Nairobi Nights: The Spiritual Role Of A Prostitute

A female teacher in the mixed boarding school that I attended used to compare us girls to a tin of cocoa; you remember the one which had a foil inside. “The first time you let a man touch your breasts or private parts, then you have opened the lid. The moment you lose your virginity, the foil is gone. After that, every time you have sex , the cocoa gets depleted. If you are not careful the rightful owner will find there is nothing left for him”. At the face of it , it was a polite way to dissuade us from adolescence sex, but a little deeper it implied we girls didn’t really belong to ourselves but to some man somewhere, who was supposed to have all the cocoa. Our role in society it seemed was to prepare for this man.

Certainly it was a simplistic and traditional way to illustrate our purpose in society. But, now, many years later  when I think of it, I wonder what is my role in society? Or to hide in the safety of numbers, what is the role of us, prostitutes, in society? I read in college about theories which tried to say that everybody has a role in society. You know the ‘I am because we are’ kind of theories. That the other person functions because I function or something of the sort. Removing one person disorganizes society. Would our society then be disrupted if  prostitutes were removed ? The same way it would go hay wire  if the police were taken away?

A quick answer would be no, apparently because we contribute nothing of value to society. And in our odd country here, we even don’t pay taxes. All we do, as some would say, is steal, spread diseases and separate families. But that would be ignoring our spiritual role. Yes, I know how it sounds for a prostitute to talk about spirituality, but I actually mean. We are priests of our own kind, ministering to our flock; the men. Ignoring all the hullabaloo, the role of priests is to provide emotional stability to those who congregate. A role we have played, in a more practical way, to many a man we have slept with.

Men come to us because they want to get something out of themselves. And not the product of their balls, for if that was the case, they would fare better, saving time and money by playing with themselves. Its something intangible, what the priests here call pepo, some sort of ‘demon’. Men come to us possessed by stress, frustrations, mid life crisis, career stagnation,work challenges and we exorcise them in a more pleasurable way, which doesn’t involve sitting on a pew for hours listening to a man or woman blaming your spiritual afflictions on your refusal to give tithe.

But why a prostitute? Unfortunately its because a prostitute is considered to be close to the dark of the earth;a somehow a priest of darkness. But more formal and effective than witchdoctors. Men sex prostitute with some roughness, haste, urgency and complexity not shown anywhere else. I see the difference always when sleeping with a man who doesn’t know I am a prostitute and one who knows. The face of a man after a session with a prostitute, is that of relieve and freshness, something which I can bet my money making organ cant be noted after a time with the kept woman. FYI a prostitute , mark you, is very different from the side girlfriend. The latter is the woman snatcher, and who in reality is in competition with the wife while providing nothing more than sexual pleasure . However that’s a story for another day.

It might be a little hard to get all this, but like with all matters spiritual only those who honestly practice a faith, understand it. Remove prostitutes and the productivity of the country would be affected; families would break up, and more people would end up in asylums. The call for the government to legalize our trade, should not because we are to pay taxes, but because we contribute to the well being of the nation, same as churches.

Writer: Sue