Partners and Porn

I’ve been hearing a ton of stories lately from women who want to divorce their husbands or break up with their long-time boyfriends because they watch porn.
Apparently their husbands/boyfriends get it on their whatsapps, through social media, or sometimes they surf the web looking for it, and the ladies feel fed up of finding out their mates’ “dirty little secret”.

Now, there are two ways to approach this scenario. You can either shrug it off and not make a big deal out of it, and be confident in the fact that your man is obviously sleeping with/attracted to you. Or, you can fight every time you find porn on his laptop, feel threatened every time his messages beep, and jeopardize your relationship over a 3-minute clip of some girl-on-girl action.

The fact of the matter is porn exists. Whatsapp groups with dirty jokes and sexy videos being exchanged exist. Sexual pictures on Instagram exist. It would be physically impossible, not to mention exhausting, to try and monitor your man’s behavior on the internet when porn is involved. It also begs the question of whether you trust your partner or not.

A lot of women will argue that it’s disrespectful and they feel insufficient and like they’re “not enough” for their partner. They’ve also said things like “If he was a real man, he’d tell his friends not to send him these videos/pictures out of respect for his marriage.”
While that is a fair notion, keep in mind that he’s not pursuing these video-clip stars/Instagram models.

If I had been faced with this dilemma 5 years ago, I would’ve been furious and may have spent nights crying myself to sleep. But, time (and a healthy honest relationship) has taught me that maturity is key when dealing with these sorts of situations. Why would I divorce my husband or break up with my boyfriend over a sex clip or a dirty joke between two guys? Is it really worth it?

It’s still a sensitive subject to many women. I’m curious to hear your opinion about porn when it comes to your relationships. Do you tolerate it or not? And gentlemen, do you tell your friends to stop sending you dirty things when you’re in a relationship?

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The Commitment Phobe

Most Kuwaiti women are purposeful in a sense that they most likely won’t involve themselves in a relationship if the intentions weren’t clear from the start. And by intentions, I mean love, marriage, and a baby carriage.
Sure, not all women are looking for marriage or kids, but being in a stable, healthy, and happy relationship is honestly one of the few joys living in Kuwait has left to offer. It’s nice to take care of someone and be taken care of, and to feel a sense of security and excitement while everything else seems so mundane.

Being in a relationship is fun. You get to discover the person you’re with, and they surprise you every day (in good ways and bad ways!), and you get to understand yourself better. It’s the absolute best when you find your heart-twin, soulmate, best friend, etc.
Eventually the quiet storm evolves into a hurricane of emotions, and you find yourself thinking about him/her before you go to sleep, wondering what it’d be like to wake up by their side, live life together, start a family, what your kids would look like… The whole nine yards.

When you get caught up in those emotions and thoughts, it is inevitable that you’d want to find out if your partner feels the same way. So you ask. And then, more often than not, you get hit with the piano-out-of-the-sky response that crushes every last bit of your matrimonial imagination:
“I don’t want to get married.”

Here, you have two options; you either prod and ask why and formulate a plan in your head to change his mind, or you can go home and cry about it and ride along with the relationship till you give up.

Both are shitty options. I know. Almost every guy I’ve dated has given me the same response, and I know it’s not because of me.
It’s because of our society and the way they look at marriage. It’s because of how expensive being married is, even if you’re the type of woman that doesn’t want gifts or lavish vacations or a fancy apartment. You just want security. You want a best friend to grow old with.

We understand that finding a decent, well-priced apartment is difficult. We understand that you want to be financially secure before you feel responsible for another person. We understand that sometimes you like your space and want to hang out with your buddies. A happy, healthy marriage with the right person isn’t a ball-and-chain, or a golden cage. It’s your life, just the way it is, with another version of yourself that loves you and wants to add value to your days.

I hate that something so beautiful and natural has developed one of the worst reputations in our society because everyone decided to focus on the financial demands that come with marriage rather than realize all the great benefits that you don’t even have to pay a single fils for.
I know women that have gotten married to men they love without asking for a mahar (dowry) or a shabka (expensive jewelry set) or a wedding.

The fact that it is becoming more difficult to find someone who isn’t afraid of commitment is making Kuwaiti women less keen on dating.

