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Theme Changer

 Topic: Headscarves and Haircuts

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  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #90 - June 21, 2017, 10:18 PM

    Believing this is the only thing keeping me going. <3 It's so hard to shake off the idea that I am responsible for their emotions otherwise!

    And wow! My parents had a 100% arranged marriage. I remember one day in primary school my friends were all discussing how their parents met each other. Some said in a pub, etc etc. I went home and asked my parents how they met. My dad looked like I'd asked something bizarre and said: "Our families knew each other." My mum was younger than me when she got married. It's a shame that your parents' love marriage didn't make them more open-minded in terms of allowing you some freedom. :(

    I'm sorry for the way your brother behaved. If mine had been that way my life would have been ten times harder. I'm really fortunate that he is more of an ally. Even though our day-to-day interaction is not really that much, leaving him with my parents (anticipating all the chaos and emotional outbursts which he'll have to deal with when I'm gone) is going to be really really hard.


    I was actually happy when my older brother got married and moved out. He did my head in and it was nice to have some peace.

    I know my mum was in college when she met my dad, but I don't know exactly how they met. My mum is a convert though, so it was definitely not the whole arranged marriage family thing. It's strange, there's loads of born Muslim men married to converts, and that's ok, but if it's the other way round, or the woman finding her own partner, it's very much frowned upon. Double standards of course.

    Your brother shouldn't have to deal with anything. You're already grown up anyway, why do they have to dictate how you leave the family home? As I understand they were talking about cousin marriage. So it's ok to move out if you married your cousin, because they chose that for you. Too many parents dictating their children's lives.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #91 - June 25, 2017, 12:33 PM

    I was actually happy when my older brother got married and moved out. He did my head in and it was nice to have some peace.

    I know my mum was in college when she met my dad, but I don't know exactly how they met. My mum is a convert though, so it was definitely not the whole arranged marriage family thing. It's strange, there's loads of born Muslim men married to converts, and that's ok, but if it's the other way round, or the woman finding her own partner, it's very much frowned upon. Double standards of course.

    Your brother shouldn't have to deal with anything. You're already grown up anyway, why do they have to dictate how you leave the family home? As I understand they were talking about cousin marriage. So it's ok to move out if you married your cousin, because they chose that for you. Too many parents dictating their children's lives.


    Yep - family members teasingly ask my brother about the girls he's studying/working alongside, whereas they would never ask me that kind of question. Although I don't think they'd go as far as allowing him to marry who he wanted - they've had arguments with him about (hypothetical) marrying outside of ethnic group before. But the topic of men having crushes or having some kind of desire is not completely taboo - whereas girls are shamed for having those same inclinations and expected to act like completely asexual beings.

    You are so right; leaving the house is seen okay if it's on a very particular set of terms (ie: marriage - which proves that essentially my parents can live without me if they're happy for me to marry/go live with my cousin) but if I want to venture out for any other reason or to pursue a different kind of life, then I'm made to feel like I'm committing some kind of heinous crime. This has occurred to me before and it does make me feel better about leaving, because it suggests that there is nothing in the act of leaving which is inherently wrong. They wouldn't mind me leaving if I was leaving for marriage.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #92 - June 26, 2017, 08:53 AM

    Yep - family members teasingly ask my brother about the girls he's studying/working alongside, whereas they would never ask me that kind of question. Although I don't think they'd go as far as allowing him to marry who he wanted - they've had arguments with him about (hypothetical) marrying outside of ethnic group before. But the topic of men having crushes or having some kind of desire is not completely taboo - whereas girls are shamed for having those same inclinations and expected to act like completely asexual beings.

    You are so right; leaving the house is seen okay if it's on a very particular set of terms (ie: marriage - which proves that essentially my parents can live without me if they're happy for me to marry/go live with my cousin) but if I want to venture out for any other reason or to pursue a different kind of life, then I'm made to feel like I'm committing some kind of heinous crime. This has occurred to me before and it does make me feel better about leaving, because it suggests that there is nothing in the act of leaving which is inherently wrong. They wouldn't mind me leaving if I was leaving for marriage.


    Exactly, it's not you leaving that's a problem, it's doing it on your terms. God forbid you make your own choices in life!

