marriage, sex, tips, Uncategorized

Don’t ask, don’t tell…?

If you ask me there are some things better left unsaid.

Over the years, I have had several of my friends in predicaments where they were talking to potential brothas for marriage. Things were going smoothly, actually things were going pretty good. The brotha was practicing Islam, had a decent job, came from a great family and was helllaaa tall. A perfect match. What else could you ask for?

Then he pops THE question…

No, not THAT question. Don’t get excited…

The one question that changes the entire vibe of this new and blossoming relationship.

“Have you been with a non-Muslim?” aka “Has anyone popped that cherry?“ aka “Are you still a virgin?”

Now keep in mind, in most of these situations folks are well over 30. Grown as hell and have been in a relationship of some sort. I don’t sugar coat Islam or Muslims and yes you can still be Muslim and engaging in pre-marital sex. We all sin in different ways and this doesn’t make anyone more or less of a Muslim than the next.

There is no “Muslim-Richter” Scale in Islam.

For real.

You’ve repented and asked Allah for forgiveness but some people are not as forgiving…

Back to my main point…

Now, if you’ve been good and haven’t fallen victim to your desires I give you props, but what if you have? What if you messed up and are now back on track?

What’s next? The situation can look pretty bleak, especially if you’re a woman…

Now what is one supposed to do when the question of premarital sex is brought up. Really, let’s think critically here. I’ve witnessed these three responses:

1. You can be totally honest. This is marriage we’re talking about so you should be an open book, right? The question seems pretty invasive but you don’t want to start the relationship off on a lie. This is totally understandable but there are certain things to consider. First off, don’t assume he’ll appreciate your honesty. Hopefully he/she will, lets be optimistic, but you may become a victim to your own truthfulness. In utopia, we would all have the freedom to be ourselves but we live in a world of judgment and shame. Feel out your situation, assess what type of person he/she is.

2. Throw the question right back. The chances of him being virginal are very slim. Believe me. Now if he is expecting you to be virginal and he isn’t I would drop dude like a hot potato because you better believe he has some other twisted ideas about women. The last thing you need is to get that from your husband. It’s unfair but its reality. Now if both of you guys are on the same page and have been in relationships move the &^$# on! More serious things to worry about in a relationship. Allah gives chances so give your relationship a fair shot without focusing on the past.

3. You can totally lie. To be honest I have seen this play out the most. I’ve known many women who lie right through her teeth. It’s rather unfortunate because women are sexually shamed and as a result are almost cornered into being dishonest. This could bite you in the butt at the end of the day though and lies are always difficult to maintain. If you have to start the relationship off on a lie you really need to consider if this is the right person for you. Lying in life leads to nowhere.

Now all three of these potential scenarios could be avoided if folks just didn’t dig into the past. It’s so unimportant in the scheme of things. Later in this post I am going to suggest limiting ourselves to two important questions.

Truth of the matter is I don’t expect Muslim men to be virgins, because well most of them just aren’t! If a brother who has been unmarried is a virgin I am often surprised. It doesn’t even cross my mind to ask because I really, really don’t care. People are people and they mess up, people sin and everyone is just trying to make it.

But in the midst of this Muslim men continue asking women these questions.

Women, whether Muslim or not, will forever be judged on their sexual history. Men are given a free ticket to be the sexual creatures Allah intended them to be. Many Muslims men will justify the Islamic practice of polygyny with the need to have more sex. Even in the West you’ll hear common sayings like “Men will be men…” The universal pass to do whatever the hell a dude wants without question.

Some Muslim men get offended and in their feelings when you ask how much money they have in their savings account yet its acceptable, and often encouraged, to ask who has been in my vagina? Since when did something so personal, such as my sexual past, become grounds for public conversation? Who made this the deciding factor whether or not I am “good” enough to be your wife? As though, this isn’t one of the most personal and invasive questions to ask a grown woman before you decide to marry her.

I suppose concealing ones sins doesn’t apply when it comes to marriage…

Every Muslim woman has the right to be utterly offended when this question is posed. Now, if this one of the first questions asked and I barely know you I’d be totally pissed. As though there is not more to me than who I have had sex with. Muslim men are out in the dunya, sometimes they’ll even father a couple children. At a certain point they decide they are over that life and become practicing Muslims. Muslim women accept them, and their children, with open arms. The mosque accepts them with open arms. They bring their kids in the mosque and nothing is said. Muslim women end up marrying them and at times even helping them raise their children.

This is how it should be, we should be forgiving of each other, but Muslim women are exempt from this forgiving.

Let a woman fall in love and end up in the bed of ONE man and she will be publicly crucified. I have a friend who converted to Islam and a brother asked her about her sexual past. Even as a woman who was once married, some Muslim men still have the nerve ask me if I have been with anyone sexually since that time. In some instances, even bringing up past marriages brings to surface negative feelings within people.

I don’t see the point of going into depth when it comes to these issues. I’ve NEVER seen it turn out good. It only harbors feelings of mistrust and self-worth. Folks might ask themselves the question will I be as “good” as their last partner?

