We had been dating for a couple of months. It had been going well. We really enjoyed each other’s company. As you know dating in these Nairobi streets is hard. When you meet a guy who finally is not as trash as most of the other guys, it is the most beautiful breath of fresh air but at the same time, it is like you are constantly holding your breath, waiting for him to say or do the wrong thing because you know he eventually will.
But a week passes, then two, then a couple of weeks. Before you know it three months have gone by and it is a whirlwind romance. His name was Sean. I teased him about it being such a white name. He was the farthest thing from white though. His skin was the colour of the tree barks in Karura Forest. I had always thought I would never settle for anything less than a man who made me tiptoe to kiss him but Sean was average as average height as you could get for a Kenyan man. The only reason I had to lift my head slightly to look at him was that I was short.
He was cute though. He had perfectly straight white teeth which put my four years of wearing braces in high school to shame. He always dressed decently and God knows what they put in male cologne but his scent was a drug. I swear I had caught myself creepily sniffing his clothes a few times. I was a girl, infatuated.
So why hadn’t we done it yet? It’s not like he would be my first. God no. I was just tired. Maybe I had watched, “Think like a Man” one too many times. ‘Maybe the sex I had had just wasn’t that great, well mostly. But after the last guy, I dated I was done with giving it to men who did the utter least. I mean, you take me out for dinner once and then suddenly you expect sex like I owe it to you just because you bought me dinner or drinks. Nah fam. If you want to buy sex go to Koinange Street, please.
When Sean came into my life, I was completely honest with him. I told him I was not necessarily celibate but I also didn’t want to rush things and if he wasn’t down for that he could move on. But he was so chilled out. He said all the sweet nonsense we suck up as women. Something along the lines of, “A girl like you is worth waiting for babe.” That was one of the things I liked about him though. He listened and understood where I was coming from.
There had been signs recently though that he was starting to get impatient in the last month. When we messed around he would be a bit more aggressive than usual. He would ask me persistently whether we could have sex. Then last week I heard him talking with one of his boys on the phone about blue balls. This is why I was in this position, sitting on the couch in my one-bedroom apartment, questioning myself like a school girl crushing on a boy. I mean, on the one hand, he had known what he had signed up for when we started dating. But to be fair I had made him wait like two months. Was it time to take things to the next level?
He was coming over today for dinner. I hated cooking. He knew I hated cooking so he was bringing the dinner. My sister bought me scented candles last Christmas that I had never used. I thought about it and maybe this would be the perfect occasion. I would just go with the flow. I was ready tonight to go all the way. It had been a while and my kitty could use a little pick-me-up. I chuckled to myself. Okay more than a little.
I started prepping the house. I put on my favourite matching lingerie. I put on good soul music. I was old school. Nina Simone’s deep baritone was a favourite on my speaker. I loved her voice. It had this incredibly soothing effect on me. At exactly six thirty my doorbell rang. He was here.
For an instant, I felt butterflies fluttering about in my tummy. I was being silly. There was no reason to be nervous. I was a grown-ass woman. I would open the door and be so calm and collected it would make Nina smile in her grave. I would take control of the situation.
“Hey, there gorgeous.” Sean looked up and down the length of me checking me out. He smiled like he was still impressed with what stood in front of him. I was wearing a simple strapless sundress. It was almost as easy to get into as it was to get out of.
“Can I help you with those?” I asked reaching out to take the bags he was carrying. He let me take them, removed his shoes and made himself comfortable in the living room.
“I don’t even know why I needed to buy food” he laughed, “looking like that, Noni; you’re all the snack anyone needs.”
I couldn’t help giggling a little at this, “You’re so corny, my God.”
“No, corny would be saying you are the only maize in my githeri.” He was beaming.
I laughed even more, “Really? Puns? How old are you Mr. Working Nairobi Man?”
“Never too old for puns.” He responded without skipping a beat.
I placed the food on the kitchen counter and got out plates. “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat now or would you like something to drink first?”
He got up and walked towards me, “The only thing I want to eat right now is you.”
I raised an eyebrow and smiled, “And you say you aren’t corny?”
He moved closer and grabbed my waist. I could feel his breath on my skin, “Is this corny?” He kissed my neck. “Or this?” he turned me around to face him and trailed kisses up from my shoulder to my jaw. He started soft but his kisses intensified.
He pulled me into him, his hands travelling up and down my back, his fingers pressing into my skin. His lips found mine and quite literally sucked the air from inside me. They were soft and as he pushed me against the kitchen counter I melted into him. My right leg rode up the outside of his thigh and hooked itself in between his legs. I could feel myself getting excited, the churning awakening in the pit of my belly.
