Editor’s Note: August 2019

An Ethical Procedure of Sexuality

By Shameelah Khan

Part A: The Questionnaire

Quantitative Research: is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviours, and other defined variables – and generalize results from a larger sample population.

The Muslim woman is a consent form. 

I _________________ agree to the terms and conditions of this woman’s body. 

Part B:

Qualitative Research: is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. 

Read the following vignettes and reflect on it afterwards. 

1. This is the part called “Hello”

They sat across from each other on her feathery-white flower-patterned carpet. Their fingers passing along the cigarette in staccato movements. Indian-Flute in the background melting away some of their uncertainties about each other. She was wrapped in her Mustard-Hijab and he was in plain Denim. Their fingers interlocked, dancing in-between the uncertainties of the sweaty-smoky- sensual- room. She leaned forward but he changed the direction of his face, acknowledging a painting on the wall. There were dolphins swimming toward a linear circle of dark blues and greens. He didn’t kiss her. Not then. Not while he felt he needed to respect her with her headscarf on. 

2. This is the part called “stranger”

Their texts became a way for them to have sex with each other. They would only be married in  six months but their longing for each other had intensified. He was strict about it, no video or visuals. He was the son of an Imaam and she was the daughter of a respected Qari, Quranic Reciter. 

Do you feel that, how wet I am for you? 

I can’t do this today.

Why? What’s wrong? 

I want to see you. 

They met at a coffee shop and he told her to get in- they would drive somewhere and talk. He parked the car off overlooking the ocean. She was nervous. The air between them laid thick and heavy against the misty windows of the car. Was this haram? 

What if we didn’t touch? What if we read our texts to each other and touched ourselves, not looking at each other?  

They began to read. 

Then touch. 

Then look at each other. 

Just touching – where no more words were needed

3. This part is called “Love-Making”

She never wanted to be married because she was asexual and the desire for men left a nauseating taste in her mouth. This much she was sure of. Her neighbour would often play music loudly, ignorant to her sacred space. It was not disruptive on most days but today was different because today she had prepared her room to continue with her ritual- masturbation-ceremony. It was a performance. She would take a bath, pray salaah, light some plain white candles, light the incense, place a new sheet on her bed and then begin her process. It wasn’t always easy to touch herself without the performance of it or rather- the ritual of it. Today she had had enough and wanted to introduce herself to the stranger next door. Knock Knock Knock. The music must be too loud. Knock knock knock louder.  Door opens. A woman, in plain black tights on the other side and a sports bra, staring at her with wide eyes and a nose piercing. Hey, I am from next door. Once invited inside, she quickly notices that the room is a ritual itself. There is a process to this woman she lives next to. A process that her body now desired, in every sense of the word. They speak and everything makes sense. She forgot about her ritual that night. 

4. This Part is called “Hurt” 

Her niqaab was tightly pressed in the summer heat, clinging on to her face. It didn’t help that she was wearing a black dress as well. She was on the bus, clutching her bag against her stomach. The couple across her were talking about “swinging” and they whispered when they saw her eyes on them. They giggled a bit too. She pressed on her prayer beads around her wrist hoping that it would absorb the vile energy sent her way from the couple. She thought about it though- swinging.  Two more stops and she would be at the store. The couple got off and looked back at her, saying something about her. Maybe they wanted to swing with her. Who knows anymore what people want from each other. The lady at the till stood dead still, mouth-open. Can you help me? As if she were struck by disbelief unable to move. No worries, I will help myself. She walked over to the shelf and picked out two different vibrators and then some chocolate-panties. Later her lover would devour that. She took some stockings, because most of hers had been ripped. She also needed some new cuffs. This time, she took a really bright red one. The last one was laced with feathers and by the time they were done, the feathers were all over the place. Can you please throw in some of those flavoured condoms and then the large Dildo, the blue one in the corner and then… where are your Kegel- balls? I couldn’t find them where you usually keep them?  Back on the bus, she held her bag containing all of her new toys, lost in her thoughts about when she would get home. Her lover already waiting for her to take off the heavy black dress and remove the veil- unveiling the pleasures of tight lace against skin and an exotic air of freedom to follow.


In this issue:

Poetry:
Allow Me To Sexplain – Bitter Bie
Wholly – Caelin Thyssen
Prayers at Pantheon – Nkateko Masinga
Holy Water – Lilly Perry
Honey, put some soul in it! – Nomthandazo Nxabela
Naked Brown Girls – Miriam Gayize
you me they – Juwayriya Bemath
We only tell black stories to the night – Iyanu Adebiyi
RAIN ON ME – Tristan Night
Chemistry – Claudia Maschke

Film:
Women In The Dark (2015) – Shameelah Khan

Short Stories:
IT – Olufemi Agunbiade
Jane and I – Mbe Mbhele
HOT – jec young

Book Review:

The Alchemist – Melissa Fortuin