Ask yourself, what is truly the point? Why do you want to know? Is it your ego?

Now, what if we limited our questions to this:

  1. When was the last time you were tested for STD’s/STI’s and would you be open to testing?
  2. Are you currently involved with anyone?

    This is all you need to know. Leave the past where it belongs, in the past.

If a person wants to bring up their sexual history on their own accord that’s perfectly fine as well but don’t go digging around. Nothing good comes from this, I am telling you. Assume everyone over 30 is not a virgin, as most (not all) people have been in some sort of relationship once they reach this age be that marriage or another situation.

We should be perfectly fine with this.

Weren’t most of the women that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon them) married in relationships prior to him? Yes, those relationships were marriages but my point being is that they all weren’t virgins and he was perfectly fine with that.

You are a fool if you don’t see divine wisdom behind that. Why not practice THIS sunnah of the Prophet?

Remember, ass is easy to get but a serious, committed and practicing Muslim partner is not. Don’t get distracted my focusing on things that don’t deserve your attention.

People mess up.

We’re all trying.

Allah is the Most forgiving.

Be easy on each other.

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sex, stories

Yellow.

*Trigger warning: This post contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. Please read with caution.*

 
She sat there, in the corner, alone.

She had purposely picked the dark corner in the room. No one would force her to talk if she pretended like she was in prayer.

Her eyes stayed focused on the floor until the green zig zags in the carpet made her dizzy. People around her were trickling out of the room. She wouldn’t get up until the sound of shuffling shoes stopped.

She thought about the tackiness of the mosque. Between the green carpet and pink walls it didn’t stand a chance.

In her peripheral she saw a sister making her way towards her. She closed her eyes and felt the light footsteps shift and head in a different direction.

Life had been hard on her.

She never forgot that the room was yellow. She would grow up to hate that color and anything remotely related to it. Just the sight of a solid yellow shirt would evoke a feeling of utter disgust in her core. She recalled a time when she was doing good. The memories of him were beginning to lessen. That recurring nightmare had stopped. Soon after she came to that calm, a coworker pulled out a yellow notepad at a staff meeting. That was what set her off. A damn notebook. She fidgeted in her chair and eventually had to get up and step out. She would stay in her office and pop a Xanax. I just need 30 minutes to let the pill kick in. Later, when talking to her boss she would jokingly laugh and say, “You know Muslims pray all the time.” Using a religious excuse always worked in her favor because its motives could not be questioned. He would give her a half smile and know she was full of shit.

She had just turned nine the first time her uncle crept into her bedroom. Her body felt things it was not supposed to feel at that age. He lifted her underwear and stuck his fat fingers in places that she didn’t know existed. Lying frozen on her back all she would see was the yellow ceiling. This was the celling that watched her childhood unfold as she created makeshift hijabs for her dolls. Ironically, the same ceiling was about to witness the vandalization of her innocence and youth.

Yellow.

Screams would not follow direct commands. They would not come out of her mouth. Her mind and body would remain disconnected for a while after that. She would blossom into womanhood and sometimes feel betrayed by her own body. Orgasms felt good but the exhilaration was quickly followed by shame. So she would avoid accidentally brushing her nipples in the shower or watching a makeout scene in a movie too long. She didn’t want to evoke feelings that would lead to memories of yellow.

She didn’t know what to do or how to feel. Sometimes her prayers would involve asking Allah for numbness. She would bow with her forehead on the floor feeling every prickle of the wool carpet. She knew it was haram to ask for death, but by Allah, if she could have she would. It wasn’t fair. Allah was not being fair by giving her this burden. All those years. All those fuckin’ years he touched her. Allah must have been mistaken. He was mistaken for thinking that somehow she was supposed to duaa her way out of this. This test was meant for Aisha, Sumaiya or Maryam. Not her. Allah, in all His Majesty and Glory, was never wrong but in this instance He was. Just this one time He had made a mistake. She was sure of it.

A tear fell off her face. She didn’t feel it roll down her check. The carpet turned a dark green as it soaked up her hearts grief.

“Alllllaah, forrrgiv—…” She stuttered through deep, huffing breaths. Her heart needed a moment to rest.

“Allah, forgive me for doubting you and your trials.” She whispered.

Sometimes she felt stuck. Islam was her backbone but she doubted it at times. That feeling of doubt often led to feelings of guilt and remorse. Everyone said doubting meant you weren’t a “good” Muslim. Religious guilt often ate her from the inside out.

Throughout the years the thought of confiding in friends and family crossed her mind. One semester she had come home for break, which coincided with Ramadan. After attending tahajjud one night with her family she had a moment of clarity. A moment free of the anxiety associated with being judged and blamed for something the nine year old version of herself couldn’t prevent. She would tell her mother. She had decided.

Later she would back down.

