The Islamic way of having sex is lights off.


An interview with Adi.


Artwork by Raul Hidalgo

Adi | Age: 31 | Location: London, UK | Born: Pakistan | Occupation: Taxi driver | No. of sexual partners: 5

Why did you take part?

No one ever approached me with anything like this. When I saw the website I read a few stories. I was fascinated with what other people said and I wanted to contribute too. 


What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?

It all starts back in Pakistan. It’s quite different there. When I was in school the boys were on one side and the girls were on the other. In primary school you’re together but as soon as you hit class 5, you separate. So you don’t really interact with females. I never interacted with females and I felt very shy in front of them. If you saw me back in secondary school I didn’t have the confidence to look at a woman or speak to one. Even if they spoke to me. Then my father decided we’d come to the UK to give us a better life. So we all moved here. I was 17 at the time. 

Once I came here I went to a college. It was a very different environment for me. Coming from a school with no females, suddenly I had females around me! I was so shy. New country, new people, women around. Naturally I had desires but I wasn’t confident enough to even say hello. The good thing in college was that I got to interact with some girls but nothing happened until I got to university. My first girlfriend was Bangladeshi. She saw me and liked me and asked for my number because my friends already told her that I’m very shy - “he won’t talk to you”. As soon as I started talking to her I was a bit more open. She made me feel a lot more confident with everything until we had a bit of a problem - her sister found out that she was dating me - and for Bangladeshi families Pakistanis are a no-go. Bangladesh used to be east Pakistan. She came up to me one day and said it couldn’t continue. She stopped talking to me. I was fine with it - I wouldn’t want to force anything on anyone. 

Next experience I had was with another Bangladeshi girl. We dated for nearly 4 years. I met her through a friend. We did get quite close but she was a virgin and myself too. It was very uncomfortable for her. She did not want her virginity to be broken unless she was married. So we stopped at that, nothing went further. After our breakup I was quite upset. My mum decided that I should get married. I was 25 at the time. My parents showed me a few pictures. Within a month I married my dad’s friend’s daughter. I flew to Pakistan and got married to her. My first sexual experience was with my wife. That was good but I did not explore myself completely until I met someone else. It happened while I was married. With my wife when we had sex, it was only to have a child. We didn't really enjoy it. It was just to make babies. So. I found out more about myself when I met a Portuguese girl. I met her at work. I used to work as a manager. Everyday she would put a coffee on my desk. She’d put little messages. She did say to me in the office once, that she wanted to talk to me. I said, “go for it.” She said she might do something that might upset me. I said, “it depends but it’s hard to upset me”. She said, “are you sure”. I said, “sure”. She said she wanted to kiss me. She then kissed me without a yes or a no. It felt good but because I’m a manager I felt that maybe it was a power thing. That she knew I’m in charge, the most powerful guy in the building. I felt that maybe she wanted to use me. She would tease me. I knew where it was going. She did eventually say that she wanted to fuck me. I didn’t say anything to it because I liked her too but not to the extent of going crazy. One morning at work she gave me an envelope. She told me to open it when I’m alone and when she’s not around. So when I was alone I opened the envelope and it had a copy of a hotel booking. And a little note - “if you want I’ll be there. If you don’t want, just don’t turn up.” It was a good 2 weeks ahead which gave me good time to think about it. When the day did come I decided to go and see her. And that was the first time that I experienced some things that I’ve never done before. She was the one who got everything started off. I never had a blowjob before. She gave me one and I definitely did enjoy it. I think I was 27 at the time. I was a bit of a late starter. The experience I had with her was a lot more intense than with my wife. Intense in the sense it was like we would keep on going. The aim was for us to pleasure each other. We spent 4 hours. I’m not joking. Very honest. We did it 5 times. Even I have no idea how that happened. For the first time it just kept going for some reason. I did see that she was enjoying it a lot. She was quite wet. I’ve never experienced someone like that. We would meet once a week. It kept going for at least 2 months. The sad part is she turned to me one day saying she was pregnant. That’s where I turned to her and I said, “nothing like this should have happened.” We did not use a condom because she said we didn’t have to. She promised me she was on the pill and that it couldn't’ happen. But it did happen. We couldn’t control it. I wasn’t happy. It put me into a place of worry. Like what’s gonna happen if the child is mine? It could destroy my family. She turned around and said there’s nothing for me to worry about. That she would take care of things and go ahead with giving birth. I think she wanted to go back to her life with her boyfriend she lived with. She spoke with her boyfriend and apparently he was happy. I found out later on through work that her boyfriend wasn’t capable. She has a problem as well in her blood. Something to do with white or red cells that harms the fetus. For her to get pregnant is not safe for the baby. It kills the baby. She was aware of all of this. She was at work and I could see her belly growing. Until she decided she would leave the job and go into maternity. She left the job. I tried to contact her many times but she never responded and I left it at that. When the time came when she gave birth I heard from a colleague that she was rushed to the hospital and gave stillbirth. I believe in karma and think she wasn’t honest with me. She had to give stillbirth. It brought me closer to my family all this, somehow. But I also felt selfish and I wanted more for me. 

