New Age Sex Trend? New Age?

Have you all read this article: “New age sex trend“? If not, read it first, then come back.

First of all, I think it is laudable that issues dealing with gays and lesbians is getting light in the dailies, amid other societal issues that is.

But that said, I wonder, did the author (Stevens Muendo) even do a background research on what he was writing on? Seriously?

First thing I see is this phrase: “Sam is gay as he finally concedes to me. He has been in the business of male prostitution since he was in high school.“. Honestly, is he trying to say that being gay = being a male sex worker? I won’t even begin to question what he meant by ‘male prostitution’ since that could be something totally different! (something like a man who has sex with women for money…). This is definitely not true. Not all gay men are sex workers. Not all male sex workers are gay!

The article insinuates that gay people are all about sex and money, that gay men ‘become gay’ to lure men who want sex in return for money.

It also makes it look like bisexuality is a phase and that one can ‘get out of it’.

The writer clearly did not do enough research and relied on archaic information and supposed ‘quotes’ from eons ago and with facts only he would have conjured up!

He then ends the article saying: “All this time, the older generation continues to bury their heads as homosexuality and lesbianism takes root among the youth.

I would like to inform the writer that, ahem, to his disbelief, the gay and lesbian community as they call it, has been in existence since life as we know it began. This has been well documented in research articles and books. (See Google Scholar search, PDF book by Stephen O. Murray, African Sexualities, etc)

Basically what I am saying is that I think people writing about such issues in the media, really, should do better research. However, I do assume that this is deliberately overlooked as sensationalism and readership is of more importance to them than the reality. *shrug*

On a different note though, did y’all see the image he used on the left side of the story? Those words put together to form an image of two men kissing each other? Oh, if you didn’t notice that then, Oops!! I particularly like that image! Please please someone tell me where I can download it!

*Over & Out*

“I’m Gay & proud about it!” Ummm, So?

Why do gay people assert their sexuality as they do? Why is it that someone says they are ‘lesbian and are proud about it’? We see it in news pieces, hear it along the streets, and in social media. For those of us who really don’t give a rat’s ass (no pun intended) about who you sleep with, it can be quite unnerving.

One common version of a Heterosexuality symbol

But I usually go further and ask the question. Why assert it? Why say it? What’s the big deal? You don’t see me going around and say “I am _sexual and proud about it!” do you?

Here is one way of looking at it. It is known that being gay for aeons has been viewed at as a taboo, something shunned from society, something wrong. At this point in writing this I feel like this must have been written somewhere else but let me go on. I feel like straight people (which is assumed to be the majority, depending on your definition of straight – story for another day) have never needed to think about their sexuality. Only a handful have been involved in some form of same sex activity which (they say) somewhat made them settle into their heterosexuality. Because of heteronormativity, anything but heterosexuality, is viewed as ‘abnormal’.

So a gay person trying to understand their sexuality begins this understand knowing that they are abnormal, shunned and a taboo. They feel worthless and outcast from the rest of society who happen to be heterosexual.

In their reconciliation of their sexuality, they begin coming to terms with it and begin accepting themselves for who they are and it is in this acceptance that they feel the necessity to assert their sexuality and in some ways make the world know that they are okay with it.

This, for them, I figure, is one way of coming to terms with them being who they are and is also another way of trying to tell society that they may view his/her/their sexuality as a taboo/something to be shunned but they don’t have to because he/she/they are fine with it.

Maybe my analysis is not in depth, but it also helps me in some ways, come to understand why it is important to mention it.

But the so called ‘liberal self’ in me wonders, is it important? Why is it so important for anyone to mention their sexuality with such pride? Arent we all ‘proud of being who we are’? Maybe not. But I think this is something we as a society are yet to come to terms with.

