Muslims Talking Sex: “Using Marriage to Bring Sexy Back”


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GOATMILK continues its original and exclusive  series entitled “Muslims Talking Sex” featuring diverse Muslim  writers from around the world discussing a gamut of topics in their own unique, honest and eclectic voices.

By:  Onesa Prude

Rare is the day that my Facebook homepage doesn’t tell me about a link uploaded by another single Muslim to a story that details the newest facts and figures of sex.  On the days when the links do show up, I have to fight the urge to respond to these posts, in all caps, that YOU SINGLE FOLKS SHOULD REALLY START DOING IT AND ENJOYING IT SO THAT YOU CAN STOP INTELLECTUALIZING IT.  With all the talk of sex that single twenty and thirty-something Muslims engage in, I wonder why they aren’t doing more of it.  While these guys and gals ask each other why women want it or don’t want it, why men crave it or willingly abstain, I ask myself why these kids don’t just get married so that they can get it on.

In my opinion, sex is not an act that should be intellectualized – sex is an act of spiritual and emotional expression.  And, as I’m sure others who have had sex will agree, the less that you intellectualize it the better.  Sex is about being completely vulnerable and surrendering your ego and intellect.  Too much cerebral activity during the act or about the act is often a surefire buzz kill.

Now, I’m not saying that all this talk of sex is unnatural.  Sex is on all of our minds and has been at least since we started puberty.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of – we are biologically driven to procreate and blessed that God has gifted us with such a pleasurable way to make babies.  But where we as a community tend to fail with sex (because clearly we have the thinking and talking about it part down) is in the execution.

In Islam, sex comes after marriage, not before, and, at least on its surface, such a stringent methodology does seem to take the sexy out of sex, especially when contrasted with the media’s depiction of the act as a lustful, utterly erotic experience that can (and should?) be spontaneous and the result of a perfectly reasonable lapse of judgment.  In August, 2008 the Parents Television Council released a study finding that Network TV rarely depicted marital sex positively, opting to portray sex outside of marriage in a more favorable, exciting light.  Take into account that for Muslims, marriage, responsibility, and commitment come first and the good stuff (as seen on your local television station) comes second, and you’ve got a whole generation of sexually frustrated single Muslims who are struggling to control their very natural urges to copulate while being conditioned to believe that their kinky desires won’t be fulfilled once they get married.

Add to this the fact that many of us have a less-than-favorable view of marriage because of some combination of what we saw growing up and what our unhappily married friends have told us, and the growing lack of urgency to get married and have sex on part of single, eligible Muslims seems perfectly reasonable.  Does this mean that these single Muslims are content with a sexless life and have learned to live without it?  Probably not.  If and when sexual urges become seemingly uncontainable, it is not uncommon for less than ideal outlets to be turned to.  We’ve all heard the rumors of the live-in girlfriends, the abortions, the strip clubs and the prostitutes.  Whether we want to admit it or not, there is definitely sex being had – in a society where there is so much sex available is this really a surprise to anyone? –  but, unfortunately, because of the negative views of commitment, marriage and sex within marriage that permeate our society, it seems that all this intellectualization of sex has somehow cooled the fire of sexual desire that used to play a bigger role in single Muslims’ desire to seek sex within the sanctity of marriage .

Is rushing to marry just so that one can have sex the solution?  Of course not.  As the growing divorce rate in our community indicates, marriages are very fragile institutions in this country and young couples should do what they can to build a strong foundation before exchanging rings.   But does the growing trend to reduce sex to an intellectual issue overlook the importance of having sex and getting married so that we can have sex? Absolutely.  Sex with one’s spouse has the potential of taking you to levels of pleasure that are truly celestial – as our tradition tells us, the orgasm is the closest thing to heaven that we will experience here on earth.

Yes, there are sexually unsatisfied married men and women.  But there are also men and women who fall deeper in love with their spouses every time that they have sex with them.  And yes those one night stands of passion and heat that are explicitly portrayed in the movies and on TV look oh so tasty, but as most married folk know, there is nothing more passionate, heated, and sexy than growing closer and closer to your spouse through commitment and devotion to one another.

