No blood on the sheets? No marriage.

// 3 June 2008

French front pages have been plastered with the story of the annulment of the marriage of a Muslim couple after the husband discovered his wife had lied about being a virgin:

The wedding night party was still under way at the family’s home in Roubaix when the groom came down from the bedroom complaining that his bride was not a virgin. He could not display the blood-stained sheet that is traditionally exhibited as proof of the bride’s “purity”.

Mr X went to court the following morning and was granted a annulment on the grounds that his bride had deceived him on “one of the essential elements” of the marriage. In disgrace with both families, she acknowledged that she had led her groom to believe that she was a virgin when she had already had sexual intercourse.

French feminists such as philosopher Elisabeth Badinter have spoken out vehemently against the decision:

…women’s sexuality is a personal matter in France, personal and freely determined […] This decision will result in young Muslim women rushing off to hospital to get their hymens fixed. Instead of of defending women, defending these young girls, the court has increased the pressure on them

Her second statement may seem to be a bit of an exaggeration, but The Times claims that:

Although officially discouraged, the 30-minute operation is in increasing demand from Muslim women who fear the consequences of being unable to prove their virginity on their wedding night. Numerous agencies offer services for surgery trips to north African nations. One is offering a “hymenoplasty trip” to Tunis for €1,250 (£980). Internet sites and blogs are full of would-be brides in fear of the test of “the blood-soaked sheet”.

Either way, I certainly agree with Badinter and other French commenters that it is highly worrying to see what in France is a fully secular institution (you have to get married by the State, religious marriage is a secondary and optional extra) bowing to patriarchal religion. Although the court case was supposedly based on the fact of her lying about her virginity, rather than on her not having an intact hymen, neither would be an issue if it wasn’t for the patriarchal concepts of virginity and woman as property.

However, they are also calling for the decision to be overturned, while the case is being used for political point scoring in the French Assembly. The woman herself seems have been forgotten. What good would it do her to overturn the ruling? Her lawyer said she welcomed the decision as ‘a great relief. Despite everything, she is very happy; the decision has allowed her to regain her freedom’.

She’s already been shamed and humiliated by patriarchal custom and values, and should not be forced back into a sham marriage.

Comments From You

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 6:29 pm

Actually, whether the spouse is male or female, lying about something so essential to the marriage is always grounds for annulment. One can always change their mind, but if it could be proven that you lied when you said you wanted to have kids, and tricked the other party into a childless marriage (esp. if you knew you were barren), or marry another and then refuse to have sex with her, those would be traditional grounds for divorce, annulment, separation, etc., whether the claim is abandonment or what-have-you. Even lying about saying you want to raise the kids under a certain religious tradition is essential enough to what marriage is about for that to be a ground for revocation. It works that way whether the liar is male or female and would presumably work the same way in gay marriages. You simply can’t mislead people into such binding commitments by promising them things you never intend to, or cannot, give.

Anne Onne // Posted 3 June 2008 at 6:31 pm

Exactly. Overturning it might be point-scoring, but it won’t help her one bit. I just hope she’s safe from familial or community retribution, and I hope she finds happiness in life.

In the long term, we want to decrease the pressure on women to stay virgins, or the reasons why they should fear their ruptured humens being revealed. We need to decrease the focus on brides being virgins, and on women not being allowed to have sex. It’s amazing that in this day and age that many men have this selfish demand to control the previous sexual habits of the women they supposedly love, despite the fact most of the men have been happily sexually active. Even if they haven’t, what right have they to demand everyone else to be a virgin? You make your own choices to abstain or have sex, but you shouldn’t think you can govern everyone else.

In the current climate, with the current pressures and dangers many women face, people might discourage these operaions, but they are a lifeline for many terrified women. Before discouraging these operations (like abortions) we should work to render them unneccessary, and until women don’t need these operations to avoid being ostracised, threatened or killed, focusing on how we find them ‘distasteful’ and not why these women need them is focusing on the wrong thing. In an ideal world, women wouldn’t feel they needed these operations, because they would be able to have sex without guilt or punishment, but until then, these operations are better than some of the things that can happen.

I’m also worried people will use this as an excuse for ‘them strange backwards Asians’ thinking, because it’s easy to look at something like this from a smug position of superiority, thinking we must be above everyone else. Well, obviously that’s not true. As the abstinence-only sex ed programmes and virginity ring fetishes and purity balls show, Western countries (and Christians!) are not exempt from treating women’s hymens as property.

Nina // Posted 3 June 2008 at 7:10 pm

Why was Ms Y marrying this idiot?

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 7:38 pm


“Actually, whether the spouse is male or female, lying about something so essential to the marriage is always grounds for annulment.”

I’m not disputing that. The issue is the fact that the state of a woman’s hymen is seen as “something so essential”.

james // Posted 3 June 2008 at 7:47 pm

Thanks very much for posting this. It’s really interesting.

“The woman herself seems have been forgotten. What good would it do her to overturn the ruling?… She… should not be forced back into a sham marriage.”

This the main issue is this: if a marriage is annulled it never happened in the eyes of the law. If it isn’t they wouldn’t have to endure a sham marriage, but would simply have to end it through divorce. But that means a court can determine the division of marital assets etc. and would make them both divorcees, as oppose to people who have never been married. The annuled/divorce distinction is very important.

I totally support the decision. I don’t see why the husband should be bound to a marriage he only entered because he was deceived. The people who oppose this (and those who support hymenoplasty) are basically in favour of it being legal for women conduct a particular type of fraud against men. Frankly, she got off very lightly and should really have been prosecuted.

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:03 pm

James – I meant that they’d be forced to me married until a divorce went through.

I think it’s a pretty sad state of affairs if a man only enters into a marriage because he thinks his wife-to-be is a virgin, even sader that virginity is even an issue at all. As for your final comment, thank fuck we’re not living under President James is all I can say…

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:05 pm


Virginity is an issue for some people. Not for me, but for some. If a woman were upset that her husband lied about his virginity, she could seek an annulment as well. It is the lying, not the state of the hymen. Men do not have hymens.

Sian // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:06 pm

I never bled when I lost my virginity-am I in the minority? Anyway, it’s very sad that it should matter. I’m not sure the French courts had much choice in the matter when it came down to the truth though (but I know that the French legal system is very different to our own and I’m not sure whether that affects this particular case).