    That never really happened in our family, the whole asking boys about girls they may encounter, but I know it does happen, and it's so odd. It's like the whole reason FGM exists is to curb women's sexuality. There's a great fear about women having their own thoughts and feelings, and acting upon them. I actually think the real issue is that boys are overly sexualised and encouraged to be that way. It shouldn't be ok.

    So definitely don't feel guilty about your plans to leave one day. You are taking ownership of your life.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #93 - July 18, 2017, 03:12 PM

    Thanks again to everybody who has taken the time to read/reply to this thread. This has kind of become a little diary now, so I'll just briefly record some updates. It's a momentous stage in my life, so it just feels right to keep a record of it, in order to capture some of the whirlwind emotions I'm feeling. Plus, I guess the more I record, the more useful/inspirational this thread might be for anyone who finds themselves struggling in a family who won't accept their non-Muslimness, and who feels afraid that they will never be able to break free. Sending love to you if you're in that situation. It is possible to escape! Hang on in there!

    Update 1 - this might be too much information, but I'm mentioning it because I feel it's important since it's such a taboo topic in the Muslim community. After years of being covered in public, and raised to think that even having conversations with non-mahrams (conversations not strictly necessary for work or education purposes) were something to be ashamed of and avoided, I went ahead and had completely guilt-free sex with a lovely guy. We both enjoyed ourselves and will be having plenty more of it. I've explained my home situation to him, and he knows we can only meet during the day and that we have keep things on the down low for now, so it's all good. But it sure feels beautiful to connect with another human being on a physical and emotional level without feeling like you are defiling yourself. Now that I know my morality is not governed by notions of sexual 'purity', and that my worth does not reside in abstinence, I'm enjoying exploring my sexuality and finding out what we both like, which I think is a really fun part of the human experience!

    And to think that in the past, when I was still Muslim, I stopped talking to various guys whose company I enjoyed because I thought that by prolonging even talking to them, I was doing something sinful - since I would never be able to marry them. (In those days, I had resigned myself to the fact that my marriage choices would simply be governed by my parents, who would only accept offers through formal arranged marriage channels from people of my specific ethnic background... Turns out even that was a generous estimation on my part of what my parents would accept, since my father recently divulged that he can only ever see himself 'giving me' to my first cousin!...) Anyway, to cut a long story short, I feel like a changed person when it comes to my sexual life; I am loving it, am in no way ashamed of it, and see absolutely nothing morally wrong with what I am doing. I still have to lie about where I'm going all the time (I don't get permission to go out frequently or as long/as undisturbed as I'd like, even during the daytime, if it's not work or study-related) ... But all in all, I'm grateful. Life is much better now than it was before.

    Mentally I'm also a lot better now than when I made my first post, because I know that once my two-year post at my new workplace finishes, the option of escape will be open to me, and I'm closer to coming to terms with the fact that I just have to take this escape route for my own happiness and freedom - even if it hurts my family. I think that when the time to leave gets closer, the anxiety will come back again, and it will be a really intense, painful period of panic and struggle, but for now I am just staying quiet, and putting up and shutting up with whatever my parents want me to do at home, which is made easier by the fact that I know now that I won't have to put and shut up forever.

    It is still difficult, sometimes, though. In the beginning, the fact that my views were so different from my parents' made me feel very guilty - in fact, I felt utterly, absolutely hopeless to the point of feeling suicidal - simply because I hadn't accepted that removing myself from the family environment, and living a life away from my parents and what they want, was actually a reasonable, viable and practicable option. Now that I've accepted that option as one I'll take, I look back on how strictly my life was, and continues to be, controlled by these views of my parents' which I don't share, and I actually start to feel a lot more angry. And I start to feel like I can't wait to leave. It is becoming much easier to emotionally detach myself from my parents than it was before. In itself, I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. I don't want to completely lose empathy for my parents and become a hard-hearted, unfeeling person who will just bulldoze them aside to get what she wants. But I also think that kind of self-critical, harsh description of my altered attitude right now comes from a subconscious part of me which is trying to guilt myself into submission again. At the end of the day, I am not bulldozing anyone. I don't lash out at my parents or speak rudely to them. I just don't consider sacrificing my whole life for my parents' religious values reasonable anymore, and my anger and frustration are simply natural responses to being forced to comply with religious practices against my will.