So my advice to all you sexually frustrated single Muslims out there is this: clearly you’ve got sex on your mind, so why not embrace your desire to have sex and more aggressively seek out the institution of marriage?  Marriage not only protects your vulnerability during sex but can, when harnessed the right way, lead to more pleasurable sex than you ever thought imaginable.  It is not natural to live without sex, and although there’s nothing wrong with intellectualizing it, don’t underestimate the necessity of sexual desire in leading us to our future spouses.  Although marriage is a great deal of responsibility, marriage is also the key to the type of sex that will lead to incredibly deep levels of pleasure, love and fulfillment.  After all, as Perry Como once sang, “love makes the world go ‘round.”

Onesa Prude is a married Muslim woman who thinks that more sex within marriage must be had by her community.

GOATMILK is taking submissions for its “Muslims Talking Sex” Series at goatmilkblog@gmail.com . Entries must be under 1,000 words and shall be published at the discretion of the editor.

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17 thoughts on “Muslims Talking Sex: “Using Marriage to Bring Sexy Back”

  1. “So my advice to all you sexually frustrated single Muslims out there is this: clearly you’ve got sex on your mind, so why not embrace your desire to have sex and more aggressively seek out the institution of marriage?”

    Easier said than done. With the growing rate of *young* divorced Muslims (e.g., under the age of 30, sometimes even under 25, such as myself), I think it’s a red flag that something is going wrong in the community.

    Haven’t you heard or read the articles about the increasing numbers of married Muslim men who are quietly slipping out of their marriage beds in the late evening hours to watch porn on their laptops? Even AFTER “bringing sexy back” with their wives?

    More often than not, I think women get a raw deal, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a “normal” dude who doesn’t have a pretty nasty past, sprinkled with live-in girlfriends and porn addiction.

    There’s no hard evidence about the haramness of lesbianism…so maybe all the ladies should give up and take a swing at the other team. Or, better yet, consider revolving-door polygyny.

    • Seems like Muslim women talk about it non-stop, while Muslim men just get it (they think its their right or something and women agree)… I have noticed that while women constantly think about marriage, reputation, religious compatibility, Muslim men openly and secretly screw around with women from all ethnicities! I totally agree with RSS. Also, can u also address the label of “being loose” once you do express your sexuality…. Ironically, I have noticed while Muslim men frequently “understand” non-Muslim women’s sexual desires and indulgences, Muslim women are held to an unnatural standard of “purity”… You can’t win in this culture.

      Your options are: Marry a douchbag (with ? STDs) or stay single and sexless, at least you’ll be healthy..

      • “Your options are: Marry a douchbag (with ? STDs) or stay single and sexless, at least you’ll be healthy..”

        Word.

      • Good comment.
        The virgin/whore complex at its worst depth.
        What you addressed above is an issue that is being manifested EVERYWHERE, across many different Muslim societies.
        But if women choose to discuss it or raise their concerns about this, there will immediately be some knee jerk male backlash, as if this is some kind of competition or a war of words.
        It’s a real problem and it affects everyone negatively in the long run.

  2. I agree with most of the above comment, except for the last paragraph, but especially with this: “More often than not, I think women get a raw deal, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a “normal” dude who doesn’t have a pretty nasty past, sprinkled with live-in girlfriends and porn addiction.”

    I think the pornography addiction needs to be addressed seriously. People need to seriously understand the horrible effect it has on marriages.

    • “I think the pornography addiction needs to be addressed seriously.”

      Agreed. Unfortunately, I think it will probably take a generation or two to fix. Lots of broken hearts and lots of messed up and insecure wo/men. Some of my comments are a bit facetious, but men are definitely victims, too.

      I’ve heard word of more people doing temporary marriages. I’ve never actually met someone who has done such a thing, but it might become more popular in the States due to marriage age being pushed later and later in life.

      The one thing that *really* bugs me, however, is these virgin kiddos whining about how they need to get married because they need to have sex. If you’ve never had sex before, you don’t know what sex feels like.

      In my opinion, it’s the divorcees who have it the worst. Our bodies and minds know what sex feels like, so we experience the true void. Virgins can only imagine what sex feels/looks/tastes/smells/sounds like, even if they have explored masturbation. No comparison, kiddos.

      • The larger problem for the average non-sexually experienced virgin muslim men is finding similar women who are okay with porn or pornographic hypersexuality in the bedroom away from the public eye, as pushed by current culture outside the bedroom. Not knowing my own body sexually before marriage, wouldn’t help if I wanted pleasure from my husband and couldn’t guide him, or pleasing him. What you do with your husband in the bedroom together should be fun as a couple, enjoyed together. You’re right, the dual standards do need to go away that only men like sexual intuition, or sexual tantalization. We love things that excite us, whether it’s in literary form or visual, although the former applies more to us than men.

