The Islamic Sexologist
Read the article at Salon: Sex and the married Muslim
Meet Dr. Heba Kotb, the first certified sexologist and host of a sexual advice show in Egypt. The good things about her are that she promotes a positive view of sex, encourages a healthy sex life, and insists that female sexual pleasure is important. Plus she says all that with a backing of Islam.
However, despite all this, she is hardly a liberal. Her merit is that she talks about sex openly, but the catch is that she inherits most of the conservative attitudes towards sex that exist in Islam.
She calls for women to explore their sexuality, but forbids female masturbation, in essence saying that the way for women to explore their sexuality is by letting their husband do it:
"You have encouraged women to explore their bodies -- does that include masturbation?The woman, by means of instinct, does not need masturbation. She's not like the man whatsoever. It's not a call of nature for her. So that's why I'm not very sympathetic with young women and girls choosing to masturbate. They're ruining their sexual future -- a woman has to remain blank until she gets married and by masturbating she's forming her sexuality."
I think she is outright wrong about female masturbation. And her saying that a woman has to remain 'blank' actually makes me cringe.
What makes me cringe even more? Her saying that homosexuals are "just like the alcoholics and the drug-takers" followed by her outrageous claim that she has actually been curing homosexuals of their disease. The first certified sex therapist of Egypt apparently has a lot to learn about sexuality!
"Sex is one of the things that is forbidden before marriage and outside of marriage; on the other hand, it's allowed within marriage with a lot, a lot of freedom. This creates a balance.""In Islam, everything between a husband and wife is allowed sexually, except for two things: anal intercourse and intercourse during menstruation. One caller said she desired to be penetrated from behind. I got mad because this is a closed subject -- this is haram."
Let's face it. Dr. Heba Kotb is a heteronormative, islamonormative, marriage-normative conservative who happens to very vocal and open about sex but only within the limits she thinks it is permitted. Better than nothing, perhaps, but not good enough to garner the support of liberals.