We still live in a “majority rules and directs” kind of life. We have not allowed ourselves to be open to diversity and fluidity. Because of how we have been socialised, we are expected to to view the world in a “dichotomous, gendered, with specific roles, one sex” type of beings; heterosexual and heteronormative. We, for some reason or other, expect everyone coming out of a female womb is either going to be male or female and will be heterosexual; will conform to certain roles ascribed to their gender, and these roles include being sexually attracted to the opposite gender and nothing else. We even further expect that the female role and gender will be below and submissive to the male gender and role.

I still insist, this must have been mentioned elsewhere. I have just touched on bits and pieces of the broader topic. But these are things I feel need to be interrogated further, thought through and, be there any barriers, those barriers to be eliminated.

For me, I hope for a society where diversity and fluidity are a norm. Where being who we are is just that, being.

Enough of the Gay Bashing! ENOUGH!

A MUST READ!!!

Disclaimer: This is not my writing, I am sharing it because it speaks so profoundly on the matter.

Enough of this Gay Bashing. Enough!
by KM on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 1:14pm

Let me state the bottom line upfront: I support gay people and their human rights and freedoms accorded to all (freedom from fear, freedom to live in dignity, freedom from want etc ) I will not stand by silently as the hateful debate about gays escalates. I am a christian woman and an African. I am a human being. I know and love many gay people. My church minister at Harvard was gay. One of my most important mentors is gay. I have worked and continue to work with the most intelligent and dynamic gay people. I have experienced sexism and racism. I have studied and researched genocides and purges based on specific intent to destroy “a group” of people. I refuse to be the silent bystander in this hate campaign.

The nomination of Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza as Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice has surfaced a debate about gay rights ( or as the case may be, non rights) Haters and homophobes have swarmed out of the woodwork and in places like facebook, email list serves ( e.g. KPTJ) and comments portals in newspapers (where many go by fake names), they express the most outrageous nuggets of ignorance and hate about homosexuals, their fellow Kenyans and human beings. Both Willy and Nancy are well respected human rights advocates who believe in the indivisibility of rights. Willy wears an ear ring on his left ear ( 🙂 ), and Nancy’s PHD thesis iis on the rights of homosexuals in East Africa. However, the debate is quite un informed and becoming increasingly uncivil.

The bias against homosexuals can escalate to murderous levels as we have witnessed in the recent killings of lesbians in South Africa. Threats against gay people and the folks who support them, is the subject of proposed legislation in Uganda and other places. The debate forms part of cultural , political , social and religious debates. Many human rights activists are afraid to take on advocacy on behalf of homosexuals because this is not “politically correct’ . You see, a friend told me yesterday , one’s social standing may be ruined by taking on too open a position on ‘these people’ . To paraphrase Peter J Gomes, ( Harvard Memorial Church Minister ) one’s stand on homosexuality detrmines one’s standing on society’s scale on virtues and values , making the topic almost undebatable.

So it’s a good thing Willly & Nancy happened and created this opportunity to re-engage the debate (always lurking under the surface) . For people who identify as christians, the homosexual debate is very alive and disturbing. The narrative of Sodom & Gommorrah, the law of Leviticus , the Deutronomic sanctions and the teachings of Paul provide ample ammunition to close the debate. Remember that Biblical text also had quite a bit to say about women ( 1 Cor 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2: 11-12) and slaves (Ephesians 6:5) We have been able to find redeeming texts in the Bible that equalise all children of God. If you read Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s sermons and speeches on gay people you will find these(I have pasted one of his speeches below) .

But we insist on making homosexuality only about sex, we diminish the life experiences of our fellow human beings. Nobody focuses on the sex lives of heterosexuals do they? Yet when we discuss homosexuality, it is always about the sex and especially the mechanics of it. Do heterosexuals have their minds in the gutter ALL the time?? “THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE’ have lives outside of sexual relationships. They have hobbies, homes, children,families, interests, jobs. They have full lives, doing important things that benefit heterosexuals perhaps even more than themselves. They don’t sit around thinking …”ahh ….mmmh…..I wonder when I’m gonna have my next homosexual experience”!

