Episode 14 (Part 1): Why I Chose The Street

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At some point, early in my career, I was naive enough to think a good education would give one an edge in the trade. I was partly thinking of myself and a lady I had met at the Sabina Joy; where I practiced briefly (no pun intended). For those not in the know the Sabina, also known as Karumaindo, is perhaps the oldest and most well-known bar cum brothel in the country; It is a rough, amorous place; something vividly captured by a writer.

….To those not accustomed the SJ is a source of mental, and to men even physical shock, what with the casual display of flesh, innerwear, lewd signs, and vulgar language. There might be a lady with big lips, bleached face, thick fingers, smoking a cigarette, a beer on the table in front of her, and a man caressing her wide thighs exposed by her short skirt. There might be another one, looking not more than twenty, dark-skinned, slender, smiling showing her dimples, and playing with a young man’s zip, pretending as if to open it while asking him to buy her a drink. This scenario is enough to make men of a weaker will fall into the temptation of venturing inside pulling a seat and ordering a beer so as “to absorb the shock”. And as they sop up the initial bolt of shock, they see and hear more, and they become even more stunned to the extent that one beer is not enough to help suck up the shock, thus they ask for another beer, and another and another till that point, late in the night or day when the shock is gone, the pleasure in and they resign themselves to the fate of the SJ. To others the sight, which is like that of the first few seconds of a low-budget blue movie, is just pleasure, fantasy fodder: for that is what the SJ offers to those with shallow pockets, enough material to make their erotic fantasies as close to the reality as possible.

…Unlike in clubs to the east and north of Moi Avenue, where to achieve the right feel for some cozy naughty behavior, the disc jockey pumps fast music supposedly to charge the patrons, then dims the light to create a dreamy air, before playing a soft song says Lionel Ritchie’s Endless Love, at the SJ the mood is always appropriate for lovemaking. The mood is right whether nine in the morning, three in the afternoon, or eleven at night. Whether playing Awilo Longomba or turbulent Turbulence the mood is always right. There in the air, you sense it, but not the gentle, smooth lovemaking that happens after watching a cheesy movie say Titanic; but something rough, with a touch of urgency, where panties may torn and nail marks left all over the body.

It was at the SJ where I first went after shedding all the pretense of becoming a prostitute. When I decided to do away with camouflage prostitution; where I would sit at a bar sipping a drink, looking decent, and hoping a man would pick me. The Sabina had the advantage of having few barriers to entry. The watchman was the only gatekeeper. The other girls would try to intimidate you but if you were stern it was easy to brush them away.

For a girl getting into prostitution proper, the SJ offers a relatively soft orientation; one which wears off inhibitions slowly. Though exposing your body is a plus at the SJ, it’s not as a competitive edge as on the streets. You can still wear that long kinky skirt and jeans and get many clients. Then there is no experimentation in sex; mostly because of the socialization of the men who go there, and also due to the fact most of the sex sessions at the SJ are short times. Time and the aura of the short-time rooms dissuade most people from doing anything other than the traditional. The rooms have dirty tattered mattresses, with used condoms and toilet paper lying all over the floor. It always amazed me how men could get it up in such circumstances.

The SJ was a risky place for me, being very popular with college students spending their fees, pocket money, and loans. There was a likelihood I could meet someone I knew. For this reason, I chose a Tuesday mid-morning for my first foray. I thought the chances of meeting someone who knew me on a Tuesday were minimal.

At that hour of the day, there was no big deal at the joint. I just walked in and sat down. Of course, there were the weird glances from other girls. One of them was this girl who could recite Yeat’s The Second Coming, a poem I came to love and find relevant to the circumstances:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity……

To be continued….

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