“Dude, you’re wrong. You need to read The Perfumed Garden.” This is what a friend said when I ignorantly asked him if Muslims were always so conservative about sexuality.
Instead of actually reading the The Perfumed Garden and coming up with my own opinions about it, I Googled it and found this summary: “Written between 1410 and 1434 for a minister of the Sultan of Tunis, the treatise is a sex guide for married Muslim men.”
And then there’s this passage from it:
Women desire what in men cannot last,
Youth, wealth and health, and not coming too fast,
Long-lasting and slow is what women expect,
And for seconds he’s equally quick to erect.
I wonder what it is about sex that makes it the way it is. It can make us happy yet it can also crush us to pieces. Why does it have to go around so confidently ruining and creating so many lives?
On the drive home I remembered an ex girlfriend of mine: no matter what, I always had to make her come, and I always had to make her come first before she even laid a hand on me. She always had something negative to say to me after each time, such as “I wonder why you took so long this time,” or “you have a repulsive taste in music,” or “don’t I turn you on enough? Why aren’t you trying?” and one night, when I couldn’t do it, when I couldn’t make her come, I blamed it on her for being so uptight, and she cried and I went to bed. After some time, no matter what she wore or what photos she sent me, she no longer turned me on. I began to look for any way I could to cheat on her: I went online, I invited any girl I could out for drinks, I flirted mercilessly. But none of it worked – they could smell my desperation and shame. Eventually, she left me for another man.
I entered my apartment to find Christie inside with a big grin on her face. “Surprise!” she said, and on my table was a jar of chocolate Kisses.