Getting to know millennials across the Middle East.
How old are you?
Where is your family from?
– Karachi, Pakistan
Where do you live now?
– Lahore, Pakistan
What industry do you work in?
– FMCG; Coca Cola
What religion do you practice?
– Islam, Sunni
What is your sexual orientation?
– Straight (I’m into men in case you didnt realize)
Are you single, married or dating?
How religious would you say you are, and why do you think you feel this way?
– I am not very religious but I believe in my religion. Cant say I practice it much but it exists within me and at times of weakness it gives me strength. Right now my religion is on the sub conscious but as I get older I find myself more drawn to it. Unfortunately I dont know much about it and haven’t read up or know many of the facts which doesnt make me happy per say.
Where do you live and what is it like to date there?
– I live in Lahore now but I grew up in Karachi. Lahore tends to err on the side of conservative more so than Karachi. Its like anywhere else only there is a strong compulsion to get married. Esp for a girl. The society demands that women after a certain age should be looking for a suitor or someone who is ready to commit. This puts a lot of pressure on dating. I for one come from a liberal background and had the luxury to date people since i was 16. However, you cant meet and go out freely and you certainly cant publicize to the world that you are ‘dating’ (even though its pretty much understood).
Do you feel like your engagement with sexuality and dating is influenced more by your family or your friends?
– Nope, its mine and mine alone. All my sexual choices have been mine and no one has really influenced them.
Do you date within your religion only? Your sect?
Are your friends mostly Muslim, Christian, Jewish etc?
– Nope. I have friends from all walks of life who practice (or don’t practice) many different religions.
Are you a virgin?
Were you sexual despite being a virgin (when you were a virgin)?
– Yes, very much so.
At what age did you lose it? Was it a difficult decision?
– 18. An not at all -i wanted to sleep with my boyfriend in college so i went ahead and did it. I realized it really wasnt a big deal.
Were you in a relationship or was it random?
– I was seriously dating someone so I was in a relationship.
Did you have any feelings of guilt afterwards or did you feel liberated?
– Absolutely not. I didnt feel any different to be quite honest.
Do you think you want to end up with someone who has similar beliefs as you do? Are your beliefs fundamentally organized religiously?
– I have always wanted to end up with someone who understands and respects my beliefs. He doesn’t need to follow them in tandem but he needs to realize and appreciate where my mind set comes from. Its always hard to find someone who totally does but if I can find (and i have been lucky to find) someone who understands it mostly, then that works. I am a free spirited person (or so I like to think) so nothing drives me besides me; thus, i cant say that my beliefs are fundamentally organized religiously – however, i am sure that that aspect does come into play as I am a product of the society I grew up in. I have also been very lucky because I have had exposure from a young age so i would say all those things together contribute to the beliefs that exist within me.
Do you identify more with other Muslims your own age or do you talk about this stuff with people of different religions/sexual orientations?
– I have friends from all religions and we talk about all the same things. So no I don’t identify more with Muslims my own age – i can strike up similar conversations with people from several different demographics.
Does your mom know the answers to these questions? Would your parents be mad at you for this stuff?
– No she doesn’t; sexuality and sex isn’t something i discuss openly with my parents. Would they be mad – i don’t know but maybe more disappointed that i didn’t marry when i was a virgin.
What would they probably say/advise?
– They would be silent and violent.