That was the closest she came to exposing it all. She wanted people to see yellow for what it really was. She often questioned why lemonade, school buses and even smiley faces had to be yellow. The absurdity of it all. The sheer ridiculousness. People had been deceived. It was not a color of happiness and life. Yellow was an offensive, overpowering and a demanding of attention type of color.

So in a corner she stayed. Had her moment and afterwards went to the bathroom to wash her face. She opened the door and walked out the mosque while pulling her cardigan closer as her black hijab blew in the wind. It was starting to lightly drizzle outside. Rain was a blessing and in her quiet voice she whispered a small prayer.

She walked towards the white sedan and opened the passenger side door.

“Honey, what took you so long?” Her husband said smiling.

“I just saw Laila and you know how much she talks.” She said. He chuckled and shook his head.

She looked out the window. Days would pass. Everything would appear normal. In spaces, she would hide but remain physically present. People would think she was fine.

And she would never let them think otherwise.

Never.

_________

I will start this off with saying you never know what a person is going through. One can never understand and comprehend the internal struggles and grievances of an unfamiliar heart. All of us are handed a different deck of cards in life. Some may consider their hand fair, others may not.

Never assume anything about anyone. Never assume the type of life or upbringing a person has had. In most cases those same assumptions will be shattered.

Muslims have a difficult time discussing healthy, consensual sex within the confines of a marriage. These discussions are extremely difficult to have in many cultural and ultra-orthodox circles. It leaves many Muslims feeling dirty. So naturally, it would make sense that molestation and rape wouldn’t easily make their way into our conversations.

Molestation, rape and incest happen everywhere. No one community is immune to this. The only difference is that religious circles (Christians, Catholics and Muslims) have somehow been duped to think that sweeping the issue under the rug will remedy the situation.

Facing and admitting the fact that there are ills, addictions and deep issues within religious circles is not easy. While we try to reach spiritual perfection some may get blindsided refusing to admit the stark reality. Certain things require professional help and simply praying your way out of it is not enough. That should be ok. We need to face our problems and work on healing victims of abuse. People shouldn’t be spiritually abused because they admit to trauma in their lives. I’ve heard of people going to Muslim leaders for help and being told that praying more is the ultimate solution.

Prayer is a part of the solution, yes, but not the end all be all.

Be open when it comes to discussing sex, especially with your children. Once sex is normalized in our communities then we can comfortably bring up the abnormalities associated with it.

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love, personal, sex

Chastity Check

He had no shame.

I think that made the situation worse.

He said it so nonchalantly like it was normal practice.

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.

There are many brothers looking for wives who were once caught up in the dunya. Now a sista ain’t judgin’. I will give a brotha a chance if he is deemed as worthy and approaches the situation with a sincere heart.

The key is to step correct.

With all that being said it is very disheartening meeting brothers who have not held onto their chastity.

If it is expected from women it should also be expected from men as well.

All this mumbo jumbo about how it is difficult for a man to control himself is absolute crap and I don’t use that as an excuse.

All single Muslims regardless of gender are sexually frustrated in an over sexed society.

Now I am not being biased here because I know many sisters have also been involved in premarital sexual relationships as well. I am positive that the number of brothers outweigh the sisters by a long shot.

I give mad respect to the brother who holds himself together for his future wife. I have come across several of them. May Allah reward you. Truly, you are a gem.

Like I have mentioned, if the fear of fornication is not enough to deter you from premarital encounters then the fear of contracting one of the 3 H’s (Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis) should be enough.

Thirty minutes of gratification for a lifetime of misery.

You can keep that!

So many Muslims are concerned with female sexuality that we are not looking at the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on the proper way to tie your hijab in order not to distract a man we need to be discussing why many Muslim men of marriageable age are, quite frankly, not seeking spouses.

They are getting their needs met in other ways.

Why get married, financially support a wife when you can get booty on the side?

What is truly the incentive?

For some men they see no incentive with taking a wife when they can get what they want for free.

Just like a brother doesn’t want to marry a sister who has been around the block I have no interest in marrying someone who has “been around”. I think many sisters should stick to this approach when dealing with potential suitors.

Don’t settle.

Western culture correlates manhood with sexuality. Many men have fallen for this gimmick and this includes Muslim men.

Then I had this thought…

As a Muslim woman why am I not entitled to be open with my own sexuality? I am not talking about sleeping around here and being reckless with my body. Why am I not able to simply state that one of my motivations for getting married is to fulfill my sexual desires? As a woman even the mere mention of the word “sex” will throw most Muslims into cahoots and a fatwa frenzy. Though as a man its absolutely acceptable to be adamant in regards to his needs.

I think I smell something here called a …. DOUBLE STANDARD!

In many cultures you are not considered a “woman” until you are married and have been intimate with a man.

Bullshit.

What is so wrong with having preferences and being vocal about what you want and more importantly what you don’t?Quite frankly, I am disgusted by consistently being defined by a man or in relation to them. As women we are our own entity and deserve to think and speak for ourselves.

Sistas, sexually emancipate yourself and understand that there is nothing wrong with being honest with what Allah has placed within all of us…

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