Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

13 Jun, '03

My son, a soon to be 10 year old came back from school a couple of days ago and told me that they had a talk about sex. They gathered the boys in his class and basically talked to them about the “birds and the bees”. He was so embarrassed when he was telling me what they talked about that he turned beet-red as he was relating his story.

ME: so what did you talk about?
ARIF: stuff
ME: aha, and what was that “stuff”
ARIF: well you know… STUFF!
ME: Oh that. OK, so did they talk about how babies are made?
ARIF: DAD!
ME: I can see that you don’t want to talk about it… fine, so what happens at puberty then?
ARIF: boysgetbonersandtheygrowhairandstarttostinkandtheystarttomakesperm!
ME: really? How interesting. Anything else?
ARIF: girlsstarthavingperiods! Hehe
ME: right, and
ARIF: and when they start their periods they get mood swings!
ME: NOW you know to keep your head down and RUN when you even THINK that your sisters and mother are having it or about to have it! NOW you know why sometimes I come home late from the office!

That was the end of the conversation at that point.

Strange that sex education in our schools (we had ours when we were around the same age I think when the Anglican padre visited the class for a “spacial” lesson.) I had to go through a more technical description at high school.

Traditionally on Thursdays most of the family (brothers, sisters and their kids) gather for lunch at my dad’s house. So typical of me I wanted to stir up trouble at the lunch table. You have to understand that we (Arabs generally) NEVER talk about “these things” in front of our parents and siblings. It’s just not done. Bad form.

What the heck, it could be fun! So here’s an extract:

ME: So Arif had his first sex education (puberty talk) class a couple of days ago!
EVERYBODY: absolute silence, a few red faces, spoons and forks left hanging between the plates and mouths.
ARIF: DAD!
FRANCES (my wife) shakes her head and LOOKS at me.
ME: what? Did I say something wrong?
ME: So Arif, what makes a man then?
ARIF: DAD! STOP IT!
ME: Why? It’s okay to talk about it! So tell me:
ARIF (plucking up a major dose of courage): boysgetbonersandtheygrowhairandstarttostinkandtheystarttomakesperm

faces get even redder! My sister (Abeer) is ABSOLUTELY mortified. Mum didn’t know where to hide her face (saved a bit by not understanding that much English but the reaction was in sympathy to the others), Hanan (#2 daughter) is totally ashamed and tries to hide her head in her food, Kamal (#2 brother) sniggers, Maha (#2 sister) knows what’s coming next, and Amna (#1 daughter) suddenly straightens up � she does this when she’s mischevious, about to attack someone or something. So, this is getting to be an interestingly abnormal family lunch! Wahyhaaay!

ME: yeah we all know that, but what action do you have to do to BECOME a man?
ARIF: DAD! (punches me on the shoulder)
ME: What? I just want to know if you knew? That’s all!
MUM: Mahmoodleavehimalone!
FRANCES: Mahmoodleavehimalone!
AMNA: straightens up a bit more.
EVERYONE: expectant waiting!
ARIF: (whispers) have sex (giggles)
ME: Aha! That’s what YOU think, but there’s something else even more important that you do when you get to be a MAN.
ARIF: mystified
AMNA: and having sex by yourself doesn’t count!
FRANCES, ME, HANAN, KAMAL: laugh our hearts out
MAHA: redder than red
ABEER: trying to find somewhere to hide, absolute mortification!
ARIF: A M I N A H !
ME: Don’t worry about the sex, I’ll take you to Bangkok soon!
FRANCES: OVER MY DEAD BODY!
AMNA: and don’t pretend that you’re having sex just by banging your books against the wall!
EVERYBODY: laughing
ABEER: even MORE mortified!
MAHA: continues to turn even redder if that’s at all possible!
ME: No, it has nothing to do with sex you sick minded boy. You become a man when you start paying your own bills!
AMNA: continues to rile her brother up…
EVERYBODY: continue trying to have lunch
ME: I say tislam yadditch (may Allah save your hands) to mum, get up and start another “conversation” with dad in his study where everyone else joins us again telling him how bad a son I have been!

What fun! I’m glad that my family can actually make a joke of these things rather than completely giving our children the completely wrong idea about sex and relationships.

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  1. Mahmood’s Den · Whores in Bahrain - circa 1936 | 23 Mar, '06
  1. msandersen says:

    MWAA-HA-HA!!!

    You’re terrible, Muriel! (Sorry, Aussie movie reference: Muriel’s Wedding)
    You tell an engaging yarn.  I didn’t think they had that sort of thing
    in your part of the world. (school sex education, that is, not sex itself;
    I think that’s pretty much universal, although there’s a few fundamentalists
    insisting in Immaculate Conceptions)

    Youre are wicked! Good fun! Embarrasing the hell out of your family! LOL!!
     I could never do that, though. My parents were always rather embarrased
    about these things. It’s better now with my dad, but you sense their discomfort
    and grow equally uncomfortable about the subject with them.
    I remmeber asa kid they gave me an interesting children’s book, with cartoony
    illustrations on every page, basically explaining in detail how babys are
    made, complete wit hx-ray vioion as the baby grows and is born.
    A few years ago when I got a chance to go back to Denmark, I decided to look for it, an I did. 

    Martin

  2. msandersen says:

    SexEd

    Now I’m not sure if you were serious about buying Playboy for Arif, heheh. Even in the most liberal countries, few dads would show a porno as a sex education film!! I read a book on a Japanese artist, and in his youth as a student he’d made ends meet by working for the censors. Pubic hairs were strictly Verboten in Japan until recently, so they had a small army of students pouring over imported American girly magazines with electric erasors removing the offending hairs! One time he got so bord with this repetitive tast that he went through and erased all the hair on their heads instead. Bald Playboy bunies!! He later felt sorry for the guys who bought them. Wonderwhat they felt about Japanese censorship? Regardless, they’d been unlikely to have complained.

