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T E N
I’m about ten-years-old, and have an unwavering love for books. I devour the Harry Potter series, The Magic Treehouse, and tons of chapter books. We can’t afford them and can’t justify purchasing them, so my mom drives my sister and me to the public library every week, where I get to use a computer and roam the bookshelves for hours.
Once I’ve read all the books for my age group, I become adventurous. I wander through the aisles and find a book out of place. It intrigues me. When I open it, there it is a magnified black-and-white image of sperm that was taken under a microscope. I shut the book immediately. Now I have the image of swimming sperm seared into my memory.
I slump back to my mother. I feel guilty, but unsure of why I feel guilty. I confess to her that I opened a scientific book and it had a photo of sperm. My mom does not flinch, but neither does she seem to know how to handle it. We walk out, my basket empty of books, my shoulders burdened with guilt, my heart heavy. I felt awkward but cannot find the source of my discomfort.
This is my sex education, for now.
Call me crazy, but girls love sex too. (Yes I know, a shocker right?)
Want to hear the crazy truth? Muslim girls love sex as much as their males counterparts. In fact, they are as hormonal as men. They desire sex, passion, hot love-making, PDA and fetishes as well. The most shocking aspect of this is that some Muslim women have slept with men before marriage.
You heard me right. Men. Not a man, but men.
It is a perplexing and a bitter pill for a Muslim man to swallow.
As a young Muslim conservative kid, I never talked to girls. Since some interpretations of Islam hold a strict basis of segregation, I never had the guts even in my college days to approach a Muslim girl and say a mere salaam. I respected the fact she covered her head and observed her chastity.
To be honest, I could not stand the fact that a Muslima had a boyfriend, let alone a one-night stand.
I’ve always had an insecurity that loomed like a dark cloud. I wanted to believe that I have huge heart, yet I felt that I always lacked in looks, personality, and my ‘”swag” factor because I never interacted with females. I was always too conscious about my flaws to notice anything good about myself because I never knew what girls looked for in a guy. Additionally, I always felt that I was a giver, and it devastated me to see Muslim women being used to satiate physical desires. At some level, it seemed to suggest that that guy, Muslim or not, was a better person that me, though he wan not honorable.
For the longest time, this notion haunted me.
He had no shame. I think that made the situation worse.
I asked him the question I have asked most brothers I am interested in.
“Have you been in any relationships outside of your previous marriage?”
He looked at me and nodded.
Sadly, it didn’t surprise me because this seemed to be the reality for a majority of brothers my friends and I encountered.
Brothers who acted a hot stakin’ mess…
Sex before marriage, babies out of wedlock and not even hiding it in the slightest.
What makes matters worse is many of them are not reprimanded.
Jummah by day and the club by night.
Posting it everywhere for folks to see.
Listen, I ain’t got the time…
Ya’ll know I keep it real all day everyday.
“I say, ‘I am fat.’ He says, ‘no, you’re beautiful.’ I wonder why I cannot be both.”
That’s how Rachel Wiley opened her slam poem, “10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy,” at the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Check out the powerful poem below.
Dear Love InshAllah,
There’s something that I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about, but I need to talk to someone about this. It’s about our views of purity, and whether we can start our lives fresh if something terrible happens. In our society, we’re told from the time we’re little girls we should save ourselves for our husbands. I want to get married and have a family, and raise my children in a safe, caring environment. I only wish I was so lucky. From the time I was 12, a relative started to abuse me. It started gradually, but it became sexual. Over the next few years, I didn’t say anything. I knew if I did my family would fall apart. Alhamdulillah I was finally able to stop him. I went to college far away from my whole family. I haven’t dated at all in college. I’m waiting to meet a good man, a man I want to spend my life with. But I can’t get over this feeling of guilt, that I’m somehow not worthy of being happy because of everything that’s happened. I wish I could just start my life fresh. I never wanted this to happen. He’s a sick man who should have never done this to any little girl. But I know that many people would judge me if they knew my state, and maybe they would say that I’ll never be able to be a good wife or deserve a good husband anymore. I think this is so unfair. How can our entire life be judged by something that we didn’t even want to happen to us? I was hoping you could tell me what I should do, and how I can lead a good life now. I want to have a normal, happy life, but will any husband accept me if he knows what I’ve been through?
Praying for a fresh start
Miss Sunshine replies:
Salam Love InshAllah,
I will be getting married next month and I will move from the stage of not being allowed to be alone with my future husband to being allowed to be intimate with him and I must say I am feeling nervous. My question is about my wedding night or any night that we choose to be intimate. I grew up in a conservative community and attended a Muslim school so my knowledge about sex and intimacy is limited to that which may pop up in a conversation of inexperienced, virgin girls.
The truth is I am nervous that due to my lack of experience or knowledge I will be either repulsed by any act of intimacy (kissing and sex) or be so put off it that it will be something I dread. How do I prepare myself for taking the step towards being confident? I have low self esteem with regards to my body so the thought of being naked in front of my future husband is not a pleasant thought. Being a bad kisser or generally bad in bed is what scares me the most. I don’t want my nerves and setbacks to affect him or send the wrong signals. I don’t want him to feel like he is trying hard to please me in bed but I am not reciprocating simply because I don’t know or am too embarrassed.
All this is playing havoc with my nerves. I’d like to know how I can prepare myself and perhaps find out what men like so I can please him and perhaps put to bed my worries of my lack of experience effecting performance etc. Any advice and information would be greatly appreciated.
Nervous about Sex
Miss Sunshine replies:
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Dear Love, InshAllah:
I’ve met a girl I really like. We have been good friends for a while. She and I are both Muslims, both born in a Muslim country, but raised in America. I really like her however, she had (relatively) many sexual relations prior to meeting me. She has never been married. In fact, she never even dated the guys she had sex with – they were just flings and so forth. I know that this is common in many cultures, but when you are from a background that doesn’t approve of this it doesn’t make much sense to me as to why she would have done this.
Obviously, she says she regrets it all. But I don’t know what to do. I really like her and would like a future with her, but her decisions make me conflicted. Most the time I feel at peace with her, but there are times I feel angry, upset, and hateful. The root of the feelings are obvious. I just don’t know what to do.
Dating a woman with a past
Miss Sunshine replies:
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