        Being similar to your husband in sexual wants and needs, willing to enjoy it together, including the risque parts is crucial, and best marriages are those that are sexually satisfied for both parties. After all, it’s you he loves and wants to do everything with, and I love him the same.

        My advice to any virgin girls out there would be to figure out your wants and sexual needs with your body well enough, and you don’t need to have sex with someone else to do this — so there isn’t a ‘void’ after you get married in your marriage where you guys aren’t compatible. After marriage communication is the most important part, express the wants and needs so he reciprocates with sharing his wants and needs — and hopefully there wouldn’t be much to compromise on since he’d be just excited to have someone who is so sexually open and honest, and knows what she wants.

  3. This article talks about how sex shouldn’t be intellectualized and then proceeds to do exactly that for rest of the article. Sex is not something that is, can or should be confined by marriage. People do have sex and don’t need marriage to do it. This rose colored glass view of how Muslims only have sex after marriage is ridiculous. Talking sex? Hardly. I fail to see how only talking about how sex is so great within the context of marriage addresses any real issues about sex, such as STDs, infidelity, ED, infertility, birth control/planning, rape, not being attracted to your partner, and the one that’s most obvious in reference to this article, two people entering a committed marriage and then finding out that they’re not sexually compatible. The article “Sex is the biggest deal” sort of touches on some of these things, but only as a brief closing thought.

    • I think this post most accurate. Throughout the article I sense this over-analytical voice that’s trying to find rationale in something that really has no basis. The foremost point, “sex is not an act that should be intellectualized,” just seems too incredulous. I’m practically being told not to think about it. There are no real facts mentioned in the report, that’s a good indication it’s all heresy. The opinion expressed seems to cut off any real discussion about Muslims and Sex, abstenance – if that’s what you’re into. It’s basically saying, Just do it. By not even addressing the strife surely is – that it will take Will and Self-Preservation – this essay is promoting rushed sex. Not just that, it’s even encouraging rushed marriages! How Ludicrous!

  4. I think it’s quite normal to dwell on sex when you’re not having any. Before I got married sex was ‘the thing’, now it’s just ‘one of those things’.

  5. It’s important to keep in mind that sex should stay within a marriage. It is not right for unmarried people to have sex. Read the Qur’an and you’ll understand more about sexuality in Islam. Too many people with Masters and PhD degrees intellectualize sex and want the perfect person to marry & be able to do it with. Stop looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect. You’re not going to find such a person. Think about marriage, the earlier the better. Then sex can be a beautiful and normal part of marriage. I think married couples should have sex at least twice a week.

  6. Sex is sick, it doesnt matter. this is the extent of what the world has done to muslim women. they dont care anymore. they are so disillusioned- that they go crazy…no hope.

  7. ouch ouch and ouch. who woulda thought that encouraging people to embrace and harness their sexual desires to more eagerly seek out marriage would ruffle so many feathers? to all of you (clearly) offended readers: yes, there are bad men and women out there, and yes some of us do end up in bad marriages BUT there are also happily married couples out there who have wonderful sex. what’s wrong with highlighting the potential for incredible sex within marriage and encouraging people to consider marriage as an outlet for the sexual desires? isn’t that a large part of what drives people to relationships anyway? so it’s okay to embrace one’s sexual desire in the courting phase, but not when it comes to taking the leap and getting married?
    from all of this criticism i can’t help but wonder what the proposed alternative is? should we discourage sex within marriage because of everyone who’s had a bad experience? should we tell our horny brothers and sisters to slow it down indefinitely while they continue to play the field? there is no guarantee that marriages will work – and there are a great deal of issues within marriage that need to be addressed. but, even though i don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, marriage isn’t all bad. and sex within marriage isn’t too shabby a proposition, either.

