Two years ago, I was congratulating a young Muslimah on her engagement. She was thrilled about starting married life and you could see the happiness emanating from her as everyone gave her their best wishes.
A few months later, I could tell something was wrong. After some cajoling, she shyly admitted the truth. Her sex life was horrible. In fact, it was fast becoming non-existent. She had been a model Muslimah her entire life. Before marriage, she had never so much as held a non-mahram’s hand, let alone become physically intimate with one. She had eagerly looked forward to marriage as a chance to finally indulging in all the physical intimacy she had postponed for the sake of Allah. But it wasn’t working. Coming from the medical field, she knew all the relevant biology. She could draw and label all the parts of male and female anatomy. She had taken fiqh classes and knew the legal rulings of menstruation and intercourse. But she didn’t know sex. Oh, she knew the mechanics. Insert penis into vagina. Climax. Withdraw. But she didn’t know how to make her husband yearn for her in bed. She didn’t know what he liked. She didn’t even know what she liked! They had begun eagerly but after a few weeks, realized that neither of them was truly enjoying having sex with each other. And so began my impromptu sex skills workshop. I threw at her all the information I’d gathered over years of marriage. Things I’d learned from experience, tidbits I’d gleaned from friends, tips I’d picked up from magazine articles. One thing here, two things there. All those bits had accumulated into a very healthy and robust sex life between me and my husband. I gave her everything, fervently hoping that it would help her in her marital life. A month later, I saw her again. This time she had a gigantic smile on her face. “Please, write this down and share it with other Muslim girls. No one teaches this. We’re thrown into marriage and only know the fiqh and the biology.” I wrote down everything I told her on a Word document and emailed it to her. She shared it with her friends who were newly married. They shared it with their friends. Before long, word trickled back to me that people were asking me to write a book on the subject.