All my experiences have been after I married. They were quite good overall. There was one brief experience with a Romanian girl who was a friend of a friend. She wanted to work in the hotel I worked in. We exchanged numbers because I was supposed to interview her. We spoke a few times. She did not get the position and went back to Romania. After 1 year she came back and she texted me saying “I’m here and I’d like to meet you”. I agreed and I went to see her. She was dressed up quite nice, I must admit. The way she looked it actually turned me on. And she said to me that she would like me to arrange a room. Very forward. Again it’s one of those things where I was in a position of power. They either like me or I have a good position, I can’t tell. It’s been mostly at work or people looking for work. I did the arrangement because on this occasion I had desire for her. She came to see me. I took her to a hotel. She was wearing a long coat. She said she had a surprise. When she opened the coat she was pretty much naked. She made special arrangements; she wanted it to be special. She had very nice lingerie. Very nice bra and knickers. Stockings. Everything. She looked very nice. We spent the whole night together. And that was the only night we spent together. The whole next week she was texting me that she is in love with me. That she wants me or nothing. We got quite close to each other but that was the only experience I had with her. 

What were the aha moments in your sexual journey?

I’ve been seeing someone for the past year. She is aware that I have a family and she’s OK with it. I know she has someone she lives with. An experience I had with her one day, I’ve never had before. That time, we were going out with friends. We had a couple of drinks. I think I had a bit too much. She said she wanted to have sex too. But I wasn’t happy the whole evening because she didn’t give me much attention. When we were at the bar she spoke to some guys. Not a problem but I felt upset. Maybe because I have some feelings for her. I was kind of upset. When we did eventually go back to the place, I still had that in my mind. I questioned her. I wasn’t happy that I was just sitting on my own while she was talking to other men. She said, “don’t be jealous, they offered me drinks but I didn’t take them.” We left it at that but I was still raging inside. We started to have sex and I was a bit harsh on her. I could see that she liked me being a bit aggressive with her. I didn’t get a red signal, it was all green. I kept on going. I could see that she was enjoying it. I was quite quite hard on her. I would grab her. I wouldn’t let her move. When she was giving me a blow job I’d push into her. When we were doing it she told me to do whatever made me feel good. So I grabbed her hair as well. I did at some point twist her neck and I heard a click. The next day when we spoke to each other she said I left a lot of bruises. I was shocked to see what she showed me. Bruises everywhere. Her boobs, arms. She was perfectly fine with it. She said it was the first time she had an orgasm in her life. I didn’t know why it never happened before. Usually a session for me lasts 15 min but with her it’s always at least 45min. And to be honest for that 45min I don’t release. I have no idea why but it just keeps going. She says she never experienced that before. She’s always asking me how I can you go for that long. I always say it’s nothing I’m doing it’s just how it always is for me with her. With anyone else I just want to finish. But with her I actually do stop myself because I want it to go on because the feeling that she gives me is a feeling no one has given me before. She tells me to use her as I want. No one has said that to me before. She’s more concentrated on what I like. Even though it’s one year, we had a conversation. She’s more open than anyone I met before. She wants to try different things. She even said to me ‘oh if you want it in my ass, you can. I never have done it before and I’d like to try it with you.’ With her I feel a lot more open and I feel like I should try. From what I heard it’s not the best experience but it’s an open door. If we want to we will. She said she wants to do a lot of things. For her I’m her 5th guy and for me she’s my 5th girl. She says to me that the things she’s experienced with me, she had not before. She says she never experienced a circumcised penis, but in our religion it’s normal. She says she likes it and it feels better to her. We both feel we never had the experiences we have together, before. She said she wants to experience more. She said she’s shy with me. She feels she’s discovering herself with me and that she wants to do things with me. I feel like we have a relationship. After 4 years of my marriage we had a bit of a breakdown with my wife and since then we’ve not been active with each other. It’s probably once in every 3 months that we do it basically. But it feels like something we have to do because we are married. I’m only staying because I have 2 children. 

We had a lot of arguments because of financial reasons mostly. One day she saw messages on my phone with other women. She unlocked the phone. She was upset. When she confronted me I did state to her that she is the one who never wanted to marry me or liked me. That she is only together with me because of the children and that she doesn’t want to go back to Pakistan. In that moment I felt like there is nothing between us. That we are just living together. I always ask her what she needs. Even in sex. I never get that from her. If you have a wife looking after you, why would you go for anything else? It’s mainly because of that reason that I’ve had experiences away from my home life. It’s mostly lonely at home. There was a time when all these arguments happened. I purposely started driving so that I could stay more outside of the house. We’ve had conversations about whether we should stay married but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my family. She doesn’t have any family in the UK so I feel bad. I don’t want to leave her like that. I want to own up to the responsibility. If it was mutually agreed, I’d split up. Right now I’m the sole provider. If I go, how is she going to look after herself? If she can’t look after herself how can she look after the kids? She is studying and she is working so maybe one day it will change. 