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:08 pm

Virginity has historically been associated with women. There is no way to biologically prove if a man is or isn’t a virgin, and as such it has never been an issue for men. The focus on virginity is a way to control and oppress women – always has been.

katarina // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:18 pm

James thinks the bride should have been prosecuted for not bleeding. Now I’ve heard everything!

What should she be charged with, James?

You know, not all virgins (female ones) bleed when they have sex for the first time. You’d end up punishing virgins for not being virgins if you had your way.

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:19 pm


I do not disagree that a focus on virginity is a way to control women’s sexual behavior, but the focus here is in the brain of the particular man involved, not in the marriage laws itself. My point is only that this is a neutral application of the law to this particular couple. That the beliefs of this particular man and historically men who have shared such beliefs are partairchal may be true, but that doesn’t mean that marriage itself or domestic relations laws are inherently patriarchal.

As for the proof of virginity, there are traditionally many ways to discover a man has not been faithful to only one woman, for example, other women show up with illegitimate kids and claim that he is the father. Women traditionally have an out for adultery as well, and fornication laws in Victorian England punished both unmarried men and women (indeed, because the only defense to fornication for women was “he raped me, so it wasn’t fornication, because fornication is consensual,” a chivalrous man in Victorian England would falsely confess to rape so that his lover went free).

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:24 pm

Me neither, Sian.

james // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:31 pm

“What should she be charged with, James?”

Fraud. If I went around getting a material advantage by lying to old ladies that would be fraud. It’s the same here.

“You’d end up punishing virgins for not being virgins if you had your way.”

No I wouldn’t. I’m not proposing bleeding should be the test. In this instance, we know she lied because she admitted it. There’s plenty of other non-physical sources of evidence you can use.

“There is no way to biologically prove if a man is or isn’t a virgin…”

That’s not true. Plenty of my mates have got little bundles of biological proofs they’re not virgins running around.

Anne Onne // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:40 pm

Fraud? Fraud? Are women in a society that punishes non-virgins publicly with shame, threats, injuries and death now commiting fraud? What harm is this ‘fraud’ committing?

Wow, the poor menz, not getting their beloved hymens! Why on Earth would they care about the women they are attached to? Can you honestly say this is an issue of deception rather than an issue of having a hymen? Would the husband have agreed to marry her if he didn’t think she was a virgin? Would she not have been punished if she revealed the truth? She probably hoped that her husband would have looked past that, or felt pressured by his or her family to carry on with the marriage, knowing it would be found out, but not knowing what to do. Knowing what fear women like her must have faced, I have zero worries about the man.

For a start, he didn’t need to tell anyone, if he was worried about it getting out and ruining his rep. Second of all, if he had an ounce of empathy, he’d look past the ‘deception’ and realise why she felt the need to do things this way. But no, feeling a bit more friction during the first time, and not feeling your favourite object has been used before is more important than supposedly loving someone!

I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Trade Descriptions act, James, because it’s clear you think women are property, and that non-virgins are therefore faulty goods that need to be returned.

Look, she didn’t pretend to be another person, she wasn’t cheating on him, or lying about being HIV positive, or omitting to mention she’s a mass murderer, anything else more serious. Her past is between her and whoever she shared it with. Whilst it’s good if people feel comfortable being themselves, or sharing aspects of their past with partners, it’s not a moral obligation to tell your partner how many people you’ve slept with. Men don’t have any inconvenient biological giveaways they’re not virgins, so the idea of anyone really caring about male virginity is a hypothetical one, because it never really features in men’s lives. They’re not punished for not being virgins, for a start!

Well, if it’s fraud, I’d gladly stick up for their right to keep practicing these grave and evil deceits upon poor unsuspecting decent men, seeing as how a woman’s sexual past does not constitute a huge problem to her current relationship. I could understand if these women were lying about their HIV status or something, but the issue is merely that they have had sex at least once.

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:46 pm

Oh, Christ, I meant that a man can fuck around (using contraception) all he wants and, if he likes, still claim to be a virgin.

The woman had to claim to be a virgin in order to fit in with oppressive patriarchal norms that govern whether or not she can get married to the person that (I can only presume) she wanted to spend her life with. That’s what’s fucked up here – the fact that she was forced to lie because of the value placed on a woman’s virginity, not that the fact that she lied.

Anna // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:49 pm

Technically your friends could have just used the old hand/cup/turkey baster method. Kids prove nothing.

I never bled when I lost my virginity either.. didn’t make me any less a virgin. I’d not used a tampon previously either or played any particularly strenuous sports.

Apparently some girls are just born without. Ignoring the absolutely massive issue of such a ridiculous value being set on a girl’s virginity, what the hell sort of precedent does this set to the girls who have broken it or are born without? Are they now to be considered impure by their husbands, and dropped immediately?

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 8:58 pm


It’s true that men can fuck around with contraception and claim virginity, but women can simply not engage in vaginally penetrative sex and claim the same thing, and many do. There’s a lot you can do without vaginal penetration. I am not sure that fucking around while preserving the right to lie about being a virgin is a male privilege.

I may agree with you that patriarchal norms are bad and oppressive and we should get rid of them, but I don’t think that society forced this woman to lie. She could have found a husband who didn’t care about her virginity, and there are many, many, many men like that nowadays, including devout ones.

Laura // Posted 3 June 2008 at 9:26 pm

Actually (although not mentioned in the English article) the marriage was not strictly arranged, but certainly encouraged by both families, so I’m not sure that she could have just found another husband.

Anna // Posted 3 June 2008 at 9:33 pm

Jack, you really seem to be ignoring the fact that blood on the sheets isn’t a reliable indicator of virginity. I didn’t bleed the first time I had sex, I’ve bled when I’ve had sex once or twice since then.

Lottie // Posted 3 June 2008 at 9:49 pm

I didn’t bleed either Sian and most of my friends didn’t either, I think it’s pretty normal.

Rachel Bichener // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:16 pm

James, I don’t understand why you are placing so much store in the “deception” this woman engaged in vis a vis her virginity?

As a man, can you tell me this: during sex, does it make any difference whether a woman is a virgin or not?

It certainly does not affect her ability to conceive, to have/enjoy sex or, Dog forbid, be good company and a loving partner to someone!

