Although Mahdavi did not visit Shomal, she attended other sex parties in Iran.One evening, she accompanied her friend Babak to a party held in a huge garden with beautiful hanging trees.Iranian youth had “restricted access to social freedoms, education, and resources (such as contraceptives or other harm-reduction materials)” that might minimize the risk of some of their behaviors.If caught, the punishments many young people would receive from their parents would likely be harsh.“Welcome to the jungle,” a young man said as he greeted her.After stripping off her Islamic dress, including her head scarf and manto, she followed the men further into what felt like “the hanging gardens of Babylon.” Babak squeezed her arm and whispered into her ear, “Take a deep breath, Pardis.” As they walked closer to the swimming pool, she noticed it had been drained of water. With surprise, she realized that “a full-blown orgy was taking place.” As Babak took off his shirt and “started to wade into the group of young people,” Mahdavi perched herself on the diving board, which seemed like a safe place to observe: “I continued to watch as bodies moved from one trio to another.Willingly taking risks with their social and sexual behavior, as these Iranian young people were doing, was viewed as a step toward social and political reform—not just a means of escape and excitement.
Although physical punishment has decreased in recent years, Mahdavi notes, young people are still detained and harassed by the morality police.
Now we, this generation, are opening them one by one. Well, yes, with a few women at a time, but who hasn’t done that?
But I’ve watched really elaborate orgies too.” He had observed “a big group orgy in Shomal,” after being convinced to attend by a girl he knew.
Despite her ruined reputation, however, the young woman mused that her experience was “almost worth it”: “The sex was great, and the excitement and adventure of doing what we know we aren’t supposed to be doing, then being caught! After the Queen Boat scandal in Egypt in 2001, thirty-five members of the U. Congress wrote to Hosni Mubarak to protest the treatment of the men, who were tortured and subjected to examinations to determine whether they had had anal sex.
Well, and it makes a great story.” the social and sexual changes they desired, reminding her that their “revolution was not about momentary acts” but was “a way of life.” This way of life included social gatherings and behavior that “could be viewed as hedonistic” but were also “a necessary part of constructing a world over which they had control, a world they could live in rather than in the world of the Islamists, who would have them stay home and obey.” As another young woman said before attending a sex party: It’s all about laj bazi (playful rebellion). No matter what they tell you, they are scared, from the moment they leave their homes; and every time the doorbell rings, delet mirize (your heart sinks). In response, the Egyptian newpaper Al-Ahram al-Arabi ran a headline that translated as, “Be a pervert and Uncle Sam will approve.” Some sex partying is certainly related to processes of globalization, as citizens from wealthy nations have the privilege of traveling to other locales to escape restrictive laws or take advantage of cheap labor.