Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I'd like to refer back to Nadia from the last post briefly, she lives her life entangled within a web of sexual politics (like many other Pakistani women) - and it’s apparent in so much of her conversation. Clearly, she's proud about not feeling anything when her husband touches her. From what she’s been taught, that’s how a woman should be. She even shows surprise at the fact that there are women out there who enjoy sex. At first…. When I mentioned the topic of my book…she couldn’t even say the word 'sex':
“I think this book is really necessary…I don’t think it will get to the poor people, but if it ever did I would be the first one to read it. If it was in Urdu…there are so many problems with 'that' in our society.” (although i'm not sure how often a respectable woman would even say the word, the Urdu language certainly doesn't make it a very accessible and commonly used word)
However, It is very ‘progressive’ of her to accept a book about sex, let alone think it’s necessary…at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that she refers to sex as ‘that’. It’s obvious that she’s been raised to believe it’s something dirty for men to enjoy…and women to put up with…
Later in the conversation she makes it clear that there's a double standard in their marriage. If her husband flirts with other women, she just has to be there at the right place at the right time…in order to prevent anything from happening. That’s just the way things are.. and she has to accept it. He’s a man after all. Although I’m glad she questioned him about what he would do if she were to flirt with someone else…his answer clearly does not display equality within their marriage. But…he is definitely more understanding than most Pakistani men….after all, she was divorced…not a virgin and had a child from a previous marriage….and he still decided to pursue her…marry her and accept her child as his own. If only such acts of selflessness carried over into their sex life… she might not be so proud to feel nothing. :(
Their ‘love story’ as she describes it sounds ever so dramatic…him being kidnapped by his own family…and staging a rejection letter from her…then…love conquering all and them being together….unfortunately not so happily ever after. The pressure to reproduce and bear sons is all she seems to think about. With each pregnancy she becomes more frail…but such pressure combined with a lack of knowledge about contraceptives…and also a lack of willingness to speak about sex…leaves her and her husband in a miserable financial state. And after two abortions and having to give away one child…I’m sure her physical and emotional state isn’t great either.
We started our discussion in a very positive manner…she seemed eager to contribute to the cause of this book….but I’m guessing that after speaking to her husband…(who is obviously the dominant one in the relationship)…she wants nothing to do with it. She doesn’t want to learn too much about how to prevent unplanned pregnancies…she finds homosexuality absolutely disgusting…. The more we talk about it … the less cooperative and responsive she is. Sex….is that kind of subject… it will shut off many, many people. *le sigh*
in such a situation…an orgasm…seems quite an impossibility. :(
Her dislike for homosexuality…she’s not being bigoted…she’s just afraid of what she doesn’t know. She barely accepts heterosexuality…sex is a scary thing when you don’t know anything about it. I sincerely hope…she finds a more permanent solution to her ongoing unplanned pregnancies.
The politics of pleasure…the games we play….the things society makes us do….
Before I dive back into the interviews, I'd like to mention that we have another volunteer interviewee! Woot! Of course this participant is female as well - where are the male voices? Seriously, This is the second reader to participate, but neither are male. Grow a pair :P Thanks Farah for stepping up!
(I'm going to start with her answers including the ones we've already been through with the other participants, that way we'll be all caught up.)
Farah, Female, 29
I can’t remember what age [I came to know about sex], but I think it came to me in trickles in the way that a lot of realizations dawn on children. I remember having desires that I couldn’t put a name to, but didn’t really feel the need to. I remember hushed conversations with my best friend where we would share information that we were accumulating slowly like secret service spies, about menstruation and sex. We would try and get our hands on films like Pretty Woman and look for clues within. I remember finding my Uncle’s Playboy magazines at the back of his bedroom cupboard in Karachi. Subsequently, for the next few days, every time we were home alone, my cousin and I would leaf through the magazines excitedly. One day, they disappeared.
I don’t remember anything from these magazines, except one cartoon. It was of a woman, who had lifted up her dress to show her vagina to her son, who had, presumably, fainted and was lying on the ground comatose. Her husband had walked in, wide-eyed, and the speech bubble above the wife’s head said, ‘What? He asked me where he came from?’
I suspect that this is the only thing I remember because it was the only thing I understood.
I was recounted information in bits and pieces. Some interesting tidbits I remember being told include the fact that I would be initiated into sex just before my wedding night, where I would be given a video instructing me on all aspects of love-making. I remember being dismayed when I was told that it would hurt.
On Premarital Sex: I was against it for a long long time, because of the notions that I was brought up with. I now feel that it was ludicrous, and can often feel a sort of contempt or irritation with those who feel that way. The first time I had sex, I cried as if my heart were breaking – and I guess those tears came from a feeling of profound guilt. Somewhere inside I believe I was letting my family and God down. It took some time for the guilt to lift and I’m grateful for the fact that I had the opportunity to do so, as I could have very well had an alternative life of being married to my first love at the age of 22 – I carried on a very virginal relationship with him for 2 years.
