WEIGHT: 61 kg
Services: Travel Companion, Oral, Striptease, Dinner Dates, BDSM (receiving)
Ghalia, who asked me not to use her last name, was giving me the "Bridal Works" package—peeling me, leaving not even a single flake of dead skin or body hair behind. We Egyptian women are a hirsute group, so for me this process involves a lot of breaks, a lot of deep breaths, a lot of going to my "happy place. I'd come to Egypt with one question: How do people—especially women—learn about sex in a country where sex is taboo?
When I bought birth-control pills in Zamalek, an affluent part of Cairo, an Egyptian man next to me muttered, "Disgusting. In the government dropped all sex education, the bare minimum requirement for reproductive health, because teachers were shyly skimming the curriculum anyway. Naturally, people turned to the internet: Egyptians are the second-most-likely people in the world to google "sex," but as of , only 44 percent of the population had access to the web.
Egyptian mothers are notorious for avoiding the subject—prepping their daughters only for the customary wax that must take place before their wedding. They grab their daughters by the hand and take them to beauty centers. It's often only there that they can have real and honest conversations about sex, usually with women like Ghalia. She laughed at the faces I made every time she flattened a cold ball of halawa —also called "sweet," a popular homemade wax—onto my leg, stripped it, and repeated the process.
Halawa isn't exactly efficient. She had to strip the same area about three times, leaving my skin pulsating and red. She was serious about leaving no hair behind, because Egyptian men want a hairless bride as much as they want a virgin bride.
It's become a standard expectation of men in Egypt, the way oral sex has become a standard expectation among American men. Women are told their entire lives that this is just a part of marriage, as if any single arm hair or pubic hair looks like a defect.