  8. After the firebombing of the publisher of “The Jewel of Medina,” a novel about Mohammad’s young wife, Aisha, there is only one place to publish controversial books about Islam: the Dark Net. That’s good fore readers, because you can read them there for free. But profit is not the motive here, only enlightenment about what Mohammad really stood for. This is especially the case as regards sex. Mohammad was a hedonist but radical Islam is puritanical. What they inflict on their women is, however, not Islam but tribal in origin: legitimised as Islamic, what women are subjected to is really ancient tribal law.
    “The Daughters of Fatima” was praised by every publisher and agent in London as a beautifully written, fascinating book, but they would not dare publish it. It will be appearing from today in serial form, chapter by chapter, on the Net, through The Shedonists’s Blog: shedonists.wordpress.com. It tells the story of Gemma, a free-spirited Aussie girl who founds a string of “Shedonist” clubs for women to live out their erotic fantasies but has to go into hiding when a Fatwa is placed on her after an underground Shedonist club is discovered in Saudi Arabia. Instead of succumbing, Gemma decides to use her notoriety to rescue a tribal girl in the Swat valley who is threatened with “honour rape”…

  9. This is a well written piece, which all young Muslims can relate too. The writer aptly stated that sex is something on everyone’s minds immediately after puberty. Also for some, like myself, sex was something on our minds even before puberty (even tough I remember, I had no idea on the technical aspects of copulation). All thanks to the sex-driven media outlets.
    The aspects of the media was tackled, but not as adequately. If the writer could have raised issues like pornography foe example, and both its positive and negative aspects on the youth, the article would have been much more enriched.
    This article is a positive approach in tackling the moral aspects of marriage for the Muslim youth, and will go a long way to helping those willing to remain pure for their spouse. It can’t get more romantic than that.

  10. I really wanted to control my tongue and refrain from writing, but I had to give into my nafs unfortunately. While I honestly cringed at this article, I was hoping to make sense of where the writer was coming from. The problem is that the writer happens to do exactly what she blames others of doing – intellectualising the discourse on sex without addressing key issues that otherwise respected scholars do. To address this issue – I also have to engage in similar fashion.

    The argument suggests that single Muslims – who are oh-so obviously talking about sex – are not getting married so they can too start doing it instead of talking about it?! In addition, it stereotypes sexuality as a vulnerable notion in marriage – which may not be the case among those confident of their sexuality. Also, the suggested solution to the problem – as unfortunately Muslims bathed in liberalism have done time and time again – is fixated upon individualism – that the individual should seek out marriage “more aggressively”. Well, I guess modernity is defined as the age of the individual – which is why now, more than ever, we need educated, articulate, ethical, passionate, thinking Muslims to continue a discourse that is outside the square of the modern Western liberal paradigm.

    What needs to be discussed is the sociological factors that come into play in the Muslim Ummah today. Whether we like it or not – our societies are overtly sexualised through various mediums and even our cultural definition of aesthetics is entrenched in sex and sexuality, in particularly where the institution of marriage has an ontological departure from the notion of sex and sexuality which theoretically does not in Islam. While the article mentions that sex is only after marriage in Islam, the solution is “get ur @ss up n hurrah n get hitched!!” While sex influences from pubescent years (probably even earlier to the Nintendo Wii generation), the concept of marriage is continually postponed for material reasons, where the society (includes cultural factors, family factors, brides asking for too much $$, husband being less academically qualified than the wife, etc) makes it extremely difficult to be married. This is where Muslims need to think outside the square – where Usul need to take precedent in determining what is acceptable in society and what changes are required. In effect, instead of individual – the pivotal socio-communal changes as Dr. Sherman Jackson refers to when supporting issues like conducting nikah at a much earlier age while continuing to study should be considered. This would mean understanding the age of maturity according to the way usul considers – as a way of conducting marriage – or at least allowing people to be sexually active in a younger age, in order to overcome the problems of pornography and zina.

    Through shallow discussions, it does not help the community nor does it bring about any light. While Islam has a framework for sexuality, we continually seem to discuss the issues far away from the tradition, rather than within. A typical example is when the legitimacy of polygyny is condemned as some sort of disgusting sin! One does not able to see the freedom of a society that does not condemn polygyny (and I ain’t talking about sexual freedom either). Yes muslims have all sorts of problems with many things – and yes there is a double standard against women. As a Muslim guy it is sad to see that so many Muslim – guys and girls are entrenched in zina/pornopraphy, etc. Having said that, without hopefully taken out of context by readers, Islam is an erotic religion where sex is not taboo. It is only when we see that it is being practiced openly, where the institution of marriage is much easier to attain to, where single mothers are remarried and do not carry a stigma, where polygyny is not denigrated etc. will we see the doors of blessings open up in our society – not my words, but that of Dr. Umar F Abdallah.

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