Searching in Urdu


Pakistani men“Why is gay porn so popular in Pakistan?” asked a recent headline in Mother Jones magazine (June 2013). After adjusting to this somewhat surprising revelation, the mind reeled with hypotheses. Could it be related to the unavailability of actual gay sex in Pakistan? a response to the repression and isolation of women in Pakistani society? But these explanations could apply to any number of countries, especially those with large Muslim majorities. One factor is that Pakistan has a relatively free press and apparently unfettered access to the Internet. And while a recent Pew survey revealed that Pakistan is among the most anti-gay countries in the world (with only two percent saying that homosexuality should be accepted), the country came in as number one in Internet searches for the terms “teen anal sex,” “shemale sex,” and “man fucking man.” It dropped to second place on searches for the term “gay sex pics.” One expert on Pakistani society, Farahnaz Ispahani, cited the position of women, whose sexuality is downplayed: “Even highly observant Muslim males often have physical relationships with men without considering themselves gay.” Fair enough: many travelers have observed the easygoing physicality of male friends and relatives in public. Still, this doesn’t quite explain the popularity of a search term like “man fucking man,” an act that’s not only illegal but strictly taboo—which might just be a big part of its appeal.