My hands began exploring him as well. His shirt was in the way, I pushed him back a little to unbutton it. His chest was hard against my palm. His hands moved up grabbing onto my bum, he squeezed it and lifted me up against him. I could feel how hard he was.
“So no food?” I whispered. He laughed.
“I can think of other ways my mouth could be more useful right now.” He placed me down and pulled up my dress up above me. He took a step back and just stared, “If you only knew what you were doing to me right now? How does your body get more beautiful every time I see you? Girl. And those lace undies.”
I smiled. I was glad he noticed. “Come,” I said, taking his hand and pulling him towards the living room carpet.
“Ohh you know I will.” He said, allowing himself to be dragged, “and so will you.”
I laughed. How was he able to make even the most intense moments funny?
We had barely reached the carpet when he pulled me against him again. His body grinding against mine as we lay down. I unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants. He was hard and I was wet. I was ready but I paused, “Wait”.
He groaned, “You are killing me here babe. You’re not ready yet?”
I half laughed, “Ohh believe me, my body is ready. I am ready. But I am not going to be stupid about it. Do you have a condom?”
“Ohh just that?” he started kissing me again. “Babe we are good. I’ll pull out.”
I moved my head a little, “No Sean, we’re not kids. We know better.”
He started getting a little agitated, “Nons we haven’t done anything since we got together. For two months! Why would you be scared? Are you trying to say I’m out there with other hoes?”
I got up on my elbows, “Ohh no, don’t you turn this on me. I am not accusing you of anything. I am just saying that I would rather be safe than sorry. And if anything happened, I would be the one who would have to bear the consequences. So you better have a condom or this is not happening!”
Sean saw how upset I was becoming and tried changing tactics. “Babe come on. Do you even know what it’s like going in raw? You’ll enjoy it a lot more I swear. The girl I was with before used to love it. We’d do it all the time and nothing ever happened.”
How had I never seen this side of him before? Something in me just erupted. I saw red and pushed him away. “Seriously? Wearing a bloody condom is the very least you could do and as a grown man you should be ashamed of yourself for even attempting to have this argument. Also, you want to go in “raw,” for pleasure but you don’t even want to think of the consequences. You should have said this a long time ago so that I decide if that is what I want too and we take appropriate measures like going to be tested for HIV and me getting contraceptives.” I got up and started pacing. “I can’t believe you …”
He stood up, grabbed his clothes from the floor and started to put them on, “Noni. Nons calm down. It really isn’t that serious and you don’t have to be a bitch about it.”
I took a moment, “What did you just call me? I am a bitch because I spoke the truth?” I poked him in the chest, “Or because I am respecting my body first and prioritizing my health and future over your sexual desires? Cool, then. If that’s how you feel get out.”
“Babe, calm down.”
“I said get out.” I was not going to take this nonsense.
He walked out the door muttering under his breath and banged it behind him. I was not crazy about making contraceptives a non-negotiable. My auntie had died earlier in the year from HIV and there were too many unknowns when it came to sex. We had not gone to be tested so I didn’t even know his HIV status. Who knows what that man had even been doing on the side? For all, I knew he could have had six other mamas on the side.
I was so pissed I couldn’t think properly. What did I need to do to get out of this space? I took a deep breath. Was there any chance I couldn’t have handled that situation better? Possibly, but I couldn’t sit and not trust my decisions. I was going to take my grown-ass woman self to the kitchen and eat the food that he had bought, but I wouldn’t finish it alone. I picked up my phone and dialled the number I knew off the top of my head. It was my sister. She picked up on the third ring. “Hey sis, want to have a girl’s night?”
She chuckled, “What’s up?”
“You will not believe the day I have had. I need to rant… and I have food.”
“Nons, what happened?”
I took a breath, calming myself. “You know the guy I have been seeing, Sean yeah? Well, we were going to have sex tonight but the fool didn’t want to wear a condom. He didn’t carry one, he didn’t even bother to ask if I had one. Then he started spewing some BS about how good it feels to go in raw, and how sijui I was being melodramatic for not compromising on that.”
“Ohh Noni. I’m sorry!”
“Yeah, tell me I am not being crazy for kicking him out! He is so inconsiderate, right? Would you have done it?”
“Girl! Of course not. You were absolutely right to say no. I mean STDs, pregnancy, those things are real fam! Your body is your own and you definitely have to protect it.”
I was so relieved she agreed with me. “It’s 2018 and I don’t understand why men still think they can do this without a plan.”
She full-on laughed, “Ohh, honey. I’ll be there in an hour. I’ll come with wine and we can talk about it.”
The night might just be redeemable yet.
Ladies questions for you. Do you have conversations about contraceptives before things get hot and steamy with your boyfriend or casual sex partners? If you are sexually active ladies, do you have condoms in your handbag or have them in your house?