Below is my comments to a blog posting on Sex and Beyond: Saudi Arabia. For those of you who have read my latest novel, Only Love Twice, you are aware one of the characters is a Saudi National who is divorced. I wrote most of that novel with very limited research into the culture. I have since become interested in the culture and read as many blogs as I can find on the subject. This particular posting, which is Post 192, Sex and Saudi One Night Stand, contains information which will come into the sequel to Only Love Twice as well as other information Dr. Al Lily has provided in his blogs. These are my comments to his blog posting:
Let me state right up front, I am not an academic. I comment only on my observations of human behavior and after reading the many comments above. This can be looked at as a hypocrisy or paradox. It is seen in all parts of the world and in all cultures. It appears a devote Muslim will not engage in out of wedlock sex, as they have the same advantage by marrying several wives. If he is not as devote, he may let himself engage in one night stands (and the women may be varied as to ethnicity) or even just have a mistress. In the west, it is not allowed to have more than one wife, which is the law not a religious right. (though the law may be stemmed from religious teaching). Therefore, the mistress is a way of having multiple wives without the actual marriage contract. Religion and how devotedly it is followed has more to do with one man/one woman or one man/several women.
I can see all sides from the woman’s standpoint whether she likes her husband having more than one wife or a mistress. I think she would not like the one night stand as the threat of disease is too rampant in that behavior. Behavior has consequences. I have talked to women who like that their husband has someone else to have sex with as she personally does not find sex pleasurable so she allows him to get his sex elsewhere yet she still has all the other advantages of marriage. I do not agree with this, but it is amazing the number of western women who think like this. I have not spoken to any Arab women regarding this. Many western women tolerate the unfaithfulness of their husband while others would divorce rather than tolerate it. In that, the two cultures seem the same.
Possibly the religious culture plays into it but I think the self esteem of each individual has more to do with it. Some women as insecure and others have strong egos. The same can be said in men as some need the ego building of thinking they can attract women while others are secure enough in themselves they know they can satisfy the women they are married to and have not need for more.
I know this is a simplistic way of looking at it but it is my observation of human natures.
My personal way of looking at the western way of cheating men is this: If you don’t want your man to cheat on you, do everything you can to please him in every way so he has no reason to go looking for his needs elsewhere. This is especially true when it comes to sex. Please him, end of story. There are many and diverse reasons for marriages failing but sex seems to be the major stumbling block. Now before I get called out on my thoughts, let me remind you I was a police officer and my observations come from dealing with domestic problems as they relate to the law. Please him, yes, but you do not have to take physical or mental abuse. That should be the main reason for a divorce, not trivial matters. So to that end I say, Men take care of your wife/wives with honor and dignity so she will take care of you. Please each other sexually. Sorry for the length of this but it is an interesting question and takes many ideas from all of us. (End of comment)
There are many and diverse reasons for divorce, polygamy, and sex outside of marriage. I found it interesting that whether a culture is monogamist or polygamist it struggles with cheating outside of marriage, whether men or women, to be fair, it goes both ways. I think it shows that cultures are not as different as we think. It shows that cultures are still the product of human nature and no amount of religious or cultural pressures can change it. Humans are human no matter the culture or religion. And it is the one thing that seems to be forgotten when we try to deal with different cultures and religions.