Provoking Change Ch. 01
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This is the 1st part of a story about a Muslim woman’s reluctance to accept lesbian temptation. The story starts slow, with no sex content until Part 2.
Does promiscuity increase fertility? Or does love? Perhaps it seems obvious? Does boredom in monogamy, or lack of adventure actually inhibit pregnancy?
I consider myself a Scientist, and a Doctor, I am Zora Ashfar, PsyD, living in America. I was born in Iraq, but land arrived here during grade-school. We belong to the local mosque, and I wear a hijab. I wear conservative clothes to mask my breasts and others blessings of nature. I confess that I wear makeup to be feminine with eyes like Cleopatra, and always wear rich burgundy on my fingernails.
My interest in sexual behavior is merely clinical, since I am a devoted wife. Studying the promiscuity of lesbians and bisexuals makes me uncomfortable, picturing what they do in their beds. I even am shy when I am having sexual relations with my husband. It is peculiar studying something as salacious as sex, but I want to help women with the ambitions of a having a family.
Two years ago, our university workgroup formed out of various departments. We submitted our proposal to examine women’s sexual activities correlated with getting pregnant. Does non-procreative bisexual or lesbian sex, or masturbation, or sex with multiple partners increase the odds of getting pregnant? Good research provokes change.
They needed me because I have a strong background in Scientific Statistics, and could manage the validity of the study. My responsibility was to make the results publishable.
Our lead researcher Clarice Benson, MD came to my office building to tell me all the good news. Clarice is a petite African American woman with a thick backside. I hadn’t seen her in months, and didn’t realize she was 6 months pregnant with a big baby bump, and thick on both sides now.
“Oh wow, Clarice, you didn’t tell me! It is certainly a good sign when a fertility doctor gets pregnant,” I said when she waddled into my office. “You are absolutely radiant. You and your husband must be overjoyed.” She gave me a weird ambiguous look, but I didn’t pry.
“Well, Zora,” she gushed. “Of course you know that we have been approved for our study, and the funds are allocated. You will get co-author status, and you work will be crucial to maintain the progress when my baby comes. I will miss critical time, and I am sorry to burden you, but I know I can count on you.”
“Yes, I can handle it,” I replied. “I will be honored to work with you.”
“Great…So, we need to get cracking. I have about 300 total names– 100 from Mangina, and another 100 from Dr. Gonzalez’s practice and hopefully… Dr. Vajpay will also finalize this week!”
To assure a double-blind study Clarice sent our assistants to train nurses and doctors from all three practices. For a good study, we wanted to be sure we never meet the test subjects, and even minimize the contact with the intermediate medical practitioners. We told the doctors we would let them receive credit on the study.
“Great. So, we planned that the pre-screening by phone and questionnaires could be done in about 30 days,” I answered. “We are going to have to get a ton of medical records. Those release forms are going to take time.”
Clarice promised “I will do most of the heavy work for the next few months during the summer, but the baby is due in September. You will end up doing almost everything for about 2 months.”
So by mid-summer we had done the preliminaries, and arranged gyno visits. We made a sexual activity questionnaire which we distributed through the doctors. Based on the responses, the fertility clinic made appointments, knowing they’d be grateful for free consultations and services.
Our subjects were all women categorized by their age, marital status, sexual tastes, frequency, enjoyment and orientation (gay, straight, bisexual, monogamous) promiscuity, masturbation and pornography habits, sexually frequency and ability to orgasm. We would have them answer a final questionnaire to see who adjust their behavior over time, evaluating continuity and patterns.
I went to Clarice’s home one Saturday morning to review some details about the launch, but she must have forgotten I was dropping by. When I rang the doorbell, and heard a bunch of commotion, but it took several minutes for her to open the door.
She was peering from behind the door, perhaps in pajamas. The house was fairly dark, considering the time of day. “Oh, hi, listen. I have company right now. Could I get back with you later?”
Just then I saw a naked woman walk up behind her, breasts on display, which made me flustered. The woman was olive-skinned with curly hair and fairly slender, except her wide hips. She disappeared and I tried to focus on Clarice’s face.
“Oh…er, uhh….ok. Sorry I didn’t … uh, y’know… didn’t Beylikdüzü escort call beforehand.” Yikes, what was going on here? Who is that naked woman behind her? Is Clarice a lesbian? Is this what she does on her day off, pregnant like that?