    When I was in Denmark, I stayed with various relatives. One of those was separated wit hkids, but ht eDad was visiting (still on good terms), they were both doctors. They’d lived on Greenland, of all plaes, for a long time. (Greenland is still under Danish jurisdiction, dating back to Eric the Red, the Viking who ‘discovered’ it, quite apart from the native Eskimos). So when I was there’s I’d been in Copenhagen a few weeks, and knew it better than this 12-year old Danish kid, so I ahowed [b]him[/b] around!
    The father had an interesting attitude towards sex educsation too. When the older boy had come there a few years before, the kid asked about prostitutes, and if he could see one. So Daddy changed hotels to one of the seedier ones in the red-light district, so he could see some street hookers!! I guess that way they seem less glamorous(??) and perhaps less mysterious and attractive. Dunno. The kids were very cluey about sex and very open with their parents. Openly talked about stuff I couldn’t with mine. Which is good and as it should be.

    My aunt-in-law was a matron in an old people’s home once, and there was this old geezer who wanted to enjoy his money and his last years on the earth, so she arranged for a nurse to accompany him every week or so to a brothel to get ‘serviced

  3. mahmood says:

    Re: MWAA-HA-HA!!!

    hehe.. things are changing throughout the world I think, there are still people everywhere that wouldn’t dare talk about sex. There are other customs as well that die hard and some are borne out of respect. I didn’t dare (out of respect) to smoke in front of my parents until I was around 30 I think!

    But as you implied, I firmly believe that if you burry something then your kids will take that as a no-no and may grow with warped ideas. Both Frances and I encourage them to come to us with problems, thoughts, and whatever else that pops in their minds so that we can talk about them easily and publicly rather than guestimate that they’re “doing okay”. I hope that they (the kids) will remember this with their own some day.

    Frances got the same book I think from Scotland some time ago, when she had a “chat” with the girls she came out saying that they know more about sex that she does! This is school for you, thank goodness she at least put paid to some myths with that chat.

    I bought Playboy for Arif and watched a porn movie together! hehhee.. no no seriously, we had our little chat as well and that went good (I hope).

    Muriel’s Wedding: I like two fat chicks trying very hard to play ABBA! She’s been in a lot of other movies since, but she’s still UGLY!! Good actress though typecast somewhat I think.

    [Modified by: Mahmood Al-Yousif (mahmood) on June 14, 2003 03:13 AM]

  4. mahmood says:

    Re: SexEd & the censors

    Just kidding as far as Playboy/porn for Arif obviously. Not yet anyway!

    But I would follow your relative’s example and show him a red-light district, not necessarily partake in the pleasures contained there though! What harm could that do other than shed some myths that must go circling in their minds.

    You MUST also give me the address of that old people’s home as I intend to ask to be moved there when the time comes, sounds like a lot of fun for sure! 😉

    Censorship… oh that’s another topic that is very dear to my heart. We had it all in Bahrain:

    – since the 1930’s till mid- to late-seventees we had a red light district in Bahrain. Two actually, one in Manama (the capital) and one in Muharraq (the island that the airport is on) as I was too young at that time I never went and had a look, just through the papers when that [i]thing[/i] happened in Iran and people started getting “moral” that led to their closure in the early 80s. I also remember in the 60s and 70s Bahraini girls wearing microskirts and other nice cloths, the society was open then or at least as far as a kid can see.

    – my dad had a bookshop/stationary in the 70s and I remember working there as a kid after school and we did sell Playboy and other such magazines. There was also a very popular Arabic magazine simply called “Sex” where it discussed sexual matters, advice etc. We couldn’t keep enough of them! I was much more interested in Tin Tin and negotiated with my dad to pay me with a subscription to Tin Tin rather than money! (stupid!!)

    – the 80s were a flux of emotions and religious fervour that we still feel today, more than 20 years on. This continued into the 90s which were even worse, not only the Shi’a were getting more religious, but the Sunnis (the rise of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda etc) so suddenly the government responded by creating a “censorship office” which we still have to this day. You sometimes pick up magazines at the supermarket or whereever and you find that women’s cleavage, legs and anything else deamed “inappropriate” but someone sitting in an office somewhere deciding for us what is moral and what is not, what is within “our Muslim culture” and what is not with a great big black marker pen scrubbing all over those areas. In other countries they just ban those magazines or rip the whole page out!

    – Obvsiouly now Playboy and the like are banned from most if not all Arab countries. In addition to magazines like ““FHM“.

    – ALL films are censored. Not to lable them appropriately as advice, but to rip out great big sections including sexual acts, kissing, or any form of passion. Hence the rise of DVDs here, at least you will be able to follow a story rather than that famous “jump cut” the censors have become so good at. But even DVDs have been banned. And what happens if something is banned? You’re right, people will find it and the black-market survives.

    – There is a huge debate in the papers currently about our information minister trying to impose his will (though the government of course) and haphazardly labeling any discenting voice as “against the King’s reform and the country’s progress”.

    – Until today in this day and age, particularly for Bahrain with its infant democracy we still have the ministry of interior in collusion with the ministry of information and batelco ban some political websites. I won’t be surprised when I wake up one morning and find this site’s IP address and URL blocked!

    Sex is very simple to teach to children, they will also fairly readily accept its implications and responsibilities. What I’m worried about is trying to teach them their civic responsibilities as good, constructive Bahraini citizens. How is a father to do that if he’s always got to think of “don’t talk about politics because that will get you into trouble” is the only thing that we can teach our children now. With that goes patriotism. How can we show them they belong to a country where you are in constant fear or crossing an imaginary line? Might as well shut up and indulge in sex… no one can take that away from you!

  5. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    ARE YOU IDIOT WHAT HELL YOU TAKING ABOUT PLS CHANGE YOU NAME TO NONE MUSLIM NAME

  6. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    that is so back

  7. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    ah okay… do you have any suggestions? how about “The Big Satan”? Oh, sorry, in your book that name is already taken of course!

  8. anonymous says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Lighten up, you wack-job.

