Sexually frustrated Pakistanis:There is a brothel where the brain should be

We are posting this provocative piece by Qandeel Sham, a regular contributor at the Pak Tea House. The views expressed here are Qandeel’s and the purpose of this series of posts is to examine the unspeakable problems of our society – sex or lack thereof, being one of them. As Qandeel puts it: “We keep our mouths shut; we’re good at pretence, all for the sake of social propriety…”

Further contributions on this subject are welcome.

I’m told by reliable sources that there are villages in Pakistan where Rs. 20-50 can buy you sex with a cow. You also have sheep, goat, dog, donkeys, etc. Others prefer their mammals more aquatic, and perhaps someone ought to inform WWF that zooerastia is the reason dolphins have become so endangered along the Indus River.

I like that term, “zooerastia;” because we are most definitely living in a zoo – apparently one that turns us on.

Now obviously there is something disgustingly wrong with a society that pushes a man to fulfil his sexual needs in the form of bestiality. It’s despairing to consider the depths of desperation that would reduce a man to it. And the blind hypocrisy with which everyone ignores the fact, knowing full well how widespread the act is. Skilfully pretending, for their entire lives, that there is no pink elephant in the room, is truly a marvellous quality unique to Pakistanis.


Then there is the jihadi aspirantwho sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, 72 virgins waiting for him at the end of the tunnel (the tunnel he is about to blow up with his Vehicle Born Improved Explosive Device, or VBIED). What propels a young man to become a suicide striker? I’m sorry to say the answer is Freudian, only juiced up by religious fervour. “Houris hamara muntazir hain”, whispered in a very shy, lovey-dovey fashion, is something you get to hear often by these young, virile romantics. I’d laugh, had the consequences not been so tragic.

Out of curiosity and considering Pakistan’s slide into suicide-bomb anarchy ever since the Lal Masjid operation – does all this imply that every blast to hit Pakistan, that kills innocent people, introduces 72 new virgins to heaven? It doesn’t appear to be a fair trade-off, unless those killed in the suicide attack (on Planet Earth) were the same 72 virgins already destined to heaven.

I also think that there might be a strong correlation between increased “Westernisation” in Pakistan and the fantasising of 72 virgins. The perceived impurity of many Pakistani girls – kissing boys or wearing sleeveless or not keeping their gaze lowered in public, or whatever – makes more acute the yearning for a more “pure” kind of girl. Maybe these radicalised boys believe that such “pure” women no longer exist in the Land of the Pure – at least not 72 of them.

A different, but still ugly, way that sexual frustration manifests itself in Pakistan is incest, paedophilia and ‘forced’ homosexuality. There is no doubt in my mind that just about every household in Pakistan would have a story to tell about this. I knew a gay Pakistani man whose uncle would taunt him for being a “bummer.” But it was the uncle who first penetrated him when the boy was 11 years old and when the uncle himself was 27 and not yet “arrangely” married off to a girl.

We keep our mouths shut; we’re good at pretence, all for the sake of social propriety. It’s really quite despicable. Someone in Pakistan needs to open their mouth and lambaste that dirty socio-psychological system which allows these things to happen and then condones it by pretending that it didn’t. God, how I wish there was a super-priest out there somewhere who could exorcise such damning hypocrisy out of a culture.


Filed under culture, Pakistan, sex, Society

29 responses to “Sexually frustrated Pakistanis:There is a brothel where the brain should be

  1. sherryx

    I wish the same!
    There is a need to radically subvert the forced silence on sexual discourse in Pakistan. No one writes about the mushrooming gay urban culture in Pakistan, the increasing frustration in queer sections of society. No one talks bout “Rape”. All discourse on Rape is ideological, ie the debate on Miss Mai case. Homosexual Rape has a strong cultural roots in this area, but literature is virtually non existent. There is a forced silence on “Incest” as well. Cases are hushed up.
    All these are dismissed as “westeranization” though we can trace the cultural existence of these phenomenons esp Homoerotic culture to times where west was not tolerant at all.
    A very good attempt which should be fully supported.

