Iranian Youths Chat About Love And Sex
Sharq, Daily Newspaper,
Jun. 30th, 2004, Page 1
Author : Omid MemarianWord
Iranians are frustrated about sex as they do not know how to inform their children of this instinctive need. Two Internet pal-talks have organized a conference to let the youths talk about sex and love. Iranian Feminist Tribune and Iranian Girls were the two "pal-talks" (chatrooms) who let Iranian youths debate "love and sex". Such Internet facility allows different individuals join the conference but anyone who speaks grossly would be automatically logged out.
Nearly 120 Iranians from different parts of the world joined the conference to debate "love and sex". Iran-based Mahsa and the Netherlands-based Mojdeh managed the deliberations. They noted that the chats are meant for reaching specific goals and they recommended the participants to avoid marginal issues. The participants are willing to make their words public. For a society where more than 60 percent of the population is under 30 years of age "love and sex" represents a vital concern. In public, social taboos pose obstacles but Internet eases restrictions to let us hear the others. Mahsa poses the first question: "Is love from a sexual origin?" Participants are known with different IDs. Somebody says: "The answer differs in various atmospheres..." He/She wants to go ahead but disconnection comes up. Nader from the United States is the next one. "Both are the instinctive needs for mankind. Our body and spirit need them. But they are personal issues." "Mehrangiz-4" has been waiting for a long time. She says: "Sex is not separate from anybody. This complicated affair is of social nature in Iran. It may be different in Europe..." Parvin, 50, is based in Canada. The mother of two says: "The mankind is a social organism and we cannot ignore the social aspect of sex. The atmosphere is also decisive. In Iran, we see forced marriages. It is natural for a girl to get married but being forces to marry is something else. So we cannot review this issue from a personal standpoint only." That is when a bug joins the conference to say irrelevant things. He/She is kicked out. The number of participants is on the rise. Mahpareh says: "We look into sex as a social issue while it is always private in Iran. Nobody knows the obligations and restrictions." "Niloufar-35" wants to join the deliberations but she fails to do so. The Internet connection is not good while many are trying to join the talks. A London-based adolescent says: "For me, sex is both personal and social. It depends on our points of view. I think that love and sex are separate. But it would be better if they go together."
"The relations between parents are very important. It would be of great help to educate the people about sex. I know well that it is still a taboo in Iran." Meyestan-100 is a girl who does not like to reveal where she is based. "A 14-year-old girl may fall in love with a boy of the same age here (?). According to a research, the girls who have sex with the boys in low ages will face depression and other problems." Maryam, 26, is based in Tehran. "I know myself pretty well. My experiences tell me that love and sex can take place separately. But sex can be an exalted symbol of love. Both are needed in the life and we cannot renounce them." She says she prefers to marry a man who has experience of pre-marital sex. But Ajin, 16, from Frankfurt highlights the important role of families. "We should be able to speak with our parents easily about sex. It is difficult in Iran and the children don't know how they can deal with this issue. I don't know how sex takes place." Mehrangiz-4 says: "Those who promote sex freedom and those who restrict sex are alike. My sister who is in Tehran says many girls are trapped in prostitution not because of poverty but because of promotions. " "Both groups deny the women their rights." "Where does sex go in absence of commitment," she tells those who promote sex outside the country. "Sex is not like eating. Sex will destroy everything if moral criteria are ignored." Several individuals join the conference and claim that Maryam is influenced by social restrictions in Iran. This is the pal-talk and everyone is free to talk. Niloufar, 40, endorses Ajin's words and says: "Knowledge of sex is important. We should distinguish if we are in love or we need sex. Many majors cannot understand this. Our girls face repression if they talk about these issues while the boys are free. Of course culture is important. Ajin was right in saying that we should comfortably talk with our parents and friends about sex. The families should provide the grounds for such issues. We cannot suppress sex otherwise we will face consequences. We should not be afraid of the questions posed by our children about sex." Shadi looks into the issue from another standpoint. "The boys complain that the girls are seeking husbands only while the girls complain that the boys want nothing but sex. The girls say they cannot trust the boys." For her part, Mojdeh turns to the family and the society. "The society is responsible about sex. The children should learn about sex when they are at the primary school. Free sex is different from debauchery and revelry." Mahshid, 3, is in Sweden. She learnt nothing about sex when she was in Tehran. "Many Iranians focus on films and that is the worst option. Nobody can bar the youths from doing so because there is no other choice." Bifrough says: "The girls complain that they are used as a tool to satisfy the boys. That is why they are after marriage. Iranian boys always prefer virgins." "Yaran ra che shod" comes up and says: "I want to say that poverty is not the only reason behind prostitution. I wish it were! The problem has more significant roots." "Haftsang" based in Iran notes that the Iranian teenagers are withheld any information about sex. "The youths know nothing and so they opt for trial and error."
The connections are terrible and everyone is complaining. Anyhow, such problems are not limited to the pal-talks and they hit the newspaper headlines. Recently I read a compelling story. A girl who had reached the age of puberty imagines that she is pregnant! She dares not say anything to her parents and she falls herself off a tall building. Thousands of obscene films are seized in the country. AIDS is ticking like a time bomb and runaway girls abound. The Ministry of Education, the state radio and television and the families should do something.