What we don’t know about sex in the Middle East

Did you know that muslims can only get married in the summer or during the time in which they travel? That 98% of arab boys and 86% arab girls, questioned by a recent survey, admitted that they masturbaban? And what they pointed to was the main method to “relax”? That explains the success of bahrain escorts.

It is more likely that the majority of readers because they did not recognize all of these information because only in very rare occasions it is possible to attend a conference with a theme so unusual for this region as it is “Youth, sexuality and self-expression in the arab world”, the motto of the convocation which was organized this week by the Institute Issam Fares at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Discovering the unknown

The appointment served to intellectuals, such as professors Samir Khalaf and Roseanne Saad, or writer Joumana Haddad go against the “sexual hypocrisy of a society, the Arabic, where the intimate and the erotic remain a matter of “conflict, ambiguity, and anxiety for young people.”

The author of such works as “A sociological study on prostitution legal in Beirut” –an analysis whose first edition dates from 1965 – or “Sexuality in the arab world”, Khalaf criticized attitudes as the exhibition of bodies and sensuality that dominates some sectors of the scene lebanese in a country where virginity is still a principle reference.

“Look at this disparity of basic. The eroticism of the bodies of the young people (lebanese) is a signal to send. It is to be regarded as glamorous if they are sexually attractive, but they curse you and condemn you if you happen to be sexually active,” said the educator who has no qualms in recalling the nickname that he was given by his bold studies on sexuality. “Khalaf, the whore” says that he was called.

“We are a nation unified under the schizophrenia”

Akin to his usual style iconoclast, the writer who recently published “I killed Scherazade” referred “to the celebration of virginity” that he said dominates the environment arab “as a joke”.

“Here it is considered that the honor (of a woman) is between their legs. Women have to grow up without sexual desires and men have to collect sexual experiences. All this adds up to what is seen here are the reconstructions of the hymen, which cost 30 dollars”, added the also the director of the magazine Jasad, is one of the few publications on literature and eroticism that exist in the middle East.

For it in this region, “the three monotheistic religions” (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) are still preaching and so is assumed by the society that “sex is a sin, something diabolical”. “Sex is not evil, what is immoral is our hypocrisy and double standards”, he said.

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