I never met her husband, if there was one. How did she get pregnant? How does a pregnant lesbian have sex? Again, here I find myself overwhelmed by vulgarities of human sexuality.
“Listen Zora, I have company. I’ve got to do this another time.”
“Yeah, ok, totally. No problem,” I said mechanically, trying not to show how freaked out I was. What a mess!
I needed to reassess everything in my professional world. Does she have a pro-lesbian bias about the study? Will that taint the findings? Oh, now I am really worried about the study, and having her as my partner. We both have put our reputations on the line for integrity, funding, and access to the clinics and patients.
My mind was invaded with the image at Clarice’s house of her naked friend in the shadows. Who’d figure that Clarice had these impulses? Their lewdness made me feel unclean, needing to shower.
So I hurried home to my husband and children and tried to immerse myself in normalcy. All I could do was scrub dishes and vacuum in rage. I am a great mom, right? A voice my head told me to play with the children, but I was too frazzled to enjoy the time with my family right now.
I called Professor Feldstein from my old post-grad program to ask his advice whether Clarice’s new-found gayness would “queer” our statistics.
He answered that bisexuality would not disqualify Clarice, any more than my straight bias. He insinuated that my backwards puritanical preconceptions might be dangerous. Is Feldstein Islamophobic? Fidelity, monogamy and heterosexuality are ancient mind-sets, and I could damage the study being close-minded. Is he gay himself?
After all this abuse today, my female hormones were going wild, fueling my reaction with anger and libido. Worst of all, I still felt dirty and horny.
I am extremely overworked and rely on my husband too much, but he is too serious and not romantic. In fact all weekend, my husband watched personal financial advice programs on television. He missed out on his desperate wife. Men are brutes, aloof and angry. A real man should not neglect his woman in this condition!
On Monday, I went back to the office to review everything with Clarice, determined not to intrude into her dark lesbian secret life. I went to her office, but she said she had something urgent for me to talk about. I know that pregnancy makes theer bladder weak, explaining why she darted away to the bathroom.
She left her computer screen up, and I noticed her browser was open to Craiglist personals – Women Seeking Women.
Oh my! What was she thinking at this stage in her pregnancy? How can she be so horny to hook up with random lesbians at this stage?
When she returned I was in a tizzy. I was shaking, thinking about being surrounded by lewd bisexuals, including Clarice. But it turns out I was jumping to erroneous conclusions.
Clarice spoke first, and change the whole direction, as I was unaware of a new crisis.
“I have some disturbing information, Zora. There were several posts on Craigslist trying to manipulate our research group.”
What!?? Now I was really confused. What do Craigslist lesbian personals have to do with that?
“Ok Zora, look at this listing:
WOMEN: ARE YOU PART OF UNIVERSITY FERTILITY STUDY? TRYING TO GET PREGNANT? Research is now being done to show that bisexual hook-ups increase the chances of getting pregnant. Your biological clock is telling you something!
Meet at the lesbian bar FINGERTIPS on Thursday night 6 p.m. for a community meeting, happy hour. Reservations not needed.
“Oh no! Somebody has leaked our information!” I shrieked, suddenly understanding the problem, and embarrassed that I assumed the worst of Clarice.
“Zora somebody is sabotaging our study! One of the Doctors, or maybe a jealous colleague. What do we do now?”
“One of us needs to go to that meeting,” I suggested. “What is the place Fingertips?”
“It is a lesbian bar. Well it can’t be me who goes in my condition… y’know with my big belly protruding. It’s got to be you.”
“Oh no! Can you picture me in this lesbian pickup bar, in my hijab? I would look ridiculous! You really can’t expect me to go into the hornet’s nest to go under cover, surrounded by lesbians.”
“Look we have to fight this and contain the damage,” insisted Clarice. “Espionage is the only way!”
Realizing the threat and lack of options, I buckled. “I agree to be the one to go…But of course you know I don’t drink alcohol,” I said emphatically. “I can’t believe you are putting me in this predicament.”
“Thanks Zora. We will all laugh about this one day,” said Clarice.
