Don’t let the headscarves and modest attire fool you, Muslim women have sex too and a new “taboo-breaking” book on halal sex advice just hit the shelves.
The American-born author who goes by the pen name Umm Mladhat, wrote “The Muslimah Sex Manuel: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex” to keep things spicy in her own marriage.
The book is being recognized as “the first halal sex manual for women,” and is being praised by Muslim women’s organizations as bringing a taboo topic into focus in a distinctly modern way.
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The book’s underlying message? Muslim women have a right to sexual satisfaction and an exciting, varied sex life.
“I didn't find any guides to sex aimed at Muslims, women or otherwise. There are plenty of books already on marriage, but spicing up a Muslim's sex life while staying halal? There's nothing,” Muladhat said in an interview with The Guardian.
The book doesn’t shy away from down-and-dirty details — it gives candid advice on everything from how to kiss to BDSM to sex positions. To give you an idea, one of the chapters is titled, “How to be a freak in bed.”
The author has chosen to stay anonymous because she said she doesn’t want to be known solely in her community as the “sex book aunty.” She also wants to remain anonymous from any potential backlash the book might cause.
“Initially, I thought my real name would add credibility, but it's a sensitive topic,” said Muladhat. “Whether it's ethnicity, socioeconomic status or religiosity, people who want to attack the book will invariably do so by attacking the author. By separating my real self from the book, people are forced to deal with the content.”
So far, the reaction to the book on a whole has been good.
“I've received encouraging feedback, but also a significant number of demeaning and disgusting messages,” Muladhat told The Guardian.
“One woman said it's not needed, they learn everything from their mothers. I doubt any mother speaks in as explicit detail as I have.”
Muladhat drew on her experience from 30 years of marriage, along with research to write the book after realizing many Muslim women are married off with minimal knowledge about how what sex is and how to have it.
The book emphasizes that Muslim women should only have sex with their husbands, but also deals with cultural misconceptions that women don’t or shouldn’t enjoy sex.
“Guilt associated with sex is drummed into women from childhood,” Muladhat said. “It's portrayed as something dirty where women's sexuality is often controlled.”
And the book is having a big effect — she’s even been getting emails from men hoping she’ll write a companion book teaching men how to please their wives in bed.
Muladhat said she’d consider it.