Why are men so afraid of settling down? What could ultimately change the negative ideologies that are associated with marriage and commitment? Do any of you face these fears? What are you doing to tackle them?

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Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn!

Sorry I’ve been on hiatus, guys. Too much going on (good things!) and I haven’t found the time to write.

Let’s get personal.

As a Kuwaiti female who dates and deals with the stresses of everyday life, sometimes you just want to unwind. With or without your significant other. (This goes for men too, by the way, but I’m a woman so I’ll write from my perspective.)
There aren’t any places to my knowledge where I can hang out in a bathrobe, order room service, watch trash TV, and run a hot bath while listening to my favorite songs. With or without my significant other.

Booking a hotel room for some privacy and intimate time feels like one of the hardest missions in Kuwait. Why is that? I get society’s whole we-can’t-sleep-together thing, but what if we just want a quiet place to relax where we can guarantee that we won’t be interrupted, stared at, or arrested? What if we just want to cuddle in our sweats and eat pizza? Where do we go?

I once dated someone, and it was so serious that my parents were fine with him coming over for lunch or dinner, or coming by to watch a movie and hang out on the couch. It was wonderful, but after our relationship went sour, I realized that it was best to never let that happen again.

Other relationships I’ve been in have been nothing more than a hunt for a place to hang out, since sometimes we aren’t in the mood to go out to eat or drive around.

How do you go about spending private time with your boyfriend/girlfriend?

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Is Romance Dead?

I’ve previously brushed up on the lack of actual “dating” in relationships in Kuwait, and how difficult it is for men and women to enjoy an outing without the fear of being seen by any family members or friends. Discretion is important to some, and while I completely respect the fact that some prefer to keep their private lives private, it makes me wonder how this lack of courtship through dates is compensated, if at all.

I’ve been in several relationships where the male in question doesn’t like to go out, or doesn’t have the time to plan quiet romantic dates or extravagant outings. The only time in which I’ll half-way agree to such situations is if he is making up for the lack of dates with the way he talks to me or treats me when we are together or talking on the phone. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

Sure, it sounds superficial, but the reality is that women fall in love with what they hear, and men fall in love with what they see.
Gentlemen, regardless of whether she tells you or not, your woman wants to feel special. She wants to hear sweet words and find “good morning, beautiful” texts waiting for her when she wakes up. The thing is, we can’t tell you these things because it will then seem forced, and nobody wants forced texts or sweet talk. Is it so hard for Kuwaiti men to be romantic?

Of course, I won’t generalize. Not all Kuwaiti men have a hard time being romantic. The few that do have this problem, though, blame it on the fear that it could emasculate them.
Let this be a PSA that we do not think you are less of a man when you try to woo us with sweet words and little surprises. It makes us appreciate your bravado, gives us incentives to reciprocate, and makes us fall in love with you even more.
When we aren’t surprised, a void is created, and with that void making us wonder how good it could be, we lose romantic interest in the person we’re with.

Gentlemen, what kind of romantic things do you do for your special lady? If you don’t do so, what hinders this?

Ladies, what emotional aspects of a relationship are important to you, and how do you induce a man into doing these things without making it feel forced?

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DISCLAIMER

Commenting is a privilege, not a right. Any comments that attack me personally, or attack other commenters, or leave vulgar and disrespectful statements will be blocked from commenting and the blog.

This is a place for us to discuss the dating scene in Kuwait and the issues we face, and I want everyone to feel comfortable discussing things without feeling ashamed or attacked.

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Blue Blood

We’ve all had this discussion at least once in our lives; “A9eel, a9eela, mu a9eel, mu a9eela.”
It honestly hadn’t been brought to my attention until a few years ago. I never knew or realized that an epidemic like this existed in Kuwait. My only knowledge was that certain families married into each other because they were rich, and they were trying to keep the wealth “in the family”. I felt so na├»ve when I realized I had barely scratched the surface of the “blue blood” shit-fest.

My family raised me to see everyone as equal, because we are all humans who are born and will die the same way, and will be judged for our actions and not by our family names or tribal origins. So with that notion, I jumped into many failed relationships with men from prominent families without realizing why they ended so coolly. I’d simply shrug off the pain like nothing happened and spend long nights trying to figure out what I did wrong.