On sexual repression in Pakistan: It’s a complicated question.
What do you mean by sexually repressed? And who are you comparing to? After visiting France, I began to see the UK as sexually repressed. Within Pakistan itself, there is so much divergence.
Pakistani society’s attitudes towards relationships and sex is restrictive. There are so many interdictions: against sex before marriage, showing excessive skin (even hair, in some cases), homosexuality, fraternizing with non-related members of the opposite gender, relationships with the opposite gender outside of marriage … not to mention the interdictions that exist in the western world, against, for example, masturbation, polygamy, and nudity.
What I’m trying to say is yes, I do think Pakistan is sexually repressed, but moreover, I think we as a planet are sexually repressed in some ways. I’m not saying we should all be going around sleeping with each other, but just that ignoring or denying the fact that sex is a basic human need can lead to terrible consequences.
On arranged marriage: I’m not married – but I don’t think arranged marriages have a negative effect on sexuality just from the fact of their being arranged. Arranged marriages often bring together two like-minded people and results in fireworks in the bedroom. At the same time, many that opt for such a marriage may be religious and have fixed views about what sex is and should be, and it is these factors – religion and indoctrination – that have an effect on sexuality rather than the way in which you go about meeting your husband.
On sex and equality: How can it be completely equal? I hope to one day discover this possibility, but for the moment I think sex, like many acts involving two people, is one of give and take and with the right balance it can be more or less equal.
I know women who haven't ever experienced an orgasm. I think it can often times be a psychological thing but I think for women, its not really all about the orgasm so it doesn’t matter. A more interesting question would be, ‘Have you or anyone you know ever faked an orgasm?’ Again, yes to both. I’m more conservative [in bed] than I’d like to be and I think it’s due to a lack of confidence.
I don’t think about it [sex] everyday. It depends on the context, the outside influences, the time of month even.
Ayesha, Female, 28
I will obviously come to this topic from my feminist and homosexual bias. For me the act of heterosexual intercourse, ie. Penetration, is basically an act of violence. To me it does not seem shared, the visual image is very much of the male impaling the female. Gruesome imagery aside, I have to admit if an emotional connection exists then that changes everything by changing the referential dimension. Also I recently read some feminist writing on how intercourse is by no means necessary for female orgasm. I can say from personal experience that women can easily achieve orgasm from methods other than penetration, in fact these methods are actually more efficient in pleasuring a woman.
I believe all gender roles are socially constructed. Yes men and women are physically different but the roles assigned to them and the rights and obligations given to each are completely arbitrary, evolved and structures over previous generations to serve the interest of the dominant classes.
Most of the married women I know have probably never had an orgasm. It takes at least a few years for most women around me to have an orgasm with their husbands. I think it’s an incredibly sad state of affairs and just reflects Pakistani male mentality in all its glaring selfishness and intolerance of difference and novelty.
Layla, Female, 19
Not all the time, but most of the times it is (an equal act). I feel like it’s a race you know to get to the finish line, whoever gets there first is obviously the winner, which is often unfair but you can make up for it in different ways ( like oral or hand jobs etc).
I do not think that nature has much to do with our gender roles. I’m going to try and explain this how I understand it best. Women are given a great deal of respect in Islam, and hence have to cover themselves be modest etc etc, but at the same time men have to be modest too. I just feel the message we were given was just misinterpreted and because women were to be given extra care and consideration, especially because we give life. Hence women were considered to be weaker and not able to perform many of the tasks men could they are supposed to stay home cook clean etc. And it became sort of a pattern, and so a girl was born and was given tea sets Barbie’s , make up while boys are given action figures, bats and balls etc. These are all pressures placed on gender by society. And well with time and age and exposure women realized they aren’t restricted to just that and hence we can see the difference in most parts of the world.