For a secular government to be bowing down to archaic religious expectations is very worrying.

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:24 pm


I’m not ignoring that. As I tried to make clear, my posts weren’t about defending the content of this guy’s beliefs, or even litigating this case, just about noting that the “trickery as to the essence of marriage as grounds for annulment” rule applies in a gender-neutral fashion even if you don’t like the facts of this case or the people involved in it. There are many similar cases involving women who want out for analogous trickery by men (“you didn’t tell you’d had a vasectomy!”) and the law would apply in the same way.

In any event, he doesn’t want to be married to her, and a man who doesn’t respect his wife’s sexual freedom and a woman who lies to her husband about something so important to him are a man and woman who shouldn’t be married, anyway, so good thing they got an annulment.

I don’t think it makes sense to argue that he should be trapped in a marriage with this woman or that men should have lesser rights to exit fraudulent marriages than do women, because that would reduce him to chattel. I certainly agree that males should be stripped of male privilege, but forcing men to marry women they don’t want is a bit much!

lb // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:28 pm

I didn’t bleed my first time either and had never used tampons.

I agree with James in saying that lying in a relationship is bad no matter what. While for the most part I think that your sexual past is a personal thing, if it is important to you partner and you lie about it, that’s not cool.

Personal anecdote: I recently am divorced from a man who right before seeing me (and actually with some non-sexual overlap) had been in a long-term relationship with a married woman. I only found out because he was ratted out and I doubt he would have ever told me on his own. I felt like that was something he should have come clean about. I still married him, and problems stemming from the lying ensued and 6 years later we divorced.

That being said, I 100% agree with the critique presented that “that his bride had deceived him on ‘one of the essential elements” of the marriage” is utter bullshit. Virginity may have been important for him, and while I am fully learned on how gendered such a concept is, considering it was important to him and she lied about it, I think annulment is just fine. But the state has no business stating that virginity is an essential element of marriage.

Second, I agree that his accusation that she lied because there was no blood is also bullshit. OK, she ended up ‘fessing, so we know (?) she lied. But blood is not evidence of her lying.

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:30 pm


It doesn’t matter of virginity affects the quality of the sex. The point is that this man wouldn’t have entered into the marriage if he had known she was not a virgin, and she lied to him about that to induce him to marry her. That is a material misrepresentation and so it is a fraud. And a fraud of that nature is a reason for an annulment, no matter the sex of the party that wants the annulment.

Feminist Avatar // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:31 pm

Just to throw annoying legal perspectives on this- in Scotland (which followed Roman law which was the basis of marriage law in a big part of Europe) when discussing fraud as a basis of annulment for marriage, the law distinguished between ‘substantial’ lies and other lies, when determining whether annulment was valid. A ‘substantial’ lie would include thinking you were marrying one person and it turning out to be another; a minor lie would include virginity (or lack of) (which is often the example given in legislation) or thinking you were marrying a rich person and they were really poor, etc. So, actually, while you can argue the ethics of lying to your partner about your sexual past, the law was quite clear on this subject. I am not sure whether annulment law has been adapted in recent years to reflect changes in divorce law and thus allows for a wider remit of ‘lies’, but this would have been a recent ammendment.

Anne Onne // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:32 pm

Jack, men can still lie about having PIV sex, which many people consider the only sanctionable form of sex. Granted, oral and anal sex has long been used by women to try and keep men happy whilst trying to retain the ‘virgin’ title, but saying men don’t have any privilege because women can have another type of sex misses the fact that men don’t have to engage in ‘other’ types of sex to be seen as virgins, nor do they need to worry about giving enough to not be seen as frigid, or whether their girlfriend will accept another form of sex in lieu of ‘real’ virginity-busting sex. I wouldn’t be surprised if some men are quite insistent on vaginal sex, simply because it’s such a big thing, and would represent a kind of commitment on the woman’s part.

Acting as if these women don’t have any pressure to have vaginal sex is being disingenuous, I mean, you’d think that when women had so much to risk, large numbers would risk being ostracised and humiliated when something else would do the trick?

Or what about being raped and losing their virginity that way? Men don’t need to worry about that. So nice try, but men still have privilege.

And really, have you got a huge experience of strictly religious Muslim* men who don’t give a damn about hymens, that I just haven’t heard about? Is there a huge club of Men Who don’t Care About Hymens, and where can I find them? (really, it would be cool and patriarchy-busting… hear that, feminist men, make this society, and prove it! ;)) What evidence do you have that a woman from a closely-knit religious community, where she is always expected to marry within her community, with someone her parents find acceptable, will be easily able to find a man who is that liberal, whom her parents would agree with? You’re expecting these women to face being ostracised for marrying someone her family won’t approve of, or outside of her community, which for many women would be very difficult. Not every woman has the luxury and privilege of choosing from every man who exists, or every man who loosely subscribes to the same religion as her. Communities are far more complicated than ‘it’s Ok if they’re vaguely religious’. That’s even assuming your devout men who don’t care about virginity aren’t a huge hard to find minority, who may not be popular with other religious people. God knows liberals of any stripe get a lot of press from hardcore religious types!

I don’t think it’s rare at all. Let’s not forget all sorts of hymen-rupturing accidents that can occur, as well! I remember that any thread on this knd of topic throws up lots of women who either ruptured their hymen before their first PIV experience, or didn’t bleed for other reasons. And these women amy be in more danger, because they might not know that their hymen is not ‘adequate’, so may not have the chance to go for an operation.

*or even Christian, Jewish or any other strict group in a religion, which normally places a heavy emphasis on people marriyng within their community, who are all likely to be strict about this.

Anne Onne // Posted 3 June 2008 at 10:41 pm

How would we know exacly what her confession entailed? Under positions of so much pressure, it’s hard to say.

In a culture where virginity is not an important thing, I would agree that lying about it is a bad thing. If I have the freedom to be honest without being punished by society, my family, and ‘suitors’, then I wouldn’t have a pressure to lie about it. You don’t get huge deals being made about women lying about their virginities in communities where virginity is not a big deal, because they don’t feel the pressure to lie, hence why honesty is a good thing.

But in situations where women cannot be honest because they would fear for their lives and safety, and be outcast, there is a lot against them, and focusing on their ‘deception’ rather than the very real problems they face, and why virginity is all they are judged on, and the most important thing about them is focusing on the wrong issue. It would be ideal if women didn’t ‘decieve’ partners like this. But seeing the situation they are in, who should have the temerity to heap blame on them?

