View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sex in the Emirates

New Yorkers woke up on Saturday morning to read in the New York Times a review of a book on sexual guidance from the United Arab Emirates.

They saw a photo of the niqab-wearing author in conversation with another Emirati (pictured) and read a discussion of her book that has already been released in Arabic to mixed responses of praise and death threats.

Entitled, “Top Secret: Sexual Guidance for Married Couples”, this book is not in the lurid, Sex in the City of Dubai style, but, according to the reviewer, Robert Worth, nor does it keep everything under the veil. One wonders, therefore, why the book is called ‘Top Secret’.

The author, Wedad Lootah, is a marriage counselor in Dubai’s main courthouse, who addresses some major problems faced by married couples in the Emirates. She is a Muslim whose ideas and views are based on the teaching of the Koran.

Her candor is illustrated by the way she writes about anal sex, how the rigorous separation of the sexes promotes anal sex among men and how this practice in turn affects the sexual preferences of men when they get married. Ms. Lootah also calls for sex education in schools while addressing the topics of infidelity, female circumcision, homosexuality and cross-dressing.

What exactly does the author have to say on all these matters? Probably what she said to the woman who came to her counseling room and asked if it is OK to kiss the man all over his body: “Read my book.”

To read the article:
Robert F. Worth, Challenging Sex Taboos, With Help from the Koran, New York Times, 5 June 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Wedad Lootah, marriage counselor in Dubai with client. (Photo courtesy of Bryan Denton & NY Times at above link)