Single Lady In Nairobi: When You Have A Low Libido

Young black woman watches at window. Image from

I was having a conversation with a friend then nostalgia kicked in and we went back to relive some campus memories. Unlike me, this friend was able to survive life on the university hostels for all the four years. I tried and after a month, I was tired and longed for the order at home. So I became a day-scholar.  I don’t know how we ended up talking about sex escapades on campus on Friday evenings.

“Haki the way girls used to storm rooms belonging to cute guys! These guys would two-time their girlfriends but they never seemed to mind,” she said.

The first time she said that – that the cute guys had many girlfriends—I brushed it off as simply being descriptive. But she kept on mentioning that many cute guys had more than one girlfriend until it hit me that I am supposed to make a connection between the fact that these guys are handsome and their having many girlfriends. A connection I could not see. So I asked her what the connection between these guys being cute and their having many girls is. My friend was so shocked that I could not see what was so self-evident – that girls get attracted to men who are good-looking and want to go to bed with them.

For the life of me, I cannot see the connection between beauty and sex. I have never had problems with my looks and I have the endowments that African women are supposed to have including what a guy once told me are, “bedroom eyes” and judging from the number of men who sexually harass me all in the name of  ‘kujaribu kuniingiza box’, then I think I am not bad-looking at all. It is also true that I see handsome men that I can note are aesthetically pleasing to look at. But this has nothing to do with any bed. I never quite believe that a man would want to take me to bed simply because I am pretty. I know some would (judging by the words on social media and some of the things guys have told me) but most times I think that they are just joking… I mean, what has my looks got to do with anything? People are beautiful and people are interested in intimacy but for me, these are independent variables.

It’s the same way you go to a shop and see a lovely dress but you cannot now say that the dress is sexually pleasing just because it is lovely. That is the same way I see human beings. They are handsome but that is their business, you get?  I tried to reason out these things with my friend and that is when I realised that we were arguing from two extreme points of view and reaching an agreement would be impossible. My friend is a hot-blooded heterosexual woman. She sees shirtless guys on TV and stares. She has male celebrities she has crushes on.  I, on the other side, stand on a bridge between asexuality, sapiosexuality and demisexuality. No, these are not sexual disorders.

Young black woman watches at window. Image from //
Young black woman watches at window. Image from

When you are any of these three things, your sexual attraction is almost non-existent. Either that or you just hardly ever meet someone you want to have sex with. It is not that you are picky or you were abused as a child as many people try to theorise, you simply see yourself going nowhere past the petrol station with the guy you are dating. He is good-looking, has big muscles that your friends drool over, he is willing to go to the VCT, protect you from pregnancy and he smells nice but anything more than a hug with him is either repulsive or something you cannot even imagine.

I once dated a guy purely because he graduated with a first class degree. But I soon realised that it was the first class degree I was in love with, not Byron. Then I fell in love with a speaker who so excellently crafted an academic paper on personalities. I once again realised that I was in love with the paper not the man.

It took me a long time to realise that I am unable to see a guy and start to feel butterflies in my stomach based on their physical built.

I have met well-meaning guys with whom I have dated for approximately three weeks at the longest and then somehow, I just get bored. I can swear that the guys do no wrong whatsoever but for me, after three weeks, I am through with getting to know any guy I date and I simply do not have use for them again. After three weeks for them, they are getting familiar and can begin to tell me things like, “I long to be lost in the sparkle of your eyes” and this sounds so good as a grammatical sentence but emotionally, it means absolutely nothing to me. It is this feeling that the meaning of his words is supposed to go beyond the semantics that begins to alienate me from the guys that I date.  And I begin to ask questions like, “why do you want to get lost anywhere in the first place?”

My best friend thinks that I read too many books and that is probably what has corrupted me and I use intellect even where it is not needed. Deep down, however, I know that this has nothing to do with books because even as a teenager when attraction to the opposite sex was supposed to be a hallmark I was never in the slightest sense interested in boys. Of course people will say that it is because I was a bright student interested in making As in my Biology exams, but other A students notice boys and just choose to concentrate on their studies, right? For me, it was not something I decided to do. It just happens that I do not notice men in that way. For other people who feel sexual attraction to others, sometimes it is choice that makes them decide whether or not to have sex. But if you are like me, this choice is not yours. You just wake up one morning and realise you are a 20-something year old woman who carries a body that has never experienced desire!

What is actually more problematic in a big city like Nairobi, a girl and a guy rarely link up for the sole reason of seeing whether they can be friends and then keeping an open mind for whenever sexual feelings will crop up (sometimes they never do, by the way). When you fail to develop these feelings, you have to break up and never talk to a guy you were beginning to love and adore as a friend. The problem with this also is that you start to get a reputation. They think that you are a strong, principled lady who doesn’t go around hugging men for no just reason. The truth however is simply that you do not fancy physical contact with random people except when this is absolutely necessary. Then of course some will think that you are deeply religious and you are avoiding men… some people even think you are bush.

It is difficult to live as someone whose sexual orientation is not the clear-cut story. You never quite fit into anything. You begin to feel like a bad person who has crossed paths with good guys but for whom you could not feel any attraction.

We live in an over-sexualised society and this could make your lack of interest in physical intimacy bigger that it actually is. But who knows, one day you might meet that one guy who lights up your day and completes your world and he might just succeed in setting you on a roll…

***Single lady in Nairobi is a collection of real life stories and opinions from different women. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that ladies have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of

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