That’s why I don’t look upon cheating and lying about that as being the same when people couldn’t get divorced, and today in th UK when you can. In times where people could not divorce if they did not love someone, and could not choose to be with someone they loved, there would be little choice but to either stay faithful to someone that repulses you, or cheat with someone you love.

These days in the UK, we have the chance to come clean and end relationships, hence cheating is a problem because you can be honest and move on with someone else you like, if you feel it’s what you want.

In short, in some instances, deception, whilst not a good thing, is more of a necessity, because the alternatives are grim.

Jack Leland // Posted 3 June 2008 at 11:04 pm


You think that her lying was a necessity. That may be so given her circumstances. But I don’t believe that under any legal system there is a necessity defense to an annulment for fraud or a divorce for adultery. And the lack of one is not proof of some gender inequity just because it is the woman who lost in this case. There are other similar cases involving similar concerns where men lose and no necessity defense is available to excuse their wrongdoing.

Qubit // Posted 3 June 2008 at 11:55 pm

This case doesn’t seem to make much sense. The fact that her hymen was supposedly broken is not proof she isn’t a virgin or that is what I have been lead to believe. As far as I know just because she doesn’t bleed doesn’t even mean her hymen was broken. So how did the guy come to the conclusion she wasn’t a virgin? Also why is she happy about the annulment? There seems to be something missing to all this which suggests something else is going on.

james // Posted 3 June 2008 at 11:57 pm

“How would we know exacly what her confession entailed?”

She must have given testimony to the courts satisfaction, otherwise they wouldn’t have got the annulment. So I presume its legit.

“I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Trade Descriptions act, James, because it’s clear you think women are property…”

Very funny.

Look, I agree with sexual libertarianism. But it’s not for everyone. If someone want to marry someone who’s lived up to (or down to) certain standards, it’s their call. If someone wants to marry a virgin, it’s not my place to criticise their desires in a partner, anymore than I’d want them to start slagging me off for my hope I’ll end up with a nympho.

You make legitimate points about the sexual double-standard. But not all religious men are perverts who are out shagging anything that moves, while oppressing their womenfolk. Some take their own chastity very seriously too. I don’t think you should judge strangers for what they do, but I think it’s fine to have expectations of your own partner when you decide to begin or stay in a relationship. It not really any of our place to tell other people how to live when it comes to something their own intimate relationships.

“James, I don’t understand why you are placing so much store in the “deception” this woman engaged in vis a vis her virginity?”

I feel for the guy. You think you’ve found your soulmate, you’ve spent lots of money on a wedding, it’s the happiest day of your life – and then he finds out his wife’s a lying tart, it destroys the relationship, and then it ends up all over the newspapers. That’s a bit of a blow.

He has been harmed. He’s wasted lots of money because he was deliberately deceived. If I hadn’t happened be could be happily married to the girl of his dreams by now.

BrevisMus // Posted 4 June 2008 at 12:12 am

Not all women are born with a hymen; not all hymens are thick enough to contain blood vessels; not all hymens are large or complete enough to cover the entrance ‘entirely’ and be broken; some hymens simply stretch; hymens can break from sports, bicycle riding and even really heavy periods.

I work with women with vaginismus, and so the hymen issue is something that comes up a lot. I checked with a gynecologist that the advice I was giving – ‘just because you didn’t bleed doesn’t mean your hymen is still there, go get a mirror and check’ – was correct. It is.

I honestly thought we were all beyond the blood=virgin thing. I can’t imagine how many women in the past were mistreated by their husbands because they didn’t bleed (or who had to cut their legs or arms to fake it), and had hoped that women nowadays didn’t have to deal with this crap.

Lots of women and men are now going to be even more confused (I deal with lots of women who think their hymens are inside their vaginas, never mind who think that there’s something wrong with them because they didn’t bleed. As well as all the women who are afraid of the alleged blood & pain and this has caused them a phobia of penetration!).

(I am aware that the lack of blood was not the only reason why it was alleged she was not a virgin, but the blood thing has really ticked me off)

Shea // Posted 4 June 2008 at 3:02 am

“a woman who lies to her husband about something so important to him are a man and woman who shouldn’t be married”– how is a hymen important? It was important in times past because it was one of the only ways of guaranteeing paternity of a resulting child. In an age of contraceptives and access to abortion it no longer is.

“I don’t think it makes sense to argue that he should be trapped in a marriage with this woman or that men should have lesser rights to exit fraudulent marriages” ——–no one is arguing that. The fact that he was so easily able to annul the marriage contradicts that statement.

” I certainly agree that males should be stripped of male privilege, but forcing men to marry women they don’t want is a bit much!” ——no one is forcing men to marry women they don’t want. The husband entered the marriage of his own volition. If virginity was a huge issue he should have discussed it with his bride to be, before agreeing to marry her. In sickness and health, for better or for worse (or muslim equivalent) remember?

I wonder if you would support the right of women to annul a marriage on the grounds that their husband prematurely ejaculated/was impotent/ insufficiently endowed? Something tells me not likely.

And sorry, —-“a chivalrous man in Victorian England would falsely confess to rape so that his lover went free).”—- I’ve just spat coffee all over my computer screen. Rape carried the death penalty in Victorian England until 1841. So I seriously doubt that even the most chivalrous of men would have been willing to risk his life or reputation by confessing to rape. This has to be one of the most bizarre re-imaginings of history ever invented.

As is “indeed, because the only defense to fornication for women was “he raped me, so it wasn’t fornication, because fornication is consensual”. Fornication has never been a crime under English law, there is no offence of fornication on the statute books. Adultery was and still is one of the grounds for divorce, but it is not and was not, even during Victorian times ever a crime (except for a short period in the 17th century). It resulted in social ostracism or an ecclesiastical fine up to the C17th but not criminal sanctions.

Kristy // Posted 4 June 2008 at 5:24 am

The men in this blog seem to be exploiting the concept of a feminist blog.

Is it really necessary to comment if you do not respect the values of this blog site?

surely there are other blogs out there for non-feminist views?