  2. Dude who ever you are you seriously need to get your facts straight its people like who are making Pakistan a bad place to live i m sure your one of the guys who did it with the cows and donkeys are you INSANE and the GAy sex that u mentioned i m sure that happened in your family Aswell….GOD and you have no right to judge any suicide bomber like that u have Noo iDea who they are and where they are coming From…soo KEEP YOUR OFFENSIVE COMMENTS TO YOUR SELF!!!! Seriously Man just think before you write Ass whipe

  3. Viva

    That’s not how you spell Ass Wipe!

  4. Pakistan has become the most confused place on the face of the planet – be it in the streets or in the bed.

  5. Ahmed Chowdhry

    Qandeel – Well written and gets your point through. A closed society such as ours with so many taboos is bound to create conditions for behavior such as the ones you mentioned…

    Imad- WAKE UP!!! We all know what kind of psychos brain wash and turn perfectly normal yet ignorant kids into human bombs…

    Vidrohi – A side question; any links with MKP? Asking out of curiosity…

  6. i find it odd, and sad, that pakistan is the only place in the world where such things happen. i mean, what the hell is it about us dirtyfilthymalepackies which makes us the only really sick perverts in the world? truly we are a nation that should be condemned to suffer in a particularly Edwoodian [sic] version of purgatory.

    personally i think the bulk of the blame must be placed at the feet of pir zulafkar ali bhutta, for allowing the ghatiya, doghli, ill-read, embarrassingly-coutured men of this godforsaken country to raise their heads up from contemplating their penetrated fists and dreaming of using other (more naturally formed) orifices instead.

    you see the result of allowing a jaahil jutt to dream of bettering himself???

    roti/kapra/makaan indeed! blasted poppycock, balderdash and codswallop.

  7. Has

    Interesting attempt to uncover some very strong facts (yes i would say real facts) because there is paedophilia, homosexuality and ‘forced’ homosexuality in pakistan. This is an ugly reality, as average young man & women in pakistan are sexually frustrated, man takes it out on animals and kids as they can not afford to go to a brothel or probably not that often.

    I have got my reservation about the suicide bombing as there are number of reports otherwise, these reports hardly come in the main stream. Even when they do surface up – they are covered up by the government (as they are not allowed to tell the truth) interesting fact, pakistan have more CIA cells (active) then any country in the world not even IRAQ. So i wont want to comment on this issue as of yet.

    IMAD: Did not understand your comment “where they are coming from” as if a muslim commit a suicide it is not allowed in any case no matter what the thinking or motive behind it – state of war or peace.

    There must be ppl who disagree with me but this has to be properly researched and established, as i do not believe a word which comes out of the government or any so called free media.

  8. Ahmed Chowdhry — link he link hey… I am a member.

    kinkminos — if we are to point at a politician for all this hypocrisy, there can be no better person than Zia here. He is the first one to get into the smaller things of the personal lives of the people to impose his set of religious morality, or hypocrisy.

  9. Raja

    Most suicide bombers who blow themselves up don’t do so for 72 virgins in heaven. This is a myth created by the West and some apologetic Muslims who have no clue what is happening in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Suicide bombers, whether in Iraq or Pakistan, are usually those who have seen their loved ones blown to smithireens by Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs and are out for revenge. Simple. Okam’s razor.

  10. I want to clarify that the Imad who posted a comment above is not the same as this Imad.

    This is a brave piece.

  11. I wrote a piece for The Friday Times a couple of years ago on the same theme of our male sexual frustration and what it means to be a man in Pakistan:

  12. sherryx

    @ Raja
    72 Virgins may not be the only factor. But it is a very strong factor.
    A lot of literature has emerged on this issue. Its especially true for Hamas Bombers where this phenomenon has been extensively studied

  13. Has
    what i mean is that for me its very to believe that a muslims are killing muslims i mean who are we to judge these people…i mean i strongly believe that these bombers are not Muslims…and i still completely disagree with this article, and imaddudahmed you didnt have to clarify your self..and viva thats all what you had to say.
    Ahmed i am wide awake its just that how can these people blame everything on pakistan People and i cant understand how can you stand comments such as made by kinkminos this happens all over the world i am sorry i was really hurt by reading this article 😦

  14. Has
    what i mean is that for me its very to believe that muslims are killing muslims i mean who are we to judge these people…i mean i strongly believe that these bombers are not Muslims they might be coming from india Africa…and i still completely disagree with this article, and imaddudahmed you didnt have to clarify your self..and viva thats all what you had to say.
    Ahmed i am wide awake its just that how can these people blame everything on pakistani People and i cant understand how can you read comments such as made by kinkminos this happens all over the world i am sorry i was really hurt by reading this article 😦 what i believe is that Pakistan is trapped and is a victim of conspiracies and i dont agree with the incest and the all the crap about having sex with cows and donkeys i just dont.

