نشوة وخيانات وترامادول... حكايات مصريين مع "ليلة إبليس"
This night has a special scent for Egyptians, for it is the first night before the weekend, on which they prepare themselves for intimate relations on what they call the Lucifer's night or in Arabic, Ibliss night. Every Egyptian has their own story, their own pleasure and their own crisis on Thursday night. Um Muhammad, a pseudonym, is a government employee who spends Thursday night preparing for the devil's night. "Thursday night is a celebration for us, it is when we let go of our worries, pressure, financial and life burdens that we carry around, this night has a special significance in my heart."
The Foundation of Relationships
Um Muhammad explains the rituals of her special night: "My husband starts the day with a suggestive smile, and tells me: Happy Thursday. I exchange the same smile, and give him a kiss without saying anything."
In the morning, Um Muhammad prepares her children for school and then goes to work. After work, she goes to a beauty salon and then goes shopping, buying fish, shrimp and vegetables – especially Arugula, which is known to give sexual energy – before rushing back home to cook. On this day, she uses special herbs that ignite desire, especially ginger and nutmeg. Then, Um Muhammad says: "We eat then watch television in a family atmosphere, where me and my husband secretly exchange longing looks. I even let the children have a night off from homework."
Um Mohammad won’t let her husband have her except on Thursday nights, #Egypt’s “Devil’s Night”, she starves him all week, to keep him in check, for sex is the foundation of a happy family.
However, Um Muhammad does not make herself available to her husband on other nights of the week, justifying this by saying: "I do this so that I'm not always available, thus stimulating his desire and passion towards me."
Um Muhammad values the role of sex in marital relations, which she describes as "the foundation of the relationship's stability and the happiness of the entire family."
Conversations about sex life, especially for girls, remain spoken behind closed doors due to the absence of a sexual culture, and sometimes also due to the suppression and inhibition of sexual desires that Egyptian women experience since their adolescence and youth. Accordingly, they value their roles in the kitchen and as housewives more than being sexual partners for men, in addition to the fact that many Egyptian women are materially burdened by their work outside of the house as well as the great effort they expend in house chores, which often leaves them exhausted, and longing for rest more than a passion to have sex with their husbands.
Is Sex Shameful?
32-year old Asma'a is a housewife from a village in the province of Ash Sharqia, who says that she knew nothing of sex except after marrying at the age of eighteen. She was born into a rural family, and was raised by the maxim that "a woman's body is Awra, an Arabic word meaning should not be seen by any man other than a husband. She believes that her "loose clothes protect her from the stares of the covetous", as she was told.
Explaining the sexual aspect of her personality, she tells Raseef22: "As a female previously living at home, and now in my husband's, my life can be summarized as housework, preparing food, cleaning rooms, and ironing clothes."
Some Egyptian men describe sex with their wives on Thursday night as "a duty", they revert to the use of Tramadol, a pain killer, to maintain an erection while under pressure to perform.
Asma'a recalls how she spent her childhood and adolescence, waking up early with her father to prepare food and organize the house. Her mother taught her that "the measure of a good girl in our village is that she is an adept housewife, and it is improper for a woman to reveal her lust or desire for sex."
On her sexual relationship with her husband, she says: "Intimacy happens in different times, and not a specific date; I am often tired from housework and raising the children, I don't particularly enjoy the sexual act, hoping that it passes by, and if I did enjoy myself, it’s when I am masturbating.” Asma'a is too embarrassed to reveal this to her husband.
Meanwhile, 35-year old Adam Mohammed works in an import-export business, and complains of his wife's lack of interest in sex, both in her own character and in her relationship with him. He tells Raseef22 that he got married five years ago, following a four-year long love story. His first year of marriage was happy, and in the second year, his wife came to him with her heart beating from joy telling him that she was pregnant. At this point he felt that the world will give him "another carat of happiness." However, his wife was transformed from one full of sexual passion and desire into an exhausted and tired woman, after they used to have their "Thursday" every night.
Adam tried for months to control his sexual impulses, but failed, and began affairs with several women he knew before marriage, always with a feeling of guilt, regret and longing for his wife. He says: "Every woman has her own flavor and pleasure that is different from the other, and yet I never felt happy or sexually satisfied except with my wife, and I wish that she returns to how she used to be."
Dates and Stimulants
Specialists who spoke to Raseef22 about sexual discomfort and dissatisfaction repeatedly referred to the importance of not setting a fixed date for sex, as well as the need to abstain from taking Tramadol pills, which lead many men to sexual dysfunction. Tramadol is a common drug which is used to help men maintain erections longer periods of time.
Doctor Ranya al-Sha'ar, a psychologist, says that she often encounters cases of sexual dysfunction and impotence, which she views as a result of psychological disturbances and unrest, whose symptoms include anxiety, nervousness, and the psychological pressure that men are subjected to in order to carry out their sexual duties on the specified day of the week.
Indeed, some Egyptian men describe sex with their wives on Thursday night as "the duty."
Adam, a frustrated husband in #Cairo: "Every woman has her own particular flavour and pleasure, yet I never felt happy or sexually satisfied except with my wife, I wish she goes back to what she used to be before we had the baby".
According to al-Sha'ar: "Specifying a certain day or night for sex can cause sexual impotence in men, as they lose self-confidence because of the psychological pressure and stress they are under, whereby they treat sex as a test and not as pleasure."
As for women, al-Sha'ar says that it is the day of enjoyment, the discharge of desires and a "truce" that they enjoy away from life's burdens; a day that they look forward to for emotional satisfaction and sexual fulfillment. Many women who are confronted with a man's inability to sexually satisfy them respond by being estranged or by complaining, viewing it as a lack of masculinity, according to the prevailing culture in Egypt.
Al-Sha'ar advises that sex should not be practiced on a fixed or designated date, in order for it not to become a psychological burden, since anxiety, nervousness and tension prevent the participants from enjoying themselves and reaching the required satisfaction.
Doctor Ahmed Aboul Fotouh, an andrologist, also lays the blame on the "devil's night" for the widespread use of tramadol and sexual stimulants, and many men falling prey to sexual impotence as a result of their anxiety and stress, which leads them to deploy all their sexual energies into a stimulant, without allowing for the natural physiological response of allowing blood to gradually flow for copulation. Thus, the man is transformed into a cog in a soulless machine, who relies on a medical stimulant to achieve sexual desire, without which he is unable to "complete his masculinity" – to use Aboul Fotouh's expression – in a consecutive series of events that can only end in sexual dysfunction.