We talk about a lot of things in the Muslim community, but one thing that we obviously have a great interest in ( hence our high birth-rates), but do not talk about that much, is sex. We have this phony existence in our community, where all of the brothers get together and quote hadith and refer to their sexual chastity and love for the Sunnah (and make jokes about masturbation and the like), but then once you really get to know the brother you find out he has a girlfriend or he is getting some on the DL. Sisters walk around wearing a jilbab or a niqaab and quote hadith and the like; but then you find out that her baby’s daddy or some cat she works with is hittin it. That is the reality we are living with in America.
Is it any different in the Muslim World? It depends where you live. In Saudi Arabia it is very difficult to date and have a girlfriend and unmarried couples cannot get hotel rooms; but many Saudi men basically make sex slaves out of their maids and the Royal Family is more Dallas than Ibn Baz. It is also not uncommon throughout the Arab World, and I have seen this first hand, for men to have male lovers before they get married, or to pimp out poor boys who many times are orphans. In Jerusalem there are Palestinian men who pimp out small boys to horny Palestinians and Israelis. These men will tell you they are not homosexuals but are just making do until they get married. In Turkey most of the newspapers contain several pages of women wearing bikinis and lingerie and I asked some Turkish brothers why this was and they told me it was like a public service to help men masturbate.
Years ago I was at an Eid celebration where we had to park our cars blocks away and then take a shuttle bus to the event. The brothers I was with all came from a masjid where there is complete separation of the sexes and all of the sisters cover properly. When they saw men and women mingling on the bus, and some women not covered properly, they began yelling estafurAllah and Authu’biLahi min’dhalik and the like. Of course, I happened to know, that almost all of these brothers were married and had girlfriends and flirted with every girl they met and used Islam as a pick-up line and that is pure hypocrisy.
You walk into an MSA on a college campus and even though the hormones are raging in the brothers and sisters they will talk about any and everything other than sex. When the brothers leave the event talking about Palestine or Kashmir or the Patriot Act they will be going to eat a kabob and talk about sex with one another. In the Muslim community this usually takes the form of brothers talking to each other about what kind of a wife they want and they cant wait to get married. Once they get married they start talking about the need for a second wife and to resurrect that sunnah.
I don’t know what sisters talk about, but I do know that there biological needs do not go away when they take shahadah. I also know that when I worked at the masjid in New Jersey I would overhear sisters talking about plenty. Yet in the Arab culture, and many other cultures, a woman who desires or enjoys sex is seen as a dirty woman and this is something I have been told many times in my travels. Of course this is an attitude that is completely un-Islamic; the Prophet (sas) said a woman can divorce her husband on the grounds that he does not please her sexually. There are also many hadith about sex that range from discussions on foreplay to frequency of sex and there is an ayah in the Quran about the permissibility of doing it “doggy-style”. So, while Muslims may be up-tight and hypocritical about sex, Islam is not.
This phoniness results in a lot of problems. Brothers and sisters are encouraged to marry too soon when they are not ready and end up getting divorced after they’ve gotten their fix. When an American-Muslim brother is dying to get married he is dying for some sex, and that’s just the bottom line, and after he gets the sex for a few weeks or a few months he gets a divorce, and that is very common in the community.
We are all taught to say the “right” things when we are looking to get married like “oh, I want a sister who is like Ayesha….if we both follow the sunnah we cannot go astray…..etc”. What we do not talk about is sexual compatibility.
I came to this experience first hand when there was a two-year period when several Somali sisters wanted to marry me. They were all very pretty, covered, and appeared to be very religious; but they were all born in Somalia which means that they were all genitally mutilated and I can’t hang with that. Marrying a sister in that condition is like going to a Jaguar lot and the dealers says “this is a beautiful vehicle in brand new condition, very nice on the outside….but by the way, it doesn’t have an engine”. Now, when I would go back and talk about this issue to Somali or Arab brothers, they would think I was crazy and why should I care of my wife enjoys sex? Many also explained to me that the African women are dirty and she must have her clit cut because she has too much sexual desire (these are attitudes that predate colonialism or any American influence).
The other night I was talking to a Latino brother and we began talking about why white men love Asian women so much and why men love Latinas. On the issue of Latinas we agreed, both black and white men love Latinas, but the black man may marry the Latina while most white men just have a Latina fantasy and may be sexually intimidated by an aggressive and sensual Latina. He said white men love Asian women because they see them as “good girls”, and I disagreed, I said that white men have an Asian fetish because they see Asian women as easy to sexually please (as well as being physically attractive) and they are more methodical and less spontaneous and this is a trait that exists in most of the white west.
The subject turned to black women and we talked about the large number of single and educated black women who cannot find a mate. The brother stated “why don’t they just marry white men” and I responded “most white men don’t want a black woman and vice-versa”. There are many reasons for this such as white men having a blonde vision of beauty in their heads beat into their heads by the media, to social pressures, to personal taste. There is also the issue that many liberal white men, who would be open to interracial dating, are effete and somewhat girlish, and most black women are attracted to more manly types and then there is sex. I grew-up in the black community and I can tell you the stereotype about white men in the community is that they just cannot sexually please a black woman (and this is true to a lesser extent amongst Latinas). So, white men are of no help to black women suffering from the SBWS, as a rule ( I have tried to actively refute that sterotype with my Latina wife and previously the black mother of my daughter).
I do believe that there is probably some truth to this stereotype. Penis size and rhythm aside, the sex act from the male perspective is a violent act. The male is penetrating inside of the female body with violent thrusts. A traditional male, of any color, who has the mentality of a warrior and of a man, is comfortable in that violent act and just as he is prone to aggressiveness on the streets and at the job, he is aggressive in bed. The new male, who is mostly white (but the model is being exported) is in touch with his feminine side, is not aggressive and is not a warrior. When his wife just wants him to “knock it out” he wants to read poetry to her while sucking her toes. This is a culture that leads to s&m, homosexuality, swingers clubs and the like, it is organized and perverted sex for the sexually challenged. These are the same people who have to buy fifteen books about dogs before they buy one and who have an excess of book knowledge and a severe deficit of common sense. They have become so out of tune with nature that they need to take classes and read books about how to have sex and even need to get tied up and beaten to enjoy the act and they are lost causes; you either have it or you don’t.
When a brother and sister are looking to get married sexual compatibility should be discussed. The sister needs to know if the brother is going to be able to get the job done and the brother needs to get an idea of where his future wife is coming from. That is what everyone is thinking anyway, why not talk about it.