Saudi Arabia: Why Won’t Saudi Men Use Protection?

use a condom

There has been greater global coverage in the press and on different blogs and other social media about Saudi men getting a foreign woman pregnant and then abandoning her and the child.  The fact that so many young Saudi men are unwilling and not ready to be fathers makes me wonder why they (obviously) chose not to use protection such as a condom?

I know from my own experiences in Saudi Arabia that there is little to no sex education taught in the schools or Universities.  Most young Saudis learn sex education from friends or trusted family members and exactly what or how much they learn is debatable.

Additionally, growing up in a gender segregated environment does have an impact that Saudi youth will have many curious and arousing thoughts about the opposite sex.  The lack of contact seems to magnify the allure and temptations.

Therefore, when the young Saudi man has the opportunity to travel outside of the Kingdom whether for schooling, business or pleasure, many take the opportunity to engage in sexual relations.  Once they find themselves in a  more open society without segregation it is not difficult for them to find a woman to charm and engage in an intimate relationship.

Sadly, most of them are probably thinking of only the self-gratification and not the fact that a sexual encounter can have long lasting implications such as a pregnancy.  It probably does not occur to them either that engaging in relations with an individual also poses the risk of a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Why does a Saudi man choose not to use a condom as a protection for himself and for the prevention of an unwanted pregnancy?  Because Islam promotes and encourages large families, a Saudi man probably does not think about a condom.  If anyone is going to take care of birth control, it is usually the woman.  In private discussions with either women or Saudi men, the most common phrase on why the man does not use a condom is that “he wants the encounter to feel natural.”  Others have stated that using a condom is too confining or just an annoyance.

It seems that the Saudi man most likely to use a condom when having intimate relations is the man who chooses to use the services of a prostitute.  Additionally, some married Saudi couples have chosen the condom as a birth control mechanism.  However, the single Saudi male who wishes to have intimate relations is the most likely not to use a condom or seem to think about consequences by not taking appropriate protection to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or STD.


22 Responses

  1. Saudis are told many things… That a girl isn’t a virgin if she doesn’t bleed on “laylat-ul-dakhla”, that Western women sleep with every man they meet at a club (or just walks in the street without abaya/niqaab) and mermaids live in the Pacific ocean :-b

  2. A woman also decides to have sex with a saudi man without the use of a condom. They can’t be the only ones to blame for the pregnancy. I had condoms, and he had condoms, we didnt use them. If there wasn’t going to be sex unless a condom was involved, I’m sure he wouldve used one. We have a baby. Its not just his fault. It is only his fault that he turned his back on us 11 months after our son was born . We can certainly blame only him for that much.

  3. How many Saudi men were interviewed for this story to have any basis? I think this is a global issue…would be nice to see statistics.

  4. @punchy, I totally agree with you.

  5. Umm Alawi, ànd mermaids are halal to eat!

  6. A man is only responsible for his own actions…and the woman has just as much responsibility. This post makes it sound like the male is fully to blame..or it’s all up to him, these sexual encounters. It also makes them sound rather self serving and selfish. Do all Saudi men engage in sex with only their own satisfaction of paramount importance? Do no Saudis love the women they engage in sex with?

    I do agree with this post in some respects, but it is true for all men..not just Saudis…and Saudi men have their issues for sure but they can’t all be this shallow or why are there so many foreign women marrying them?

  7. At one post of sex and beyond saudi arabia blog ,,,,you will find the answer….yes… with condom is NO sex—- rape with condom is no rape because of the condom———–yep

  8. You can read about it at post 69 !!!! of november 2012

  9. If you live in saudi you are not lucky because the blog is blocked…so
    no ” lets talk about sex babe”

  10. Sorry, but this post paints the idea that women have no agency to make decisions for themselves. The use of a condom during sex is the decision of two people. The title of this post is even more troublesome, “Why won’t Saudi men use protection?” ..such a title leads to poor generalizations that cannot be applied to all.

