In Islam, there seems to always be this continuous debate about what is hallal (permissible) and what is haram (forbidden). One of those topics that seems to always strike controversy - and I'm addressing it anyway - is sexuality.
Ideally and at its very core, marriage is a contract, an agreement, between two consenting adults. While religion will debate that it is a contract between two people before God, governments will argue that it is a contract between two adults before the state/province/country. The "institution" of marriage is a highly politicized institution where religion and governments fight for the power to legislate contracts. Governments and religions both will try and dictate who and what is permissible for marriage, from race, religion, gender, number, etc.
Unfortunately, throughout all these debates, "people" have been taken out of marriage a long time ago. It is one of a number of reasons why fewer people marry and why so many divorce: many view marriage as legal or religious contracts rather than true promises, vows, to one another. I know, I know, I promised to talk about sex and instead I'm going off in a rant about marriage. I swear I'm getting there.
Sexuality is an intricate part of the human experience. While asexuality does exist and should be recognized, most of us will experience some form of sexual attraction at one point in our lives. Sexuality, and sexual relations, can be a healthy part of the human experience, but what it requires to be healthy - maybe you saw it coming - is agreement.
Marriage can be legal or religious, but I would also add that they can also be sexual. Everyone has different comfort levels and expectations. There is no wrong or right answer to questions of sexuality and only the individuals can discuss the terms. Here are a list of talking points which should be discussed before entering any kind of marriage, sexual marriages included:
- What are my expectations out of this partnership?
- What do we need to do to ensure we both meet eachother's expectation?
- What are the responsibilities that each partner takes on through this partnership?
Can I get an Amen?!