Sarah // Posted 4 June 2008 at 9:36 am

Isn’t the biggest problem here how exactly we define ‘virgin’? Several people have pointed out the inadequacy of defining it in terms of the state of a woman’s hymen – that proves nothing – so then what is virginity? Not having had sex? What exactly is ‘sex’, which particular sexual activities count, which don’t, and why?

I’m all for partners being honest with each other about their sexual past – especially if there’s a risk of sexually transmitted infections – but no one is obliged to disclose such information, and partners being less than honest with each other in a relationship is their personal problem, maybe even a relationship-ending one, but certainly not ‘fraud’! And I can certainly understand that a woman in such a situation as the one in the story might find it difficult to speak openly about her sexual past. And of course for all we know she may not have any ‘sexual past’ – not that that is any of our business, or anyone’s but her own.

Finally – I agree with the comment above, this is supposed to be a feminist blog? Since when was it acceptable to call a woman a ‘lying tart’? Sexual shaming *and* the implication of woman=liar that we tend to see in misogynistic reponses to rape cases? It’s not OK then, and I don’t think it’s Ok here either?

sam d // Posted 4 June 2008 at 10:12 am

I also think that people are missing the point. Lets not forget that the real issue here is that she was not A VIRGIN not the LIE. Had she lied about her age, for example, would it be ending this way? I really doubt it. The whole thing about the lie that certain people seem fixated on is only smoke and mirrors- another example of people not wanting to deal with sexism and misogyny.

Cockney Hitche // Posted 4 June 2008 at 10:27 am

There are many similar cases involving women who want out for analogous trickery by men (“you didn’t tell you’d had a vasectomy!”) and the law would apply in the same way

But that’s not an equivalent case. An equivalent case is a woman who knows that she’s infertile marrying a man who she knows wants to have children and thinks she does too. Having children is a life-altering, lasting experience that many people strongly desire, so I can see that lying about one’s ability to have children is a big deal and constitutes a major breach of trust.

Virginity on the other hand…what difference would it make to the rest of this couple’s marriage/lives whether the woman was a virgin on her wedding night or not??

For all those who believe that virginity is legitimately ‘essential’ for some people, do you believe that anything that a spouse regards as essential should be classed as essential? E.g. if a woman went out on a date and pretended that she loved seafood just to be polite and the couple ended up marrying later on – would the husband have grounds to annul the marriage upon discovery that she had lied to him about her penchant or lack thereof for seafood?

and then he finds out his wife’s a lying tart,

Nice illustration of the sexual double standard, here. A woman who isn’t a virgin on her wedding night is a ‘tart’.

Davina // Posted 4 June 2008 at 10:44 am

‘Look, I agree with sexual libertarianism. But it’s not for everyone. If someone want to marry someone who’s lived up to (or down to) certain standards, it’s their call. If someone wants to marry a virgin, it’s not my place to criticise their desires in a partner, anymore than I’d want them to start slagging me off for my hope I’ll end up with a nympho.’

‘I feel for the guy. You think you’ve found your soulmate, you’ve spent lots of money on a wedding, it’s the happiest day of your life – and then he finds out his wife’s a lying tart, it destroys the relationship, and then it ends up all over the newspapers. That’s a bit of a blow.’

‘He has been harmed. He’s wasted lots of money because he was deliberately deceived. If I hadn’t happened be could be happily married to the girl of his dreams by now.’

James hopes he’ll end up with a ‘nympho’ but this husband’s wife is ‘a lying tart’. I’m guessing James wants his future wife to remain a spotless virgin until the wedding night -when she’ll magically turn into a nympho. Because of course if she were a nympho before, and didn’t tell him about it, she’d be a lying tart. And even if he did know about it, she’d still be a tart.

Anyone who describes women in these terms is a jerk who would never use the same terms for men.

It’s not the lying aspect that gets me here (although the article does say ‘led the groom to believe’, not ‘lied to him’). It’s that people still buy into this idea that a) sex is dirty and b) a person’s worth lies in their genitals. This is something worth criticising.

Somehow I don’t think James really agrees with sexual libertarianism.

Citruscino // Posted 4 June 2008 at 11:08 am

Hi everyone, I am French and I am a feminist.

My draft has been erased so I have to start my comment again :( I’ll write it shorter.

A few things I want to say :

-The very concept of virginity is as silly as horrendous. It is the fruit of a very special understanding of sexuality. The patriarchal one. The woman as passive, the man as active. The concept divide women in three categories : the virgin, the mom, the whore. Feminism is all about deconstructing/smashing this viewpoint.

-This very case law annulled the marriage because the bride lyed about a fact that she knew was “essential” for the groom. Such “essential qualities” hidden by people which made marriages annulled are for instance :

-being sterile/barren

-being a divorcee

-being a prostitute

-being an ex-convict

-being mentally ill

-not being of French nationality

-having an “affair”

All these situations made some marriages annulled. No outcry. No asking for the law to be modified. Anyway, the “essential qualities” do not apply whenever. It is a case, not a law.

This case is clearly blown out of proportion because the spouses are Muslim.

I want to remind everyone that “infidelity” is a “faute grave” (grave fault/foul/error) during any divorce case in France. And married couples still have tax breaks in France. Therefore, the State (via the Tax Administration, the Courts, the City Hall…) actually FINES people over 18 who are not in a monogamous relationship reckognized in public!

Hello! The Parti Socialiste never asked for this to be modified. But how patriarcal is that?

Ms Badinter is the second stockholder and President of Board of PUBLICIS, the advertsiment company spreading its sexist ads all over the worlds.

She opposed the “parité” law (affirmative action for women in politics) for the sake of universalist values.

She calls the struggle against prostitution “a war against prostitutes”.

She favored the law banning girls with the headscarf (and Sikh boys with turbans) from coed State schools.

Oh, by the way, what does the white wedding gown stands for?

Queerfully yours.

Alicia // Posted 4 June 2008 at 11:08 am

“he finds out his wife’s a lying tart” confessing to previous sexual intercourse – with no details given as to whether it was consensual – hardly makes a woman a lying tart.

Laura // Posted 4 June 2008 at 11:23 am

Hey Citruscino – I didn’t know that about Badinter – yuck :-(

Soirore // Posted 4 June 2008 at 11:48 am

I agree with many of the statements here but I would also like to add that to keep refering to this as a legal case is ignoring the fact that it is a cultural and social issue. It makes me sad and angry that young women are having re-hymenising operations because they are under pressure to appear virginal and be able to prove it.

