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Taboo-breaking Arab podcasts shatter silence surrounding sexuality

BEIRUT (AFP) — Porn, masturbation and anal sex: taboo-breaking podcasts for Arab audiences are shattering the silence that has stymied sex schooling at domestic and inside the school room.

“There’s a growing urge for food for relatable content,” stated Hebah Fisher of the UAE-based podcast enterprise Kerning Cultures.

“Stories approximately our physical and intellectual physical reviews is one piece of that.”

Kerning Cultures produces the podcast “Jasadi” or “My body” — released in 2019 “to tell memories that weren’t being informed,” Fisher said.The podcast, which offers with intellectual and bodily fitness together with topics referring to sex and the frame, is only one in every of a developing variety of Arabic audio shows addressing troubles long deemed taboo.

Jasadi is Kerning Culture’s 1/3 most famous display and the quantity of listeners, more than 70 percentage of them lady, has grown six-fold on the grounds that its debut.

Apple named it one of the nice Middle East and North Africa podcasts for 2020 and it’s miles specially famous in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Content created for us, by way of us is in excessive call for,” Fisher stated.
This is “essential content that we’ve all been yearning, to higher apprehend ourselves, this world, and our area in it.”

Taboo-breaking Arab podcasts shatter silence surrounding sexuality
Taboo-breaking Arab podcasts shatter silence surrounding sexuality

‘The first time’
One of Jasadi’s pinnacle three episodes — titled “The first time” — features girls, one from Jordan, the other from Sudan, who anonymously speak the first time they heard about sex and their first revel in having it.

“I don’t realize why we’ve less attractiveness for Arabic phrases for genitals as compared to English,” stated one speaker who suffers from vaginal spasms — a condition called vaginismus.

She said she especially has a hassle with the formal Arabic term for vagina — “mahbal” — because of its proximity to the phrase “ahbal,” which interprets as silly.

The phonetic link has allowed for the term to be used as an insult or funny story — one she frequently encountered as a schoolgirl.

“Not a single word relating to our sexual anatomy is utilized in a normal manner,” she said, reflecting on how rarely Arabic terms for genitals are used out of doors the context of mockery.

Jasadi isn’t the handiest Arabic podcast feeding an appetite for open communication.

“Eib,” or “Shame” in English, produced through the Jordan-based totally Sowt, has tackled debatable subjects, inclusive of intercourse, porn and masturbation, due to the fact that its release in 2017.

“Eib is Sowt’s high-quality display in phrases of reach and listenership,” specifically in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, said spokesperson Maram Alnabali.

The variety of listeners shot as much as loads of heaps in 2020 and has endured to grow this year, Alnabali introduced.

In Lebanon, health practitioner Sandrine Attallah has had to navigate mockery and misogyny whilst discussing sex on TV.

But behind the microphone of her weekly podcast, she serves up straight information, uninterrupted, on topics which includes untimely ejaculation, clitoral orgasms and masturbation.

Her audio display “Hakeh Sareeh,” or “Straight Talk,” has racked up greater than 1,000,000 downloads and streams, frequently in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

“We don’t have enough statistics about sex,” said the sexual remedy professional on the American University of Beirut medical center.

“Even if you get some sort of sex education at college, you will no longer have data about a way to masturbate, or the way to attain an orgasm,” she stated.
“You will now not find out about fetish, or BDSM or anal sex.”

Her target market, just over 1/2 of whom are woman, has grown from 70,000 month-to-month listeners in April 2020 to one hundred,000 remaining March.

But Attallah’s efforts to project general principles round intercourse and sexuality have also been met with controversy.

Over the past year, she has experienced 3 “negative” interviews — the modern day on a neighborhood talk show in March in the course of which male presenters repeatedly silenced her and accused her of arousing the general public.

“It was like a lure. It felt ridiculous,” she said.

“On stay TV, they have been saying I became seducing humans and I become using wrong terms and that my information became beside the point.”

But on her podcast, produced through the Hakawati community, misogyny takes a lower back seat and sexuality isn’t handled as taboo.

“You best examine … It’s actual facts, it’s very instructional.”

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