I returned to my desk, and looked up Beylikdüzü escort Fingertips on the internet, trying prepare myself. Could I really put myself in that position? I read the Yelp reviews, and ultimately just “rolled over.”
I realized that should leave my hijab in the car, or else I would stick out like a sore thumb. What would I wear to look like a lesbian? No jewelry or high heels.
So that night, when I came home from work, I showered and primped myself, like I was going on a date. I had trouble lezzing-up my wardrobe, so I wore tight slacks and a V-neck crepe blouse.
It was warm so I didn’t wear any jacket, but felt exposed and shameful entering this gay bar. The hostess led me past bar full of women, but many surprisingly pretty. Nobody was dressed like a slut or kissing in public, but the night was early.
I went back to the meeting room, looking for the lecturer. About 20 chairs were in a semi-circle, with about 10 women sitting there already. At least, there weren’t hundreds. If I can get a list of the attendees, I could exclude just those who attended from the study. I could save our study! I texted my idea to Clarice, and she said that would be great.
A woman wearing a sleeveless shirt and revealing shorts sat next to me, and I could smell her perfume. She had an olive complexion, like mine, and I jumped when her bare legs touched slacks. I guessed she was Mexican perhaps. Couldn’t be a Muslim, so exposed and shameless. She was a little younger and prettier than me, but looked familiar to me, somehow.
Her cell phone rang, and she pulled it out, and muted the ring tone. I glanced over and saw her friend’s screenname was “Khadija”. Oh wow…She really is Arab!
She whispered, “Sorry, I’ve turned off my cellphone now… Are you also trying to have a baby?”
I giggled, whispering, “Well, actually I am a fertility doctor, just curious about this topic.”
“I am Haditha, and I just broke up with my girlfriend, but I wanted to have kids, inshallah,” she said, using the Arabic word for “God willing.”
I answered her, making it very clear, “I already have 2 kids with my husband. My name is Zora.”
“Wonderful to meet you,” she said. Then to my surprise, she put her arm around me like an old chum.
“What is that perfume you’re wearing?” I asked.
“I use Amoureaux. Do you like it, Zora?”
“Yes,” I said blushing, and filling my mind with her scent.
Then she reached over and held my hand as women do in my culture. She was trying to be nice, and I wanted to blend in and not make a scene. Her hands were warm soft, but un-manicured. It was peculiar for me wondering if she was a lesbian. It has been a while since anyone has touched me tenderly. There was no harm in this.
“Give me your cell phone number, please. We should be friends. You are very pretty without your hijab. You have lovely hair. I never wear the hijab anymore.”
She added a new contact on her phone, and requested my phone number. Despite my reluctance, she added me on Facebook.
A man stepped to the microphone. “Hello, I am Marvin Libansky, Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine. Thanks for attending. There many advancements in fertility and sexuality. Glad to see we’ve got about 18 women here tonight.”
“My partner Jill Vespucci provides sperm-donor matching and birthing services,” pointing to the corner where a woman stood, looking like a white-haired school teacher. “She is also a lesbian, and part of your community. There are thrilling advances showing that active sexuality makes you fertile and happy. A committed heterosexual relationship is not good enough. You need to be orgasmic and relaxed to fulfill your family aspirations.”
“How many people are the university study already? Show of hands, please.”
Only 2 women raised their hands. I would insist on getting their names afterwards. Haditha didn’t raise her hand.
He blathered on about herbal supplements and Chiropractic medicine. Jill got up and discussed her birthing services. I was satisfied that the Craigslist connection was just for marketing, not to destroy us.
After the lecture ended, the waitress came around to sell drinks. She asked if we were twin sisters. Haditha answered, giggling, “No, not sisters, but then Zora would be the prettier sister.” Her eagerness made me blush.
However, it bothered me to see Haditha order so much alcohol, a beer, plus two tequila shooters. When the shooters arrived, Haditha cajoled me to drink with her, but I refused.
While some attendees started to mill around the podium, I sought the study participants who raised their hands and introduced myself. I verified their names, and even got one of their Gynecologist’s name, which I can verify that later. I texted Clarice this information, and that we can exclude a couple of people from the sample. I recommended that we seek a confidentiality agreement with our women subjects.
Afterwards, Escort Beylikdüzü I walked to the noisy bar section near the dance floor, and found a tipsy Haditha.