  9. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Have to laugh at this…. There are more hookers in Bahrain now than there ever were in the 70s. Chinese, Indian, Thai, Russian, operating with the government’s full knowledge in most of the <3 star hotels in Bahrain.
    Why else (other than drink) do carloads of single saudis (or maybe not so single) pile over every weekend and spend fortunes here? It's a huge part of Bahrain's economy and brings in fortunes for certain people.
    But essentially it's trafficking. I met one girl on a flight back from Thailand who once she realised I wasn't judgemental, was happy to tell me that she was coming to Bahrain to whore. Her pimps (Thais working for Bahrainis) were paying for her tickets and visa extensions for three months, and putting her up in an apartment block on Exhibition road. With the amount of money she had to make, it basically meant servicing a minimum of 5 customers a week, probably without condoms, at which point she had a small chance of moving into profit and sending money back for her child. I've heard this story across the Middle east from both Thai and russian single mothers who have no way of earning decent money in their home countries and are therefore willing victims for these human traffickers.
    But what do you expect from a country that has no law to protect housemaids and basically lets people lock them up and use them as they wish, steal their passports, stop paying them and basically treat them as slaves?
    And while I was happy to see one indian woman freed from the family that beat and abused her, would it have made the press if it had been Bahrainis and not Indians that did it? It happens all the time.
    So all this rubbish about sex education is generational. Unless they are closeted from the rest of society, teenagers here are going to explore, find out from the Internet, there will be pregnancies out of wedlock as there always have been, and the sex trade here will flourish as it always did.
    There's too much money to be made for people to stop doing it. Obviously you could ban all single women from coming here, but you'd end up with reciprocal bans from the govt of citizens affected, so would that really be good for the Bahraini people?
    It's good that you think openly talking to your kids is a good idea, and it's good that keeping it on a humourous level will make it easier for them to discuss it and learn about it, but sooner or later you have to discuss the down sides of it, and what things they might experience when they go abroad.
    Educating your kids and teaching them about respect for other people, and equally importantly respect for themselves, is vital. Ideas of that halfwit Al Saidi like banning under 21s from going abroad without parents permission is mollycoddling and political interference of the highest order and needs to be stamped on promptly. How long before he starts advocating female circumcision again?!

  10. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex and abuse

    Well said, and sorry for the trouble you had posting your comment initially. Xaraya is still in beta phase but improving on a daily basis.

    Yes I agree with you. I too have heard that you go into any 2 or 3 star hotels, get the bell-boy to your room, give him a few dinars and he will provide you with a “menu”, essentially a list of room numbers in the same hotel who you would call to “invite” for a drink or maybe something more. And yes, all flavours are apparently available. That and the exhibition avenue flats, and don’t forget that it’s winter now so a lot of these ladies frequent the desert to provide some dessert! 😉

    Government restrictions never work. And they can’t ban something as basic as sex whether they like it or not.

    The only think to do is bring it into the open, monitor and control it. In the 70s and before we had two red-light districts in Bahrain, one in Manama and the other in Muharraq both of which were controlled by the government, and immediately they shut them off, the trade went into the underground. If you’re horny, there is no government that can stop you from getting what you want. To be responsible about it, you have to be in an environment that respects your rights, keep things in the open, a-la Amsterdam and other places in the world.

    I expect that will not happen in Bahrain at the moment with the Islamist so much in control of parliament and people. They control them of course by pure and simple blackmail, which probably is the second most ancient trade. So there is only one degree of seperation between these dimwits and the whores they’re trying to stop.

    As for human rights and mistreating maids. I completely agree with you. I disagree with the notion that incidents of maltreatments do not come to light if they were perpetrated by Bahrainis against their maids. There have been ample reports in the papers about such incidents, one thing I did notice however very recently is the burgening of the letters pages in the papers and maybe it is this that you refer to as the furore of a maid being beaten up so much by her Indian employer did receive quite a share of the letters pages.

    The maids should be treated as any employee. They should have set working hours, have the ability to go/call their repective embassies should they need to. Provided with legal councel. Have days of rest, etc. If they are to work beyond the set hours again like normal employees they should get rewarded by extra pay or whatever arrangement the two parties come to. That’s what I do in any case, I’m sure that I am the exception here but I hope that others will wake up, and sometimes stiff penalties for abusers is the only way to get the message through.

    It is difficult teaching your children responsibility, our strategy is to stay open minded in the abject hope that if any of our children have a sensitive question they don’t feel intimiidated to come to us for advice. So far we have been moderately successful, but our children are on the cusp of teenagerdom now and we can see a paradigm shift happening, so we are thinking of various ways to change our ways to match theirs as much as possible to keep and build on our relationship, but it’s difficult, I just hope that we will succeed. We have a very good chance to of course because of the way we brought them up, but a lot of hard work on both our parts remain to be undertaken lest the relationship we worked so hard to develop just vanish overnight. Time for re-invention again!

  11. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    There limits to what a duaghter or son should learn though mahmood. If you talk about it so openly, it may seem to them like it is ok to go and have sex. In our society, and i am sure you know this too, its ok for the man to have sex but not ok for the woman to have sex. Due to some obvious reasons, most parents would prefer their daughters to avoid any sexual contact with anyone until they are married. Some families even go to the extreme and put their daughters in a sort of psychological prison where they know they have curfues and know what their limits are. Depends on what you look at as being ok. I dont know how modern bahrain will be when my future kids are 10 years old but if it is the same as it is right now, then i most certainly will use the excuse necessary to ignore such subject.
    If you can view my IP address then you most certainly can edit my post and I ask again for my IP address that you listed to be removed.
    There are things I do agree with you on, I found the MP read very interesting and very true and replied to that with anger because i find that man to be an embaressment to society, I still keep my opinions on the whole sex talk thing.

  12. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Of course there are limits. But the limits should be built into the child’s psyche so that they do not do anything that their society won’t allow, and the only way to ensure that is to educate them about sex and sexuality. This is our duty as parents. We cannot put them in prisons (physical or psychological) nor can we monitor them every single minute of the day and children and youth in general are fantastic at doing what they want when they want, no matter what moinitoring system you put on them.

