Chat to women for sex
It was a useful reminder that a cult of virginity is specific neither to Egypt, my birthplace, nor to Islam, my religion.
Remembering my struggles with abstinence and being alone with that, I determined to talk honestly about the sexual frustration of my 20s, how I overcame the initial guilt of disobedience, and how I made my way through that guilt to a positive attitude toward sex.
I am an Egyptian, Muslim woman who waited until she was 29 to have sex and has been making up for lost time.
My upbringing and faith taught me that I should abstain until I married.
CAIRO — After I gave a reading in Britain last year, a woman stood in line as I signed books.
When it was her turn, the woman, who said she was from a British Muslim family of Arab origin, knelt down to speak so that we were at eye level.“I, too, am fed up with waiting to have sex,” she said, referring to the experience I had related in the reading. How do I get over the fear that God will hate me if I have sex before marriage? My email inbox is jammed with messages from women who, like me, are of Middle Eastern and Muslim descent.
In Washington, a young Egyptian woman told the audience that her family didn’t know she was a lesbian.
In Jaipur, a young Indian talked about the challenge of being gender nonconforming; and in Lahore, I met a young woman who shared what it was like to be queer in Pakistan. I tell friends I could write the manual on how to lose your virginity.
I once had a 30 year old woman buy me a copy of “The Multi-Orgasmic Man” for my birthday.
To which my response is: So because someone is poor or can’t read, she shouldn’t have consent and agency, the right to enjoy sex and her own body?
The answer to that question is already out there, in places like the blog Adventures From the Bedroom of African Women, founded by the Ghana-based writer Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, and the Mumbai-based Agents of Ishq, a digital project on sex education and sexual life.
But when sex is surrounded by silence and taboo, it is the most vulnerable who are hurt, especially girls and sexual minorities.
In New York, a Christian Egyptian-American woman told me how hard it was for her to come out to her family.
So where are the stories on women’s sexual frustrations and experiences?