    Nonetheless, knowing my time with my family is finite also does make it easier to appreciate the positive moments with them, too, like when we're talking about things that are nothing to do with religion. When we are watching a documentary together on TV, for example. (Although it is annoying, however, when we are watching something like Joanna Lumley's India, and my parents will start off on some speech about how civilised Islam is compared to 'these "bizzare" Hindu religious practices", and how grateful we should be for having such a perfect religion revealed to us while other people are worshipping stones and thinking Gods reside in cow urine. Now, to be perfectly blunt, I'm neither a fan nor a follower of either Islam or Hinduism, but this kind of 'our religion is superior' speech does grate on me quite a bit, when in reality all religions have many of the same core problems when it comes to how reasonable and rational their practices are.) I guess, because my parents are such deep believers, it's difficult for them to watch anything or talk about anything without bringing up some kind of adoring reference to Islam in every conversation, and that does really irritate me but I keep quiet, because, well... Each to their own. What can you do? I can't argue with them about religion 24/7.

    I guess it's also easier to stay quiet about religion at home now because I have a consistent secret, part-time non-hijab life to keep me sane when I'm out and about. (And it's not just non-hijab... it involves wearing whatever the fuck I want... even shorts if the desire strikes me! I want to try a bikini and go beaching one of these days, not because I'm trying to impress anybody but because on principle, as a woman in a Muslim family, that is not something I am 'allowed' to do. So naturally I want to do it, particularly as it's not unhealthy or damaging in any way, like drugs or alcohol. Tongue Also my body is on the curvier end of current Western beauty standards and I want to improve my own confidence and not be ashamed of it, even the soft parts. So it'll be a good way of practising that, too.)

    That's the news for now. I will keep dropping in with changes/updates/progress! Smiley Peace and love to you all.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #94 - July 18, 2017, 10:42 PM

    I look forward to your updates, and I know exactly what you mean in regards to talking to guys. It was like, if you don't have a good reason to talk to a man, then avoid them. My mum would say keep it formal, don't shake their hand etc.  I would if my parents weren't around though. If I went for a job interview and it was a man interviewing me, I would shake his hand as I didn't want anything to hold me back, any little thing for them to say I wasn't going to fit in.

    It's nice to hear how you felt after your sexual encounter, I think it's important for us as human beings to explore our own sexuality and find out what we like, and most importantly, losing virginity on our terms, not how our parents or religion expects. I think I scared my boyfriend after I had sex with him the first time, because I was like I've lost that virgin tag now, and I'm still the same person I was before. What's the big deal, why did we even have to save ourselves for marriage?

    I kinda wished I'd been brave enough to take off my hijab before I left home. Even the day I left, I wore a hat so my hair was still covered. I didn't remove it until my journey ended lol. I think part of me was still afraid.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #95 - July 19, 2017, 12:05 AM

    Really happy to hear you're getting things in order, and enjoying your life Xainab! It's amazing to hear.  yes

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #96 - July 19, 2017, 02:42 PM

    I look forward to your updates, and I know exactly what you mean in regards to talking to guys. It was like, if you don't have a good reason to talk to a man, then avoid them. My mum would say keep it formal, don't shake their hand etc.  I would if my parents weren't around though. If I went for a job interview and it was a man interviewing me, I would shake his hand as I didn't want anything to hold me back, any little thing for them to say I wasn't going to fit in.

    It's nice to hear how you felt after your sexual encounter, I think it's important for us as human beings to explore our own sexuality and find out what we like, and most importantly, losing virginity on our terms, not how our parents or religion expects. I think I scared my boyfriend after I had sex with him the first time, because I was like I've lost that virgin tag now, and I'm still the same person I was before. What's the big deal, why did we even have to save ourselves for marriage?

    I kinda wished I'd been brave enough to take off my hijab before I left home. Even the day I left, I wore a hat so my hair was still covered. I didn't remove it until my journey ended lol. I think part of me was still afraid.