Ambreen, Female, 28
I definitely don’t think sex is an ‘equal’ act all the time ... I think sometimes I’m not into it as much as I could be... but my partner always enjoys it ... so it’s not always equal…
Mariam, Female, 26
I consider myself a very sort of forward thinking… assertive individual…and woman… I know that even somebody like me .. I feel pressure to a) keep my man satisfied and occasional guilt for not wanting sex enough. It is a pressure on me and my mind and I feel a certain amount of compulsion to deliver…so to say…for his sake. If it was completely equal – he would also sometimes feel the guilt – which he doesn’t and most men in my experience don’t. There is this notion which may be true…that women don’t really ‘dig’ sex as much as men. And if they are ever digging it … they don’t take it too seriously…. They’re just going with the flow… or whatever… “she’s the one who will go along with it most of the time and I’m the one who’s sort of … actively demanding it” So even if the woman demands it sometimes… it’s not taken too seriously – there’s no guilt factor really for men. If women don’t go along with it... they will feel some amount of guilt… but will go along with it most of the time. If men won’t go along with it (rare as it may be) they won’t really feel any guilt…towards the fact that they’re not fulfilling their partner….or not fulfilling their ‘duties’ as a partner…
I do think that nature sets up a foundation…on which gender roles are built….but it’s a fairly flexible foundation. The kind of person that we turn into is attributed to the society we’re raised in or the opinions we’re exposed to. So I don’t think nature pre-determines it…really…
I know of someone who has never ever experienced an orgasm…. I think it’s a classic case of not having enough experience…and having certain social norms pressed upon you…where the woman will not do anything beyond certain limits to go looking for that orgasm and the husbands pleasure comes above all else. Certain ideas…. Being self-conscious… the husband being the alpha-male…I feel terribly sorry…sure I’ve talked to her about it….she’s only been married a year and sexually active since then…maybe I guess give it more time…so far she’s just going with the flow…Our advice to her was…give it a try yourself and see if it works out…then maybe you can guide your significant other …she kind of took it as a joke I think…with a laugh here and a shy smile there… I don’t think it’ll actually happen.
As for myself…I’ve never experienced an orgasm from penetrative sex…. It remains a big mystery to me… I mean I’ve been told that only a small percentage of women actually do achieve orgasm from penetration … it’s sucks though… to not be a part of that small percentage…I do feel a little irritated by that. It’s not even a question anymore… I don’t even try to have an orgasm through penetrative sex anymore…because I know my body…. And it’s a no pretty much - straight up. Things are the way they are because we have certain biological issues …that I don’t think we can do anything about…like in the sense that we have some major size issues….I’m too small and he’s too big…which makes the process much more tedious and painful than it’s supposed to be…I’ve spoken to doctors about it…. If you do it more often….you can make a fractional difference eventually…but it’s not something that you can really fix. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy though….Because with our ‘size’ issue…..when you know what’s coming….it’s hard to get excited about something you know is going to be painful….or decently pleasant at best…..I guess that’s why I’m not actively thinking about it. But obviously ….there are other ways to go about things…. It’s something I’ve just come to accept…. It’s not too much of a problem for me…it’s probably more of a problem for my partner. It sucks feeling like you’re the only person in the world with this problem… because I’m constantly hearing about how it’s supposed to be really good… and then I think a long term relationship will not last if this part of the relationship is not up to par…..but at this point…. I don’t think that’s true…. Let’s see…the thought does tend to cross my mind every now and then…. About how it’s going to be ten years from now…. between us…
Not having the greatest ‘sex-life’ does affect my relationship because every now and then one of us will lash out. Things might not be said….but there are always undercurrents…..about why someone’s ‘pissy’ that day…in that way… sex really affects my life…. Because everybody has this notion of how it’s supposed to be … and if its not matching up…It gets frustrating….people get scared. I mean, if I cant have an orgasm through penetration….I wouldn’t say my sex life as a whole is bad…but it does become a little…sort of … mundane…a little pointless…I do feel pressure…. I feel pressure to enjoy everything else…to make up for my lack of enjoyment in other areas….pressure is never good for when you’re wanting to orgasm in any case….
Fatima, Female, 25
Because of this word called ego – it (sex) can’t be an equal act. Regardless of homo or heterosexuality. My last relationship was with someone I could fuck-over in terms of sex… anytime... Because I could do it for her but she couldn’t do it for me. Someone always ends up having more power…
I have met people who haven’t ever had orgasms – and it all comes down to comfort once again…if you’re feeling extremely guilty throughout sex, you wont cum. If you’re worrying about being caught…you’re not going to be having an orgasm. That’s another thing – we’re all very sexually active and yet we sneak around like the worlds worst soap opera on Hollywood TV!
Unless you’ve got lots n lots of money and you can go to a 5 star hotel….you’ve got to watch your back - You can’t check into seedy motels here in Pakistan – you will be fucked over by the police, by your family … you will be fucked royally up the arse. So the fact that people have to go around screwing each other... completely hide and do it and hide to such an extent that they are constantly worried about things…I’ve had my mother chase me when I was younger, looking for me – yeah she would have caught me with my pants down had she gone any further than that. If I had got caught – I would have been in some serious trouble. So I don’t think I could have been thinking of an orgasm while worrying.
