Thursday, July 28, 2011
Can't say i'm well rested or anything, it was one of those vacations that you need a vacation from. But those are the very best kind...
Anyhoo, time to dive right in. I'll say it again, because it cant be said enough, thank goodness for these opinionated and interesting Pakistani women, cuz the men have been a yawn...
Maliha, 21, Female
At what age (approximately) and how did you come to know about sexual intercourse?
I was around 7…we lived in England in those days, it was pretty open and even little kids knew about it – I remember them joking about how girls had ‘sharpeners’ and boys had ‘pencils’. I remember feeling guilty when I found out about it properly, (through encyclopedias, friends) crying a lot when I confessed to my mother that I knew about sex (even though I didn’t know much about it). It was like something that one knew but couldn’t admit to knowing and so when I did admit it I felt really guilty and shameful. I think I felt disgust too, but that might be my memory confabulating.
Is Pakistan sexually repressed as a nation?
Not particularly sexually repressed – I mean, look at the rate of population growth. Among the younger people, especially in their late teenage/early twenties you see some repression because most people choose not to fornicate and yet they can’t get married that early. But once people are married off they usually settle into typical sexual habits, or so has been my observation. So maybe we’re not very sexually aware as a nation, of things like safe sex and protection and all, but repressed, not really.
Have you ever had/Do you enjoy having sex?
I haven’t had sex in real life. I have had experience of cybersex pretty extensively, with various partners, and gone on to try phonesex too, but I’ve avoided the real experience. I’ve enjoyed the stuff I’ve done online, although I’m getting bored of it now.
On premarital sex:
I would normally say I was okay with it, but recent events have made me reconsider. In general I think its okay if you’re in a casual setting such as abroad, and know you’re going to marry someone from that society who doesn’t mind or even expects you to have done it before marrying. In our setting it might be an unwise move – most of us are still prudes. Even in our setting, if one intends to marry that person, then maybe its okay…Random, promiscuous premarital sex I am not in favour of.
On Arranged Marriage:
I'm not married. But I think it (arranged marriage) would affect sexuality, in the short term at least, as people would be shyer, more awkward. Later on you’re going to understand one another’s preferences anyway so there shouldn’t be a problem.
Have you had more than one sexual partner in life?
I suppose cybersex doesn’t count. If it did, the answer would be yes.
On Sex & Equality:
I think it should be, but often isn’t. Like you often hear of husbands who consider wham, bam, thank you ma’am as a perfect delineation of sex. I have no idea how their wives manage. Even with good partners in ideal situations, its not exactly equal, its always a bit of give and take – sometimes the focus is on the partner, sometimes on you. So no, not completely equal all the time.
What do you think nature and the physical differences between men and women have to do with gender roles in society?
They play a major role. I could write an essay on this, but basically the emotional nature and slightly weaker physique is emphasized and underlined to the point of undermining and underestimating the capability of women, even in areas where these things should technically have no effect (like driving a car, for instance). Vice versa for men.
Have you ever experienced a multiple orgasm?
*laughs* haven’t but hope to *fingers crossed*
Have you ever found or had your g-spot found?
G-spot, hmm…wasn’t that a myth? If it exists I hope someone discovers mine…for now I will have to make do with what parts of my anatomy I have managed to locate…and those are more than some girls are aware of.
Do you know anyone who has sex but has not yet experienced an orgasm? What are your thoughts on that?
Hmm..I don’t know anyone personally, well maybe someone I know has gone through that, but I’ve never asked anyone. I know a lot of women probably don’t experience an orgasm and that depresses me…it’s such a good feeling, I can’t imagine them actually having sex and not experiencing it. They should be taught what it’s like, then they won’t be able to help expecting, lol, demanding it from their partners.
Do you think about sex everyday? How often?
Up until about a year back I’d think about it up to five times a day. Sometimes constantly, lol. That was when all the internet relationships and a few real life ones were at their height. Nowadays I’m pretty busy and I’ve tried consciously to decrease all the constant fantasizing (it makes for terrible concentration, I was getting tired of living in a constant state of excitement) so now I think about it maybe once a day? And not even that, maybe five times a week.
Do you think sex plays a major role in your life?
Major role? As in how? It certainly colours some of my actions, and my sexual side makes me do dumb things quite a bit, but currently since I’m not having it its not really playing that big a role.
I think its good. It lets out pent up emotions. Obviously I don’t subscribe to the myths that say its bad for you or it makes you unable to have sex with a real partner…I think it’s a necessary part of growing up and self awareness and if done with restraint and responsibility, why not?
Would you morally, ethically or in any way, have a problem with marrying someone who had had sex with someone before you?
Some time ago I would have answered with no, but I am beginning to re evaluate my ideals…I think I would have a moral objection to marrying a guy whose had sex with someone else…I mean, couldn’t he have controlled himself? It shows strength of character, and if he couldn’t control himself long enough until he got married maybe he won’t respect our marriage either, and that’s something that would give me pause. If he was serious about her, on the other hand, then the emotional baggage of such a serious previous girlfriend would be tough to handle too. Then again, if I really loved him, I might be able to excuse him his impulses.
It’s okay, I suppose. Some people prefer visual stimulation and its just the way they are. It can be demeaning to women, but the women in it are making a choice to be demeaned, so I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with it. I think it would be more appealing to women if they made it more softcore, because as it currently is only men are pleased by it and most porn seems to target men, although I believe that’s changing now. Apart from that, well it’s a choice, if you don’t want to watch it, don’t. I wouldn’t have a problem with my boyfriend watching it or anything.
