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How to have safe sex when visiting Zimbabwe?

What’s a vacation abroad without getting frisky? The excitement of seeing new places, the adrenaline rush, the anxiety…all combine to make a potent mix, which can be channeled into explosive sexual energy. However, as much fun as it is to indulge yourself in carnal pleasure, there are rules to take note of. Part of responsible travel includes safe practices when it comes to sexual activities, and here are some of these (the first ones are really obvious by the way):

Get tested

Now I know this seems like an obvious one, but young people seem to be disregarding the dangers of STIs and STDs lately. You don’t want to take a vacation abroad, only to contract an STI or pass around an STI for that matter, it’s bad practice. When you visit Zimbabwe, you’ll find many clinics where you can get comprehensive tests if you haven’t had one recently. And if you have a vacation sex buddy make sure they’re also tested, just to be safe. For the HIV test, you can even buy the self-administered kit in a pharmacy (local drug store).

Arm yourself with protection

If you like sex and know that you like sex, and are especially planning on having lots of it, then condoms are the way to go. Buy lots of them, no harm in carrying them around. It’s perfectly legal in Zimbabwe to walk around with your stash of condoms. You’ll find lots of different ones in our supermarkets and pharmacies; flavoured ones, textured ones, glow in dark condoms (not too sure about this one), different sized condoms. You’ll also find female condoms if you prefer them. Just be prepared.

Now that the obvious stuff is out of the way, there are things you should know that are specific to our country when you visit Zimbabwe. Laws and common practices that are particular to this small, beautiful country. Being aware of them could save you a bit of trouble, especially with the authorities.

The legal age of consent is 16

This age varies from country to country, but in Zimbabwe, it’s 16. Sex with anyone below the age of 16 is a criminal offense charged as Statutory Rape. This is important, make sure you verify the age of your partner if he or she is a teenager, before getting down and dirty. Young people lie about their age a lot, especially when it comes to sex and alcohol.

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(For ease of writing, I’m going to refer to the underage person as she, but boys lie too if they look and sound mature enough.) There are lots of ways to verify someone’s age without outright calling them a liar. Get inventive. Show her how ugly your ID picture is (everyone’s ID picture is ugly), ask to see her ugly picture too (but don’t call it ugly). Or, ask her which year she was born, people can hardly calculate a fake age backwards quickly enough. Is all this subterfuge necessary? Absolutely, you don’t want to find yourself charged with rape because some sexy somebody lied to you and you bought it.

Gay sex between males is illegal

Same-sex marriages are banned in Zimbabwe. Gay sex between guys is also illegal. Please take note that I specified the gender here. Lesbian sex, according to Zimbabwean law doesn’t count. Basically, there can be no sex without a penis, so lesbian sex isn’t a thing. Now, whilst the law states that two (or three or four etc.) guys cannot engage in sexual activity, it says nothing about romantic activity. No one will stop you from moving around together or sharing a room, you’re just not allowed to have sex whilst in that room.

The law will not protect you from any harassment or violence you might encounter on the basis of homosexuality. This is important to note. Openly displaying sexual affection to another man, as a man, might attract unwanted attention for you. It’s great to be aware of the sentiments of the people you’re around. Some Zimbabweans are homophobic, some are not.

You can’t buy sex toys in Zimbabwe

You cannot legally buy yourself a dildo, or vibrator, or sex doll, for instance, in Zimbabwe. No one is allowed to buy or sell such merchandise, it’s considered immoral, and was made illegal. Yes, I know it makes no sense, but that’s the law. The law does not stop you from getting creative though, you can easily use natural substitutes. Lube is not considered immoral merchandise, therefore, is available in pharmacies, so there’s nothing to stop you from getting a little creative.

Bonus

Stay away from Vuzu parties! I cannot say this loudly enough. You might not come across one of them, but in case you do encounter a Vuzu party crowd, do not attend. What are Vuzu parties? In a nutshell, nude parties with lots of multi-partner sex. Now there’s nothing wrong with either of those if that’s what you like, but Vuzu parties here are notorious for underage drinking, underage sex, and swinging, without protection. The authorities are on the alert for these kinds of parties, you don’t want to get caught with your pants down.

In a nutshell, Zimbabwe is a fun country to visit, with a laid back vibe, but it’s important to know the laws and be on the right side. It’s even easier to avoid making illegal mistakes when you have a guide like Tiritose to consult and ask during your trip. Tiritose will provide you with the proper guidance and will try to ensure your trip is as safe as possible.

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