This continued criticism from men has led to mushrooming of all sorts of ‘plumbers’ or women resorting to weird and medically unsound ‘plumbing’ remedies to fix this ‘watery’ state of affairs. Keen observers will tell you lampposts around Nairobi are littered with countless “Vaginal Tightening” adverts. However, this leaves one wondering, could this be a pointer to the fact that sexual satisfaction or lack thereof, may be more important than food in this city?
Take, for instance, Mama Nzisa, a ‘plumber’ this writer tracked from a lamppost advert along Thika Superhighway. Reportedly, she is making a killing by selling traditional concoctions to women who are desperate to become ‘less watery’, ‘tight’ and ‘grippy’.
‘Plumber’ who fixes ‘too watery’ cases
She showed this writer one of her products, which is a tampon-like entanglement of drippy herbs that allegedly perform magic on a woman’s birth canal when plugged in overnight. “They are tailor-made. I have to examine the client to assess what she will need and for how long,” Nzisa says. She says, Kanini, for instance, her regular client, is a 29-year-old married mother of one who doubles up as a closet sex worker. She allegedly visits Nzisa every two months for ‘maintenance’ and the tightening remedy.
“She opened up and told me her husband is large and stretches her muscles. But she need to clandestinely make money from other men,” says Nzisa, adding that to keep customers, she has to manage her main tool of trade. “This is business and she has to provide quality or her clients will look for younger women,” giggles the elderly ‘plumber’.
Interestingly, it’s just not women of the night who consult Nzisa and use her herbs. Some of her clients include descent married women and even some the corporate types interested in — pardon the pun — maintaining a firm grip on their rich boyfriends, especially those with a small ‘dudu’. This fascination with ‘tight’ and ‘grippy’ women reminds one of campus life, where young men always gossiped about their experiences with such types, leaving one another green with envy. Some would go ahead and stalk such women, trying their luck just for the experience or fulfill their fantasies.
It’s also common to hear men gossip among themselves, saying: “Such women are fun to date or marry. They remain small down there, even after giving birth several times.” Tina Awuor knows how expensive it can be to have ‘loose plumbing’. She is still heartbroken after her boyfriend ended their relationship a few months ago. But her tears are not as a result of the break up per se, she says. What hurts her is that he got a younger girl whom he wooed by defaming her for being as wide as a mtaro (water-worn gully).
‘Tight plumbing’ is a secret fascination in Kenya that you won’t hear people openly discussing. Besides middle age, this could also perhaps explain why older men who are happily married can’t seem to stop running after teenage and college girls, some as young as 16-years-old. A city-based pharmacist told this writer he gets so many women asking about and buying tightening gels from his shop every month. “Some may not be a hundred percent perfect, but I at times get feedback that they give some reinvigoration of the necessary muscles. Others claim it makes them feel like they are 18 years young gain,” said Steve Mulwa, the pharmacist.
Strange tightening remedies
It’s this urge to feel young again that drove Moraa, a government officer, to Nairobi’s Ngara area, where she had been told a certain women hawks stones whose ash has rejuvenating qualities. “It’s a tiny piece of rock, which I bought for Sh100. She told me to crush it and put a little of the ash in my birth canal the night before meeting my boyfriend. But warned me not use too much because it could corrode my vaginal wall. It was awesome I tell you, well worth the effort!” she shyly chuckles.Amos Opiyo, a middle-aged man says he suspects he has been a beneficiary of ‘herbal plumbing’.
“I met this mama at popular nightclub in the City Centre. She told me she was a divorcee and a mother of two. But I was shocked by how ‘young’ she felt when we went to bed. She was awesome,” says Opiyo, adding: “I dated her for two months and spent quite a bit of money on her. I was even contemplating marrying her as a second wife, until I spoke to one of my friends who warned that she could be using herbs or some ash to make herself tight and grippy,” he explains.
Joselyne Wairimu, says women go to great lengths to keep their men from straying, including using soda or lime juice to tighten things, remain clean and smell fresh. Others use pickling spices, alum powder, and vinegar for ‘maintenance’. She says she has heard of ignorant women who use raw lemon or washing detergents such as jik, omo and others to ‘dry up’, tighten and keep smelly odour at bay.
Hassan Nyawanga, a nurse and gynaecologist explains that there is very little a woman can do to mitigate this ‘watery’ state of affairs. He says its nature that men must learn to live with and asks woman to stop blaming cabbages and other foods; they have absolutely nothing to do with it. “Actually, being too ‘watery’ is a blessing that woman should be happy about because it shows they are either too excited or well prepared. Those who don’t get it easily should have everything to worry about. If anything, intimacy, by its nature, is supposed to be, for lack of a better way of putting it, a ‘messy’ affair anyway”, says the medic.
He says there is a pelvic muscles, which to a greater extent control characteristics of the birth canal, relax over time as women age, and are stretched during childbirth. He says while modern scientific methods like Kegel exercises and surgical options are commonly recommended to increase grip, traditional methods used by bridal aunties who take girls through traditional betrothal schools can’t be wished away. That is where the likes of Nzisa come in. The gynaecologist warns that the chemical compounds in these commonly-used ashes and herbs are unknown and their use could have serious side effects.