    I know some Bahraini girls engage in sex as young as 15. And when you get to know who their families and parents are you will be more than shocked. I have heard (confired by the people who cought them at it whom I know personally) of under-age orgies where Bahraini girls and boys as young as 12. You know what the girls said when their parents wanted to understand why they did that? The answer from ALL the young girls are “we didn’t know that sucking a penis was sex” and “we didn’t know that doing it from behind was sex”, sex is only sex when you get pregnant!

    My friend, I know this for a fact. It is not a story and not fiction. Stories like this abound in Bahrain. And that’s not mentioning the gay sex, child rapes, luring unsuspecting children as young as 4 years old by older men, boy rape by older youths and men. This all happens in Bahrain. We are NOT perfect!

    We have to talk about not just sex, but its ramifications and every other taboo subject in order to protect our children. My advice to ALL parents is NOT to talk to their child as a child, tell them anything to “shut them up”, they have to talk to their children as understanding adults and then just hope that the message gets through so that they will know when to say NO.

    The whole business of taboos in general should be eradicated. The only thing taboos bring is confusion, dissapointment and confusion. What is very simple to you and me is infinitely difficult and confusing to a young boy or girl. They will just believe rumours and we cannot hold them responsible for their actions because we miserably failed in getting them to understand their responsibilities.

    And the best way to ensure a child would listen to the message is if it was humorous. They will remember and take the issue seriously. Even if it was said in jest. It’s the way that you present the solution – not the problem – that is important.

    We MUST talk openly to our children. I – like any father on the planet – can never stop his children, boys or girls, from having something as basic as sex. Their hormones are in overdrive at that stage. The things that we hope that they will do however by educating them is to say NO. If they WON’T say no, then at least use a condom to protect themselves from disease and unwanted pregnancy.

  13. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Now that you put it that way, i agree with you on the sex education by parents. But I believe it is only necessary at a certain age when they can understand. Telling them what sex is before they have matured is pointless. Kids are extremely curious and (i would love to say we as parents but i will hold that thought for now) if sex is brought up then they tend to want to know more about it. Here is the question though. What if aref goes up to a friend of his and discusses sex and his friend then goes to his mother and mentions what aref told him and that mother then gets extremely uncomfortable with what her son is hearing, what situation would you be in next? Maybe our society isnt ready for this yet. Surely it is a must to discuss it with kids aged 16-18 but to people aged 10 is a bit too much for some people to handle. I certainly wouldnt want to be in a situation where the other parent gets angry at my son because of my own talk. It is understandable to a mature person to keep it down when discussed but a kid tends to run his mouth like there is no tomorrow. I dont know how your son behaves but an average 10 year old may not understand what is right to mention in public and what isnt.
    However, you do make a good point about the whole ‘young girls in bahrain having sex at a young age’ because i do believe that too and when people hear it they say stuff like ‘hob mitrabieen’ (not brought up the right way) but your post proves that statement wrong.

  14. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Arif goes to St. Christopher’s school, one of the better private schools on the island and they DO teach them sex education, this is the seed of this whole article! All his friends are in the same boat and I haven’t heard one single complaint from any of his class’ parents about that particular lesson.

    Older kids who are in my daughter Amna’s age (14) get shown documentary films about sex and child bearing in class as well as go a bit deeper in the biology of sex. She’s just had that lesson a few days ago actually. The school does amplify on sex education between 5th or 6th form (9-10 years old) through to the higher classes, so it is taught responsibly and children know about it a lot more than what I did when I was their age.

    Having said that, we did learn about sex and puberty when I was 10 or so in our school (I went to the American Mission school, now called Al-Raja) and then later when we were in high school. The difference between the way they taught us at our old school and the government high-school was seismic. Where at the American Mission it was treated as a necessary function of life, at high school it was glossed over and regarded as taboo and shouldn’t be talked about! Ironic? You bet.

    Because the school is teaching my children sex education responsibly, I have no problem with it. We bought some books actually to educate them about it when they were 8 or 9 years old so there won’t be surprises for them, nor will they go through that particular stage in their lives living on rumours. They have accepted it and did discuss it with their friends to no great fanfare.

    Children start hitting puberty very early, they get to know the difference between boy and girl earlier still, therefore the sooner they are made to understand the physiological differences between the sexes the better. And doing it in a way that they find interesting and “no big deal” the better the lesson is delivered.

    There is no shame in knowing about sex. There is no shame in appreciating sex. There is no shame in talking about sex. The only shame is when you go out in life believing rumours to be true and propagating taboos.

    Our society will never be ready unless people like you and me make a start. It’s no big deal. It’s something very basic, we just need to talk about it more. Responsibly that is and responsibility only comes with understanding.

  15. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Curious to know mahmood. You seem very proud about what you say to your son infront of your daughters and sisters. I realize this can be normal to regular americans who sit down at theit tables and discuss these things, but as a father you should know better then to run your mouth infront of your family. If you are an athiest or a non muslim believer then i would mind my own business but seeing as to how you call yourself bahraini straight away tells me you must be a muslim. Dont you even feel ashamed that all of bahrain are reading your sex talk and know your name and what you do in here. For the sake of your family’s future, you need to learn how to pipe down on the sex talk. A 10 year old kid who knows all the stuff you have mentioned above is extremely hard to believe. arent you even ashamed that people or people who know any one from the royal family can be reading this site as we speak? you did however mention your name and put a pic of you for everyone on the net who is interested in bahrain to find out.

  16. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    There are too many accusations to answer here, suffice it to say that should you take the time to read my other posts you will probably come to know my personality. It is curious that you don’t mention your name or where you come from, I know that the IP that you logged in with suggests that you are located in Boston in the USA, so it is really surprising that you hold these rather backward and closed views on the world and its issues. You must be a Muslim though as this is what your post implies.

    Talking about sex is not a sin, in Islam or any other religion of the world. I did a service to my children to show them that (1) there is nothing wrong with sex, (2) gained their confidence so that they wouldn’t hesitate discussing any issue, sex or otherwise with me.

    Second: in Bahrain we don’t fear the ruling family. We respect them for sure but we don’t fear them. I wonder what regime you lived under before you got to the States that instilled in you that fear of whoever persecuted you. I have quite a number of ruling familly friends and they all know my views and my various websites. Feel free to send a link of this site to whatever “authority” you wish to complain about me personally or my views.

