Chat to women for sex
Everywhere I went — from Europe and North America to India, Nigeria and Pakistan — women, including Muslim women, readily shared with me their stories of guilt, shame, denial and desire. Many cultures and religions prescribe the abstinence that was indoctrinated in me.
As the writer Mitali Saran put it, in an anthology of Indian women’s writing: “I am not ashamed of being a sexual being.”My revolution has been to develop from a 29-year-old virgin to the 49-year-old woman who now declares, on any platform I get: It is I who own my body.
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.
They write to vent about how to “get rid of this burden of virginity,” or to ask about hymen reconstruction surgery if they’re planning to marry someone who doesn’t know their sexual history, or just to share their thoughts about sex.
Countless articles have been written on the sexual frustration of men in the Middle East — from the jihadi supposedly drawn to armed militancy by the promise of virgins in the afterlife to ordinary Arab men unable to afford marriage.