But I’ve met a lot of people who have had a lot of really bad experiences with sex and hence can’t get over those experiences because they’re not allowed to talk about it. If you’re not allowed to talk about shit – how do you get over it? Seriously…it’s all about keeping up your reputation…playing these roles that society asks us to play…especially women in Pakistan. They’re not supposed to like sex… or want sex…talking about it is just as bad. If you get caught screwing around… you’re considered a whore…it’s not the same for men.
Sumeira, Female, 25
Sex is NEVER an equal act between 2 people no matter how hard you try. I’ve had two major relationships in my life. I think I was too young to know about love when I got married. But yeah the other person – I loved her and still do… but when it came to us having sex, there is a one-up.
There are ego-trips involved…it’s about control…who needs it more….and who can do it better.
I know lots of people who have had sex but not experienced an orgasm – I tried to help them … but …yeah there are a lot of people but some eventually have an orgasm….women – women here are not open to it, if they’re with their boyfriends…they don’t have sex – they wait till they’re married. A couple of my friends, they’re married, but you know it takes a while for you to get comfortable with someone – you know really get into it. She’s never had sex before and he’s never had sex before…they waited it out, in fact I know two couples like that. I suppose it takes a while to get into it. There are women who have been having sex for a long time and have never had an orgasm - but that’s just how it is... you can’t do anything about it.
Zobia, Female, 22
Sex is not always an equal act for many couples. This is simply because achieving the male orgasm is a much more straightforward task. However it should be an equal act….particularly in our community women who seek that kind of pleasure are seen in a very negative light, to them sex is all about what a man wants or needs.
The gender roles we adhere to owe a lot to our socialisation and the norms we are made to follow. Having children and such differences however, do make it difficult for woman to lead equal lives to men, as the system of the progressive world is made for men, by men and is completely patriarchal in its nature.
Saira, Female, 22
Its generally for the male to be pleasured ... that’s how it is in society and its portrayed in the media.... because women are still men’s toys and they get to use us in every way possible..... I don’t think it has anything to do with nature.... or what god intended.... it’s just a social construction. It’s just the way males have created our society from the start and we just follow that.
Rabia, Female, 23
Just sharing my virgin opinion here (on what it should be/ I’d like it to be): the completely ‘equal’ act gives off an impression of a calculated act. Sex for me, should be more than that; in the moment, spontaneity is key and that may well mean a shifting role in terms of ‘dominance’ from what partner to another, from one experience to another.
I don’t think I think about sex everyday considering I engage in no such activity. But I would say it comes up often around me. Whether that is a conversation with a friend, an article or something on television (no, not porn) – I do find myself thinking about the kinds of things I would do for my husband.
Now those are some seriously heavy issues to digest.
Monday, September 20, 2010
We’re each given a role to play by society. Divided into neat little categories…
Some of us are meant to serve tea, whilst others get it served to them...
Girls are supposed to like pink and boys are supposed to like blue. Gender roles obviously get far more complicated than a pair of lame pastel colours – but it all starts there… the moment you wrap a new born in pink or blue you begin to define the rest of that baby's life.
Being male or female…
It all comes with guidelines, made up for the most part, by society.. It varies slightly in different places…but the basic concept is universal. Being male puts you at a higher rank than being female. Many may disagree but let's face it…look around… wherever on earth you may be. It’s a man’s world.
(clearly this is how all women react to detergent...its just the most exciting thing!) :/
It has become a lot better for women, I'm not denying that…but we’re no where near equality. We’re getting 'closer' to it in arenas like the workplace…
but when it comes to the bedroom…we’re still really far behind. :/
Men can brag about their sexual conquests…and somehow that makes them more ‘macho’ but if a woman talks about her lovers… especially if there’s more than one. That makes her a ‘slut’.
I’ve always found that really odd…such blatant double standards, and based on what? A difference in genitalia?
Sexual 'confinement' (for the lack of a better word) for girls starts waaay back when. They're given dolls to play with… and taught to nurture…whereas a boy is given cars…guns…he’s taught to be tough…if he cries…he’s told that boys don’t – and so he begins to hide his feelings. It’s not really fair on him either…I’m sure its not easy being tough all the time…putting up a front for the world…I can't put it better than Robert Smith *swoon*....
And, when those kids grow up…boys tend to have more freedom…especially in Pakistan - and not without reason I suppose, it’s far more dangerous for a girl to be out late than it is for a guy, but this ability to stay out later and have more freedom only strengthens the differences.
When the boy and girl finally meet in the bedroom…they’re set in their ways - and those differences dictate how they'll behave.
He knows what he wants… it’s all about him…and her? She’s supposed to be quiet and shy…if she’s feeling 'frisky'…it’s not ladylike to show it. She’s there to please…and he’s there to be pleased. When he’s done…it’s over. He’ll roll over and go to bed.