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Here is some of our correspondence;
*Please note: irrelevant parts of email correspondence have been cut out.
Hiya, thanks for your quick response!
The most interesting part of your interview was when you mention that you've had cybersex but are not in favour of premarital sex.. its a really interesting contrast.... and you know what, you're the first female i've spoken to thats talked openly about cybersex! It'll be very informative for people im sure.. just one thing i wanted to ask you... when u mention cybersex... do you mean the chat/type-based kind.. or webcam kind? and if you mean the chatting kind... would you be open to the webcam kind?
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Yeah I was thinking about how damningly hypocritical it is of me to condemn premarital sex and yet be okay with cybersex :P I guess how I see it, there are lines people draw? And for me, the line is at actual physical contact and penetrative sex. For another person, the line might be earlier, at porn, like some of my friends would be seriously unhappy with the idea that their boyfriend/husband has seen or watches porn. And for some people the line is somewhere between one-partner sex and promiscuity.
Plus, what I do online, I don't count it as sex. For me, its more like written porn. Like erotica, only made up at the moment. Playacting in words. Whereas premarital sex is...well, premarital sex. Real sex.
Does that mean I'll accept a partner that's had only cybersex? Probably. I don't quite know :P
I hope I've made things clearer, altho I think I haven't. :P
Oh no, am I the only girl who's admitted to it yet? That makes me feel odd :P :S. As far as what I do is concerned...I started off with chat and typing based sex, using a different ID, basically on IRC chatrooms and adult forums. Then I started getting close to some of my partners (emotionally close, and mostly the indian ones, there is just something about them that is close to home but not close enough to represent a danger - I have been extremely secretive always with regard to identity, and Paki guys are so nosy once they know you're from the same country that they frighten me off), and with one of the chatters that I got close to, I went as far as webcam sex and phone sex. Even with him, we mostly talk fully clothed, or he strips and I stay as I am, I am extremely uncomfortable with showing off my body. With the others, I've talked to a few with voice over the internet, let them send their cam images if they wanted to, but pretty much consistently stuck to chat-based sex. Its actually better that way, I prefer it, because then I don't feel uncomfortable. I've made quite a few friends as a result, really nice guys I would have loved to meet in real life. I've had fun. And all of it safe.
Hope that answers your question :) and if theres anything at all else you'd like to ask, or if you need more detail about anything, please don't hesitate at all. I'd love to answer any questions.
And thank you for letting me participate. Its been fun!
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THanks a lot Maliha - you've been incredibly helpful and thorough, I hope you will allow me to add excerpts from this email of ours to your interview as well, since you go into more detail...
And really, no need to feel judged, or hypocritical.... everyone has a right to their opinions and their own boundaries, you're doing a great service to people who might be in a similar position as you - cuz its really helpful for people to read others stories. I get so many emails from women who are thankful the blog is up there and now they dont feel like they're the only ones with a sex drive.
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Sure, you can use anything you want, from the email or the form or whatever. I thought that was understood :) And I don't feel judged, or too hypocritical, and I hope that women out there really do find an advantage from my open-ness..its been difficult to talk about it because it was a like a whole separate extremely secret part of my life for so long, but then I realised that the secretiveness was killing me, I'd started feeling too much shame and guilt, that's when I opened up about it to my counsellor and now in the form.
None of the male readers have offered to be an interviewee? Thats so strange! :O I would've thought there would be quite a few. I'm shocked now. Maybe I should send some friends your way :P but seriously, I would've thought there were more male interviewees than female...maybe because the blog is by a female, they don't feel open enough to share details? There's all that about male pride as well na. But I really am surprised. Pakistani males, secretive? Hmm...
Well anyway, can't wait for the post :D i liked the one on porn a lot as well, it was really good.
So, in a nutshell;
Maliha's pretty awesome for being so candid, especially about the whole cybersex thing. I'm sure its not easy to share something you already feel guilty about. I'm truly honoured that she'd share that with her counsellor and then here. She's someone that knows what she wants, and isn't afraid to go looking for it. She's open to sexual exploration, and she knows where her boundaries lie. if that kind of attitude is contagious, i'd say go spread some of it around the country!
A couple of statements I found interesting in the interview,
"...in their late teenage/early twenties you see some repression because most people choose not to fornicate.."
its more the choice of the word 'fornicate' that intrigues me than the whole statement
"...mostly the indian ones, there is just something about them that is close to home but not close enough to represent a danger.."
That makes perfect sense, couldn't put it better myself.
"[masturbation] if done with restraint and responsibility, why not?"
why restraint? and what kind of responsibility comes with masturbation? i've heard this from a few of my readers....
"[premarital sex] its okay if you’re in a casual setting such as abroad"
Now, this is just my opinion, but i think a setting is what you make it...we're all pretty uptight in the motherland and up in each others business, which is what makes us so secretive...and breeds them darn double standards. I can see where she's coming from though. Sometimes our country makes it impossible for us to open up and be who we really are. It's so often that we have to have this facade, and we have to pretend to be 'good' and 'pious' and all that...
"...some of my friends would be seriously unhappy with the idea that their boyfriend/husband has seen or watches porn."
Wha! they'd be mad if they're bf/husband has even just 'seen' porn... like once?!
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As an aside, this is a real product;
:P how did they not laugh while making this ad?