It would only be when I found myself in a very serious relationship that this issue would be brought up. He was the most wonderful man to me; smart, funny, educated, incredibly handsome, and treated me like a princess. My family knew about our relationship; even my mother treated him like a son.
After years of being together, he told his family that he wanted to propose, and they firmly rejected the thought. He tried for months, and it put a strain on our relationship. Being together forever was all we wanted, but we wanted his family to be happy for us. The fire fizzled and his parents threatened to disown him if he didn’t stop talking to me. A month later, he got married to a distant cousin, and I never saw or heard from him again.

I’m not one to disrespect tradition, but this is not tradition. It is elitism, and in some cases, racism. At the end of the day, we are all Kuwaitis, so why separate and divide our already tiny society and stop people from being together because one’s family history is deeper than another’s?

Years down the line, I would hear too many stories of girls running away to marry the man they love, or men denouncing their family or having their trust find taken away from them for the sake of marrying the woman of their dreams. It breaks my heart, yet no one is actively doing anything to change the mentality of our elders. Some of our generation have proudly adopted this archaic way of thinking without realizing how stupid it all really is.

The first precaution I take before going into any relationship is testing the waters in terms of how the guy feels about this issue. Thankfully, no one I’ve met after that major incident has felt that he is superior to me or to anyone else. It is still a scary thought, though. I may never fully understand why it separates us, but I hope that the generations to come don’t perpetuate such an awful notion. Especially for the sake of love.

Have you ever been in a relationship where your lineage was an issue? How did you deal with it? If not, how would you address such a subject with the person you are dating?

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“Obin Mind”

One of the funniest things about being a liberal Kuwaiti woman is seeing how men react to the fact that I’m more open-minded than most Kuwaiti women. With that being said, let me define open-mindedness in my terms:

I have many male friends, both straight and gay, and I go out with them when our busy schedules allow it. I have friends that drink and smoke up, and though I do not do those things, I don’t judge them for doing so. I dress how I like to dress, as long as I’m not disrespecting anyone or my surroundings. My thoughts and teachings are not confined to what my society/culture has dictated to me. I like to think I’m well-rounded, and I’m always hungry for new information and ideas.
I’m sure many like-minded Kuwaiti women will agree that with our personalities/lifestyles, dating in Kuwait is an absolute nightmare.

Many, many times I’ve come across men who awkwardly translate “obin mind” to “obin legs”, and this usually happens right after they find out that I have male friends. Just because I have male friends, doesn’t mean I’m sleeping with them. One guy called me relentlessly trying to get me to come to his “apartment” (read: sex pad) so we could “hang out”. I had to block his calls and pathetic texts. Bear in mind, this has only happened with typical Kuwaiti men.

The not-so-typical-yet-still-somewhat-traditional Kuwaiti men are my favorite (/sarcasm). They’ll appreciate my open-mindedness, yet still try to stop me from living my life the way it is. One guy I was in a serious relationship with loved the fact that we could go out and have dinner and not sneak around anyone. But, he wouldn’t let me hang out with my guy friends, and would get so put off by my friends who drank, even though he himself would have some wine or a cocktail when he was on vacation. Judgey-wudgey!

I thought I was successful with the last relationship I was in. As soon as we were introduced and getting acquainted, he told me how much he admired my outlook on life. “Awesome!” I thought, “We’re heading in the right direction!”
A couple of weeks into our relationship, he asked if he could be honest with me about a few things without me judging him. I assured him he could confide in me. He began to tell me about his adventures with cocaine, and how many lines he did when he woke up, and how many lines he did before he went to bed. I laughed, thinking that these were adventures of his younger experimental years. “No,” his eyes widened as he laughed, “This was last week!”

I won’t judge you for who you are or what you do, but I’m not trying to build a relationship/life with a budding cocaine addict. Being open-minded and being a substance abuser are not one and the same. Needless to say, I had a long talk with him about why it was best for us to part ways.

At the end of the day, I’m not a woman who has forgotten about her culture/traditions. Open-mindedness to me means being accepting and understanding, educated, respectful and mindful of others even though their ideas and views differ from mine.
I really hate the way some men see it as a green light to try to get me to do things that I don’t do, or label me as a harlot.

What was your worst experience with the term “open-minded”? What challenges do you face (both men and women!) because you’ve adopted this mindset?

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