Anyhow, if we’re going to bring this back to legal matters. Would the woman in the case be able to argue that her “husband” raped her? Her consent to have sex with him (not men in general but him as an individual) was seemingly dependent on their being married so if he is now denying they are legally married then the conditions of her consent were not met. If the view is that sex is only acceptable in marriage then why hasn’t this been addressed?

Who knows if her admission afterwards was coerced by him so that he could get an annulment? Why wasn’t his frankly suspicious behaviour considered by anyone? No wonder she expressed relief at no longer being tied to the bastard.

Leigh // Posted 4 June 2008 at 12:07 pm

The ruling seems to me to carry the disturbing assumption that it is natural and proper for men assert control over women’s bodies. The domination of women by men was once held to be one of the ‘great universals’ revealed by anthropological enquiry. It’s sad to see patriarchal demands of female sexuality transcend multicultural borders in this way.

tomhulley // Posted 4 June 2008 at 12:19 pm

Why all the accusations of lying? Virginity is a state of mind not a piece of tissue. Only a woman can decide if she is a virgin not a sheet or a husband or doctor or a priest.

So poor little diddums wanted a virgin wife? Tough!

Just because a woman in court is bullied into confessing does not mean it is truth -only convenience. A better legal system would make it an offence to ask if someone is a virgin. It is intrusive and offensive. The husband should have been prosecuted along with james and Jack leland as accessories … except my world would not be so punitive.

Jennifer-Ruth // Posted 4 June 2008 at 12:47 pm

“He has been harmed. He’s wasted lots of money because he was deliberately deceived. If I hadn’t happened be could be happily married to the girl of his dreams by now.”

Are you for real? Do you really think like this? Do you believe a woman’s virginity is *that* important? Hell, if your partners sexual history is something that can destroy your love for them…well, that partner is better off without you.

On another topic – someone mentioned up thread that there are some muslim men (and women!) who don’t care about virginity. This is true. I even have one muslim friend who drinks. Not all muslims are devout fundamentalists! Not all Christians stick to religious doctorine word for word and not all Muslims do either.

On the bleeding, I have to admit that I bled a whole lot on my first time. Freaked me out a bit! But this post just goes to show that everyone is differnet and that is not a reliable factor in deducing the status of a woman’s virginity.

sian // Posted 4 June 2008 at 1:10 pm

im another sian (small case) and like laura and the first sian, i didn’t either. i think the issue has to be why should virginity be essential to marriage. there’s never debate on the other end.

sian // Posted 4 June 2008 at 1:14 pm

sorry for posting again, was jsut enraged.

jack leland, i don’t believe virginity has to measured by penetrative sex. i considered myself as losing my virginity when i first slept with a girl, and then had penetrative sex with a man later, one wasn’t a more virginity than the other. i think this whole virginity rules nonsense should just end. who decides what is more intimate after all.

Anne Onne // Posted 4 June 2008 at 1:19 pm

The first issue here is that lack of bleeding upon penetration is not a realistic demonstration of lack or virginity. This means many women may be affected and actually not have had vaginal sex.

Second of all, there IS inequality, becayse you don’t see many cases where a wife drags her new blushing husband out of the bedroom waving untarnished sheets and demanding her damaged goods be replaced and she be reimbursed for such a cruel deception. Although theoretically both men and women can be virgins, and theoretically both can have a marriage annulled on those grounds, in reality this is an issue that mostly affects women, and women are the ones mostly penalised under this law. Kind of like adultery. Whilst men can also be charged of adultery, globally, many more women are affected and punished for these supposedly ‘netural’ crimes, and given latitude. Therefore these are feminist issues, because women are inordinately affected.

James, nobody is saying that the annullment in this case is illegal, or that under current law the man isn’t entitled to it. We’re focusing on why virginity should be such an issue, and to what extent it should be accepted by people as being a worthy thing to judge a new partner by. It’s not a deception on the same level as cheating, being in a criminal gang and lying about it, or deliberately infecting someone with HIV.

But I guess there’s not much point in continuing this discussion with you. Forgetting about a woman who will likely be socially ostracised, maybe threatened or killed because she once had sex with someone else, and worrying about the poor men, who don’t get their shiny packaged hymens as intact as they’d like does not a feminist viewpoint make. Yes, it’s be nice if he got everythinghe asked for, but if the focus is on the poor bloke, (and how he’s been so badly treated…poor little baby!) who probably won’t have nearly the problems or danger as a result compared to the woman involved, and if you choose to ignore all the context so that you can feel smug in saying that everythings fine because it’s a theoreticla deception, something is being missed here. Whether court would see her actions as justifiable is cold comfort if you’re in her position, and was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It takes two to destroy the relationship. If he felt he couldn’t take knowing his wife wasn’t as pure as he had been programmed to want, it’s not her fault if he chose to end it. Ending a relationship every time you find out anyhing new about a partner is NOT the only option. It’s not like he had NO choice but to end it- his life wasn’t in danger, was it? she hadn’t done anything during their relationship to justify it (cheating). He chose to end it because he felt disappointed. Sorry for him, but it’s not her fault if he chose to end the relationship. And if you actually want to work on that feminist perspective of yours, here’s a tip:

Don’t empathise with the men in every story you see. Because you know what? We get their side of the story a lot. Every day’s a ‘msn’s stories’ day. If you can’t take a step away from your gonads once in a while and look at context, and try to see what women have to deal with, your talk about privilege is empty, because you don’t actually want to step away from it. The first element of privilege is always unthinkingly feeling sorry for people of your type, whatever the situation.

And if you can’t see why referring to this woman as a ‘lying tart’ is wrong, I don’t really see why you’re on a feminist site exactly. If you do like to think of yourself as someone trying to learn about feminism, this would be a good time to check your privilege, and listen.

