Muslim Women Talk About Sex
In today's Arab-Muslim culture, the most taboo subject for women is sex. In this film, eight enlightened Muslim women living in France speak out frankly about their sexual education and experiences in relation to Islamic tradition. Young Muslim girls are given no information about their bodies and are so poorly informed that when they first menstruate, they often think they are ill or abnormal. Girls are raised to be completely prudish as far as men are concerned. In contrast, relationships between women are much more comfortable, with a strong sense of conviviality and even sensuality in the haman or communal bath.
The women discuss the yearnings they felt for the men they were attracted to, as well as their first sexual experiences. One recalls her exhilaration when, at 16, she first felt desire, but her joy was bittersweet because it came with an overwhelming sense of guilt. Another decided to get rid of her virginity when she was in love for the first time but did it more out of a sense of rebellion than as a search for pleasure. She was not at ease with her body and only discovered pleasurable physical sensations when she was older. One said that after her first orgasm, she cursed her mother for trying to deny her that pleasure. Another could not indulge in sexual acts without imagining her mother in the room with her! She had sex with her boyfriend but afterwards underwent surgery to restore her virginity.
For these Muslim women, sexual passion with a lover of their own choosing is empowering. One woman felt lovemaking could be a sacred moment but she was taught to repress this feeling. This remarkable film gives voice to women with the courage to break centuries of taboos and acknowledge their sexual nature.
Middle East Studies Association, 2006
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