Sex workers using pieces of cloth as condoms

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

A group of sex workers in Chivhu are putting their lives at risk by inserting pieces of cloth inside their private parts when having unprotected sex.

The unorthodox practice was to avoid unwanted pregnancies as well as get protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

This came out during a recent cervical cancer screening session for sex workers in the small town.

The “sack sex” idea came after many had realised their insistence on using condoms was making them lose many male clients who preferred unprotected sex while offering to pay more for the act.

Male clients wishing to have a night’s romp part with $20 and with the amount, one has earned a ticket to have unprotected sex. One only pays just $4 to enjoy sex using a condom.

“Clients here (Chivhu) want unprotected sex and I taught these girls to insert a piece of cloth into their private parts,” said one Anna Pint, a retired sex worker who claims to be the brains behind the idea.

“After a sex session, you go and wash the cloth and wait for the next client,” she says.

Another sex worker, Mary Shasha said the method has worked for her too since she started using it.

“Most clients who demand unprotected sex are often drunk and some do so because they know they are HIV positive,” Shasha said.

“So because of desperation these days where money is hard to come by, you end up accepting an offer to have it yekedero (unprotected sex).”

She adds, “This idea of using a piece of cloth is helping us sometimes when it is a dry day…I know everything coming from a client will be ‘swallowed’ by the cloth.”

Pint still defended the cloth idea when told they were risking contracting cancer and STIs.

“I have been using it for almost a decade now but I am clean and healthy. Look at me,” she said.

Sister Shereni of Chivhu District Hospital, who was taking the sex workers through cervical cancer screening, said the practice was done out of ignorance among the users.

“This is some of the cheap talk and bad influence among themselves and lack of informative notes,” she said.

But after we went through the lessons, the women are much well informed and we hope that is the end of the sex sack.

“Not even one thing should be inserted inside one’s private part besides a female condom.”