    A lot of couples, regardless of ethnic background, stop using a condom after they become closer and gain trust together. Rather than birth control, they rely on the old ‘withdrawal method.’ Love and sex are not always rational, so people often go with what feels right at a given moment. If a couple has been together for a lengthy time they most likely trust each other. Yes, I am sure many people are going to protest against what I am saying — I am not saying this is morally right or wrong, but this is the REALITY). If you think love and passion can always be rational then you are certainly idealistic. Call it naive, call it risky, but this is the reality for some couples..

    I highly disagree with the idea that Saudi men eagerly and commonly sleep with women without condoms upon first meeting, as if they insist for unprotected sex. A few tragic incidences cannot be generalized for an entire ethnic group — this is very problematic. Saudi men and their sexual practices are as diverse as any other background.

    As an escort, this issue is something I can depict well, because quite frankly I slept with a good share of khaleeji men. A condom is always used without a question. There are also Saudi clients who see escorts without sexual penetration, because they are worried about sexually transmitted diseases.

  11. My guess is that the point was that the men in the relationship can’t control whether or not the women use birth control, but they can control whether or not they use a condom. However, in many relationships the couple choose the form of birth control they use together. It may mean a pill, IUD, condoms, shot, withdrawal, family planning, etc. No method is 100% perfect.

    The ones who rely on the withdrawal method probably aren’t taught about other birth control options. If we look at the statistics in the US, it is actually better to educate children on birth control methods and sex in order to prevent teenage pregnancies and promote abstinence. Perhaps this would also be true for Saudis?

    Using condoms on a regular basis can get old after a while if you’re with someone that you know doesn’t have any STDs and vice versa and you have been with them for a long time. Other birth control methods would, at that time, need to be considered.

    Another factor is that the guy may assume the woman is on birth control without checking with her first while the woman may assume the man doesn’t mind having children if he’s ready to have sex with her without one. It could also be true that the guy is simply using the woman and doesn’t care if he gets her pregnant.

    There are a lot of factors here that could be possible, so my guess is that the reasons will vary from couple to couple. Sex education would be the best way to change the statistics for both the Saudi and non-Saudi.

  12. Short answer: Because they are too selfish to reduce their pleasure and consider protecting anyone while having fun. Somebody here said that the woman also agreed to have sex with a Saudi man without the use of a condom. But a woman can’t force a man to wear a condom. “Yes,” someone will say. “But she could get up, get dressed and refuse to have sex with him.” Did I hear right? Are we holding the woman solely responsible again? Both the people are responsible for making the baby – that is, the man, too.

    Long one:

    Let’s not make excuses for the poor Saudi lambs just because there is no sex education in Saudi Arabia. Sex education is not officially taught even in the West but people here are far more knowledgeable about protecting each other. “Oh yes,” some Muslim will exclaim. “You are knowledgeable because you are wallowing in debauchery every day and we value modesty and innocence so much!” Excuse me? The level of debauchery I witnessed in the Gulf is nowhere to be witnessed in the West. Local men frankly turn into pushy animals when they go out of home and I’m not surprised that some Muslim wives here keep defending their men – they simply don’t know what’s going on while their men are out.

    The argument of inexperience reminds me of an article I read in “Daily Mail” several months ago. A Muslim man was tried in a British court for groping his female co-workers, making suggestive remarks and trying to force one of them to touch the area of his stomach. His defence came up with the lame excuse that he’d had a very sheltered upbringing in an extremely conservative Muslim household, so he’d had no idea that his behaviour was wrong in a Western society. The bastard lucked out with a stupid British judge who believed the explanation and passed a very light sentence. The Muslim scumbag must have laughed all the way home. I feel sorry for the Western women he harassed and distressed.

    In another article, which was published on a blog now blocked in Saudi Arabia since 26 February 2013 (, it is said that sex with condoms is not actually sex in Saudi view. I cannot give you passages of that article here out of respect for the copyright but I can give you the link to the post.

    To the Saudi readers here: Good luck enjoying the blank screen. It might make for an interesting view.