    That's what it was like in my house, too. I remember watching a program on TV with my dad once where young people were competing in a public speaking contest. There were lots of rounds and it was an emotionally gruelling process, and the contestants got pretty close to one another. One of the contestants was a young Muslim girl (non-hijabi) and she hugged one of her fellow male competitors after a round. She had a hijabi sister in the audience. My dad commented: "Look at that girl; her sister is wearing hijab and yet there she is hugging a boy." I have not forgotten that comment to this day. The problem with such strict sexual segregration is that it sexualises EVERY FUCKING THING. Including a hug between two people - fuck it, they were essentially children - caught up in a tense emotional process. Makes me sick when I think about it now.

    The whole idea of saving myself just seems ridiculous now, when I look back on it. Everyone knows that first-time sex is never the best sex you're going to have, anyway. It only gets better with time. If you must save something for the one you marry, why not learn a few tips and tricks now, and have fun along the way, and thus save the best sex of your life for later? That seems a more sensible way to look at it, at least to me  grin12

    I think we all have different lines that we'll find difficult to cross until we're completely free of our home environments. The fact that you broke away and did what you did, even without the support of this forum, is absolutely extraordinary. <3 <3 So much respect for you!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #97 - July 19, 2017, 02:43 PM

    Really happy to hear you're getting things in order, and enjoying your life Xainab! It's amazing to hear.  yes


    Thank you so much! It feels amazing to have you guys on this journey with me Smiley
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #98 - July 19, 2017, 11:56 PM

    That's what it was like in my house, too. I remember watching a program on TV with my dad once where young people were competing in a public speaking contest. There were lots of rounds and it was an emotionally gruelling process, and the contestants got pretty close to one another. One of the contestants was a young Muslim girl (non-hijabi) and she hugged one of her fellow male competitors after a round. She had a hijabi sister in the audience. My dad commented: "Look at that girl; her sister is wearing hijab and yet there she is hugging a boy." I have not forgotten that comment to this day. The problem with such strict sexual segregration is that it sexualises EVERY FUCKING THING. Including a hug between two people - fuck it, they were essentially children - caught up in a tense emotional process. Makes me sick when I think about it now.

    The whole idea of saving myself just seems ridiculous now, when I look back on it. Everyone knows that first-time sex is never the best sex you're going to have, anyway. It only gets better with time. If you must save something for the one you marry, why not learn a few tips and tricks now, and have fun along the way, and thus save the best sex of your life for later? That seems a more sensible way to look at it, at least to me  grin12

    I think we all have different lines that we'll find difficult to cross until we're completely free of our home environments. The fact that you broke away and did what you did, even without the support of this forum, is absolutely extraordinary. <3 <3 So much respect for you!


    I'm betting if that was a boy hugging a non Muslim girl it would probably be fine. My dad would shake women's hands as I witnessed it quite a few times. It seems it was ok for him to do it. I would feel embarrassed when we were out and my mum would have to refuse to shake a hand. You could see how confused they were. A handshake is nothing, it's not sexual.

    Your first time is just that, a first time. It's true it does get better with time. Although I can't see myself being with anyone else.

    I actually wish I did think about coming here. I ended up using the women's aid survivor forum, but they didn't have an honour based abuse section until after I left home. There's still a lot of misunderstanding around it. Sure women's aid can help, but karma nirvana are much better, as it's run by a woman who escaped honour based violence. Their helpline now runs longer than it did when it first started, but the domestic abuse helpline is still anyone's best bet as it's 24 hour.

    And thank you. I don't think I'll ever see myself as brave. I still feel like I ran away when nobody was in so it's not like I had to confront anyone. That made it easier to leave initially, but my heart was pounding for hours after that.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #99 - July 20, 2017, 12:35 AM

    I am so happy to see girls making their own choices. Thanks for the good news!