Don't roll your eyes gentlemen. The scenario I described is not the only one that exists…but its more commonplace than you would think…Especially in Pakistan …perhaps this is not always the case with the educated elite…but more often than not…that’s how it goes for the masses. Of course there are kind, generous men out there that care about their partner’s pleasure as well…but that is not the norm.
Pakistani society is so male-centric and no one can deny that! Despite my knowledge of this fact I was still pretty shocked when I lived there these past few years. I’ll give you an example…(it has nothing to do with sexuality…but it’s astounding nonetheless)
So…During my stay there, I banked with a certain bank…it was a great bank – and I got incredible service…but one of their policies really really just pissed me off. They didn’t hire women…plain and simple…no explanations ....and there was also a certain form I was required to fill out that asked for either my father’s name or husband’s name…I had to be someone’s wife or someone’s daughter… just being me wasn’t enough. I won’t go into details of how I argued…because it didn’t get me anywhere. But seriously, in this fucking century, really?
Let’s just say…I feel really sorry for the wife of the guy who put this policy in place. He must be total crap in bed…and clearly doesn’t have a high opinion of women…so satisfying one sexually is probably not even on his list of things to do.
Its so frustrating, this power imbalance…Aside from the crap that society forces upon us, I'm sure it has something to do with our biological roles too…before DNA testing….and child support…if someone impregnated a girl…wanted nothing to do with their little ‘mistake’ they could simply run off. But the poor pregnant girl would have no choice but to deal with the pregnancy…an abortion is not always acceptable or accessible…what do you do then? Even in terms of intercourse…there is such an obvious indicator for when men are in the mood…it’s practically staring you in the face, lol. And when they’re done…when they’ve had their orgasm…you can’t miss it. But a woman’s orgasm? Who’s gonna know if she actually had one or not? Only her………..
My point is, maybe…not necessarily … but maybe things would have been different if we got erections when we were in the mood…and if we shot out stuff when we were done. With such surefire indicators for a partner…a start and stop….maybe men would do things differently for women. But even then….perhaps it'd still be all about them… *shrug*
Now once again, I'm not saying all men are self-centered in all aspects of life - I wouldn't be married to one that were the case :P
On a related note; a friend of mine in Pakistan had a maid who was surprisingly open minded…and even more surprisingly, spoke to me about sex…I was telling her about my book(blog) and she seemed so interested, at one point she even agreed to do an interview with me…I can’t tell you how thrilled I was – I thought I was finally going to get at least one opinion from a different socioeconomic class….but no such luck…she changed her mind. This is how our conversation went:
Nadia, Female, 26
I think this book is really necessary…I don’t think it will get to the poor people, but if it ever did I would be the first one to read it. If it was in Urdu…there are so many problems with “that” in our society. For instance – I have caught my husband with women several times… he’s holding hands with them….striking up a friendship…I have to be very alert with him. Sometimes I get a feeling…that he’s up to something…and I leave whatever I’m doing…. And run….. run to the bus stop he’s supposed to be at…. And I don’t find him there. I know he’s a big flirt. When I’ve asked him how he would like it if I flirted with someone – he says that he would kill the guy and leave me. But that’s just the way it is ….men are more important. It’s unfair….I just have to watch him carefully…and I have to accept it.
I was just recently divorced and he used to work at the same house I worked at…I suppose he liked me…so he asked our employers if they would assist him in convincing me to marry him…At first, I didn’t agree, but they all told me that he was a nice guy…and that my daughter needed a father, I needed a husband to help support me…our society doesn’t take very kindly to divorced women. So we got married and since he is not of the same ethnic background as me, both our families weren’t happy with the marriage. In fact they kidnapped him and kept him tied up for a day so he couldn’t come back to me and so I would think that he had left me….they even gave him a letter that was supposed to be from me…saying that I didn’t want to be married to him anymore. But he knew it was a scheme to separate us… since I can’t really write. But now our families are happy. He is so good to my daughter from my previous marriage. I have 4 more children with him. I know it’s unwise to have so many children when you’re poor but in the poorer class they expect you to have a son…and they wanted me to keep going till I had a son. I was under tremendous pressure from my sisters in law. Well, out of my 5 children, at least my youngest is a boy. But his family still wants more – I don’t want anymore though. I gave them one boy and that’s enough. They can taunt me and make fun of me all they want…I’m done having kids. So what if I could only produce one son.
