Again I have to apologize for my disappearing acts. Life at the moment is hectic, especially with being in my last year of my MBA – any ideas for a dissertation?! and helping my friend plan her wedding, oh and obviously the fact that I do have a job!

But every day I get an opportunity to see how involving my work is and different ways to learn and communicate my knowledge on the issue – maybe to the point of being slightly obsessed? Though to be fair, it does involve sex so not that bad either!

I’m really making no sense. I’m talking about wedding planning. I think that generally weddings seem quite stressful as it is – assuming here as I’m not married – but when you try and plan a Zambian one, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Last week, the bridesmaids and the bride met up to discuss our duties and other planning issues. After about 4 bottles of wine we turned to the conversation of men, dating and relationships – but of course. After awhile, it turned to sex. Drunk women are more than happy to offer sexual tips and advice to anyone who’ll listen! But it did get me thinking, of course my work had to come into it somehow. I know that these days in Zambia at least, you do get the older ‘aunties’ to talk about HIV and protection etc during these wedding preparations, but what about us younger women and our own conversations?

It’s something to do with the network of friends and someone pushing it out to the network, where when we talk about sex it’s not just tricks, but also how do we get our partners to use protection, and what sort of sexual history questions should we be asking? Those are some practical conversations that we need to be having – though weirdly enough people seem to get really uncomfortable with such issues – but no problem talking about their hollywood waxes and all sorts.

And I do think that there is something about weddings that make the bride and the bridesmaids bond and while, I obviously think these conversations should be had earlier, there is an opportunity here for public health education. Even at ‘kitchen parties’, they are so sexually charged, but no one talks about the risks and precautions, or even about being a sero discordant couple, when this could be a reality for so many people.

I’m sure somewhere in the world people are doing this, but I was just thinking about it, so thought I’d share. And of course explain my sudden disappearance.