    Third: Don’t assume that anyone from Bahrain MUST be a Muslim. We have Christian and Jewish Bahraini citizens who have lived here for hundreds of years if not more. I am privileged to know some of them and can regard them as friends (yes Christians AND Jews!)

    My simple advice to you for YOUR future and peace of mind. TALK to your children about sex, so that they won’t surprise you. You’re living in the States, so perceivably (to your own mindset anyway) the “danger” is much more prevalent where you live than where I do. AND in the States you will be persecuted and encarcerated for even attempting to “honour kill” your daughter, which I hope you will be wise enough to not do if you feel that she’s probably going out or even just fancying a boy.

    Good luck with your views. I sincerely hope and pray for your deliverance.

    [Modified by: Mahmood Al-Yousif (mahmood) on December 15, 2003 04:36 PM]

  17. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Ah, so you’re using an anonymizer service to connect to my site?!! weird! The wonders of the internet….

  18. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    I find it extremely ironic that you would assume my whole purpose of this post was to go and complain to the authorities about this site. I have only discussed your comments about your daughter and your son and the way you bring up sex to them on the dinner table. Sex isnt anything bad, but as every other viewer, you make it seem like this is something extremely normal. Talking about sex in school, do you really want to put a 10 year old in a situation where he thinks it may be ok to discuss this in public just because his father discusses it? For your info, mahmood, I am a 21 year old studying in boston. If you had the time and effort to post an email where people who may not want to discuss things on here can chat with you personally then i wouldnt have dicsussed this on here. As an administrator of a site, you should know better then posting my IP address for the whole lot of people to view. I ask that you please take that out, as i do not feel like getting spam, popups, and anonymous stuff directed towards my ip. I am in boston, but i am bahraini and i do and follow everything i know of since i was a kid. I do not have a family and kids to discuss topics with but if i did, sex would be the last thing in mind. Keep in mind that there is such thing as underaged people. How you raise your kids is none of my business, how you seem to discuss it freely on the net is what troubles a lot of people. I just had the nerve to mention that to you rather then those who view your comments and post how much of an idiot you are, in their own opinion.

    Nice try mahmood in trying to make me look bad when i said i asume you are a muslim. Christians and Jews dont wear the national clothing of bahrain. Christains and jews dont have the name Mahmood and they certainly dont have the last name Al-Yousif.

    I live in Bahrain. When it comes time for me to get married and to have kids, i tend to keep the subject about sex out of the way until they are mature enough to start asking me the questions to begin with. But in their years of curiousness i tend to use the whole ‘babies are from god’ theory to shut them up.
    You seem to have a pretty good knowledge on computers, so you should know that if your site gets enough complaints it can be blocked by the internet provider since there is still a monopoly going on in bahrain and this has happened to other sites. Again, no one brought up complaining about it to any authority, you brought the subject up. I ask if you arent worried about what members of the royal family (and i am not talking about 30 year old government newbies, i am talking about the big guys) would think of you seeing how you handle yourself with your kids. But then again thats your own matter. After hearing from what you said, you seem like the type who really doesnt give a shit what people say(excuse my language), I have said all their is. Try to reply in a more mature way then you did in your previous post. I am not here to flame you.

    anonymizer service? this is a direct connection from my service provider. I am no AOL user, you should know that an anonymizer service is used mostly by dial up users rather then cable/DSL users.

  19. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Listen, you are dead wrong on your evaluation of what subjects you choose to talk to your children about. 10 year olds now do get sex education in schools in Bahrain. And telling them simply that babies come from God won’t cut it anymore, you’ll just look like a fool in front of your children, as they will know better. Being open with them is the only way to NOT arrest their development. Our responsiblity as parents is no longer just to ensure that they grow up, get to your age and get them married or knocked up. Our responsibility is to empower them to think for themselves and evaluate their options. That – in my mind – is the only way to prepare for the future.

    I did have a sneaky feeling that you’re at the cusp of your adult life and I wish you the best of luck in your studies and life. Believe me friend, when you do have children of your own you will come to realize that what you’re saying now is wrong and you will re-evaluate your position on this subject.

    The reason I allow anonymous posts here is that I welcome input from all over the world. I rarely delete a post unless I find it distastful or completely outside of the subject being discussed. As such, I don’t see a need to publish my email address specifically, however if you do click on my name on any comment, you will be able to send me a private message (you can do that with any registered user of course.) But, you needen’t send me any private email though, I prefer to have our discussions in the open for all to see.

    However if you still feel compelled to email me privately, then you can reach me on:

    mahmood_at_mahmood.tv
    mahmood_at_alyousif.tv
    mahmood_at_computerpoint.tv

  20. anonymous says:

    Re: MWAA-HA-HA!!!

    Gee I was an idiot at 14…
    I thought dogs were boys and cats were girls, and they had baby kittens & puppies!

    Miss Neuman

  21. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Most private schools in Bahrain teach sexual education nowadays, i’m an NIS graduate & i remember being taught about sex in the eigth & ninth grade as part of out Biology & Health clasees requirements. To teenagers nowdays in Bahrain, it’s no longer that big of a deal since most, if not all, of them (minus me ofcourse) hit sexual maturity by the sixth grade plus most of them lost their virginity through out the course of high school (ever wondered why some teenage couples like sitting infront in the movie theaters? it’s not for a better view).

    As for porn in Bahrain, who says that it’s not available? hardly any of the porn websites on the net are blocked, heck, u can find anything from playboy pictorials to beastiality. As for magazines, the likes of FHM can be found at any bookstore or upscale supermarket & while magazines like playboy & hustler are not available at bookstores, you can always subscribe to them & get them with no trouble at all.

    The red light district of Bahrain might have faded away, but that doesnt mean that the Underground Red Light District doesnt exist. Now being the virgin that i am, i wouldnt know where to find them, but i hear from friends that u can find hookers in any three star hotel & below as well as Exibition Road. Thankfully, this isnt that big of a problem in Bahrain, not as big as it is in Dubai anyway where it seems that every horny sumbitch can be a pimp.