Soon after this conversation I received news that she was pregnant again. After bearing five children by the age of 26, I couldn’t believe how she was going to get through another pregnancy. I thought she didn’t want anymore children…I wondered if the pressure to have more sons got to her. When I spoke to her again, she claimed she indeed did not want to have another baby and thought that since she was still breastfeeding her baby boy she wouldn’t be able to conceive. How wrong she was…
Her family wanted to keep the child because the ultrasound showed it was a boy….she still chose to have an abortion. After the abortion she was fine for a while….till she started feeling sick and nauseous again. She was afraid they had left some part of the embryo behind and went to the hospital to have it checked. There they told her she still had a baby inside her… which she didn’t believe since she had had an abortion already. She went to two other places and they told her the same thing. They said it was a miracle…she had originally had twins. One was aborted and one remained perfectly healthy. This one was a girl. Considering this miracle a sign from god – she chose not to have another abortion. Eventually, she delivered a healthy baby girl…. after much thinking and internal conflict…she decided to give the baby away to relatives who could not have a baby of their own. She thought this was the best decision for everyone.
When we met again we had another fairly interesting discussion…
Baji – did you know that there are some women out there who actually enjoy sex… who like it when their husbands touch them? I could never understand that...but this is what my husband told me… and also my aunts daughter… she said she really likes it when she has intercourse with her husband. But I feel nothing. I never have….they say that women can also feel …in their body….exciting sensations… like a man does…. But every time my husband touches me I can’t feel anything. (she said proudly)
Did you know that there are men who like to do it with other men? At first I didn’t believe it… but then this guy made a move on my husband….and I believe him. But that’s so disgusting. I don’t understand…
After her last unplanned pregnancy I suggested, different methods of birth control – even a little snippage couldn't hurt at this point…and since she had just gone through an abortion and delivery…. I suggested she should ask her husband if he would consider it…
Baji – (laughing) I asked my husband about the operation you told me about…. At first he got very scared… he thought I was asking him to chop his …’thing’ off entirely!! (laughs hysterically) but I explained that everything was done on the inside… he was relieved… but still not interested in getting the operation…
What kind of contraceptive do you use?
Well we don’t really use anything….but don’t worry…I can’t get pregnant…because we are doing something….umm how do I explain it to you? Umm….well when he’s done…(becomes shy and stops speaking)
He pulls out before he’s about to finish?
Yes…yes…so see…. We are safe…
Well – that method is not really an effective way of birth control, (I explained to her about ‘pre-ejaculation’ …and how despite using that method ‘accidents’ can happen. When in an economic position like hers… with 5 children and a 6th one given away...you can’t really take such risks…. She was shocked to find out that the method wasn’t 100% guaranteed to prevent unplanned pregnancies)
Later…. After all the enthusiasm she had initially showed about the book(blog)….I guess she went and discussed it with her husband…because after this meeting she refused to speak to me on the subject…. At all…..I told her she didn’t have to answer any questions she didn’t feel comfortable answering…. But she refused to speak about the book(blog) at all. She turned around and walked away…but at least we got to have a couple of short conversations if not a proper interview.
A few months ago, I heard that she got pregnant again…and had to have another abortion.
Friday, September 3, 2010
(click on the image to view a larger version)
Some time early on in 2008:
I was welcomed recently into cyberspace by the appearance of a most curious pop-up….an ad for a website called “Dating Cheating Wives dot Com” :O !
This is some of what it said…
“They feel unwanted and neglected by their husbands. Start dating these wives and give spice to their lives.”
DatingCheatingWives.com is a discreet married dating site geared towards a sensual nature. These girls don't want to lose their families and most of them are looking for a good discreet encounter. We respect the privacy of our profiles and ask that you do the same.
DatingCheatingWives.com is the premier dating site for married women who need sensual attention. Most of their husbands are overseas or working hard at their jobs. These women are looking for that lack of sensual attention they deserve but still want to keep their families.
Aside from the weird ass grammer and writing skills (that make the copywriter in me cringe) - its pretty messed up. And in North America we have another such dating service called "Ashley Madison" Ugh, should be fucking illegal to assist people with cheating on their spouses. Perhaps the conservative in me comes out here...But thats just plain wrong. I mean DatingCheatingWives.Com is probably not even real married women, but just some kinda gimmick. Ashley Madison however, seems pretty fuckin real...and pretty fuckin sick. Pardon all the swearing, a lady never swears :P
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you're going to cheat, the least you can do is put some effort into it, and find your own way through that - what you should not be able to do is sign up for a service that makes your cheating experience smoother and hassle-free. What is wrong with this world?
So there you have it, arranged marriages aren’t the only ones aiding hypocrisy and double lives…and this is so much worse…you marry for love…get bored… and don’t even have the decency to own up to it. Grow a pair, I say!
Of course after searching for Ashley Madison ads on my computer I had to warn my husband that anything related in the search history had to do with writing. Lol, thankfully he's pretty understanding.
