Last Friday, one of my girls, Stella, called me asking for directions to my favourite lingerie store in Kampala. After directing her, I asked her what the occasion was and she told me she was only sleeping over at Raymond’s, her boyfriend.

I wondered why she didn’t have any spare panties at his place, I mean; they’ve been dating for at least a year now. I discovered it had nothing to do with how long a couple has been together, it’s simply the stage of the relationship. Some get there sooner than the others.

Over the years, I’ve heard embarrassing stories involving intimate garments left at a man’s house. For example, Irene, a colleague at work, told of a story where one day, she had the misfortune of finding a pair of panties that didn’t belong to her while she was looking for hers. She was shocked and hurt because she thought they were going strong and that they were at the point where she was the one and only. When she confronted her boyfriend, he said that there was a mix up with the laundry.

Rose, a friend from the university campus encountered her man’s stash, not porn – a whole drawer of ladies underwear of all colours, sizes and shapes. That was the end of their relationship.

When I started writing this article, I talked to my mother about this issue and asked her how they went about it in her days as a young woman. She said, they grew up knowing of an unsaid rule of never leaving anything intimate at a man’s house as the unmarried man was entitled to entertaining as many ladies as he could afford. They used to go about with spare underwear in their handbags in case of any overnight plans. They usually carried a polythene bag where they would keep the washed one if it was still wet.

I had to talk to a few men to help tell us what they think about us ladies leaving stuff at their places and if it scares them.

Joel; “If a lady leaves her stuff at a man’s place, she is marking her territory. It’s also another way of telling the man that it is time to upgrade, take things to another level. I do not think I would be scared if we are serious but if it was a one night stand kind of thing then that is encroaching. Completely unacceptable! I wouldn’t mind my lady staying for a while and leaving few things behind, no worries really. However, if she is on a mission to make my place hers by changing the drapes and duvet, then we have problem!”

Gordon; “A lady leaving her stuff at my place? It’s almost insulting to my intelligence! No need to trick your way into coming back and I really do not like the ‘marking territory’ aspect to it. Of course that does not apply if I asked her over for a weekend but she has to pack up afterwards! It does not scare me, very few things do. Point is, I like simplicity and honesty. If you would like to stay over or even move in, just ask. If you would like to ‘mark your territory’, there are better ways to go about it.”

Robert; “For a guy to give up his personal space is one of the hardest things he’ll ever have to do. It’s not impossible, it’s just about timing. From time to time, a man will ‘host’ a woman who will stubbornly leave her stuff behind like a comb, earrings or worse, her underwear. It’s irritating. The chances of entertaining that woman ever again go down to zero.”

Frank; “A lady might feel good about herself leaving her things behind at her man’s because to her that action validates the relationship. However, the man might get a little bit scared because that same action shows that she is taking control of the situation away from him. Of course he might feel pressured; therefore, his moves will become swift and decisive.”

Jim; “What if she makes a habit of leaving her things at his place and they keep accumulating? What if they have an altercation and she never comes back to pick them up? It’s not polite to burn someone’s stuff. That’s vandalism.
I believe that the right time for a lady to leave her things at my place is after we have made it official that we are engaged to be married.”

Mark, a lecturer says that, the man decides the stage at which he comfortably lets his woman keep a toothbrush at his place and he will probably let go of the half a dozen other toothbrushes in his bathroom. The man might even decide it’s time his lady kept a set of work clothes in his closet, and then he’ll clear a whole drawer just for her.

Ladies, if this ever happens to you, consider it a milestone and mark your calendar!