What has the Government done?


The Ministry of Devolution has listed sex toys in their infamous and controversial procurement plan. Since the sensational news came out, the sexology clinic has been abuzz with enquiries about these items.

“What are they, really? Children’s playthings? Do you have samples to show us?” one client asked.

“Do they replace the need for a man?” a client with marital problems asked. Others wanted to know why they were not procured by the Ministry of Health if they are for health education.

There are some questions I could not answer, so I tackled those I could: Sex toys are gadgets used to raise sexual arousal and pleasure. You can use them on yourself, or your partner can use them on you. Other couples use them as part of foreplay.

Toys exist for both men and women. For women, there are vibrators which, when turned on, have fine vibrations that cause pleasure when applied correctly; dildos, which are can be inserted in various orifices, and G-spot stimulators.

Some toys are made from jelly, others from silicon, glass or even granite. The texture and malleability therefore varies from one toy to another, and women choose what they find most appealing.

Female toys are used hand in hand with artificial lubricants to prevent friction and injury. There are water-based and silicon-based lubricants. Water-based lubricants have a shorter duration of action and dry up faster, as fast as in 30 minutes, compared to the silicon ones that can go for hours.


Hygiene is paramount in the use of these gadgets. They have to be cleaned and disinfected after use. Some toys require dismantling for all parts to be cleaned, and it is important to follow manufacturers’ instructions.

Sex toys are sold in adult shops in Western countries. They are highly stigmatised in Africa and in Kenya, and not easy to come by. In fact, it is illegal to import or sell them. One reason may be that sex is generally a taboo subject in Africa.

The other reason could be that masturbation is a contested subject in moral and religious circles leading to stigmatisation of the toys.

Advocates of sex toys see them as another way of enhancing sexual pleasure, whether during masturbation or with a partner. They see the enjoyment of sex as a human right that should be respected.

Those who oppose use of the toys equate it to immorality and sin. These are people who say sex should happen strictly between couples. They do not support masturbation and the fact that sex toys enrich masturbation experience makes them abhor their use even the more.

It is not clear why the government is importing sex toys at this point in time. The reason given is that they are to be used for educating the public. The motive behind the education has not been given, however. It is a mystery that everyone will be looking to the government to explain.

Sexologically speaking, however, it is another step in the evolution of sexuality in Kenya, and professionals in this field will be observing keenly as things unfold.