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #100 - July 20, 2017, 01:27 AM

    Glad to see that you are moving along quite well, getting better with your family issue, and that your anger fading.
    Yeah in my culture there is this whole myth about “the first time is the best”, “it imprints in your memory”, “the only man you will ever be able to love is your first”. I guess to an outsider this nonsense is only too obvious. I grew up in such a virginity cult that for a long time I failed to understand why Islam and other law systems see extramarital sex a graver offence than premarital sex. And now I know it’s not the hymen that’s considered sacred; it’s a man’s ownership over his wife.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #101 - July 20, 2017, 06:03 AM

    I am so happy to see girls making their own choices. Thanks for the good news!

     yes

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #102 - July 21, 2017, 03:06 PM

    I'm betting if that was a boy hugging a non Muslim girl it would probably be fine. My dad would shake women's hands as I witnessed it quite a few times. It seems it was ok for him to do it. I would feel embarrassed when we were out and my mum would have to refuse to shake a hand. You could see how confused they were. A handshake is nothing, it's not sexual.

    Your first time is just that, a first time. It's true it does get better with time. Although I can't see myself being with anyone else.

    I actually wish I did think about coming here. I ended up using the women's aid survivor forum, but they didn't have an honour based abuse section until after I left home. There's still a lot of misunderstanding around it. Sure women's aid can help, but karma nirvana are much better, as it's run by a woman who escaped honour based violence. Their helpline now runs longer than it did when it first started, but the domestic abuse helpline is still anyone's best bet as it's 24 hour.

    And thank you. I don't think I'll ever see myself as brave. I still feel like I ran away when nobody was in so it's not like I had to confront anyone. That made it easier to leave initially, but my heart was pounding for hours after that.


    Yes, I have called the Karma Nirvana helpline once so far, just to be able to discuss my situation with a third party, and they have been so helpful in terms of allowing me to recognise that my parents' coercions are not okay and that it's not my moral obligation to fulfil them just because they feel like their honour depends on these arbitrary things.

    And we don't have to have a yelling screaming argument to be brave. Like in The Shawshank Redemption - the guy who quietly worked for years towards escaping the prison wasn't confronting anybody, but he was brave for taking the many small risks that he did which ultimately enabled him  to leave. Your bravery was in your recognition that you wanted something different and the fact that you took the initiative to get that, despite the personal cost to you. <3 You guys, and other people I've talked to, have helped me realise that confronting isn't always necessarily the best course of action anyway. If I tell my parents to their faces why I'm leaving, they'll be forced to respond in the moment and any answer they give me will naturally come from a place of extreme emotion. What are they going to do at that point apart from say the equivalent of "No fucking way are you leaving!!!!", lapse into hysterics, emotionally blackmail me and even physically try to stop me? If, on the other hand, I just leave quietly and let them read a letter explaining things instead, at least they have time to think because they're not under time pressure to shut down their daughter in the next five seconds because she's daring to challenge them verbally and is about to walk out. By the time they read the letter, anything violence/blackmail/hysterics might have helped to prevent will already have happened. Sometimes we just have to take the smart path which is most realistically likely to help us achieve our goals in the long run.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #103 - July 21, 2017, 03:09 PM

    I am so happy to see girls making their own choices. Thanks for the good news!


    yes


    Glad to see that you are moving along quite well, getting better with your family issue, and that your anger fading.


    Thanks so much, all of you. Wouldn't have made it this far without the input of people on this thread! <3
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #104 - July 21, 2017, 03:22 PM

    A general tip for people just starting to discover their sex life - as this made all the difference for me recently: Use lots of lube! It really helps.

    I am still getting used to the sensation of sex, and without lube I do still find it very painful even though I've had sex multiple times now. (I first had sex few times as a sixteen year old - those times had a lot of guilt attached to them - and more recently I've had sex as a twenty-two year old since becoming an ex-Muslim and rejecting the idea that I need to feel guilt about these things.) I am on the smaller side and have always found more than one finger very uncomfortable (so taking anything the size of a penis was naturally going to be tricky in terms of logistics) but using lube has allowed me to enjoy the feeling of a moderately-to-well-endowed partner a LOT more than I can enjoy penetration without it. (Even when I am already naturally wet down there.) Of course sex is about a lot more than just penetration, but this tip helped boost my enjoyment of that particular aspect.

    Just wanted to share in case it helps someone!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #105 - July 22, 2017, 01:07 AM

    Are you relaxed when you have sex? I would imagine that if two fingers are too much there'd be a certain tenseness?

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #106 - July 22, 2017, 01:30 AM

    Agree with Xainab on the importance of lube, for all you new time sex havers. Really helped improve the experience of penetrative sex with my ex gf.