I do feel trapped. I have that feeling everyday. If I was living with the partner I have right now, it would be nice. I feel that for men, we work hard to make a living. When we come home at least we want some peace of mind. With my marriage, I don’t get it. Even though she is at home she expects me to do things all the time. I am 34 now. I don’t need to be told to do things. I don’t mind doing them. I like being someone who is explorative than someone who just isn’t interested. It’s hard, honestly. I deal with all this on my own pretty much. 

I have spoken to my parents about my marriage. They said to do whatever I decide. Even if I walk away, they would look after the children. I have that support. They know what I’ve been going through and they know how I am. I am very family oriented. I’d do anything for my family but I feel like I should have the respect and I don't feel like I get it. In front of my children she says, ‘your dad is not a good person’. Things like that in front of my children. It’s one of those things. We live a luxury flat. I have a nice car too. It’s one of those things I have a VW but not a BMW. She is very materialistic. She’s very much into ‘they have that but we don’t have that. Even though I’d say we have a very good life. It’s basically about the children.

My partner she isn’t married. She is looking at people having children. She’s only 28. She feels like she wants children but with me. I don’t know what will happen. If it has to happen then we will see. It depends on the moment. If I could walk away from my family I would do that. I feel like I have a deeper connection with her than with anyone else. I feel trapped though. I have feelings for my children and I can’t just walk away. Even if I walk away I would never break my connection with them. I’d want them safe and happy. 


What does sex mean to you?

I think it’s a connection. Some people say it’s just something that we do. But I feel like sex is a connection. That’s what my opinion. It’s a moment between two people. You get to explore each other. 


What’s difficult about sex?

I guess talking about it is the most difficult part. I just feel if there is something I want, it might not be welcome. That she might feel imposed on. She might just think i’m a perverted old man. With my partner right now we kind of kept it slow purposefully because it will give us more time to know each other, to see how we react to each other. Like when we were talking about anal sex. Who thinks about it. But we had the conversation. Breaking into that conversation was the most difficult part. I did it. It was just a joke. I said to her ‘oh, how would you feel if I stick it in your ass?’. She said ‘why don’t you try it?” I said, ‘are you sure? Have you done it before?” She said, “no.” I said I haven’t either, but if it was something she wanted, that only then. If she isn’t comfortable it’s not something that I desire. We do feel that we have a connection. Even when we were strangers. We still felt comfortable from the beginning. 


What do you most enjoy about sex?

It is the connection I would say. When I’m with her it’s a very different feeling. 


How often do you have sex?

I interact with my partner on a daily basis. We talk a lot still. I guess we meet quite often too. At least once a week. We don’t always have sex. Once or twice a month. She’s coming back after two months so i’m looking forward to that and I hope that she is as well. I feel like I am living two lives. One is my family life and one is my partner. 


Do you masturbate?

I’m not a fan of doing it myself but on certain occasions I do. She’s been away for months. I don’t have any interaction with my wife. So I have been doing it once or twice a week. Just to pleasure myself. 


What specific things (e.g. techniques) have you found, alone and with partners, that have led to more pleasure in your sex life? 

When I have sex with my wife it’s purely because we have to. Mostly it has been to have children. Sex with her is very brief. The aim is for me to release. And it’s done. With my partner the aim is not to orgasm. It’s more like pleasuring each other. For example there is more foreplay. But it doesn’t exist with my wife. That’s the difference. For you to have a better connection it shouldn’t be in a hurry. I think both should take their time and enjoy each other. Then when the time does come then you can release yourself. 


How do you see sexuality portrayed in the society and how does it make you feel?

Pakistan being an Asian country, a Muslim country, things are very different. The Islamic way of having sex is lights off. You don’t see each other’s bodies. You only take your trousers off. To expose your genital area. You have sex and that’s it. Over here you’re not bound to those boundaries. You’re more open. It’s more of a connection. You need to enjoy each other. I don’t know how to explain it. You won’t enjoy yourself unless you have foreplay. I don’t think you’ll enjoy the sex. That’s what differs with both cultures. Personally I’m not a fan of lights off. You need to feel each other. If you have clothes on you cannot get that feeling when you’re completely naked. I guess things are more open here. More open to explore. I think that is important. For you to explore you need to have some sort of freedom. In Pakistan you cannot hold hands even with your wife. If you do the police will stop you and you’ll have to bribe them. Here you could be kissing in public and the police won’t stop you. Kissing holding hands it’s not as harshly policed here as in Asian countries. In my opinion to feel for someone you do have freedom. Freedom outside and inside of yourself. 


What advice would you give to others?

When it comes to this topic, I would say that you won't’ be able to explore yourself unless you open yourself to opportunities. You only live once. You won’t live again. You might as well enjoy it while you can. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion anyway. In the UK it’s very multicultural. There’s a lot of Pakistani people who are getting married or going out with non-Pakistanis. I do feel there is a change happening slowly.


Is there anything you want to explore?

Not anything specific but I want to keep exploring. It’s hopefully something that will continue. I’m more confident with her than with anyone else.