Sexuality: A Taboo Topic in South Asian Societies

A very taboo topic in South Asian societies is that of masturbation. In fact, young brown girls and boys aren’t even told about masturbation, let alone have the “sex talk.” There is no talk about periods, porn, masturbation, or sex. This is because we come from generations of brown families whose childhoods were spent being constrained. As new generations came, times changed. The 21st century brought in new ideas and challenged old ones. For South Asian families, this wasn't a big deal to them even though they moved to a western country. Parents were still going to teach their kids what was taught to them because they didn't want their children to become “westernized.”


We haven’t become westernized, but now we know – we are aware. Being aware is the greatest gift anyone can have. Knowing about taboo things and studying them isn't bad or “haram,” it's an individual trying to learn about the culture and society.


Muslim women around the world have been told what to do with their bodies for centuries. They have never been in control; they have never had the chance to be liberated. It fills me with so much happiness to say that that mindset is finally changing. But the question is why shouldn't we masturbate? It is not stated in the Quran that Muslims cannot masturbate; however, Muslim mothers have still told their sons and daughters that they shouldn't. As a Muslim woman myself, I would have liked it when I was younger if somebody told me that I have the right to do whatever I want with my body.


Watching porn or masturbating does not make you a bad person nor a bad Muslim, if that is your faith. You are in no way a burden to your family or a disgrace to Muslims if you are sexually liberated. And you definitely have the right to know what is happening to your body. Our bodies are designed the way they are for a reason. Getting “sexually aroused” or “turned on” is something I didn't learn about until my senior year of high school. I mean, I didn't know this “feeling” had a specific name until the 12th grade. I imagine this is how all young South Asians feel. Since then, I have always been a keen supporter of Muslim men and women being liberated. My point is, if we don’t talk about “taboo” topics in our society, nothing will change. You can still follow your faith and do the things you want to do. Religion isn’t suffocation, and neither is liberation.