Mantalk: The rise and rise of the Kenyan hobosexual man

The rise and rise of the Kenyan hobosexual man. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

Men used to go to war with nothing but ego and a well-sharpened toothpick. Now we are rewinding couple-goals videos

This notion just sounds ridiculous: people will feign a relationship just to have somewhere to sleep?

Just thinking and writing it down as a question seems totally absurd. Of course, people, especially men, know that the general rule of thumb is that they do not move into the woman’s house…right?

Maybe not.

Maybe it’s just me, but what is happening?

My boy, whom we shall call Mandem for reasons you will understand below, has been sleeping at his chic’s place. That explains the man part. The ‘dame’ comes in because it is the chic’s place. “I just like her place better,” he says. But he ain’t fooling no one. We know the truth. He is a hobosexual. A what? Hobosexual. A man who dates a woman (and in many cases women) with the sole intention of finding a place to live.

Where a man decides to put his head is not my problem but the problem is it is becoming a little too prevalent.

What happened to men not sleeping where you are not paying rent? Clichés, after all are clichés for a reason. There is some truth in them. How does it feel bathing with her shampoo and Aloe Vera and fuchsia-scented candles? Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that it feels nice. Whenever I spend the night at someone’s daughter, I go back to my place feeling like a new specimen.

Men getting comfy in women’s houses is a small sign of a big shift. We just don’t care anymore. The 'role' of heterosexual men is imprinted in our DNA, which is just as well for those who wish for humanity to continue. Now how are men supposed to fill that role when society demands men to be less masculine? As Kipling said, "The female of the species is deadlier than the male." Contemporary women prefer enlightened men as their bosses and co-workers, not as their spouses or boyfriends. They deserve enlightened men as their bosses and co-workers, even if they want something different in their spouses and boyfriends.

Some would say I am nostalgic for the salad days of patriarchy but even if you’re not inclined to care much about men’s welfare, don’t you think there are things that should just remain the way they are? 

Men need to take responsibility and stop slacking off. Whether you are a woke wastrel or a traditional schmuck, the truth is there is nothing romantic about waking up in pink bedsheets and Hibiscus crocs while wearing a satin robe. What happened to testosterone? How much is shame going for these days? I’ll buy it.

The streets inform me that now when men ask “Are you single?” they do not mean your marital status. Are you single? As in do you live alone? Woe unto you if you say yes. Be ready to take in a roommate. And if people love their space what happened to men craving their man cave? When did we get this needy? Men used to go to war with nothing but ego and a well-sharpened toothpick. Now we are rewinding couple goals videos and scrolling TikTok dances while shopping online for the cheapest ring lights in town!

To make matters worse, there are men who have turned the art of moving in with women into a science. They have, on rotation, several women who would willingly host them as they do not like being squatters, never learning the forgotten skill of paying rent. There are men in Nairobi who do not pay rent and they live better than the landlords wearing the missus boxers written juicy and flipping channels from Zee World to WAGS to Desperate Housewives and slapping his thigh while at it. They claim that they are in between jobs, or relationships, and just need a place to lay their head as they ‘figure it out.’ If that doesn’t work, they will peddle a sob story, a family loss, raised in an orphanage, abandoned by everyone. Many a grandmother has been killed for the sake of the hobosexual. It’s not so much the lies than the audacity and shamelessness that disturbs me.

Now, I like my nose where it is—on my face and not in other people’s business—but I cannot, in good conscience, ignore what is happening right under, er, well, my nose.

Ladies, how do you know you are with a hobosexual? Usually, the first sign is if you have to ask, then you probably are. They’ll say they just want to ‘stay the night’, then eventually they’ll stay many nights and move in. But this is not a new phenomenon. This is a topic as old as time. Some people say Jesus was even asked about it and he replied with a parable, saying, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man to move into a woman’s house.”

In fact, there was even a podcast called ‘Dirty John,’ based on the true-crime story of Debra Newell, a successful interior designer who falls for John Meehan—the ultimate hobosexual—a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available and successful—just like Nairobi men, if you loosen the definition of ‘successful’—only to have him worm his way into her heart and home, with deadly results.

But the hobosexual does not come empty-handed. He brings something to the table—which could be either breaking your back on said table with his God-given talent—you know which one. If he cannot break the table and/or your back, he is one of those man’s man, the dude who can fix anything from a creaking kitchen cabinet door to your faulty vibrator, because after all, he can’t get you there.

Like a chameleon, they can adapt to your environment. While you are there thinking you two are in sync, mara he finishes my sentences—be wary: that is a man who should be acting in Hollywood for his Oscar-worthy performances. And let’s face it—it's much easier to break her table because chances are women buy based on aesthetics and how good the table looks. (Hint: how many girls have you seen choose a car because of its colour?)

I’m not a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but on this, there is nothing in the glass. It doesn’t matter if you are the 21st-century man or how open-minded or woke you are, I’d encourage you to pull the bedcovers and get back to sleep, hopefully not at her place.

Women, in my experience, have little use for men who expect to be told how to be a man. They just expect you to figure it out. That you know what you are doing. That you are dependable. Once you resort to that cliché of roommateness, it’s only a matter of time before you lose her respect—and once a woman loses respect for you it’s best to read the signs on the wall before she starts talking crap, first to you, then about you. Don’t get to that point.

If you have watched the Titanic (be honest) you would know that there was enough room for Jack to fit with Rose atop that wooden door that had been flushed out of the doomed ocean liner—but she just let the poor sod freeze to death in that sub-zero water. That’s how much women hate it when men move in.

Gents, the truth is, you are on your own. It’s better to live in a shack than get shackled in a woman’s place. And if you’re a hobosexual reading this from her place. Go home. Oh, wait. You are home.