“Haditha, stop drinking. I am worried about you,” I implored her. “I can drive you home. Or maybe you could call your friend, Khadija.”
“Oh you are worried about me? I am so flattered!” she said euphorically. “And besides…Khadija lives in California,” she laughed. “You are so pretty. Come dance with me,” she begged me, wrapping her arms around me.
“No, I will drive you. You are too drunk. You are almost falling down,” I protested suddenly aware of not having my hair covered. Somehow we ended up on the dance floor.
“Oh this is great fun, darling!” Haditha was gyrating her hips, but maintained an arm on my waist. She is very touchy-feely, but I did not argue.
“Ok just one dance,” I told her, slowly and prudishly swaying about. When she smiled back, her whole face lit up. I began to swing more enthusiastically.
She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me close, mashing our breasts together. “God, you are a great dancer. Show me your moves,” prompted Haditha. I shimmied my hips little to be funny.
We ended up dancing three more songs, and when I told it was time to go, she replied with a sloppy kiss on my lips. She lingered on the kiss, hugging me tightly. I smelled a little of the beer on her breath which angered me a little, but her fragrant hair and perfume were overwhelming. I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed it.
The dream was broken as I glanced down at my wedding ring on my hand. I separated myself from her, and insisted that we go immediately. “Ok, I am the designated driver,” I scolded. “Come with me now for your safety.”
I went to get my purse and waited for her by the bar. She paid her remaining tab, and I repeated that she should leave her car in the parking lot, and come with me.
I grabbed her hand and lead our way out the front bar, realizing I had enjoyed myself. For all my fears of being surrounded by lesbians, it wasn’t too bad. She nested her arm in mine, as if she were my wife.
Once we were in the car, she mocked me when I put my hijab on my head. As I drove, Haditha kept yapping like we had been friends for life. She told me that she enjoyed meeting me and really liked me, and especially our dancing. I am embarrassed, but I felt the same way.
When we got to her house, she insisted on kissing some more. Perhaps it was harmless, after all she had kissed women before. I never had before, and clearly I shouldn’t have left her feel my boobs. It left my nipples hard, and my mind foggy, but I was determined not to let lust overwhelm me.
The next day, Clarice and I repaired the damage to the study. She found both the women’s identities to exclude. She was satisfied that the lecture was not going to damage the study, just using it as an opportunity to attract clients. I told her about talking to Haditha just to make sure she had not been in the study. We felt satisfied that this situation wouldn’t destroy our work.
So I applied myself at work at work, trying to block out the memory Haditha’s sweet kisses.
Haditha called me but I didn’t answer, likewise I didn’t reply to a couple of her texts—”I loved meeting you!”, “I want to kiss you again,” and “Denial is in Egypt.”
I went back to work, as if I could ignore her. However, I thought about her every day. Why was she so attracted to me? She is a beautiful girl, and I am no fun.
Weeks passed, and I answered her phone call once, but dryly brushed her off, despite my feelings for her. Afterwards I cried, not for shame, but recognizing that I genuinely missed her.
I was flattered that someone would make such an effort for me. I understand that it is rare for people to click like that right away.
I googled what the Imams say about lesbians and it categorizes it with teenage promiscuity, so I felt better about it.
One of the first days of September Clarice and I finally had the discussion about her lesbian affair. Oh no, maybe it is contagious.
“Look Zora, I wanted you to know about Maria Rios, who is a nurse who works at Dr. Gonzalez’s clinic, so she is our colleague. She was instrumental in constructing the study. Um…Maria was that lady who was with me that day at my apartment, and …uh… actually is my lesbian partner. You need to meet because she will help me with study while I have the baby. We will all go to lunch together, perhaps Friday.”
My mind was flooded with a vision of Maria naked in the shadows.
I said, “Thank you for finally telling me. I wonder about this, but I understand your situation and didn’t want to pry. I wanted to know so I can be sure we conducted this study ethically.”
“Don’t feel threatened by Maria. You are my primary co-author on this study. But right now, we really need her with my baby coming in just a couple weeks. Remember you can call me at home, and I will be back just in time for the busiest crunch time.”
This would have been a good time to tell her about kissing Haditha, but I couldn’t.
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