In Desperate Housewives – the famous American series – season one. Bree, the red head desperate housewife, was shocked to discover that her husband Rex, whom she has been happily married to for 18 years, used to betray her with another woman in the neighborhood.
As the story folds out, we discover that Rex wasn’t really having an affair, he only had some *special needs*, as they put it, that he was afraid of sharing with his wife, and thus he turned to a secret prostitute where he paid her to fulfill those needs.
Rex was sexually masochist, which means that he gets sexual gratification in the infliction of pain or suffering by another person. And while Psychiatrists are bend on considering sexual masochism as a kind of a sexual profile rather than a disorder in itself (if not accompanied with other personal disorders), Rex knew that society and including his own wife wouldn’t tolerate such needs, and so he looked out for someone else to fulfill them.
While Desperate Housewives is considered to be a comedian show, I consider this issue of Bree and Rex very important. This is no porno. It is a demonstration of someone’s personal profile that is shared with many other men around the around. For an Arabic audience who is obsessed with masculinity and the domination of men over women, introducing such a character of a man enjoying sexual humiliation and infliction of pain from a woman is quiet shocking.
In our part of the world, we still have people who are still get married without even going out and talking with the potential life partner. Sexual preferences of our potential life partners is never discussed before marriage even among the most liberal Arabs. With a huge ignorance of human sexuality in the Arab world these problems are just bound to happen. I really wonder how many men are betraying their wives for such reasons, and how many women are betraying their husbands for this?
Recently people around the world are more open about their sexual preferences, the internet helped to facilitate dating when anyone can search for a compatible sexual partner from his/her sexual profile on the dating site page. That is still not the case in our Arab world and even in the majority of people around the world. It draws questions about human sexuality and the institution of marriage, and how much a person can really go to accept his/her partner’s special needs.
Bree never forgave her husband for his betrayal, but she was willing to adapt and provide him with his special needs. She was appalled of what he asked her to do, and most probably never expect herself to be in such situation. Maybe if she had better sexual education and openness, she would have discussed this matter with Rex before they got married.
We here ask for sexual education for our children at school to get to know what sex is all about, but no one suggested to include special needs in the syllabus of sexual education, not just for the sake of potential partners, but also for the sake of children who grow up with such special needs and don’t know how to deal with them.