  13. First is thing is that if they have sex without marriage it is haram(prohibited) in islam when they are doing haram it is against islam they will face the bad effect of it like STD etc.

    we are humans and we must have some discipline in our daily routine and we must not behave like animals.

    If they have sex with their wife (not haram and the are less chances of STD spreading among humans).

    Follow the guideline from your creator you will be protected otherwise suffer..

  14. You said: “Short answer: Because they are too selfish to reduce their pleasure and consider protecting anyone while having fun. Somebody here said that the woman also agreed to have sex with a Saudi man without the use of a condom. But a woman can’t force a man to wear a condom. “Yes,” someone will say. “But she could get up, get dressed and refuse to have sex with him.” Did I hear right? Are we holding the woman solely responsible again? Both the people are responsible for making the baby – that is, the man, too.”

    Again, people have a tendency to think that love and passion can be rationalized — it cannot! This generalization placed upon men (in particular Saudi men) completely ignores the context, the circumstances of both partners, etc. This is an issue that encompasses all humans. To blame Saudi men and generalize an entire race for a practice that is common among ALL humans is hardly valid. Do we take in consideration how some Saudi men abstain from sexual intercourse out of fear of pregnancy? Do we take into consideration how some women lack assertiveness and have little agency when dealing with their own bodies?

    Also, the blog Sex and Saudi Beyond is a very poor source for a very complex issue of gender and sexuality in the Gulf. Interestingly it is not translated in Arabic, which is probably because Arabic readers would contest its content quickly. That blog, along with some articles on this blog, has a very Orientalist agenda, aiming at problematic generalizations and lacks of conceptualization.

  15. I see ‘White Man’s Burden’ narratives all over posts like these. It brings back the racist British colonialist discourse of the ‘Saving the Women from the Brown man.’ These constructions of the ‘brown’ man as untrustworthy, dangerous, and a threat to women is not only racist, but it is the outcome of an imperialist motive to destroy and undermine the Other.

    Subaltern studies and the famous Edward Said’s notion of Orientalism changed how academics study history. Sadly, among mainstream society these racist narratives remain endorsed by the Media (to serve political purposes of hegemonic power), and thus unchallenged by those who cannot think critically.

  16. @escortdiary,

    “These constructions of the ‘brown’ man as untrustworthy, dangerous, and a threat to women is not only racist, but it is the outcome of an imperialist motive to destroy and undermine the Other.”

    Have you thought that may be you’re over analyzing this just a tad!!!

    It is really simple:

    – Saudis coming to the west are exposed to more freedom than they are used to and some tend to over indulge
    – The average Saudi tends to receive much less sex education than the average Westerner. I am not just speaking of classes in school only, but also exposure to the topic in general. So leaving protection to a woman is more likely with Saudis.
    – Saudi men in foreign countries are hindered by rules of their government, which does not allow them to marry a foreign woman. Add to that family and social pressures So in the case of pregnancy even of a Saudi man wants to do what is right, he will have to deal with that complexity. This is usually too hard for most to deal with.
    – Some Saudi men may also be of the attitude that the period they are in the West is really just a fantasy short lived mini life. They can avoid any consequences, if pregnancy occurs. They can just go back home, hit the reset button and start again.

    I do not think the article exaggerates the problem. Yes, men of every nationality can have the problem of leaving protection to the woman and abandoning their children. However, I think the chances are much higher for a Western woman getting pregnant then finding herself abandoned with a child, if the father is a Saudi. Even the Saudi government with its propensity to turn a blind eye to social issues, is starting to realize the magnitude of abandoned Saudi children abroad.

    I am not sure what any of this has to do with Orientalists, Brown Men, Politics, the Media or Colonialism. It is just a unique situation for Saudis in the West.

    It is not the trait of a critical thinker to assign the wrong causes to an issue.

    @punchy, you had the most rational comment here. Stay strong and I wish you and your son well!!!

  17. @MoQ
    The fact that you easily buy into this Modern notion of ‘freedom’ speaks volumes of your outlook.

