by Dan Savage
Q: I went to Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, the big kink hotel takeover event in Washington, DC, in February. There was one thing I saw there that is messing with my head, and I hope you can set me straight. There was this lovely little six-person orgy going on with two cute-as-could-be hippie girls and four older dudes. Then these four people came along. They sat and watched — a guy and three women in hijabs and dresses that went wrist to ankle, fully covered. After a while, one of the hippie girls turned to them and said, “I’d be happy to flog you later if you’d like.” The three women in hijab giggled. The whole scene was really sweet, but I just couldn’t get over these three women. I saw them walking around all night, taking it all in. Intellectually, I know there is no reason to think that conservative Islam is incompatible with kink. But my cultural biases make me feel that it is. Or is it possible that covering is their kink? What would you make of that? —Washington Kinkster Wondering
“With all the hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric out there these days, it is tempting to romanticize Islam,” said Eiynah, a Pakistani-Canadian children’s book author who also hosts a podcast that focuses on sex, Islam, and apostasy. “The impulse is understandable, but Islam is another one of the blatantly sex-negative Abrahamic faiths.”
The other blatantly sex-negative Abrahamic faiths, for those of you keeping score out there, are Judaism and Christianity.
“Nothing outside of ultra-vanilla plain ol’ two-person hetero sex within the confines of marriage is permissible,” said Eiynah. So as much as I’d love to agree with WKW that conservative Islam isn’t incompatible with kink, there’s every reason to say that it is. It’s even incompatible with a woman being slightly ‘immodest’ in front of men. Modesty codes are pretty rigid in Islam, and in non-Muslim-majority countries, modesty garments tend to stick out rather than blend in. Which achieves the exact opposite purpose — attracting more attention, not less.”
And when sex-negativity, modesty, and religion mix it up, WKW, the part of our brain that grinds out kinks — precise location yet to be determined — kicks into high gear. That’s why there is Mormon-undergarment porn out there and nun porn and hot-priest calendars for sale on sidewalks just outside Vatican City.
“Islamic modesty has become fetishized for some — quite literally,” said Eiynah. “There’s hijabi porn and hijabi Lolitas. So the people WKW saw could be into some form of hijab kink.”
I’ve seen a few people dressed up as Catholic nuns at fetish parties, WKW, and I didn’t think, “Hey, what are nuns doing here?!?” I thought, “That person has a nun kink.” (Related point: The nuns you see at queer pride parades? Not really nuns. #TheMoreYouKnow)
“Finally, it’s possible they could be a more ‘open-minded’ polygynous Muslim family that ventured into the hotel in a moment of adventurousness,” said Eiynah. “We are all human, after all, with urges, kinks, curiosities, and desires that surface, no matter what ancient morality code we try to follow.”