When Munira (not her real name) asked me how I peed with a tampon inside me, I was certain her question was a joke. Then my eyes met hers and I realised that she was entirely serious. “They’re separate holes,” I said, confused that she didn’t already know where her urethra was. “Yes,” she said. “There’s one where you shit from, and another that’s your vagina.” She didn’t say anything else. That’s when I added, “And then there’s the hole where you pee.” At first, Munira didn’t believe me. So I pulled out my cell phone to find an image — but it made no sense to her. “What is that?” she asked. I have known Munira my entire life. Though we didn’t attend the same private school in Karachi, both Munira and I were taught in some of the best educational institutions in Pakistan’s financial capital. I moved to the United States when I was 11, but Munira stayed in Karachi for high school, and then attended a private university in the Midwest.
Under pressure from her in-laws, my mother watched while a woman removed a part of my clitoris on a tarp on the living room floor.
Premarital sex is illegal here, punishable by up to five years in prison.
I never get to talk about sex. I don’t even get to tell young boys that it’s okay to have wet dreams.
Many of the women I know in Pakistan have premarital sex with multiple partners — they just aren’t copping to it.