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 4 June 2008 at 3:52 pm

The central issue is not one of cultural differences but the patriarchal belief that a woman’s body is the property of the husband. If a woman is perceived as not being a virgin when she marries a man she is considered to be the property of some other man. This is the real issue, the continued denial of all women’s rights of sexual autonomy and ownership of their bodies and sexualities. The fact this case concerned Muslims is a ‘red herring’ because the still widespread belief that women’s sexualities belong to men is held by most cultures. Many Muslim feminists are opposed to the patriarchal view that a woman has to prove her ‘virginity’ after marriage otherwise she is deemed a ‘whore.’ Therefore this law is in fact a denial of women’s rights of sexual autonomy and reinforces a husband’s belief he alone must ‘own’ the woman’s sexuality and body. Women in England were until the passing of the Marriage Act were considered the sexual property of their husbands and it was deemed right for a husband to rape his wife because her sexuality belonged solely to him. Likewise if a wife refused to engage in penetrative sex with her husband he could divorce her on the grounds of non-consummation of marriage. Once again women’s sexuality was presumed to be the property of their future husbands not owned by the woman herself.

Men, however have always had the right of male sexual autonomy because they have not been murdered by women because they were not virgins upon marriage. Likewise men have always been granted the right of engaging in pre-marital sexual activity because it is still widely presumed men ‘have a biological need for penetrative sex with any available woman.’ Of course the woman but NOT THE MAN is then stigmatised as being a whore. This too reduces women to being ‘sex’ and not individual human beings with rights over their bodies.

Sabre // Posted 4 June 2008 at 4:22 pm

I wonder if the annulment would have been granted so easily if those involved were not Muslim. It sometimes seems to me that ‘Western’ governments are so afraid of offending the minorities and their cultures that they allow things that would otherwise be thought ridiculous. I think this is especially true for Muslims in light of increasing alienation of those communities post-9/11.

Coming from a muslim family I have to say that most Islamic notions of the virtues of a woman are hideously outdated – a woman’s worth should not rest so heavily on her chastity/purity, if at all. There is never any stipulation that a man must be a virgin before marriage. So who are all those unmarried men having sex with? SLUTS I guess, while the men of course are STUDS!

I digress.

The French government were right to annul this marriage, but should have done it on the grounds that the groom was clearly not worthy of his bride if he would reject her so easily and superficially. Marriage takes people through much harder times than overcoming one lie. And I’m not surprised she lied about this, given the religious context and values placed on her virginity. If he really cared for her, he would forgive the lie, but of course it would be terrible for him not to be able to prove his manly deflowering prowess to his family without the bloody sheet (a custom I find absolutely disgusting, and disrespectful to the privacy of a married couple).

I just hope Ms Y is able to continue her life without further judgment and rejection, and find someone who wants her for who she is.

Citruscino // Posted 4 June 2008 at 4:45 pm

@ Sabre

“The French government were right to annul this marriage”

It is not the French government but a French court called Le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Lille.

Citruscino // Posted 4 June 2008 at 4:57 pm


“The central issue is not one of cultural differences but the patriarchal belief that a woman’s body is the property of the husband.”

I wish it was but in the French media right now, the issue is the “cultural” thing.

TV shows host and MPs are talking endlessly about “young girls” and “young men” from the “suburbs”, about “Kabul”… although there is no evidence the wicked man and the woman of this case were from “the suburbs”, or from Afghanistan for that matter.

james // Posted 4 June 2008 at 5:37 pm

Sorry about lying tart comment. I was just trying to put over his perspective. Imagine the shoe were on the other foot: you found a nice pro-feminist guy at a campaign against the sexual exploitation of women, you get hitched, and then he tells you he’d been having lots of unprotected anal sex with drug addicted prostitutes. You’d be really upset he’d decieved you and wasn’t the person you thought he was.

the focus is on the poor bloke, (and how he’s been so badly treated…poor little baby!) who probably won’t have nearly the problems or danger as a result compared to the woman involved

The woman seems to be okay really. The only thing that happened is she’s not married, but that’s really her own fault. I think your assuming that women who lie do it because they’re worried about being murdered, but some of them just lie because they don’t like the truth.

“there IS inequality, becayse you don’t see many cases where a wife drags her new blushing husband out of the bedroom waving untarnished sheets and demanding her damaged goods be replaced”

You don’t see many of these cases either. And as Jennifer says, men do have their marriages annuled for non-consummation due to impotence. Which has to be a bit of a talking point at the pub when you’re not there.

Jack Leland // Posted 4 June 2008 at 6:40 pm


Actually, my vasectomy example was equivalent. I meant that the wife in my example would be enraged — for religious reasons — that her husband’s reproductive capacity had been electively altered, whether the vasectomy was reversible or not. She would have wanted an annulment simply because she didn’t want to marry a man who had had a vasectomy (much like an Orthodox man might not want to marry a woman who had pierced her ears). I suppose a clearer example would be a man who lied about having been circumscised. The wife could seek an annulment in that case, and the same neutral principle would be at play.

Anne Onne // Posted 4 June 2008 at 7:04 pm

Putting over his perspective? Interesting. However, here it’s pretty much considered a given that he’s a misogynist with double standards who values principle over people, and no regard for context. Besides, you seem to agree rather a lot with him.

If I found such a guy, it wouldn’t be the lying that was the problem. For a start, he’d have been exploiting women who were probably not in a position to consent. He will have caused harm to those women by what he did. He will also have exposed himself, those women, and I’m assuming myself (or the hypothetical feminist in the scenario) to a great deal of risk of contracting a communicable disease.

But he is still the same person he was earlier. He might even be hypocritical, and trying to reconcile wanting to be a feminist with his male privilege, or maybe he was a sociopath trying to get into my pants. Either way, it’s certainly no guarantee that that issue would be the end of the relationship. Assuming that whatever a partner finds out, they will always, or should always end a relationship, just doesn’t hold true in rela life.

Especially if this is in the past tense.

One might ‘forgive’ someone for these actions, if they understood the very real results of those actions and how they have affected everyone, and they are sincerely regretful of their actions. If he was currently doing something, it would be a different issue, but for some partners, an agreement to stop the offending behaviour, and an explanation of why it is wrong would be enough. But this example is far worse than not being a virgin. It is about causing a lot of harm and risk.

A more accurate example might be finding out that pro-feminist dream boat uses porn. Current tense. And every feminist would react differently to this. Granted, most would be upset. But not all of them would choose to leave the partner, even if he was currently using porn. In a relationship between adults, you would expect a discussion of why something bothers one partner, what boundaries there should and shouldn’t be. And if the porn use is in the past, it would not be a current problem, because it has nothing to do with what he is currently doing, or the current person he is.