Anyhoo, I want to talk about my last arranged marriage post and what some of the interviewees had to say;
Sumeira makes it quite clear that she isn’t in favour of arranged marriage at all.
The effects of an arranged marriage really depend on what background you come from. Because in a lot of places “ok- arranged marriage is a woman’s duty…yes, hello I open legs-I make babies” that’s it. There is no such thing as satisfaction for a woman – they don’t even know that a woman can cum. In a society like this you need premarital sex so people can figure out what the hell is going on.
Her interpretation of it as a woman’s duty and becoming a baby-making sex machine is quite a reality for many women across Pakistan. And she’s definitely right about the fact that there isn’t much awareness about female sexuality…or satisfaction. But in a way…all throughout the West you’ll hear jokes about men not knowing how to locate a clitoris – so it’s a lack of awareness all around, I suppose, just in varying degrees. Female sexuality has always been so mysterious because it’s just not as ‘obvious’ as male sexuality :P Sorry guys, no offense, but let's just say external equipment is easier to 'operate'...
The point Sumeira is trying to make is that arranged marriage only propels that lack of awareness. I believe she’s right in assuming that people who usually agree to have arranged marriages tend to be conservative (unless they’re one of the types of hypocrites I mentioned earlier)…and conservative Pakistani people do not have premarital sex….in relation to that thought…. I think it’s pretty intriguing how Ambreen mentions that her and her husband go to know one another beforehand...
we had met each other ... and gotten to know each others bodies before the wedding night so it wasn't awkward...
This is an arranged marriage situation very different from Sumeira’s perception…or even mine. I guess things have progressed in that regard…but still, if you’re unorthodox enough to engage in premarital fooling around…why would you let your parents choose who you’ll be fooling around with in the first place? If anyone at all could explain that a bit better to me, then I'd be forever grateful... :) The logic just escapes me, but maybe I shouldn't be looking for logic in everything...
Marriage means something different to everyone I guess....it can be unorthodox, it can be fragile....it can be hypocritical...and most interesting of all are the alternative arrangements, like polygamy..... wtf is up with that! And why do we even have it in Pakistan....
I actually know a couple of older men in Pakistan that have more than one wife... Like for real....but they'd never speak to me... so i didnt even bother asking.
Even though it’s permitted in Islam for a man to have four wives – surprisingly - it isn’t as popular in Pakistan as in some other Muslim countries.
From what I’ve seen, it always gets really messy…
but whatever, back to arranged marriage – what do the guys say?
Fahad, Male, 24
Marriage can mean different things to different people. I don’t particularly like the concept of arranged marriage, but I don’t really dislike it either. I myself, didn’t want one… since I was a kid I used to tell my mother that I would find my own wife. But to each his own…When I wasn’t married I thought polygamy wasn’t such a big deal – but since I’ve been married myself, I realize that having sex involves more of an emotional aspect than a physical one. I think people should just marry one person, but they should have a choice…. If they want to marry more than one person and both parties consent…then they have every right.
Marriage has so many different arrangements, and ‘arranged’ marriage is only one of them… there’s swinging too…(laughs) I think it has some sort of a charm about it – as something, that’s very risqué, very dirty, very physical… but I know that if I was ever faced with a situation where I had to trade my partner I would feel VERY uncomfortable… and I would feel uncomfortable trading myself…its about how you view your relationship with someone else….for me it could just be sort of a wild fantasy that could never come true… and it wouldn’t come true because I wouldn’t want it to –but yeah its exciting, sometimes I’ve thought about it and it’s even aroused me.
Ultimately though, for most sexual relationships, the goal is marriage. Marriage is mainly used to cement that relationship…and people have different relationships…we can’t expect everyone’s marriage to be the same. Some people have open marriages, some have arranged marriages some have love marriages and some even have multiple marriages – you’ve just got to find what’s right for you - and definitely...every single type of arrangement out there has an effect on your sexuality.
Sultan, Male, 19
Arranged marriage doesn’t necessarily have a negative effect on people. If people don’t know each other and they are just physically attracted to each other based on each others looks…then if they get married and find out so many new things about each other … their whole life is just a journey into each others souls and each others hearts…if people can reach to some kind of agreement like that, then I think there’s nothing wrong with it – I think that might actually increase and heighten their sexuality. But if it turns out to be that one partner is extremely difficult and the other partner is forced to conform to the other partners desires... then I think it could be pretty ugly, I think it could have a very bad effect on someone.
Khizer, Male, 26
I think its abuse as far as sexuality goes. I’m not talking about guys because honestly speaking guys will screw anything. I disagree with arranged marriage, that girl has to have sex with the guy she has been married to; she is bound by law and culture, etc… I think the girl is making the biggest compromise of her life. If a girl says no to sex within an arranged marriage she still has to, if a guy says no its no, as far as our society goes.