    As for censorship, i agree, the movie theaters in Bahrain are suffering from that, but that problem isnt as bad as it used to be, i remember going into Gangs of New York & Freddy Vs. Jason in Bahrain & both had a scene with a topless woman in them, plus they show women in thongs most of the time, so there is still some hope as far as im concerned. As for the DVDs, who said that theyre banned? even the ones that oppose almost every religion are available in Bahrain, movies such as Dogma, Stigmata, Bless The Child, etc… can be found at any Bahraini DVD or video shop. Heck, the last two even had a cinema release sometime ago. Also, the good thing bout DVDs in Bahrain is that they arrive to us three or four weeks before their release in the US (i got The Texas Chainsaw Massacre two weeks ago from Bahrain’s International Airport while it’s gonna be released in the US next week) plus we’re way better off then the UAE where movies are censored ALOT more then Bahrain & even DVDs are censored (i bought Howard Stern’s Private Parts from there & they cut out like ten or fifteen minutes of the movie) & unlike us, their DVDs cannot be released until the movie is shown in their cinemas, which sucks big time if you ask me.

    What does the future hold for Bahrain? well in my opinion, Bahrain can be the most developed nation in the gulf, heck make that the Middle East (prolly second to Lebanon), we have all the resources that we need: a generous King who has already helped change the nation to the better, an open minded & hard worthing teenage generation that are ready to do what it takes to elevate the kingdom to a higher level (i know i am), etc… plus there are already some good projects that are in development in Bahrain like The Formula 1 racing track, Durat Al-Bahrain, Amwaaj Islands, heck even Bahrain’s newest movie Visitor can be a good thing for the nation (i was looking through IMDB.com & found a page for Visitor, can ya believe that? plus Bahrain is THE ONLY arabic nation to have a weekly updated release dates section on the entire website, which is considered by virtually anyone to be the number one movie database on the net). Within time & some hard worth, Bahrain can make Dubai look like an amateur wannabe, it can be that & much much more & it really hurts me to see that there are still some ppl standing in our way of making it big. I dont know if it’s common sense, my unbelievable pride of being apart of this great kingdom of ours, my desire to elevate ourselves to a level over other arabic nations, or a combonation of them all, but i really believe deep inside that Bahrain can be once again the open minded nation that it once was & much much more, & i really hope from all my heart that this can happen. It’s all just a matter of time ppl, just a matter of time.

    This way ‘Proud to be Bahraini’ A.Z., signing out

  22. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    I have to applaud you on your views of sex education. 10 years old may seem really young but any one who has a ten year old may not think so. 10 is to young to understand many things about sex and that is why parents need to fill them in. Kids grow up so quickly now that is it important that we keep up with them. You seem like a great father who truly cares about your kids well being. It is important that children can approach their parents with any question or they will talk to their friends and learn all the wrong things. I think that sex education in schools is very important because it starts the talk and lets the parents take it from there. It is hard for some parents to have this talk and the school’s make this a little easier. I remember hearing many lies about sex when I was young and hope I can send my kids in the right direction. In America there is a lot of discussion on handing out condoms in High Schools. People feel like that is promoting sex when in truth if they are going to have sex any way why not protect them. I’m not just talking about pregnancy but sexually transmitted deseases. Deseases that can be life threatening or harm their bodies.

  23. anonymous says:

    Re: MWAA-HA-HA!!!

    Bloody Brilliant Mahmood!

    George

  24. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Hilarious, Mahmood! I especially appreciate Amna’s courage.

    However, I don’t think that embarrassing one’s parents, siblings and children in such a way is something to be done, even for a ‘noble cause’. But more importantly, please think again about teaching your son about sex through visits to ‘red lights district

  25. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    YOU GUYS ARE SO WEIRD. ITS ONLY SEX AND SEX IS NORMAL. EVERYONE HAS SEX AND CHILDREN AT THE AGE OF 10 SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEX. I WAS IN 6TH GRADE WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT SEX. IAM 24 YEARS OLD NOW. LIKE I SAID, HAVING SEX IS NORMAL AND TALKIN TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX IS NORMAL AND THEY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT. ONE MORE THING. TOO ALL U DUMB ASS PEOPLE THAT ARE SAYING MAHMOOD EMBARESSED HIS FAMILY. WELL HE DIDN’T. HE WAS JUST HAVIN FUN. IAM SURE HIS FAMILY THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY TO. WHAT THE FUCK.. A PERSON CAN’T JOKE AROUND WITH THERE FAMILY. TAKE A FUCKIN JOKE. YOU PEOPLE ARE TO SERIOUS SOMETIMES. RELAX…….CHILL OUT…. AND ENJOY LIFE DUMB ASSES!!!! GEEEEEE

  26. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Very well said Mahmood. I agree with you 100%!

  27. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    [quote]I realize this can be normal to regular americans who sit down at theit tables and discuss these things, …[/quote]

    Not in the America I know. All that stuff you read about Americans being swingers, being free about sex, and able to talk about it without embarassment is just not the norm here at all. There are a few like that, but most people find it an awkward topic. I’d guess that only about half of most families have a birds and bees talk, which is excruciating for most, and the other half just hope the schools will fill their kids in on the details.

    If Mahmood from Bahrain were changed into Mike from Dallas and played the same scene out at the dinner table in an American home, I’d say the kids and family would be equally mortified. They wouldn’t think it was a normal conversation for an American family as the foreign posters here seem to think.

    I did like the line about not being a man until you can pay your bills.

    Steve

  28. mahmood says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Farah, get a life.

    After you get a life, get a shrink to sort out your problems, especially that of inferiority.

    After that, you are more than welcome to re-enter that comment in a more rational manner, then you probably will find someone to speak to you.

    You have my sympathy.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it must be so, because Farah say so.

