Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I can't get no sex education

We unmarried (and married?) Egyptian youth are wretched ugly ducklings. Under the pretence of religion and customs and traditions and 3eb ( unacceptable) and haram (religiously condemned) nobody gives us any piece of information, let alone right or wrong, on sexual intercourse. Nobody actually teaches us how to have sex...they're afraid we do it before marriage!
And who is supposed to teach us anyway? School and/or our parents. Right? Well...the only part on sexual education is taught in 3rd prep (when we're like 14) and frankly, the only thing I learned was that I have a reproductive system and that guys have penises. Oh and that we grow hair and our hips widen when we hit puberty. Part of the problem was that I was absent in one of the two or three classes it took to teach 'sexual intercourse and the reproductive system' and the teacher refused -rudely- to repeat what I didn't understand. And in the other class I fainted at the end of the classroom and no one noticed. LOL.
But as for the rest of the students...it wasn't just bad luck. This lesson was like any other lesson we had to study at school-it was to be MEMORISED! Just memorise every single word and there...you're done. You passed. You got you fair share of sex education. Congratulations!
Usually,or often, or rarely(I don't know, I began doubting that) Egyptian mothers have a once-in-a-lifetime conversation with their daughters before they get married (a week before the Dokhla? Dokhla is the night of the wedding) . They teach them what to do...what whom the Prohet's name is guarding and preserving aka her future husband would do...etc
Alas, even THAT doesn't always happen! "Al Naama wal Tawoos" or "The Ostrich and the Peacock", an Egyptian movie produced a few years ago, tackled the issue of 'sexual ignorance' openly. When the girl asks her mom about sex before she gets married, her mother is just too ashamed and tells her, "He knows". The thing is, it turned out later that he didn't know.
I realised the weight of the crisis just yesterday. My friends and I gathered in a cafe and we noticed that two of us, let's call them Mona and Sally, were whispering and somehow abandonned the rest of us. We kept teasing them coz we kinda guessed what they were talking about; Mona's getting married by winter and Sally in 11 days' time. Remember the 11 days' time. Ok?
I asked Sally if there was anything she wanted to know...and she answered..."I don't know anything". We were puzzled and asked her hadn't her mother talked with her yet? She hadn't. I just tried to comfort her and told her that sure her mother was intending to talk to her the next couple of days...and that maybe she's shy...so why not start the conversation with her..."Mummy I needed to know a few stuff" kind of lines. All the poor girl knew was licking and sucking-from her work mates.
To avoid disasters, I started explaining to them the four stages of the human sexual response cycle in a rather scientific way. Sally started to nod so I knew she read some book...but Mona kept her eyes wide open and her face was pale. Anything I said about orgasm, erection or the vagina was totally knew to her! I realised I've been speaking in English, so I translated some terms, but language wasn't the problem. It was the first time EVER Mona knew about sex. Those girls didn't know that we've got three holes, and I guess they still don't know which one is used for sex. A hideous thought ripped through my head: what if their husbands didn't know either? Talk about high divorce rates!
I kept thinking...didn't they even get curious some day and logged on to the internet, read some book or asked their mothers? I knew what their mothers would have told them anyway..."mesh wa2toh delwa2ty ya 7abebty...7ab2a a2ollek lamma teegy tetgawezy" "It's not time now dear...I will tell you when you get married" Hopefully before the Dokhla!
After some discussion,debates and laughs in which the rest of our group joined and listened to me intently...Sally dropped the bombshell.

"So what brings about the babies? My water or his?"

"His," I answered quickly, trying not to embarrass or laugh at her whereas in fact I was truly mad at them. Really, really mad at them. And at their mothers. And at mine (but I'm not getting married any time soon so I shouldn't worry now right?) At least I had my share of independent reading on the topic,but Mona and Sally aren't readers...how could they know?! I didn't lash out at them because I realised they are victims of negligence and ignorance.
I hereby declare from this blog that we Egyptian youth can't get no sex education whatsoever and we don't know what to do! The only sex we're getting anywhere in the air is some supposedly hot scenes and innuendos in Egyptian movies, 'medical' magazines and books with eye-catching titles and awfully-drawn pictures.

For God's sake, people, sex education is not innate. It is to be TAUGHT!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

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ألِف said...

and boys too

Anonymous said...

i dont think its a tragic problem except for few people such as the writer masalan. but i wonder our parents and grandparents who knew nothing about sex education, they were really successful. but what i wish to add is that it's not promising for ignorant youth like the egyptians who know hardly a thing about life to be well educated in sex. its funny to remember the third prep lesson of science about sex education. it was very funny the way the boys reacted. i know every body remembers this situation. finally what i want to ask about is how much beneficial it is to be well educated in sex as long as young men and women are not in their way to marry. i myself dont have enough sex education, but it means nothing to me now. But it will be very important when i come to marry, coz knowledge without practice is pressing unless it is a call for practicing sex intercourse among the unmarried. i need the writer of this essay to anwer my last remark.