  15. Qandeel

    I don’t think I need to argue that bestiality, incest, rape etc goes on in Pak. When normal avenues are closed, deviant ones are tried.

    The jihadi issue, on the other hand, is more contentious. How can you really know the motives of a suicide bomber? You can listen to speeches given by militant leaders to understand what their “sales pitch” is when trying to recruit suicide bombers. Who do they usually target? From what I know, young boys from madrassas or slums. How do they brainwash them? Playing on their sexual frustration is part of it – and I think even what ultimately sells it. To a young man the prospect of 72 houris has to be the most tempting. Some suicide bombers leave behind tapes, which are used as propaganda by militant organisations to inspire more young boys to become human bombs. What do they say in these tapes? In between the “America: bad, Pakistan: last bastion of Islam” spiel, is the recurrent reminder that martyrs are rewarded 72 virgins. You have to ask yourself why it is necessary for them to speak of houris.

  16. Saad Abbasi

    Wonderfully written piece(prose wise),on facts it sounds way off the mark. i mean who would pay to have sex with a cow? Suicide bombers do it because the they want to have 72 virgins?and as if pakistan is the only place in the world where incest and peadophilia and forced homosexuality exists?
    Writting well is a great thing but one should also think well or atleast try thinking about things.

  17. Hameer

    Fantastic! we need to open seals on our lips and have to come out of shyness to speak against our holy country and society’s ill deeds. We being “Muslims” first and then “Pakistani Muslim Nation” should highlight our weaknesses or should proudly announce that we are supporters of animal and homosex because of religious and state taboos on man-woman sex. The majority of adolescents in rural Pakistan recognise their puberty by using donkey. The period between puberty and marriage is more sensitive which might lead our young hustling for Houris. “An Adna Janatee will get atleast 72 and full Janatee will get double and triple along with drains of Shahad, Milk and Sharaban Tahoora”. And I think that Janatee women will be awarded with less numbers of “Gilmans” but blurred and no work done on this issue by our Islamist scholars. Therefore number of young boy suiciders is more than young girls.

    Being a member of marginalised community group i also like to comment that the elite scholars and ruling whites always blamed low caste colour people in our holy Pakistan as non-religious, sex free and idles. Please comment on this issue also?

  18. YLH

    Sexual openness and laxity seems to be directly proportional to peace and prosperity. Perhaps that is the final solution to extremism in ummah.

  19. Zoophilia is quite common in the sub-continent. I have heard of it, not just in rural areas but also urban agglomeration.

    As far as forced homosexuality is concerned, it was much more common in India in Cities. Amradparasti or Aghlambaazi had almost become an epidemic.

    It was in fact, in vogue, and people took pride in flaunting the number of Amrads they had at their disposal.

    Raghupati Sahay Firaq Gorakhpuri and Josh Malihabadi claimed themselves as great exponents of it. But with changing times and interaction of girls and boys growing, it slowly faded out.

    Though it still exists, the situation is not as bad in India as in Pakistan, according to my knowledge. Sexual frustration is such that sex-straved guys do whatever they can, to satisfy their lust.

    The problem with the sub-continent is that:

    On one hand people are getting married very late unlike past when the marriages were solemnised soon after puberty.

    The society of India-Paksitan-Bangladesh is not America or Europe that evolved over centuries. Either we should have stuck our ways or gradually changed things.

    Marriage age was raised but there is little interaction between girls and boys. Rare chance of romance. In West, they marry late but they do date and have sex to calm their raging hormones.

    Here, nothing is available and the sexually frustrated youths spend their entire teenage, dreaming about sex and girls and masturbating.

    As a result the years when they can study, do research and develop their extra-curricular interests, are lost. May be that’s the reason Muslim world doesn’t have many scientists, mathematicians and inventors.

    It is impossible to expect everybody to supress these natural urges. There has to be a way out. Either bring down age of marriage our encourage co-educational institutes ….

