In the last few weeks I have been staying up late at the computer, my phone has been buzzing at all times of the day and night, and I have been reading Qu’ran more than usual.
For the past few years Pornhub, the world’s biggest porn website, has been publishing an annual review of its statistics. Some of these are truly staggering. In 2017 the site had 28.5 BILLION visits, and received 800 search queries A SECOND. To watch all of the videos uploaded last year would take 68 years of non-stop viewing. Ouch!
There are two things you can say about this:
- Lots of people are watching a lot of porn;
- Good on Pornhub for bothering to look at the statistics.
Of course, the reason they have invested so much in analysing their vast amounts of data is so they can work out how to keep their users logged on for as long as possible: the longer someone is on the site, the more adverts they will see and the more money Pornhub will make. It also helps that statistics they produce are really interesting and often get picked up by the media which can’t be bad for publicity.
I visited Pornhub to do some research. Honest.
Do you think my wife will believe me when I tell her that?
When I typed “Muslim” into the search box there were 1,861 results. I didn’t watch any of the videos (honest) but looking at the first page of thumbnails they seemed to be a mix of professional movies made by big American producers (in which the actors and actresses were pretending to be Muslim) and home-made amateur videos of, I assume, real Muslims.
So, who is watching Muslim porn?
Well, that’s a hard question to answer. Pornhub have yet to publish a detailed report on the subject so there is no way to know for certain.
But the majority of people searching for Muslim porn will be white men. I feel confident to say that because the majority of people watching porn of any sort are white men. It might be the exotic nature of it that appeals to them, or it could be the thrill of something that they feel is forbidden.
However, I think it is also safe to assume that many of the searches will be done by Muslims themselves. Yes, I know pornography is considered haram, but you would be naive to think that means that Muslims don’t watch it.
Part of being a Muslim is about learning to suppress our basic desires in the pursuit something greater. That doesn’t mean we don’t have those desires.
Just look at Ramadan, the month where we try not to eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset. Denying our thirst and hunger is not done as a punishment, or because we don’t feel hunger like other people, but to teach us what our bodies are capable of and remind us to appreciate what we have.
One for cooking, one for cleaning, one for sex and one to change a light bulb, as The Islamophobe’s Joke Book might read.
Recently, I had one of the most uncomfortable car journeys of my life. It was not a problem with the road or my suspension, but what was on the radio. I was driving my mother-in-law to the shops and we had BBC Radio 4 on in the background as we chatted politely about all the safe topics that mother-in-laws and son-in-laws tend to talk about. After the news, the announcer told us, there was a programme about Muslim attitudes towards sex.
I knew that we had both heard the mention of Muslims and sex – when Muslims hear that there is going to be a discussion about Islam on the BBC they tend to take notice – but we pretended that we hadn’t, out of mutual embarrassment.
After the news, the show started and it quickly became clear that this was going to be more than just the usual, gentle Radio 4 discussion; the first words we heard were from a gay British Pakistani Muslim. The presenter went on to interview several more Muslims about their sex lives. She spoke to couples, Imams and even a Muslim marriage counsellor who had a special interest in sex, purely in her capacity as a professional psychotherapist, we were assured. Continue reading “More sex please, we’re Muslim”