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #107 - July 22, 2017, 09:45 PM

    Are you relaxed when you have sex? I would imagine that if two fingers are too much there'd be a certain tenseness?


    It is possible that I am tensing up subconsciously at the moment of penetration without realising, but if that's the case, I am not really sure what I can do to stop this happening, as I do feel very safe with my current partner and we don't rush things - we take our time with foreplay, etc. I'm totally open to suggestions if you have any, though!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #108 - July 23, 2017, 02:57 AM

    There is a condition called vaginismus. It's when he muscles of the vagina tighten up when something when anything enters it (tampon, finger, and definitely penis). The cause is not known. Progressive desensitization is what is recommended as treatment. Also on Amazon, you can get these vaginal dilators that help make your vagina get more comfortable. As you become comfortable with one size you can increase it to another. And yes, use lots of lube when doing these exercises.

    Here is a WebMD article on vaginismus.

    http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginismus-causes-symptoms-treatments

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing" -Edmund Burke
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #109 - July 23, 2017, 10:44 AM

    Reminds me of a mate of mine. She enjoys receiving oral sex yet feels vulnerable while she receives oral sex.

    It is possible that I am tensing up subconsciously at the moment of penetration without realising, but if that's the case, I am not really sure what I can do to stop this happening, as I do feel very safe with my current partner and we don't rush things - we take our time with foreplay, etc. I'm totally open to suggestions if you have any, though!


    If it's not a problem for you then I'm not sure I should offer an opinion. Maybe you're just tighter than the average beare. Perfectly possible. Grin

    I'm not sure what your family background/heritage is. but if you're English born and raised you may have heard the term "catholic shame", as roman catholics are known to be ashamed of human nature to the point it's become a meme/phrase. My mum was raised by her catholic parents to be ashamed that she was female, that by the simple fact she has hips and tits, she's some kind of temptress, or whore of Babylon, or some kind of supernatural harbinger of sin (as she could be simply walking down the street and "tempting" men) like a succubus. Thankfully she recognised this mentality for the bullshit it is and was, and was intentionally very open about talking sex and sexuality with me. She's never been quite as comfortable with sex and sexuality as I am, but as she deliberately never raised me to think basic, normal and healthy human nature was something to be ashamed of, I've never felt guilty having about having sex drive. In fact, she's said before that my comfortableness has forced her to be more comfortable, which she's grateful for (old religious hangups Grin).

    The very small/petite girls I've been with have preferred more than one finger (usually two). But that's my experience. And not a single one of these people were you, so who the fuck cares. As long as you are comfortable with, and satisfied (but hopefully still willing to explore) your sexuality, I wouldn't worry about it. Whatever works for you.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #110 - July 26, 2017, 10:39 PM

    A general tip for people just starting to discover their sex life - as this made all the difference for me recently: Use lots of lube! It really helps.

    I am still getting used to the sensation of sex, and without lube I do still find it very painful even though I've had sex multiple times now. (I first had sex few times as a sixteen year old - those times had a lot of guilt attached to them - and more recently I've had sex as a twenty-two year old since becoming an ex-Muslim and rejecting the idea that I need to feel guilt about these things.) I am on the smaller side and have always found more than one finger very uncomfortable (so taking anything the size of a penis was naturally going to be tricky in terms of logistics) but using lube has allowed me to enjoy the feeling of a moderately-to-well-endowed partner a LOT more than I can enjoy penetration without it. (Even when I am already naturally wet down there.) Of course sex is about a lot more than just penetration, but this tip helped boost my enjoyment of that particular aspect.

    Just wanted to share in case it helps someone!


    Lube is definitely needed! It's one of the first things me and my boyfriend did. We went out together and bought lube and condoms.

    My first time I really needed to relax, but even now there's a bit of pressure at first so I normally shut my eyes and breathe and it helps. Tensing up will make it more uncomfortable, but sometimes it's just a reflex. Taking it slow is always a good idea, and foreplay of course. I find I can take two fingers after I've been warmed up.

    I also had a bad experience getting my first smear test. The nurse shoved a huge plastic thing inside me, no lube. I screamed and she had to take it out and couldn't proceed. I haven't been back yet, I know I should but it really scared me.