  20. sherryx


    A distinction has to be made between forced and consential homosexuality

  21. sherryx

    Firaq and Josh may had relationships with same gender, it cudnt be called forced than judged.
    This part of the world had a historic “pederastic tradition”, it will be very wrong to equate it with with modern homosexuality. Both are different things.
    if you are interested in subject Foucault’s “History of sexuality” is very informative

  22. Sherryx.
    Where did I equate them? But luring underage boys is wrong. Isn’t it. Read poet Zubair Rizvi’s autobiography as to how the duo after a mushaira forcibly took him and his friend to their rooms and had to be rescued by others.

    I have only written about Amradparasti (pederasty) and not adult guys having it in their bedroom. It’s not my business to judge others what they do.

  23. Qandeel you didn’t get education fro any Madrassah for sure but would you like to share how were you brain washed? I mean it was such a pretty childish content I have ever read. Were you paid for it?

  24. 72 virgins

    I often get chance to talk Americans and other nations people who are not Muslims. Most of them are those who follow Bible. They do make sense when they make fun of it but when I see so called educated ppl like you make fun of 72 virgins by copying West then you forget that it was not a Jihadi term. Its mentioned in Quran, it’s mentioned in hadiths. Why do you mock it? if you think Jihadis make fun of it then you are doing same?

    Christians are either ignorant or they do RESPECT their religion that’s why they didn’t make fun of Christian version of Hooris in paradise. Ever read what What Matthew 25 says?

    read here

    did you find any Christian make fun of it?

    Now tell again, who is responsible to brain wash you?

    which American Madarassah did that?

  25. Vandana

    From the comments one can see how much opposition there is even to talking about these issues.Long road ahead Qandeer,I am afraid.

  26. saadiam

    Informative, though disturbing post. I have a question: why do you think our people are sexually frustrated? We find it ethically correct to snub over-exposure and vulgarity in society, which is rampant in the West. So where lies the solution?

    Blogging at

  27. Zia Ahmad

    Qandeel Sham vehemently lodges her complaint against sexually-depraved tendencies in Pakistan and has recorded some interesting observations in this article. I am sure sex with a beast can be bought for Rs 20 or maybe less in certain parts of our country, but I fail to understand the writer’s shock at this revelation. Bestiality has existed since, well, sex itself, and historical records corroborate the existence of bestiality the world over. My point being: where the practice indeed speaks of a definitive low in sexual depravation – it is by no means an exclusively Pakistani ritual. It is a general lack of awareness that allows sexual frustration to be released in such a debased manner and we ought to acknowledge that such ignorance is not geographically confined. Therefore, I believe it is slightly ill-conceived of the writer to project bestiality, with such keenness, as a plausible threat to common morality in Pakistan. Perversion exists in all societies, perhaps in much worse forms than in our country, but it manifests itself in singular, unique incidents – nothing you can generalise whole societies upon. And that’s what I understand the writer is attempting to say here. “Obviously there is something disgustingly wrong with a society that pushes a man…”
    Moving on, she carelessly links suicide attacks with the much-abused Promise of Multiple Hoors Syndrome (PMHS, an acronym to which I reserve the rights!) argument. The observation is painfully superficial and fickle and trivializes the gravity of a trend that is clearly far more complex than pubescent sexual longings! Clearly not deserving of such callous labeling.
    And than there’s the matter of the writer trying to present this observation (naïve assumption) as an objective fact. She goes on to provide the readers with exact words the young jihadis speak to each other (“Houris hamara muntazir hain”), straight down to their “lovey-dovey” mannerisms. The obvious thing to ask is how does she know all that she claims to know, where are her references… why be so superficial? Sexual abuse in Pakistan is a pertinent subject that demands an unbiased, critical commentary, but this article doesn’t do any justice whatsoever to the debate.

  28. Milind Kher

    Where are 72 virgins mentioned in the Quran? It is fashionable to say that something is mentioned “in the Quran”.

    Please produce the reference. I have read the Quran end to end multiple times and havenever found this.

  29. The writer tried to blame sexual frustration for each and every problem of us, is it really so? Are we more frustrated than other nations? I dont think so. As far as the issue of relationship of 72 virgins with suicide bombing is concerned, have you ever thought why do most of suicide bombers are alleged to be belonging to a particular area of the country while as you said the whole nation is sex starved and craving.