No Sex in the City

“Did you really write a post about sex?” My aunt asks me over the phone in a heavy tone. “What would your uncle think?” Silence. She continues naming every person I should worry about seeing my work. I finally interrupt. Because this is the problem. This HAS been the problem since the day I opened up my eyes to this world: “what will other people think?” I woke up to this life believing that sexuality was shameful. Not just any sexuality though--MY sexuality, FEMALE sexuality.

It’s okay for the men in my life to have stashed archives of porn. It’s okay for them to explore sex as teenagers and to boast about it. But God forbid I have a functional clit that requires attention?

That’s too much. That’s disgusting. That’s slutty.

After a while, this mentality seeps in and creates a home inside us. The ideal is the pristine woman. The one who’s simultaneously sexy as hell, but has no inclination to ever have sex. I have chased that ideal with everything. And each time I slipped up and gave into my slutty sexual desire, I was ashamed.


Why have we done this to our women? Then we wonder why we can’t orgasm. Because when we try to let go in bed, we have to silence ten thousand voices telling us we don’t belong there. Because our pleasure is dishonorable. The story is to hook the right guy by making him wait for it. Always about him. His chase, his excitement, his pleasure. Nevermind that we too, want to enjoy ourselves. We too, want to be daring and have adventures. We too, want to be woo’d in every which way, beyond flowers and jewelry.

But my work is proof that men care about women’s pleasure. There is a lot of honesty and vulnerability from the responses I get; women who want to be able to let go, and men who genuinely want to see women enjoy themselves. And it makes me so happy that we’ve finally reached a level of maturity in society that we can talk about these things and not squirm.

“But Lebanese women don’t talk about sex.” my aunt continues.

Well as a Lebanese woman, I plan to talk about whatever I feel needs to be explored. That’s what writers do. They expose publicly what people ponder privately. They push us beyond our boundaries and remind us to question in a world full of sugar shit, and to stop adding to our inevitable suffering by striving to appear as something we’re not.

As a woman who’s looked for acceptance from everyone but herself, and who’s always shrunk to accommodate the egos around her, I’ve reached a breaking point. “You’re right.” My aunt whispers softly under muffled tears. “You’re right.”