Just How Many Iranian Men Have Had Sex With Other Men?

Screen shot 2014-08-11 at 11.02.09 AMThis just in: Young people in Iran are having tons and tons (and tons!) of sex. And a large percentage of them are having gay sex.

An official report by the Iranian government has found that premarital sex is happening at an alarming rate among young adults despite the country’s strict laws against public displays of affection and Islamic code.

Of the 142,000 people surveyed, 80 percent of the women reported having boyfriends (who they presumably have sex with). The survey also found 17 percent of respondents have engaged in a same-sex relationship despite the country’s punishment of death for homosexual acts.

The help combat the “problem” of heterosexual “promiscuity,” the report recommended that couples be allowed to register temporary marriages — a tradition among Shiite Muslims called “sigheh.” However, researchers were at a loss for how to deal with young Iranians partaking in same-sex relationships.

In 2007, Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously declared that there were no homosexuals in his country. In a 2012 interview, Ahmadinejad also called gays “ugly” and likened homosexuality to “stealing.”

Related stories:

PHOTOS: Men In Iran Dress In Drag To Promote Gender Equality

Iran’s Gay Underground Railroad Is A Bumpy Ride To A Brighter Future

Four Gay Men Sentenced To Death By Iranian Courts

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  • iltman

    My first thought on reading this is how afraid I am for these young men, living in a country that considers murdering gay men a religious obligation.

  • Hotflesh

    There is a terrific book on the subject called Islamic Homosexualities which is highly recommended that traces the history from early to modern times.

  • barkomatic

    I’m surprised that people reported that they had gay sex to a survey from the Iranian government.

  • litper

    A proof that gay rights when they are feminized (US) lead to much lower percentage of openly gay people. Iran has successfully dropped the T from the LGB, by granting them all rights. So there is hope that LGB rights will advance there without the forced feminization of men.

  • ethan_hines

    Is this going to be another case of gay till graduation causing skewed results?

  • ethan_hines

    @litper: the reason Iran has “dropped” the T from LGBT is because they will pay for Transpersons to get a operation thus preventing homosexuality.

  • redcarpet30

    @litper: Uh, what are you talking about? “Forced feminization of men”? And I haven’t hear ANYTHING about the LGB conditions improving. It was only a few years ago those pictures of innocent (yes innocent, they did nothing wrong) men were being hanged came to light.

  • litper

    @ethan_hines: gay till graduation still means gay or bisexual. Isn’t it funny to see how fems are desperate to lower the numbers of gay people?

  • litper

    @redcarpet30: umm, no, they actually raped and killed a guy, that’s why they were hanged. But I agree that’s Iran it’s only at the start of the path to gay equality. I just say that since they separated the gay people from the attacks from the Ts, there’s hope that the gays there will avoid mass forced feminization in the future.

  • DarkZephyr

    @litper: My God you are obtuse. You realize that Iran is famous for forcing guy men to have sexual reassignment surgery in an attempt to change them into straight women, right? If that’s not “forced feminization” then what is?

  • homo_superior

    Just FYI, the photo is Salim Kechiouche. He’s hot but he’s French-Algerian, not Iranian.

  • litper

    @DarkZephyr: they do it only to annoying limp-wristed flamers, and that’s good.

  • Stache99

    @litper: That’s the line they gave when the world gave them so much heat about it. However, they still hang gay men all the time and they don’t bother giving out fake excuses.

  • litper

    @Stache99: is there a recent repost of execution of 25000 gays? Because if they really wanted to hang the gays they would hang all who answered “yes”.

  • Billy Budd

    Litper is weird.

  • michael mellor

    Isn’t it interesting how surveys conducted in the USA consistently report far fewer admissions of homosexuality in men. I think the figure is as low as 2% in the most recent survey.

    And yet here we have our Iranian brothers being far more prepared to admit to homosexual experiences in a country with terrible anti-gay laws!!!

    This suggests that, in America, male homosexual acts are still considered shameful. America has also gone backwards from the time of Kinsey when far greater percentages of American men admitted to homosexuality.

    It’s because American liberalism and feminism have made male homosexuality uncool as an act.

  • Billy Budd

    @michael mellor: During and just after the 2nd WW, there was a brief time of liberation. And that is when Kinsey made his study (1948). I recommend the book “Palimpsest” by Gore Vidal, if you wanna know more about the era.

    If there were no repression from society, statistics on bisexuality/homosexuality would go through the roof. We would behave just like the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans.

  • beechwood

    Question: which “surveys conducted in the USA” are we talking about? Do people actually take surveys?

  • Scribe38

    @Billy Budd: His mom let him chew on lead paint chips as a kid. Not her fault though since her mom was also her sister and her dad also her grandpa.