    My first few times having sex I cried. I don't know why. I felt overwhelmed. My boyfriend thought maybe shame, but I didn't feel shameful. I did google it after and I know I'm not the only one.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #111 - July 26, 2017, 10:46 PM

    Yes, I have called the Karma Nirvana helpline once so far, just to be able to discuss my situation with a third party, and they have been so helpful in terms of allowing me to recognise that my parents' coercions are not okay and that it's not my moral obligation to fulfil them just because they feel like their honour depends on these arbitrary things.

    And we don't have to have a yelling screaming argument to be brave. Like in The Shawshank Redemption - the guy who quietly worked for years towards escaping the prison wasn't confronting anybody, but he was brave for taking the many small risks that he did which ultimately enabled him  to leave. Your bravery was in your recognition that you wanted something different and the fact that you took the initiative to get that, despite the personal cost to you. <3 You guys, and other people I've talked to, have helped me realise that confronting isn't always necessarily the best course of action anyway. If I tell my parents to their faces why I'm leaving, they'll be forced to respond in the moment and any answer they give me will naturally come from a place of extreme emotion. What are they going to do at that point apart from say the equivalent of "No fucking way are you leaving!!!!", lapse into hysterics, emotionally blackmail me and even physically try to stop me? If, on the other hand, I just leave quietly and let them read a letter explaining things instead, at least they have time to think because they're not under time pressure to shut down their daughter in the next five seconds because she's daring to challenge them verbally and is about to walk out. By the time they read the letter, anything violence/blackmail/hysterics might have helped to prevent will already have happened. Sometimes we just have to take the smart path which is most realistically likely to help us achieve our goals in the long run.


    Even with the whole leaving home thing, you know when you see ex Muslims or other similarly brave people, speaking out etc? I couldn't do that. I'd rather just live my life. Of course it's also shyness with public speaking, but I do commend those who come out and speak.

    That's also why I won't go back to my family home for a visit. I'll meet only my mum or sister somewhere else. I fear I'll be stopped from leaving that house if I ever go back. To me it's a prison and it just reminds me of being pretty much shut in there all my teen years.

    I like karma nirvana, because even when you are doubting things aren't normal, they are there to say no, it's not right and you should be able to live your life without others saying you need to do it their way. They were a great help when I had problems with my older brother last year, but it turns out he still thinks the way he does. At least I know he's wrong.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #112 - August 10, 2017, 04:01 PM

    There is a condition called vaginismus. It's when he muscles of the vagina tighten up when something when anything enters it (tampon, finger, and definitely penis). The cause is not known. Progressive desensitization is what is recommended as treatment. Also on Amazon, you can get these vaginal dilators that help make your vagina get more comfortable. As you become comfortable with one size you can increase it to another. And yes, use lots of lube when doing these exercises.

    Here is a WebMD article on vaginismus.

    http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginismus-causes-symptoms-treatments


    Sorry for replying so late, but this is really helpful information! I appreciate you sharing and I'll definitely look up those dilators if things don't improve soon just by consistently using lube! Cheers buddy
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #113 - August 10, 2017, 04:13 PM

    Lube is definitely needed! It's one of the first things me and my boyfriend did. We went out together and bought lube and condoms.

    My first time I really needed to relax, but even now there's a bit of pressure at first so I normally shut my eyes and breathe and it helps. Tensing up will make it more uncomfortable, but sometimes it's just a reflex. Taking it slow is always a good idea, and foreplay of course. I find I can take two fingers after I've been warmed up.

    I also had a bad experience getting my first smear test. The nurse shoved a huge plastic thing inside me, no lube. I screamed and she had to take it out and couldn't proceed. I haven't been back yet, I know I should but it really scared me.

    My first few times having sex I cried. I don't know why. I felt overwhelmed. My boyfriend thought maybe shame, but I didn't feel shameful. I did google it after and I know I'm not the only one.


    Oh gosh, I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that with the nurse! That would leave me really shaken too. You'd think they'd be a bit more considerate with such a sensitive part of the body! Maybe next time you go, speak to the staff member beforehand and let them know you had a bad experience last time and you'd appreciate it if they were a bit more careful.

    I didn't cry but I totally can see why it might be overwhelming!

