September 5, 2013
Homemade porn videos, sex toys, erotic stories and sexual connections are the features of Arabian erotica on Twitter.
Beyond their historical role in the Middle East political changes, Twitter and other social media networking sites have created a safe space for a population pulled between loyalty to culture and natural needs to express a collective wild sexuality. Up to now, a discussion about Arab sexuality is often a classical case study of orientalism: The sexually inhibited women and the lewd abusive men were once the ABCs of a course in Middle Eastern sociology.
Some Twitter posts in Arabic depict an image for the Middle Eastern culture more like Sex and the City with all the actors playing Samantha. Twitter users from the Middle East are generating an unprecedented wild sexual context in Arabic language ... But why Twitter and not another social media networking site like Facebook, for example? The answer might be because Twitter provides a well-developed Arabic interface language, and it offers better privacy guarantees for users to protect their real identity when it comes to a third party (this could be a hilarious joke in the U.S. where every key stroke is shared with President Obama).
On Twitter, stories about the "harems" who are beaten by men seem like stupid jokes, which only Marco Rubio might tell. The real stories on Twitter are told by the "Aunts" a title for a large number of female Twitter users who enjoy treating men like dogs. I followed one A'ma [aunt, a singular for A'mat] with a user name of "Ama N***h"; she happened to have a large number of followers. When she tweeted "Where are my dogs," hundreds of male users who follow her responded shortly by tweeting lots of "woofs." A user by the name of "**** dog" took some time to respond; he tweeted "I arrived late my aunt, woof woof, woof woof, woof woof, woof woof, I must be punished by my aunt, a punishment that humiliates me and insults me."
One could argue that this is no more than a group of women and men who enjoy BDSM; however, the number of Twitter users who engage in this form of aunt-dog relationship is relatively high among Arab Twitter users in the Middle East, which could mark a phenomenon.
Most male users who enjoy being Twitter dogs and most female users who enjoy being Twitter aunts are based in conservative regions such as Kuwait, Dubai or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, one may argue they are tired of the strict distribution of traditional roles, and might have developed a sexual frustration and a desire to reverse the roles behind the closed doors or behind Twitter's anonymous accounts.
Twitter also proves that Saudi Arabia is truly "the Kingdom in the closet." Some Saudi women use Twitter to shop sex toys from Twitter users who offer a secure way to purchase all types of whips and other wild sex toys. They shop sex toys and order porn movies as if they were buying makeup.
Perhaps the group that benefits most from the safe zone of Twitter is the LGBT community in the Middle East who use Twitter for dating, connecting and sharing posts or images that express wild sexiness. Hashtags with Arabic keywords about having a boner or being horny float over Twitter embedded in posts with information about location and sexual preference, and an image of the Middle Eastern man's pride -- the X Large Dick. These tweets allow different groups and different users to connect and follow each other creating larger circles of men-with-men sex groups.
In a region where most people blush if they hear the word "sex" in public, sexual education is finding its way through Twitter. Many doctors and NGOs offer consultations in Arabic about sexual health on Twitter to fill a space caused by the lack of proper sexual education in most Arab countries. Whether it is a question about gonorrhea or HIV, several health providers have Twitter profiles to answer questions by Arab men and women who would not dare to ask similar questions in public. Twitter also provides a platform for HIV patients in the Arab world to share and discuss issues related to their life as "persons living with AIDS" as they are described in the Arab world. I was so happy to read posts by HIV+ persons that demonstrate how Twitter can give them a chance to participate with no fear of stigma. Notably, Twitter allows HIV+ persons to connect with each other. For example, I followed a Poz from UAE when he connected with a Poz from Saudi Arabia, and I read their posts exchanging news and supporting each other. I also followed another Poz man from Saudi Arabia as he was looking for an HIV+ woman to marry; he connected with a Kuwaiti Poz woman, and later, they switched to private messaging, so I guess it is going well.
The spiritual tone of the Twitter posts by Poz users is amazing and inspiring; their tweets express a strong connection to faith. Some of their tweets called upon their community not to judge them harshly and to remember that the core of Islam is Mercy: "If you can't accept us, at least act as true Muslims and have mercy upon us," one Twitter user with HIV writes.