  • michael mellor

    Billy Budd,

    Male sexual behavior isn’t a fad. Male homosexual acts are just as common today as they have ever been.

    Today, however, liberals have attached an identity to an act, thus making it less likely that a man will admit to that act.

  • jmmartin

    Ahmadinejad was such a camp!

  • Sweet Boy

    Ahmadinejad always had this bottomish quality….

  • ChuckGG

    When I lived there back in the 1970’s under the Shah, there were 3 gay bars that weren’t “officially” gay but that’s where everyone went. While not open like we have here in the USA, it was clear what was going on. No dancing and no PDA, but lots of socializing and places to meet.

    I certainly knew many gay Iranians. At the time, I was dating another American helicopter mechanic from California. After the Revolution in 1979 when we both “escaped,” I was never able to learn what happened to our friends. That was before the days of the internet, of course.

    At the time, Tehran was a great place to live. Then, the Islamic version of our bible-thumpers showed up and the whole place went to hell in a handbasket.

    I feel for the kids over there now. “Down low” is the name of the game. Interestingly, it used to be (maybe still is?) that what went on inside your home was sacrosanct. As long as it was not in public, the mullahs looked the other way.

  • Saint Law

    @litper: “They only do it to limp-wristed flamers, and that’s good.”

    That you’re not in Iran you mean? Well, you’re not, honey. So embrace your effeminacy – it aint the reason you can’t get laid.

    For that you have to blame your stunted personality.

  • Kangol

    I do worry about their safety given the theocratic nutsos running the country, but am glad to know these hot men are enjoying each other!

  • Billy Budd

    @litper is weird.

  • NG22

    Persian men fucking? What’s the most direct flight to Tehran?

    @ChuckGG: I love your story and perspective. Thanks for sharing. What an interesting life you’re living. Iran is a great country in need of a better government. I sincerely hope the tide turns, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • ChuckGG

    @NG22: Thanks. Quite right, it’s a great country. I was 21 at the time, a civilian contractor for Bell Helicopter International. Jamie and I had our motorcycles and traveled to the Caspian Sea on them. Made a lot of friends in the 2-1/2 years we were there.

    Great food. Great people. Very warm and friendly and polite. We spoke enough Farsi to get around but the second language certainly was English with French being third, especially among the older people.

    Lots of great memories. It seems like an “age” ago, and it was. We left in ’79 so that’s 35 years! Hard to believe.

    Just goes to show you how religion (of ANY flavor) can screw up the works! I never worried about the Soviets. They are sane and don’t want to be toast any more than we do. I always thought we’d have some religious nutbars from the Middle East yanking our chain, and I guess I was right, unfortunately. You know, when you think you have a god on your side, about anything can be justified. I’m thankful and was never involved in all that claptrap. So many of my friends were brainwashed and tortured as kids with religion, and when they came out – well, you can guess the rest.

  • iltman

    @ChuckGG: Thank you for your memories and the perspective you give us, I have several Iranian American friends whose families were in the anti shah resistance, but had to escape the country when the mullahs came to power and their stories have always fascinated me. The example of modern Iran shows only too well the terrible effects theocratic power has on normal people

  • ChuckGG

    @iltman: Yes, I’m sure they have quite a number of stories from that time period. From my perspective, I never thought the Shah was that bad. He spent a fortune to modernize the place. We always joked the national bird of Iran was the “crane,” as the cities were dotted with these swing-boom construction cranes – always building something.

    Of course, I’m not Iranian so I cannot speak to what it was like from their perspective. I do know they had wineries (Chateau Sardasht), beer breweries, and great restaurants. Women were very Westernized and most did not wear a chador (head covering leaving face exposed). I rarely saw the burka (full-face cover). There were discos, clubs, bars, etc. I also know we sent guys working in Saudi to Tehran for R&R. It was a very modern, Westernized city. That may well have been the problem – religion is all about control and I’m sure the mullahs saw that control slipping. I suspect today with the internet, they also see control slipping, just as is happening slowly in North Korea. It’s difficult to control people when they see how the rest of the world lives on TV 24/7. It’s hard to censor a satellite dish. The Arab Spring comes to mind with Facebook and Twitter.

    All that said, I remember an Iranian friend telling me that when a light bulb burns out in your house, you don’t tear down the house and start over. He implied the ousting of the Shah might have gone too far.

    I cannot imagine what they went through post-Shah with the economy and the Iran-Iraq War (1 million dead) and now a theocratic dictatorship is any improvement.

  • vive

    Never mind that all this mess was caused in the first place by America and Britain, with the 1953 CIA-run coup that replaced the secular democrat Mossadegh and replacing him with the dictatorial Shah Pahlavi. For being uppity about Western oil interests in Iran, what else?