Wild at Heart said...

1st Anonymous:
I read your blog and I just want to say :THANK YOU.

Alif:
!!!!!
It's a disaster elzaher. I told my mum and a neighbour about this and they just repeated the "he knows" statement. I'll tell them about this story so they can know that he doesn't necessarily know!

2nd Anonymous:
Wait a second...you brought up lots of issues here that need to be discussed.
"it's not promising for ignorant youth like the Egyptians who know hardly a thing about life to be well educated in sex"
I disagree from head to foot. Are you Egyptian? Are you living among Egyptian youth? I am. Both. And I can tell you a lot of Egyptian youth are much more cultured than you think...than even what I imagined. I won't forget when I asked my students to make a presentation on Communism and when we had a tour in the Egyptian Museum. Those kids are brilliant, I tell you. And, if you're talking about "life", they are surviving as well...they're certainly NOT ignorant. But if you're talking about sexual ignorance...I'm right there with you and this is what I'm totally against.

"what I want to ask about is how much beneficial it is to be well educated in sex as long as men and women are not in their way to marry"
Dear anonymous, knowledge is NEVER a dirty word. NEVER. Give me one example of knowledge that might harm me or make me a worse person. No need to tell you that knowledge is power. When you educate a young child and tell him no one should touch their private parts...you can save him from being abused. When you tell a teenager that there are lines she shouldn't cross when dealing with her male colleagues,that touching and kissing may lead to sex...that sex at that point is just about the worst thing she could do, and that not only does she cause God's rage, but also spends her life in shame, disgrace, and would most probably end in suicide or murder. Now how is she going to educate her when she doesn't even know what sexual intercourse is? How is the girl going to avoid something she doesn't even know? Got me?
Okay you cannot teach sex in just one day...all through our childhood and teenage years,we accumulate knowledge about sex that may or may not be true. Why don't we replace this confusion with correct info on the topic since our kids are little children and increase the 'doses' as it grows, so that when the child reaches the age of marriage, he would know everything he needs to have a safe, successfull sexual intercourse.
OF COURSE this is not a call for practicing sexual intercourse among the unmarried and I hope I made it clear in the teenage girl example above.
Thanks and I hope you got my point, and are hopefully convinced.

Anonymous said...

dear Wilde at heart, i am an awfully pure egyptian, and in my word " ignorant egyptians" i didnt mean to insult them, but i also didnt mean the 5 or 10 percent of the university youth that are promising, i just meant the majority, tell me about the university youth who succeed with a total grade " pass " every year, tell me how many are the young men and girls in the university who come for any purpose except education.
secondly, knowledge as power was invented by the french philosopher in a certain context, besides there is knowledge which is harmful tab3an but in a very limited sense and i think that sex education is not that essential, i dont demean it, but i say that if it is rendered to the ignorant youth , the majority, will produce to us nothing more than monkeys playing with their sexual organs.
Thirdly, i dont think there is a little girl or a boy in the world who doesnt know that people must not touch his or her pivate parts.
fourth, i dont think that university students dont know that kisses and hugs may lead to sex!!!
fifthly, i dont think that there are girls who know nothing about sexual untercourses, at least she knows it is there and happens, but she might not know, as you said in the text, that she doesnt know the mechanical process of intercourse. i think it is not bad, i'm sure she would find a mother or a sister or a colleague like u to tell her about the issue before she marries.
Finally i dont mind sex education but i have regulations on the matter and such came from my awareness of my society; we r not westerners, we live hear, we r muslims. i am not a fundamentalist or conservative to abandon such knowledge nor i'm a fool to call for anything from one perspective. but i wish we could study every thing carefully and ask specialists before coming to put forth issues without realizing the pros and cons in relation to time and place. i'm sorry for inconvinience, but i say that to u because one day u may be one of the people of letters whose words may change alot. keep on ur way, god help u .

Wild at Heart said...