Imad, Male, 25
As far as arranged marriage goes – I think it can work. Definitely, if both people are in the same frame of mind. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it – it’s also just another decision that people make…or they don’t make. Arranged marriage in terms of sexuality – yeah I guess that’s the only problem with arranged marriage; you don’t want to ‘force’ anything I guess. Women have faced a lot of problems with that – especially in our country, I know that for a fact. Otherwise...yes…sex can be equally good in an arranged marriage – I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. If you are ok with getting into an arranged marriage – then you’ll have fantastic sex I’m sure. But if you’re against it then you won’t.
Qasim, Male, 26
I don’t see there being anything wrong with it... I definitely don’t see arranged marriage as being a negative. As long as you’re not forced into it…there’s nothing wrong. It’s more or less just like going on a blind date or meeting someone through a friend. Normally, when you have a rishta (proposal) come in ... you have a month or so (at least)... to get to know the person.... so technically you’re dating.... and getting to know someone...
But I do think it does suppress your sexual relations with the person… More so from the girl’s perspective. Likely the girl is going to be submissive anyway.... so if you’re a guy you can do pretty much what you want with her. Girls are expected as a whole to be good girls... not very sexually explicit... and not very experimental.
Ali, Male, 29
Within an arranged marriage I think you cannot completely ever have the girl…basically... I don’t think she can get any pleasure out of an arranged marriage. For women especially, trust goes hand in hand with sexuality – and how can you trust someone you barely know?... The guy can obviously still get pleasure through sex…whether it’s within an arranged marriage or not – so that’s not the issue...but we should discourage arranged marriages in favour of women.... not because of men…since women are the one’s truly affected.
The word ‘force’ or ‘forced’ tends to crop up several times. As long as women aren’t forced into an arranged marriage…it should be ok – At least that’s what I understood to be the general concern in several accounts.
I suppose, women do tend to suffer more within that situation, and I’m so glad all the men see this. In a society where women are supposed to be shy, submissive and soft spoken – where their spouses are often picked for them….it’s only natural that their sexuality will be affected. After all…we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re naked.
`Fahad’s account covers everything…he simplifies it for us in the sense that it’s just another way for two people to get together and fall in love…
Arranged marriage may sound intimidating at first…. But when you break it down…it’s sort of how Qasim describes….
“It’s more or less just like going on a blind date or meeting someone through a friend.”
Of course it’s like a really long blind date….that goes on forever…and starts off with the wedding…. (I actually wrote this bit years before I ever saw that Ashley Madison ad...hmm..)
but essentially…. You’re being set up by someone….who means well (usually) and you take it from there. You’ve got all the hard stuff like commitment and wedding plans out of the way right at the start…so you can focus on each other. The only down side is….if this eternal blind date doesn’t work out… you can’t just walk away and never call again….
(hah... sounds totally like that commercial more and more...)
Khizer considers it ‘abuse’ as far as sexuality goes…especially for women….he’s right too…if it doesn’t work out…it’s the woman who suffers…a man can go elsewhere to get his 'needs satisfied' if they aren’t being taken care of at home….and that’s quite acceptable. But if the situation is reversed…the woman’s stuck at home….perhaps with a couple of screaming babies….and a loveless marriage she never wanted in the first place.
It then becomes like Sumeira said;
“…marriage is a done deal – that’s it baby you’re in the house, what are you going to do?”
I think we can conclude that there are so many ways a marriage can go wrong….arranged or not…and also, there’s a variety of ways people find love….some prefer it to be arranged by others and some don’t…the most important thing I learned through this discussion was to be more open minded and not dismiss arranged marriage as a thing of the past.
People should do what works for them…if there’s more awareness about sexuality…it’s less likely to be abused. Love is a strange thing and can come in many forms…when you’ve found it…you’ll know. (LMAO the 2008 version of me is kinda makin' me gag... musta been that kind of day :/ )
For me…it’s the most trivial things that get me brimming with love….like today…it’s the coldest day of 2008…it’s -27 degrees. I’m sitting here, typing with three pairs of socks on…two sweaters… Toronto has issued and ‘extreme weather alert’ and there’s tips on how to prevent frostbite on TV….I just hung up the phone with my husband…told him I was cold (heating isn’t the best in such extreme temperatures)….he called me back 10 minutes later to ask if the living room curtains were open….when I asked why…he said;
“…because it’s really sunny outside and you said you were cold…so I thought I’d tell you to open the curtains…maybe the sunlight can warm you up…”
Oh Gawsh, that is really sweet.... *blush*
But I do feel silly sharing that, meh whatever....I'm not a girly girl...and I know it. Even I'm allowed a sappy moment or two...
Till next time folks!