  29. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Look, initially I wasn’t here to comment on whether or not our Mr. “Look-at-me-I’m-Western-Mahmood” (which you’re not by the way) will talk to his kids about sex. Really, that would have been like the last thing I would care to type about, but I just felt compelled to. What extremely was mindboggling, though, was this anonymous user’s post.. (Post? Patriotic speech, more like). At first, I thought “awwww, so proud of his nation, cute,” but then one senetence got to me..

    “my desire to elevate ourselves to a level over other arabic nations”

    What kinda sick minded ambition is that…? Lol Bahrain is like what.. the size of a district here.. and to be saying that Bahrain (with relatively no historic landmarks) may outweigh giants like ummm.. Egypt, Syria,Tunisia and Lebanon..[because you don’t censor movies there and have a whole bunch of prostitutes] is just absurd. Heck, let’s just see it beat Dubai for now!
    + We, as Arabs, should be in anything together.. let’s try and unite as one first, then think about which Arabian country has the hottest chicks..
    As for the European imposter, Mahmoud.. whether Muslim, Jew, Chritsian or even friggin’ Buddhist.. don’t pretend you’re no Arab because you are. And yes, no matter how hard you try to justify it..talking to a 10 year old about sex would never be considered the right thing to do here(much less, buying him porn by the way). Arabs never talk about sex with their fathers.. (unless their fathers are sickminded whako’s)

    Plus, are you sure this is what your son wants? Let him figure it all out on his own. Amnah sure as heck knows alot, he can ask her if he needs guidence. I for one, though am very sexual and love cracking dirty jokes with my friends, would NEVER laugh at or even tolerate any remotely sexual comment my father (or mother, mind you) may make. It’s safe to say, that the mere thought of him saying anything like that gives me the creeps. And I think that goes for all nations as well….

    Just thought I should share,
    -Farah

  30. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    hello.. i know im a bit late to comment on this but i just read it.. I am a 13 year old and I know very much about sex.. my parents hav never talked 2 me about this topic which i think is very wrong because it’s human nature, however, i told my dad that i know about sex, all he said is ur too younge to which i thought was bullshit, but he did say that he trusts ill make the right decisions which i really liked from him because it showed me that he trusts that he raised me in the right way.. knowing about this from the early ages of 13 and younger is very good and if the parents trust that theyve raised their children in the right way they should be free to talk 2 them about it because theyd know that their kids won’t run of and have sex way before they should do.. i like the way u encourage parents talking with their children about this because after all it is human nature, how else would u hav a baby?.. and talking 2 them makes them aware so they know the right stuff and so that no-one can trick them into doing something if u know wat i meen.. anyways i hope my point is clear.. ciao

  31. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Must say I agree with Mahmoos here, I think he said it all so I won’t repeat it. Your children are lucky to have you and your wife as parents 🙂

  32. anonymous says:

    Re: Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    Sorry I meant Mahmood, hehe, looks like I’ve been revising too hard and my eyes have gone crazy as have my typing skills!

  33. chalk66x says:

    Re(1): Sex and abuse

    [quote]The maids should be treated as any employee. They should have set working hours, have the ability to go/call their repective embassies should they need to. Provided with legal councel. Have days of rest, etc. If they are to work beyond the set hours again like normal employees they should get rewarded by extra pay or whatever arrangement the two parties come to. That’s what I do in any case, I’m sure that I am the exception here but I hope that others will wake up, and sometimes stiff penalties for abusers is the only way to get the message through. [/quote]

    Apparently there are enough of those others that Bahrain is in danger of being put on the Tier 3 list with Saudi Arabia. [url]http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/06/03/human.traffic/index.html[/url]
    Hopefully your parliament will take some action to keep it from hapening.

    billT

  34. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    u r crazy

  35. anonymous says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    when your dick gets hard ummmm are you going to be more strict???

  36. Faisal says:

    Maybe my message is too late, but incase it is read, all i have to say is as a Muslim, if your son or daughter had sex before marriage, then there is no doubt that you have failed as a father or a mother.

  37. O please Faisal spare us all that line. If your child has sex before marriage that in no way means you have failed as a parent. What are you going to do Faisal, lock up your son or daughter and not let them go out of the home? Force your daughter and son to wear CHASTITY Belts? If there is even such a thing for a guy.

  38. mahmood says:

    Faisal, this is not an April fool’s joke so take the following seriously please: You’re a class ‘A’ moron.

  39. David says:

    Mahmood,

    I’m delighted to see you standing up for common sense and openness in this discussion, and in the other parts of your blog that I’ve had the good fortune to read. Even young children have sexual feelings and curiosity, and they certainly masturbate, some from an early age; and to fob them off with all sorts of fairy stories is not just an insult to their intelligence but also causes them damage in the longer term. I’m not even Muslim, and was brought up in England, but in the 50s and 60s, when I was a child, people didn’t speak about sex, sex education classes in schools were about ‘reproductive biology,’ and normal horny teenagers like me were reproached by the owners of the newsagents selliing Playboy, Penthouse and the rest for actually wanting to have a look at the magazines (which were pretty tame in those days). And, dare I say it, the Muslim world especially has a problem with sex, because at the same time as men’s sexual urges are accepted, those of women are not (of course, the logical conclusion of this is that the men should be covering their faces to ensure that women don’t get turned on, not the other way round). Even in Israel, where I live, there are occasional cases of ‘family honour’ murders — in fact, there was one in the news less than two weeks ago, where five Israeli Arab brothers murdered their sister because she wanted to have a relationship with a Palestinian whom they considered beneath their family’s status, instead of marrying the man they had chosen for her.

    The idiotic thing is the total hypocrisy I’ve encountered in the Arab world about sex (and I say this as someone who seeks out professional and personal friendships with Arabs). I have an Egyptian friend, married of course, who told me about all his mistresses around the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia: if they come from high enough in the social scale, he said, they can do anything they like. A Palestinian friend, also married who has worked all over the Arab world told me very much the same, including about a woman from Abu Dhabi with whom he had a relationship. I’m not moralising here about whether married men (or women) should play around outside their relationships; but it does seem to me that the Arab world suffers from more double standards (both sexual and class-based discrimination) than most of the rest of the world.