Friends, can we have a civil informed debate that illuninates and advances “ubuntuness”? Can we help stop the hate and fear ? I think It’s TIME to stand up and be counted against this injustice.

KM

_________________________

Desmond Tutu’s Speech (archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.)

Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity — or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong.

It is time to stand up against another wrong.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded. “But they are sinners,” I can hear the preachers and politicians say. “They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.” My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love? The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.

*Over & Out*

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Nairobi, Kenya, December 17, 2010

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The day finally arrives TOMORROW! So prepare yourselves people. Check out the event details, the facebook page and follow their tweets for more. Let us make a difference! I got this post from a fellow supporter.

POSTED AT DECEMBER 15, 2010 // DIARY OF A PROUD KENYAN WOMANSOCIETY

For years, sex workers across the globe have suffered abuse at the hands of clients, the police and the general public who look down upon them because of the line of work that they have chosen.

Sex workers are now working towards a revolution and many are standing in solidarity with them to see a change, which requires everyone to start treating sex workers like human beings with civil and human rights, rather than criminals.

December 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. You can read more about this here.

On Friday, 17th December, 2010, this event will be marked in Kenya for the first time and will include a silent street procession, information about sex worker rights issues, testimonies by sex workers who have experienced violence, short film screenings, a riveting spoken word performance by Wanjiku, music, poetry, theatre and dance by sex worker groups and children of sex workers and a candle light vigil to remember sisters and brothers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Speakers will include Peninah Mwangi, Willy Mutunga, Dorothy Ogutu from the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, Zawadi Nyong’oEsther Passaris, and many more.

The silent public procession will start at Koinange Street, and ending at the Sarakasi Dome, in Ngara, where the rest of the programme will be held.

You can also read a collection of short stories about sex workers and their experiences here.

*Over & Out*

Sex Worker, si “Poko”!

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The other day I got the priviledge to be in the same room as sex-workers in East Africa. I had the chance to hear their stories and share in their joys and more so their woes. It was quite an experience for me and I shall live to remember it.

Now, that is not the reason I set out to write this post. I must admit, the first first times I ever thought of sex work I felt like vomiting. I couldnt imagine someone giving themselves to someone else in order to earn a living. I couldnt imagine someone having relations (am using nice terms eh? Hehe!) with like say ten people in one night! Seriously!

But isn’t that the stereotype we’re used to? Isn’t that what we grew up being told that ‘prostitutes’ are? We’ve been told that prostitutes carry all manner of viruses. We’ve been told that they can’t have babies because of all the abortions they’ve had. We’ve been told that they’re loose and can’t hold a relationship. As in, need I say more? Is this true? Aren’t they human beings too? Let me invite you into my way of thinking. Maybe you’ll agree with me. I will take a rights-based approach to addressing this issue. No moral standing whatsoever, but I shall mention my reservations about sex work.

Sex work the way I view it is okay. Not many people would agree with me on that level. But why do I think its okay? Because I believe there is a need, and that need has to be met. I won’t bother you with much details but I shall mention just one example.

Picture a man (stereotypical-I know) who works long hours, doesn’t have the time to find a decent woman to be in a relationship with, or simply doesn’t want to, doesn’t want to go to a bar and struggle getting a one night stand, and is (quite obviously) in need for some sex. Now what does he do? Oh, lest I forget, his relationship with his hand has gone to the dogs so that’s out of question too… atleast for this day/night. So what does he do? “Dial 1-800-U-CAN-DO-ME” flashes through his mind. Its quick and easy and hey, no strings attached!

Don’t forget that this is but one scenario. So there is a man, in need for some quick sex, and who is to offer this service? A sex worker. Simple.

Sex workers are not promiscuous. Okay, not all of them are at least. And in any case, it depends on how you view promiscuity.. but that’s another conversation all together…I digress.. Promiscuity. I don’t think its about promiscuity. Its about the work. Once you try to divorce the sex from the sex work then maybe it may make some sense. What am I saying? Don’t look at it the way you personally view sex. And I mean how sex is for you. If you look at it in a ‘sex-work’ angle, it may make some sense. I know I know, its hard. Its hard to imagine someone engaging in something we hold so dear as sex for money. At least for me it is. But somehow I can understand. I can understand that its possible to divorce emotions from sex. Its possible to have sex with someone and enjoy it-or not-and purely for money. Its possible. Its happened before so its possible.