The only thing I’d consider unforgiveable would be something like rape. But that results in very real harm, not to myself, but to whoever he did it to, and the issue is not with him not being the person I thought he was, but the mistrust because he did something so awful, that I might be afraid that he would do it again.

But maybe there are plenty of feminists who would choose a different path. The point is the ‘wronged’ partner does not ‘have’ to do anything, especially in a position where they are not at risk. They choose a reaction, but there is no ‘right’ reaction, and they are not entitled to expect

This is entirely different to having once had sex (past tense), which harmed nobody. It’s a finished action, in the past. And to most feminists, I would think that a past action would need to be pretty big to justify retroactive outrage at something that happened before you met someone.

Just what is the truth you refer to? That because she had sex once, her family would disown her, her community, maybe the only people she knows, might abandon her, the man she might love, may hate her, and she may be persecuted for it? Yes, I do think they don’t like that truth.

Unless your ‘truth’ is that she’s damaged goods and deserves everything she gets?

Jack, in practice, who is most often penalised via these kinds of laws and thoughts? It’s all very well something being theoretically equal, but theory doesn’t give women the 20% they earn less than men, or protect them from discrimination of any other sort. Theory does not prove that in practice a law is not used more often against women, when women are more often and more harshly judged.

Jack Leland // Posted 4 June 2008 at 8:14 pm


Women actually do seek annulments and receive them.

Anne Onne // Posted 4 June 2008 at 8:20 pm

Yes, nobody was denying that ANY women recieve annullments, but whether the majority are requested by women or men, and that the context should not be taken out of the picture.

Clare // Posted 4 June 2008 at 10:20 pm

Some of the posters on here seem to be confused as to grounds for annullment and the legal basis of this discussion. I may have missed if this has been discussed as I haven’t been able to read all the comments – if so, apologies.

In this country, the UK, marriage is not based on contract – therefore “lying about something essential” would NOT be grounds for divorce. In France, contract law does form part of the legal system in relation to marriage – meaning that “essential qualities” can be considered. Whether one would consider contract law with its emphasis on “performance” and “payment” as being a suitable basis for personal relationships is another topic for another time. What was appalling about this case, was the fact that an essentially a piece of law designed for commerce was used to humiliate and judge. I would be interested if now she is considered “damaged goods” – this certainly seemed to be the implication in bringing the case. I would also be highly doubtful that such a case would ever be brought against a male. After all, how would you prove it?

kristy // Posted 4 June 2008 at 10:52 pm

Non-virgin man + possibly virgin woman = woman now definitely not virgin

no blood on sheets + angry non-virgin man = annulment of marriage

Now non-virgin (possibly was, possibly wasn’t but definitely isn’t now) Muslim woman + annulment = shunned by friends and family, chances in life now possibly fatal

The non-virgin man finds another ‘virgin’ woman and marries her, then devirgins her and checks sheets for blood that isn’t there… what happens now??

Can people seriously say they see no inequalities here? non-virgin men refusing to continue being married to non-virgin women after the first sex.

But it gets worse… this man violated this woman BEFORE annulling the marriage, she could be pregnant and is surely at least emotionally damaged (whether she wanted him or not!) – i say violated as she had sex with him thinking she would be married to him.

I dont see how her virginity has any relevance in this blog – would you be thinking differently right now if this woman actually was a virgin and didn’t bleed after the first sex?

Qubit // Posted 5 June 2008 at 11:21 am

I imagine if a woman applied for an annulment on the grounds her husband lied about watching porn, and in fact he was still watching porn and refused to give it up, she would be laughed out of court with a ‘well what did you expect all guys watch porn, I can’t believe you were stupid enough to believe him.’

Similarly if a woman applied for an annulment because her boyfriend used to regularly visit prostitutes I would expect people to be equally dismissive because it is in the past.

Of course this is under English law not French law so I could be wrong as there might be a difference there.

At the same time she didn’t oppose it and actually I feel if both parties agree to an annulment no matter how stupid the reason it should be granted. It would be more interesting to see what would have happened if she had opposed it.

I dislike the strength of judgement placed on women being virgins. I understand a similar moral code is essentially, however people can have life changing events that effect what they believe. I find it worrying there are so many people who can’t forgive past mistakes made before you knew them. Nobody is perfect and it is who you are now, now who you were that matters.

ozycl // Posted 18 November 2008 at 6:16 am

i hate this custom, hate it, hate…unfortunately it is still practised in Turkey. I hate, fuck fuck fuck this custom. I witnessed it when I was 10 years old that my sister had terrible shouting and big shock when her husband family asked her to have sexual relationship immediately for this “fucking bloody sheet”. Then again my mother had same experience when she got married, she still had its pshco effect…Who is going to stop this fucking custom. THIS BLOODY SHEET CUSTOM ISN’T ISLAMIC, AGAIN IT ISN’T ISLAMIC, PROPHET MUHAMMED NEVER SAID SUCH THING, QUR’AN NEVER SAID THIS CUSTOM TOO….PLEASE DON’T SAY IT IS ISLAMIC. IT IS A BIG DISGUSTING CULTURAL CUSTOM THAT HAS BEEN WIDELY USED IN PLACES WHERE PEOPLE AREN’T ISLAMIC……

znr ycl // Posted 10 January 2009 at 8:36 am

This tradition isn’t islamic!!!! Please readers, pay attention to Prophet Muhammed tradition below….

On the “Bloody Bed Sheets” Tradition:

This is absolutely haram, awful and works against the request of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to keep intimate matters private. If speaking about what happens between a husband and wife behind closed doors was made haram per the statements of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), how about then showing it or put it on display? The Hadith in Sahih Muslim:

“Verily among the worst people before Allaah on the Day of Judgement is a man who approaches his wife sexually and she responds and then he spreads her secrets.“And in Musnad Imam Ahamd- “On the authority of Asmaa bint Yazid who narrated: “that she was once in the presence of the Prophet and there were both men and women sitting. The Prophet then said: “Perhaps a man might discuss what he does with his wife, or perhaps a woman might inform someone what she did with her husband?” The people were silent. Then I said: “O, Yes! O Messenger of Allaah verily both the women and men do that.” Then the Prophet said: “Do not do that. It is like a male shaitaan who meets a female shaitaan along the way, and have sex with her while the people look on!”

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