    I've often heard about women wishing their partners would last longer but my last sexual partner took quite a long time to get done and to be honest, maybe because of the soreness, often I was wishing it would be over quickly so we could just get to the cuddling after, which is not what I expected to be wishing! I enjoy the physical proximity and intimacy, but getting penetration to work in a way that feels right for me will probably take some practice.

    Also, does anyone else feel like sex puts a lot of pressure on their bladder? Sometimes I feel uncomfortable during sex because it's making me feel like I need to pee, even if I've been to the toilet several times before as a precaution!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #114 - August 10, 2017, 10:58 PM

    Hi Xainab,
    Check this out re your bladder/vaginal difficulty: staphysagria homeopathic remedy. I would recommend getting 12C or 30C potency. You might be able to get this from a health food shop, otherwise try Ainsworth Homeopathic pharmacy or Nelsons or Helios, all in London. Though the homeopaths there may recommend something different. For example Thuja or Platina, where the vagina is ultra sensitive.

    I came to homeopathy late in life, and it's been enormously helpful, mainly for emotional but also physical problems. It's changed my life, totally.  Chilling It worked when nothing else would.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #115 - August 14, 2017, 04:38 PM

    Hi Xainab,
    Check this out re your bladder/vaginal difficulty: staphysagria homeopathic remedy. I would recommend getting 12C or 30C potency. You might be able to get this from a health food shop, otherwise try Ainsworth Homeopathic pharmacy or Nelsons or Helios, all in London. Though the homeopaths there may recommend something different. For example Thuja or Platina, where the vagina is ultra sensitive.

    I came to homeopathy late in life, and it's been enormously helpful, mainly for emotional but also physical problems. It's changed my life, totally.  Chilling It worked when nothing else would.


    If I'm honest, I'm skeptical about homeopathy, but thank you for your suggestion nonetheless. I'll read about it Smiley
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #116 - August 14, 2017, 04:50 PM

    Another update, guys, and as always, your honest advice will be warmly appreciated. ❤️

    So my first paycheck from my new job will come in mid-September. Originally I planned to move out after my current two-year post finishes, but I am now wondering if it may be better to come clean to my family in writing after my paycheck comes, and just move out sooner than later - rather than prolonging this suffocated life of claustrophobia and pretence for two more years. The only thing is: if I move out so quickly - ie: after getting my first paycheck, my parents will still know my place of work, even if they don't find out my new address. The idea of them showing up at my place of work and causing conflict does make me anxious, but I think it might be easier to get this damn confession over and done with instead of playing fake Muslim for another two years.

    Am I being utterly reckless?
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #117 - August 15, 2017, 02:16 AM

    I don't think it's reckless. Sounds very reasonable actually.

    What kind of trouble do you think your parents might be willing to cause you at work?

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #118 - August 15, 2017, 08:31 PM


    I don't think it's reckless. Sounds very reasonable actually.

    What kind of trouble do you think your parents might be willing to cause you at work?


    Thank you for your reply, Asbie. I guess I'm just anxious that they'll show up there at closing time and try to order me to come home with them, or otherwise emotionally blackmail me in some way - because they'll know I'll find it difficult to walk away when they're talking to me directly and probably even crying and saying things like: "How can you abandon us like this? How can you ignore us like this?" They're my parents, after all. They could also follow me to see where I go after work, I suppose. It kind of scares me that I'm sitting here thinking I don't know how far they might go. Might they become violent? I don't know. How would my dad react to the knowledge that his daughter not only took her scarf off, but is freely mixing with men after work? It worries me that I genuinely don't know what to expect. Leaving home and doing all of this openly will be the most rebellious thing I've ever done in my life, the greatest line I've ever crossed. :( So I honestly don't know what to expect.


  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #119 - August 15, 2017, 08:39 PM

    I'll most likely post this question in the 'advice' section as well, but since it's a natural progression from my previous situation, I'll raise it here too: I was wondering if anybody who did move out of their parents' home against their family's wishes has any advice on issues to do with first-time renting, such as references or securing a guarantor? Because obviously my dad ain't about to be my guarantor... and that's such a huge thing to ask of anybody else :/ How did you guys deal with that?
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