Its not all about the money. Believe it or not, some sex workers actually enjoy their job much more than you can imagine. They have a wild sex drive and thirst for sex that seems never to end. So why not make money from this thirst? Seems fair, no? Some sex workers really love the job. They like all the sex they can get, and also get money for it! Makes you wonder why you’re doing that job you’re doing for a moment right? Haha!

They deserve to be treated with dignity. Wooow… some people are eyeballing me right now. I didn’t flinch. I meant it. Just because someone is having sex for money (or something similar) doesn’t give anyone the right to judge them. All they ask for, no, demand that is accorded to them, is dignity and respect. We treat them as trash, brandish them as lower than dirt and even go as far as to rape them “to teach them a lesson”. Its cruel and inhuman. We need to stop judging them because it is not in our place. We also need to remove our head from under the sand. I mean, isn’t prostitution claimed to be the oldest profession? And if you think about it critically, haven’t we (who have sex) all given or received sex in return for something at least once in our lives? For love, for companionship, to get rid of that dreadful ‘vaginity’, to make sure we’re not ‘the only one’s who haven’t done it’, and so on and so forth? And then the name, its SEX WORKER, not ‘poko’ or ‘prostitute’ or any other name that might be or is offensive and/or degrading.

Finally, here is what Sex Worker Rights Activists try to tell you:

“WE WANT RIGHTS, NOT RESCUE

I could go on about this, but I will put my fingers to rest. Tell me what you think. Lets discuss.

*Over & Out*

What Is This “Asexuality” Thing?

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The other day I read a very interesting post written by @cdohnio on his blog and since I’ve always wanted to know about asexuality, I read more on the links he provided.

He gladly allowed me to ‘borrow’ his post and here it is.

Overview
An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research.

Relationships
Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other.

Sexual or nonsexual, all relationships are made up of the same basic stuff. Communication, closeness, fun, humor, excitement and trust all happen just as much in sexual relationships as in nonsexual ones. Unlike sexual people, asexual people are given few expectations about the way that our intimate relationships will work. Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in a nonsexual relationships can be challenging, but free of sexual expectations we can form relationships in ways that are grounded in our individual needs and desires.

Attraction
Many asexual people experience attraction, but we feel no need to act out that attraction sexually. Instead we feel a desire to get to know someone, to get close to them in whatever way works best for us. Asexual people who experience attraction will often be attracted to a particular gender, and will identify as lesbian, gay, bi, or straight.

Arousal
For some sexual arousal is a fairly regular occurrence, though it is not associated with a desire to find a sexual partner or partners. Some will occasionally masturbate, but feel no desire for partnered sexuality. Other asexual people experience little or no arousal. Because we don’t care about sex, asexual people generally do not see a lack of sexual arousal as a problem to be corrected, and focus their energy on enjoying other types of arousal and pleasure.

Note: People do not need sexual arousal to be healthy, but in a minority of cases a lack of arousal can be the symptom of a more serious medical condition. If you do not experience sexual arousal or if you suddenly lose interest in sex you should probably check with a doctor just to be safe.

Identity
Most people on AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) have been asexual for our entire lives. Just as people will rarely and unexpectedly go from being straight to gay, asexual people will rarely and unexpectedly become sexual or vice versa. Another small minority will think of themselves as asexual for a brief period of time while exploring and questioning their own sexuality.

There is no litmus test to determine if someone is asexual. Asexuality is like any other identity- at its core, it’s just a word that people use to help figure themselves out. If at any point someone finds the word asexual useful to describe themselves, we encourage them to use it for as long as it makes sense to do so.

I hope this has opened the eyes of more people out there 🙂

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