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Era of online sex shaming

Hitting people where it hurts most — based on their performance in bed, has been around for ages. But  with social media, it has become more fierce

“I met this guy on this Facebook page and he bragged how he’s a good performer. Shock on me. It turned out he was a non-performer who doesn’t even know how to kiss,” read one post on a popular Kilimani Mums Facebook page. “Fellow men, don’t say I did not warn you about this woman, yeye ni kifo cha mende tu.

She is poor in bed,” a man posted in Kilimani Mums and Dads Page. Well, if you are a regular social media user, especially a member of viral Kenyan women gossip groups such as Kilimani Mums Uncensored, Kilimani Mums and Dads Uncensured, Chit Chat for Nairobi Mums, you must have come across posts or comments that particularly focus on shaming others based on their prowess in bed.

A classic example is the recent drama involving one man and his estranged lover. In what looked like a romantic affair gone sour, the man started it all by exposing his lover who had visited him for a weekend of sexcapades. He accused her of being poor in bed and further posted a photo of her ‘lady garden’.

Soon the woman pounced back. She claimed that he is a small ‘membered’ man. This was backed by a bevy of other women who claimed to have gone to bed with him. They all agreed that his manhood was terribly small and could not get the job done. One of the women compared it to a toothpick while another one called it a matchstick.

The man defended himself by posting text screenshots from another woman who apparently had been impressed by his prowess in bed. But this too, backfired on him.

The woman came out to claim that she had faked everything because she wanted him to pay her rent. He ended up deactivating his Facebook page. In some cases, however, sex-shaming has led to drastic actions by victims.

For example, a Kisumu woman who was exposed on social media for flirting and sleeping with another man whilst she was married, eventually allegedly committed suicide after being trolled online.

Screenshots of conversations she had with her side dish exploded on a popular Kisumu-based Facebook page and further on other social platforms. Joseph Maranga, a sociologist, says that slut/sex shaming has been around for many years, but with growing popularity of social media, it has become a lot more fierce.

Not a day will pass without coming across a post on social media with one or two sex-shaming aspects. “Sex-shamers may do it just for fun. But they do not realise the emotional trauma they inflict on the victim,” he offers.

Hurt ego Sexologist Maurice Matheka explains that the purpose of sex-shaming is to hurt the victim’s ego. Women are shamed for having too wide vagina, for being too watery, for having a small butt, boobs, bad kissers, lazy in bed while men, Matheka says, are shamed for having a small manhood, few minutes men who can’t last long during intercourse or those who are generally non-performers as far as sex is concerned.

“Sex plays a great role in a person’s life as a form of acceptance and mutual regard and more so, to a man than women. It is easier for a woman to bounce back, but for a man, it can badly dent his ego,” offers Matheka. Sex-shaming, he says has a lot of negativity and rarely does any conversation have a happy ending.

To avoid such situations, Maurice advises men as well as women to stop sharing their sex lives on social media. “Who cares about who is sleeping with you? People don’t really care if your partner is cheating, if anything, it serves as entertainment for most,” he adds.

But why brag publicly? Maranga says modern society has conditioned people to think that it is expected of them to be amazing in bed. Therefore, in their effort to catch the attention of a potential lover, they will use all means including posting on social media to lay bare their supposed strong points.

Women who brag about their men’s prowess in bed, also seek to assert this expectation; to be seen as if they are indeed getting satisfied in bed.

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