Glide, a new locally made personal lubricant is set to hit the Kenyan market and it is aimed particularly at the LGBTI market is set to launch in Nairobi soon.
Personal lubricant, or lube, is a specialised lubricant used during sexual acts such as intercourse and masturbation to reduce friction with the vagina, anus, penis or other body parts. Lube can also be used for medical purposes.
Behind The Mask’s Arcus Correspondent in Nairobi, Melissa Wainaina, spoke to Angus Parkinson in about the new Kenyan water-based lubricant.
Angus Parkinson has been an active supporter of the LGBTI rights movement in Kenya since 2005 when he initiated the first formal HIV and sexual health programmes for gay, bi and other MSM at Liverpool VCT in Nairobi.
Whilst working with LVCT, he also established the first toll-free, confidential, peer-to-peer youth sexuality hotline, ‘One-2-One’, and a comprehensive HIV programme for male prisoners.
Since 2008, he has been working independently and has supported the work of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, the Elton John Aids Foundation (UK), UHAI (EASHRI), amfAR, and the UNDP, amongst others.
He is a qualified nurse and holds an LLM from the University of Keele.
The following are excerpts of the interview:
Please share with us the genesis of Glide lubricant why is it significant to LGBTI?
Glide is a 100 per cent condom-safe, non-toxic, non-sticky, water-based lubricant made in Kenya. It’s been in development for almost two years and having just received approval from the Kenya Bureau of Standards, we’ve begun providing samples to local NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs).
The need for a locally produced water-based lube has been apparent to all of us working with gay, bi and other MSM since HIV programmes started (for us and by us) some five years ago in Nairobi.
We were telling guys “you must use water-based lubes with condoms when having anal sex” but in reality, whilst condoms were available, affordable water-based lubes weren’t. Organisations such as Liverpool VCT were spending large amounts of money importing lubes from South Africa and the UK.
This is how conversations began about creating a local lube. After discussions with a local cosmetics producer, EPCC, based in Nairobi, we began ‘experimenting’ with various formulations, packaging and so on until we hit on formula number 7! Long-lasting, non-sticky and pleasant smelling!
Thus Glide was born! (I won’t go in to detail about the testing of the various other formulations but I can tell you it was great fun!).
Whilst I’ve personally taken the lead on this project, in truth this is essentially a community initiative – the community recognised the need early on and pushed for a local solution.
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