    No it not very simple like you say. The fact you think that a saudi male can simplified is problematic in itself. There is rich diversity in the Arabian Peninsula. Nejd differ somewhat sociopoltically and culturally than hijaz; within these regions is further diverse groups.

    Indeed there are barriers to marriage politically and culturally. It would certainly impact a conservative Saudi. Such barriers are more the reason to use protection. It doesn’t require much education to understand that unprotected sex can result in pregnancy. There is a focus on abandoned children, but its not an epidemic among Saudi men. One cannot paint an entire group with the same color. We are seeing one sided stories, which are tragic indeed. However, its simply the outcome of circumstances, which might be a coward Father or a manipulative woman. I know too many cases of women besotted by a man, who purposely elect to get pregnant to ‘trap’ him. For such reasons, it is invalid to demonize an entire group while ignoring the context of each unique situation. Again I have to point out something that some positivists fail to understand: love and sex is NOT rational.

    Also MoQ, its clear you do not understand the concept of Said’s Orientalism.

  18. @escortdiary,

    You are building your strawman then attacking it. Example:

    “The fact that you easily buy into this Modern notion of ‘freedom’ speaks volumes of your outlook.”

    What modern notion of freedom have I talked about in my comment?

    Another example:

    “The fact you think that a saudi male can simplified is problematic in itself. There is rich diversity in the Arabian Peninsula. Nejd differ somewhat sociopoltically and culturally than Hijaz; within these regions is further diverse groups.”

    What makes you assume that I am not aware of the differences between Hijaz and Najid. Actually, all my points above apply across the board in Saudi. The differences is to what degree. Also, I think you should understand writing. Of course I am generalizing and a smart person should understand that in generalizations also assumes individual or subgroup diversity. It is a macro picture view that relies on what is a probable. If you actually read my comment you should see the pattern of using words like propensity, average, chance, etc. All words that should give you hints about a macro view argument with reference to probabilities.

    If generalities cannot be used, then your entire premise of orientalist views should also be invalid as it is the ultimate in generality by reducing everyone’s thinking into a broad a one word description.

    “Also MoQ, its clear you do not understand the concept of Said’s Orientalism.”

    Another assumption on your part. There is a difference between not understanding something and disagreeing with it.

    I think you formed an opinion about the world’s complexity from a very narrow view based on a theory by one writer. I have seen you bring this concept in many comments here. The world today is much different than the world of Edward Said’s 1978 book. A world that has changed through globalization, the internet, social networking, end of the cold war, teh war on terrorism, etc. This is on top his ideas were also controversial to start with. Your reliance on only one outdated and invalid argument with all the assumptions that you throw around, points to you being the person who is narrow minded and limited in understanding.

  19. Saudi men rape young girls abroad…13-14 yrs young. There have been tons of cases reported where they then (with the aid of the Saudi embassy) flee back to Saudi never to be found again. This article should not focus on use of protection rather it needs to focus on Saudi immorality and power abuse. The sexual offenses they commit both in land and out of land because of a system that teaches them they have the ultimate power and women are truly objects to be handled and mishandled with 0 consequences on them. It will always be her fault… not his. Don`t look at or treat Saudis the way you treat (normal) people with proper education, proper legal and judicial systems and societies that do not generate a fracture between women and men thus deleting women`s rights. These (fatherless children) are ultimately lucky…to not have the asshole who abandoned them and ran away to marry his first cousin back home in a traditional Islamic manner be part of their lives.

  20. @ MoQ

    You mentioned ‘freedom’ here: “Saudis coming to the west are exposed to more freedom than they are used to and some tend to over indulge”

    You are assuming that Saudis do not have freedom. Fine, I get that. But what exactly is freedom? Are you assuming that we, in the United States and Europe, are free? This ‘discourse of freedom’ (often used by politicians) is very abstract, and is the basis of neoliberal ideology. This idea that we have a ‘choice’ makes us think we are not oppressed, but neoliberal policies masks the power and domination that determines our fate. If this doesn’t make sense, I highly suggest you read up on Michel Foucault’s ‘technologies of power.’