    In any case, congratulations on contributing to free speech and free thought. I know that this isn’t especially rare in the Gulf, but you’re still doing something important.

  40. mahmood says:

    Thank you for your kind words David. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, and agree with them too.

  41. Lorena says:

    Farah, get a life.

    After you get a life, get a shrink to sort out your problems, especially that of inferiority.

    After that, you are more than welcome to re-enter that comment in a more rational manner, then you probably will find someone to speak to you.

    You have my sympathy.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it must be so, because Farah say so.

    waaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahhahahahwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahahyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    GOOD MAHMOOD !!

    April 1st, 2006 at 9:09 am

    mahmood
    Faisal, this is not an April fool’s joke so take the following seriously please: You’re a class ‘A’ moron.

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
    OMG i havent laugth that much as I did this morning!!

    MAHMOOD! you are my HERO!!!

    I personally will talk with my kids about every thing! EVERY THING, SEX

  42. Ali M. says:

    This topic is more than just sex education, it is forward thinking. Not being western or trying to be western. No one is trying to be anything other than a good person. Religion has no part in opression and the like, it is human nature, the old views passed down from generation to generation. I love my religion and feel like it is more than what it is perceived as. People simply do not understand how much forward Isam is and how bad interpretation leads to what is happening around the world as we speak.

    I feel upset, angry and annoyed at these people who think it is shameful to talk! Why would Mahmood be ashamed? What did he do wrong? What about people reading this blog? How will it change anything? Its amusing, educational and most of all important for Bahrainis to know that its not wrong to be forward thinkers. I believe that a person should learn from their neighbours (the rest of the world). Take the good and leave the bad. No harm in learning something that is helpful to your society from westerners and vice versa.

    Its shocking to see people that respond in such fluent english and call Mahmood a western wanabe. In their way of thinking, they should also be called that for learning english and wanting to be western.

    Bahrain is alot more liberal and forward than the other Gulf states. I wont go there cos it needs a whole new thread by itself.

    The fact of the matter is that it is not wrong to see your child as a human being. It is wrong to treat them like lesser beings.

    People please try to learn and not be so rude and thick headed. There is more to life than being afraid of peoples words.

  43. quanzhou china says:

    Hi there,

    I really think that it’s empowering to give people information. When it comes to having (or not having sex), people have to be strong to make their own decisions. And how can you make a decision when you don’t have any info?

    I’m a teacher in China. A student told me that sex ed is really really bad here, and that an 18 year old friend had a baby. My student admitted that she didn’t know how to use condoms. Next day I gave her the information leaflet from a box of condoms, she thought it was usefull.

    I think if my student would have a down to earth dad who’s willing to share information with her (like Mahmood) then she didn’t have to confide in her teacher.

    Anyway, I do think that there are many myths connected to sex but also relationship flying around in the west and the western media too. (I’m from Europe). Wish my dad or mum had told me that when you find a partner, everything isn’t automatically perfect and romantic etc. etc.

  44. milter says:

    Ali M.

    Thanks, I just wish there were more people thinking like you.

  45. rich says:

    Mahmood you rock! Some of the other comments are revolting in their small-mindedness

  46. rich says:

    And thats from both sides of the fence!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Bahraini and proud says:

    Sex Education Class (Puberty Talk)

    ARE YOU IDIOT WHAT HELL YOU TAKING ABOUT PLS CHANGE YOU NAME TO NONE MUSLIM NAME..

    First of all this guy can’t write for ****, the 2nd thing here is SEX education is not against islam in anyway, 3rd thing is that morons who have banned this subject from schools have caused more harm than good, because look at the unwritten chart that you’ll never notice if you don’t live in the streets of Bahrain that shows the percentage of homosexualty in Bahrain..

    Greeting to all of those who fought in the name of stopping sex abuse against children, because the increasing number of cases that occure every year. not to mention RAPE that nobody speaks about as well and in most cases they consider the victim guilty and throw all responsibility on him\her…

    the main cause of these owful things that happen is SEX IGNORANCE.

    final thought….. who the ****, the gives him or her the right to ask, but no infact it sounded more like an order another person to change his\her’s name into a non muslim name????????

    people like this make me :sick:

  48. docspencer says:

    Very good comments by many of you. Like someone else said, in America it is pretty much the same thing as what you have been doing and going through Mahmood. Unfortunately many of our movies are creating a different impression. Children can get into bad company, especially when they start experimenting with drugs, which brings along promiscuity to the extreme, stealing money and valuable things to support the habit, more and more sex, and unplanned pregnancies.

    It is a very good thing what you did at home Mahmood. Its good effect goes way beyond just sex. There are many dangerous things out there for young people, and openness between parent and child seems to be the best tool to have the child cope effectively with them.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  49. @ Bahraini and proud / 48:

    “3rd thing is that morons who have banned this subject from schools have caused more harm than good, because look at the unwritten chart that you’ll never notice if you don’t live in the streets of Bahrain that shows the percentage of homosexualty in Bahrain..”

    You consider homosexuality a harm? O.k., maybe it’s your religion, but in fact your not better then those you bash here… sorry, but that’s reality. And homosexuality is not a matter of sex education but a genetic disposition.

  50. Bahraini and proud says:

    TO Simon Columbus

    dude i’m not against homosexuals and when it comes to religion i’m mainly a non believer, so what i’m trying to tell is that in the gulf we have a different kind of homosexuals, thier not homosexual but because there is no women around then they turn into bullies and they have sex with very feminine men, or they target young kids so do you still thing it is a good thing…

    what i know is that guy people would have a normal relationship and have sex normally and even have love in the matter (if i’m not wrong) but here you get freaks not gay..

    and how do you expect a 10 years old to know if he is gay or not??? when some other kid molest him or an older person he might think that it is the way to go… don’t you think ?????

  51. Maybe I misunderstood your text, but there’s a fault in this sentence’s grammar (and also I’m no native speaker…).
    And you may be right asking whether a 10 year old could know if he’s homosexual or not. I think, he at least should know that there is something called “homosexuality” and what it is – from a neutral spot. As well as he should know other basic informations about sex.

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