“We don’t have reservations talking about the topic of sex, we have reservations when it comes to women having opinions on the issue of sex. Sex should be a mutually pleasurable act and not just about male satisfaction.”
On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim sits down with Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy and Habeeb Akande on sex and intimacy in Islam, in a fascinating conversation about the perception of sex in Muslim communities, the existing taboo and the harm it perpetuates, and where it originated from.
Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy is a gynecologist, counselor, an expert in psychosexual and relationship therapy, and is a GMC licensed medical doctor with extensive experience in sexual medicine. Habeeb Akande is a writer, sex educator, historian, and author of “A Taste of Honey”, a groundbreaking book that looks into the deep and rich history of sexuality and erotology in Islam.
Speaking on the topic of the unfortunate reality of how taboo and misunderstood sex is in so many Muslim communities around the world, both Dr. Eltantawy and Habeeb Akande explain that sex education is the remedy that is so needed in today’s society.
Sex is never talked about at all…when it is talked about, it’s hidden and nothing is clear. Sex is taboo, and it’s always about just how to serve the man. I find this so frustrating. There’s no conversation around sexual pleasure.”
Dr. Eltantawy and Habeeb Akande both agree that sex and sensuality should not be devoid of spirituality – that in fact, our long and rich Islamic history of the pleasure of sex within the confines of marriage is something that should be celebrated and discussed on wider, louder platforms than its given today.
Erotology, Akande’s field of expertise, looks into sex in Islam and has been around since as early as the 9th century. Not only does it look into pleasurable sex, but it also looks into female desire and satisfaction in the bedroom – something that is considered to be deeply taboo and shameful in so many communities around the world today.
We have a problem of male sexual entitlement, and this generally becomes an issue when women want to speak about sexual desire within the confines of their marriage. We don’t have reservations talking about the topic of sex, we have reservations when it comes to women having opinions on the issue of sex. Sex should be a mutually pleasurable act and not just about male satisfaction.”
Sex, within the confines of marriage, is not just a physical act – it is an emotional, spiritual, mental, and sensual act that needs to be communicated about more not only between couples but within society at large as well. By not acknowledging sex, many fall victim to psychological and emotional stress and vulnerabilities that can later manifest into more serious issues – such as vaginismus, a fear around premature ejaculation, misunderstandings about orgasms, or a lack of sexual desire.
Sensuality should not be devoid of spirituality…you can seek sexual pleasure, obviously within the confines of marriage, and that’s a part of spirituality.”
Coming back to the need for a better and more widespread understanding and implementation of sex education within Muslim communities, both Dr. Eltantawy and Habeeb Akande believe that understanding sex is a deep part of understanding how to become a better Muslim as well – and that sex education does not just have to be about biology, it should be about sexual ethics, consent, sexual pleasure, and intimacy to name just a few.
“Islam gave us all the liberty to enjoy each other [within the confines of marriage],” Dr. Eltantawy explains, “but we just don’t use it.”
To listen to the rest of this fascinating podcast, click below:
The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.
Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.
Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.