    Also, yes Said’s Orientalism is from 1978, but it revolutionized the way of thinking about history. Said’s theoretical framework dominates most social-science based disciplines today. If you are telling me it’s ‘outdated’ then ask yourself why the leading professors and academics at Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, etc use a ‘Saidian’ theoretical framework for their arguments? Noam Chomsky, Lila Abu Lughod, Hamid Babashi are just a few names who outline the problematic implications of Orientalist discourse. It is not just a debate about the ‘West’ trying to create a simplified view of the Occident, but rather emphasizes that any form of knowledge comes with an authority. Yes, the world is constantly changing, but the Orientalist narratives are still widely held in mainstream opinion, such as trying to paint an image of another group of people for a specific purpose. You mentioned things like ‘the war on terror’…this is a great way Orientalism is used in a current context, where Muslims and Muslim societies are constructed as ‘strange’ or ‘barbaric’ in mainstream media.

  21. @escortdiary,

    I think you like the soap box 🙂

    Example: your rant about freedoms and its definition

    My statement is simple, if you are interested in understanding not lecturing. I said Saudis coming to the US experience more freedom. The key word there is MORE . As in there is MORE sexual freedom in the US than Saudi. I think that is an obvious piece of knowledge, especially consider the context. You turned that into talking about abstractions and philosophical arguments about definitions.

    I never made any arguments about definition of freedom. So if we are in the business of suggesting reading materials, let me suggest you picking up any freshman book about logic and reading about fallacies with emphasis on understanding the simple concept of a strawman argument.

    Regarding your rant about orientalism:

    – It remains controversial. Yes it may have its followers, you included. However, in general it is not widely accepted. Also, note that sociology depends on the judgement of the author rather than on hard facts. So implying that having something being taught in sociology departments makes it true is the same as saying all religions are equally true because they are taught in philosophy departments.

    – It is used as a scapegoat theory to deflect criticism. As an example your argument about the war on terrorism. It is like you’ve never heard of 911. I happen to believe that the US is grossly over reaching with its actions since 911. However, I do not think the cause is some theoretical social idea, rather a political action driven by industrial interests (defense and energy industry as an example) taking advantage of short term fears. Note listing it in my argument does not mean I support it.

    – Your argument about mainstream media is also questionable. You are avoiding the obvious in your typical over analysis. Have you thought that may be just may be the media is driven by counting eye balls watching TV screens or reading news papers, which in turn drives sales success. And may be just may be that means they are focused on negative and sensationalized stories, because that is what the public wants to watch. This applies to all groups whether you are Arab, Muslim, black, a drug addicted celebrity or a white doomsday prepper. Also, have you thought that may be just may be the Arab and Islamic world with its constant turmoil feeds into that need. Yes prejudices form with constant negativism, but the volume of these stories are driven by the actions of Muslims. The same is true in the other side. The actions of the US military machine in invading countries, mistreating prisoners, executing drone strikes, etc. are not helping the US win popularity. The mainstream Arabic media covers these negative stories in a similar fashion. Perhaps there should be an Americanism theory to match Oriantalism and explain it all in one unifying social theory!!!

    – Also, have you thought that Mr. Said (which I do like as a writer) grew up in the Arabic colonialism/post colonialism era. His thinking and theories have been shaped by that period, including later Pan-Arabism/Nassiri ideology. That was roughly 50 years ago. The world has changed dramatically since. By the way, I happen to think the focus on blaming colonialism in the Arabic world is one of the reasons Arab nations have lagged in their development. Orientalism feeds into that negativity, instead of focusing on building nations.

    The point Escort is there is perhaps some value in the orientalism idea. However, you are missing a lot in your analysis of situations, if that is the only tool you use for every issue relating of Western vs Islamic/Arabic culture. It certainly had very little application for the topic of this article.

  22. So much for them being Muslims and should not have sex before marriage. I heard that they don’t like using condoms and prefer women to be on the pill. A lot of Saudi men are handsome and good in bed so that’s why women fall for them. I guess they have the power and wouldn’t like to change that.

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