your welfare. A gentleman will always make sure any woman he’s out on a date with had transport home catered for and actually got home without any mishap. These gentlemen are out there! It’s only that women have over time worked so hard to prove to men how equal they are to them, that men nowadays see no need to try doing some things that they did effortlessly in the past.