  • tdx3fan

    Its kind of interesting… In my view this reminds me a lot of the biblical passage that the men had left the natural usage of their women and turned to other men. I don’t mean that in a homophobic way at all. I just feel that the men in Iran have turned their women into child bearers and have removed their sexual status. That means that in order to truly enjoy themselves sexually they need to get it on with other guys because while women are probably more inhibited over all other guys are much more free about sexuality.

  • Blackceo

    @NG22: “Persian men fucking? What’s the most direct flight to Tehran?”

    OK!!!!!!!!!! I will be on that flight with you!!!!

  • rcktetr

    Arab men are sooooooo hot sometimes. I find this very exciting! Lol

  • Rusty Alcorta

    @ChuckGG: Thanks for all your input. It was very interesting. It’s good to have senior citizens tell us their stories, anytime, anywhere about their gay lives. Thanks again.

  • Bully2

    @homo_superior: I thought he was a little smooth for being Iranian/Persian. I happen to find Persian men VERY sexy with their dark hair, dark complexion, and often hairy bodies like chest, legs, ass, and nice furry forearms. It may be a stereotype, but they seem to have more than their fair share of men who fit that description.

  • Evji108

    If you are gay and have traveled in the Muslim countries, this is not news. The dudes are horny, they make lots of eye contact. The women are for the most part, confined with women and separated from the men. These guys are very interested in Ass. As long as you are the active participant, it is okay, but there is a huge stigma in being the passive partner.

  • Maude

    How many? Who gives a shit?!!

  • Hermes

    @litper: Sorry – but false. There was no mention about Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari raping anyone until after the initial announcement that they were being executed for homosexuality caused a tremendous backlash in the West. Then they were accused of drinking alcohol – and when that did not quiet the backlash – suddenly the Iranian government announced that they had raped a boy a year younger than the younger of the two at the time. While no one with a functioning brain believed that for a second given the timing and the fact that neither a victim nor a victim’s family was ever produced, much of the “serious” American media suddenly said “oh well, it must have happened, why would they fake anything like that?” Which given the extremist regime should summon a “wtf?” from anyone – but didn’t – as you now prove. As for me, I was in the protests outside the Iranian embassy, and directed a vigil for the victims as well. Reality is that a fair number of gay men and boy s are caught and killed by the extremist government – and other gay sources in the city where they lived said that they had known the two boys – 16 and 14 at the time of arrest and they were lovers.

  • Hermes

    @michael mellor: You are of course referring to snap polls. Nearly all surveys in the US are. Someone in a smock walks up to you and asks if you are gay, straight or bi. Some actually go as high as 4% who say they are gay – but I won’t fault your theory that its 2%. I will fault your lack of depth of analysis however. There are two polls I know of in history that have taken a large n (sample size) of American men and both asked what their orientation was AND followed up to determine who they were sleeping with. Those were of course Kinsey, and more recently Pathela and others — both actually pegged the percentage of men sleeping with men regularly at about 12.5% give or take a few tenths. So while yes, only a few will say they are gay in a survey that resembles a snap poll — a lot more are having sex with other men — you decide which defines their sexuality for yourself.

  • montimo

    There seem to be many pools sited here. I think we need to differentiate between men that have claimed to be gay and men who admit to having some type of homosexual experience/experiment in their lifetime. Although I believe a low percentage identify themselves as gay, from my experience, I believe a high percentage of men would reply that they have had a same sex experience at some point in their life.
    Either I’m right, or I have been meeting the right kind of straight guys my entire life. lol

  • Daggerman

    When will ‘Islam’ acknowledge it’s cowardice over homosexuality? And realize it gets constantly beaten by being made a joke out of….sex between men happens.

  • AlliterationAddict

    @litper: Iran’s policies on transgendered citizens are actually fairly progressive relative to other Muslim states in the Middle East. In fact, it’s more like Iran dropped the LGB in favor of the T. Regardless, I think that everybody should be treated as equal in dignity, and that includes both the gay and transgender communities.

  • AlliterationAddict

    @vive: The Government of the Shah of Iran instituted following the CIA backed coup was also secular. Shah Pahlavi in particular was a strong secularist. Though he didn’t address LGBT policy while in government, he did extend suffrage to women, which suggests that he was relatively socially progressive. And while Mossadegh himself was a secularist, his electoral coalition included several Islamic organizations, including the one that would eventually overthrow the Shah and pass laws criminalizing homosexuality.

    Personally, I don’t think that the US should have participated in the coup. Mossadegh wasn’t an amazing leader, but he was democratically elected, and I am strongly opposed to the principles of monarchism. And regardless, it wasn’t really our business either way, because Iran is an entire different country. But the responsibility for the current government lies squarely on the shoulders of the people who organized the overthrow of the Shah and actually passed these poor laws.

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