Arab sex life remains an enigma to researchers and policymakers alike. This book attempts to make sex in the Arab world visible. In many respects, Arab sex is the opposite of sport – everyone has sex, but no one wants to talk about it. This is not an easy task, given the conservative nature of the Arab world.
The authors of the book are Muslim and believe that sexual deprivation is a widespread problem throughout the Arab Muslim world, affecting both the cultural and political realm. This book is part oral history and part manifesto for the Arab world, arguing that sexual rights are fundamental human rights. They are not minor rights, but fundamental needs that should be inalienable, says Slimani.
Before the revolution, Egyptian pimps were organising thousands of marriages each year. These rich men prefer teenage girls who are virgins. They usually keep the girls for 10 days to two weeks. Some girls have a half dozen’marriages’ a year. In these cases, a contract is drawn up for the girl’s ‘husband’. In some cases, this arrangement can last for weeks or even months.
In the old Arab literature, women were often depicted as nymphomaniacs and sex-crazed. In one story, a wise woman was nicknamed “the Debauchee” because she answered questions with her mouth “between her thighs”. Procuring prostitutes was considered a woman’s profession, and it was called “wise mother” by Arabs.
The Orient and West share different attitudes to sexual freedom. The West is committed to freedom and openness, while the Orient appears stuck in a state of sexual lock-down. In the 19th century, Western attitudes towards the Arab world were very different from the current perception. The 19th century West viewed the Arab world as an eroticized land of loose morals and sensuality. However, in the 21st century, sexual freedom is gaining traction in the Middle East.
In the Arab world, the societal attitudes toward sexual activity are changing slowly. However, there are still many taboos and cultural norms preventing people from getting the proper health care they need. Despite these obstacles, same-sex relationships are thriving. Around two to three percent of the population engages in same-sex activity. In addition, lack of sexual education puts people at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Tunisia has recently announced a comprehensive sex education program for elementary and middle school students. The program will be the first in an Arab country to include sex education in the curriculum. This program aims to educate children about the role of their bodies and how to protect themselves from rape and sexual harassment. It was announced in late November by the Tunisian Association of Reproductive Health. While the initiative is still in its early stages, the government is taking steps to ensure the country’s future and protect its citizens from harm.
In 2011, Egypt’s Tahir Square demonstration changed the way people interacted with one another. Morocco’s Kiss-In event has also been an important development. While the events were not a full-front assault on sexual morality, they did make people question the taboos of the past. The Arab Barometer research network surveyed Arab men and women from seven countries. It’s not surprising that some of the participants of the Arab Revolution questioned the traditional taboos of the Middle East.