Dear Anonymous,
first sure there is a percentage (a large one?) of Egyptian youth who don't have enough knowledge to face life. Who just go to college to pass, socialise, and meet girls/gals but I don't think it's hopeless. I think the remaining masses are well-learned and can actually make a change.
second, you can give me an example in which knowledge is harmful because I really can't think of any. Even then I don't even know if this example will put you and I on common grounds because you can look at an issue from a perspective that is totally different from mine. Well, what I'm calling for is sex education BEARING IN MIND the restraints on sexual activity that God has put. We should tell people what sex is AND tell them it's forbidden before marriage for such and such a reason...That case, you might have much less monkeys playing with their sexual organs...I'm saying less because many young people already do!
thirdly, listen to what happened to me when I was young, a 10 year-old girl. An older man picked me from the street and convinced me that he wanted to surprise his cousins...and that I should help him by knocking at their door.So he took me to a building and molested me.I knew something was wrong and I left him but if I had understood his intentions at the very beginning, who knows, maybe such an awful incident wouldn't have happened to me. If my mother had told me "if any stranger tries to talk to you, don't talk to him, don't go anywhere with him, just run away, because chances are he would want to touch you, and he shouldn't", if my mother had told me this basic step in sex education, I wouldn't have been abused. Simply.
fourthly,yeah they do..and so they should know what sex is and that it's Haram so they wouldn't make out in the first place.
fifthly, dear anonymous, that's precisely the wrong supposition that we all have in mind ! That sure someone will talk to her before she gets married...but there you go...you've got a live example of a girl whom no one talked to(if we assume I hadn't talked to her) -even 6 days before the wedding.I'm not enough and I told her so. We assume someone had taught the newly weds but simply and sorrowfully that doesn't always happen, which, I believe, is a disaster.
Finally, I'm right there with you...sex education we should get, but the regulations should be, the way I see it, not on the information given, but on WHEN and HOW to have sex. That's all.
You never caused any inconvenience and feel free to discuss any topic on this blog because people who disagree respectfully are very rare these days!
Thanks and stay good.

مروان عاصم said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i don't think there is anything more disgusting than your shallow understanding ....u know what we're believers and we would never do anything against Religion ...& i don't think girls are the ones who are desperately sex addicts..it's sick men who can't control themselves ...what encounters every single girl everyday is not something that she enjoys...i'm so disgusted from ur words..i don't get it..."the smiling happy girl who like to be touched by pimps & psychos ...ur so provoking "...besides i got something for u...scientifically attraction begins in males first from childhood ..but in females it comes with puberty...& girls don't know about sex as ur imagination fools u....she's not telling u to watch borno or sex movies...that's stupid ....but we need to know how this takes place scientifically because if they don't " both males & females" , they might risk their own health ...

Wild at Heart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
مروان عاصم said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i don't know what the hell is ur problem...still ur too stupit to understand....the cds and pictures are for sick ppl like you who can't give themselves a chance to think ....tell me how many men check immoral sites all over the internet ... is this ur idea about education? ...a punch of sex-obsessed animals surfing the net , watching cds....have u studied biology? i don't think it included cds..did it? this is science not a synical party for a pscychopath or a sex obsessed person who minimizes everything in life to sex....people studying medicine study it..." a professor lectures on sex...with a number of cds to educate his students" is that how they study it?

Anonymous said...

i think i said punch not bunch because that's what u really deserve

Anonymous said...

yes but not every body should know what the students of the faculty of medicine learn.
I'm sorry but till now there is no one convincing here, not even the writer, and i should be more sorry to read such indecency from Marwan, and the repliers as well.

Wild at Heart said...

You aren't convinced with the importance of sexual education in the first place, are you.
You have no right to judge me as indecent...especially that I WAS decent to you.

Ma3t said...

First let me tell u how glad i am that u talked a bout sexual education in Egypt, which is non existent

I think that specially among girls it is actually more restricted in the middle class, the sexual ignorance that is. Because i have a family which i am very close to , and they consider me one of them, and they are the typical sha3by egyptain family, and it's just so different being among them, because they have alot of women and girls who are very comfortable in talking about sexuality and sex, and the older women are aware of very change that occur to the girls body, and they are giving them feedback about it. The whole atmosphere makwes it rather easy for the girls to ask freely about sex and be prepared for their wedding

I remember in school when they gave us the reproductive system lessons, yes i believe that understanding the anatomical part is important , but they don't give u any info that make the process seem real, like u'll be one day participating in it. and even while describing the anatomy, the teachers are so awkward that inevitably they make u feel very awkward and embarrassed

Wild at Heart said...

Well Ma3t, consider yourself lucky!
I think there's no hope in sex education at school, or in any case you and I cannot really change it...what we can change though is for us to educate ourselves and urge everyone to do the same because vague information on such an issue are of no help. And educate our children when we beget them!
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Hi dear - it's Kimberly again. Interesting post - it brought up a lot of thoughts for me. First of all, it made me giggle because considering the huge population growth in Egypt I don't think it's a problem if neither the man or the woman know what's going on! :) People figure those things out just fine on their own.
In my opionion the problem has nothing to do with sex education. Teachers and parents can talk about sex for hours, but the magic of sex is that until you are faced with it, one on one, it will remain a mystery.
I am more concerned about attitudes about sex in the Middle East than about education. FEMALE CIRCUMCISION (also known as GENITAL MUTILATION) HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED! All the sex education in the world will not make a difference if the woman is unable to feel the real pleasure of sex with her husband. She will be left feeling like a failure, and will not be interested in pleasing her husband. I just can't understand it all and it breaks my heart. Not only for the women, but for the men as well.
As an American we did have SOME sex education in school - but as I said, it does nothing to prepare someone for the real thing. When I was younger I read every book I could get my hands on and I'd say I know almost everything there IS to know about sex...yet still, it makes no difference. It took TEN YEARS for sex with my husband to be perfect and mutually fulfilling. What a wonderful Egyptian man I have married! A true angel. But education has nothing to do with satisfasction or happiness. It is about respect and love and being natural. I actually think it might be BETTER to know nothing about sex, as perhaps it is more natural then - and no one is looking for something that isn't there.
I found your post interesting because I always felt that Egyptian women knew MORE about sex than Western woman! Not the scientific details of how it happens and things like that - but of the naturalness of it all. If you 'save' yourself until marriage, are you not aware of what exactly it is that you are saving yourself for? I would think if you spend so much effort 'saving' yourself, that you would find the whole thing more sacred and special.
Here, I would guess many people don't see what the big deal is, and don't enjoy it for the beauty that it naturally has. Even if an Egyptian woman doesn't know exactly what to do...at least she knows it SHOULD be very special.
I want to strongly add that KNOWLEDGE about sex does NOT make a person careless and sexually out of control. As I said, I know much about sex, but I have never been sexually active outside marriage. It is about culture, and values and morals. I would say half the girls here who are having sex outside of marriage know almost nothing about it!
I am very open about sex and sex education - and yet I am truly faithful to my husband and always will be.
There are things in life that no one can truly prepare you for, and sex is one of them...the good news is that most people have many years to figure it out! What is the hurry really? - everyone will understand it soon enough...and then they will be tired of it, of course!!!!! :) lol
I hope someday the young girls of Egypt are not mutilated... before sex education, that should be the biggest priority. STOP FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...I think it's a bit funny that people circumcise the girls to prevent them from enjoying sex TOO much, or from becoming immoral people. Most of the women I know (all of whom are NOT circumcised) have much less interest in sex than men do...and often wish their husbands would just leave them alone. :)

It's always a pleasure to read your posts...thanks for being so unique and always true to yourself. You are so special! The man who marries you will suffer much, but will absolutely adore you and your brilliant (if sometimes difficult) mind!
Much love, Kimberly

Ma3t said...

In the previous comment the family i mentinoned aren't mine, but they treat me like one of them.
My family, specially my mother put alot of effort since i was younger in making me comfortable enough to talk about sexuality issues and ask. But even with that society around u has a way of imposing their awkwardness and embarrassment in dealing with such matters
And u know it isn't just knowing about sex, but every time i sit with my female friends i realise we need someone we could seek for adice about our body, hygiene issues and so on

thanx for replying
i am glad i've stumbled upon ur blog

Caring Friend said...

as long as there are people like 3esam and like u noha struggling we wont have actual solution but merely quarrels about who said wat?
we"females/future mothers" should start this simple infos with our children if they are not getting it at school and believe me 3esam children will be disgusted and refuse the sex education they will be getting if they got any thats because they refuse this kind of information as it is attached for us to being forbidden and smth "bad". i dont know how bad as long as it is the cause of ur and my being. there has to be sex education if not for children then for parents who want to enlighten their children's minds because most parents dont know wat to say to their child that is when this kid goes seeking any knowlege from outside his family education and he sont mind if it is wrong or right and maybe one day he may try it however he could..

cinderella said...

begad el topic bta3k i like it so much l2n really feih banat begad mt3rfsh 7aga lesa 3n el gawaz wel 3elaqa el zawgya and i have heard a lot about failure in marriage coz of this issue, w27na mash2allah most of our mtohers bytksfo ytklmo fel mwdo3 dh m3 2wladhom wll2sf bytaro y3rfo m3lomat 3'lt mn 7agat tanya whatever the way is, but also there is some mothers who are open minded and they talk with their kids a in scientific way telling them everything they need and i know someone her mother is such great mother. so i think mesh 3'alat 2no ydares fel madares 3shan weladna ely gayeen b3d keda bs btare2a 3emlya wkwaisa bs fe nfs el w2t yfselo been el banat w el welad fel 7essas dih 3shan mafesh bent ttksf wyb2a bys2alo bra7ethom. begad i like your blog a lot and hope good luck for u and more useful posts

Anonymous said...

True Story !
a woman and her husband came from upper egypt to the Gynecology clinic cuz the woman was complaining of dysuria and infertility ! after examination doctors found out that the woman has a blind vaginal pouch (congenital anomaly) and all this time the intercourse was through the urethra !! and both of them have no idea !! her urethra was extensively damaged !!
can you imagine this??