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sahq

(Arabic) From a root meaning “to grind”, there are a number of vocabulary items in this group referring variously to persons or activities. The Arabic root may also have been borrowed into other vernacular languages with similar meaning and use. A variety of words meaning “to rub” are found to label lesbian activity, testifying to the general knowledge of one common sexual technique.

LHMP entry

He calls grinding an “illness” and offers various possible causes, including having an “inverted womb” (a variant on the clitoral hypertrophy motif), or a mis-match between the shape of a woman’s vagina and the shape of the penis. Another possible cause he lists is the mother’s diet during breast-feeding. Some women pick up the habit from having sex with concubines. Another explanation is that grinding is a natural appetite, derived from a variant of humoral theory.

A satiric poem from a man to his female rival for his beloved, using metaphors such as “you can’t patch a hole with a hole” and “what use is a hammer without a handle?” to argue the superiority of heterosex over grinding.

An anecdote about the female entertainer Bathal who, when singing to a male client, substituted a lyric in praise of "grinding" (sex between women). Her client contradicted her, but then requested that she finish the song and offers more lyrics that are in favor of grinding.

An extensive legal/religious discussion/debate on the question of whether grinding [sex between women] is forbidden. The debate is largely framed as a discussion by “the father of Mohamad”.

He reviews various positions on whether female homosexuality is forbidden or permitted. Is it fornication? Is it worse than fornication? Is it not fornication at all? The conclusion is that it isn’t fornication because fornication is specifically define as unlawful penis-in-vagina sex.

This work is a compilation of two lectures and a collection of primary texts in translation. The first chapter is a lecture sponsored by Aswat a Palestinian lesbian organization. It discusses issues of identity and especially issues around coming out in modern Islamic society.

This essay is included in the book in English, Arabic, and French. It concerns itself not with homosexuality as a “problem” but with the articulate and literate voices of the women themselves that shine through the writings, even when mediated through male authors. These voices describe the pleasures and attractions of “grinding” as well as speaking to the social context in which it occurred.

An Appendix of Texts from the Arabian Middle Ages Concerned with Female Homosexuality

”On the Mention of Grinding and Grindings” in al-Yemeni, Ahmad Bin Mohamad Bin Åli (d. 850).

Explains the nature of “grinding” and the vocabulary.

Notes the hadith the equates grinding with fornication.

Gives the story of Hind credited as the first “grinder”.

Gives the story of Rughum and Najda (tragic lovers).

Chapter 4: A close reading of Aĥmad Ibn Yusuf Tifashi’s Nuzhat al-Albab - Toward re-envisioning the Islamic Middle East

Part I: Introducing studies on female homosexuality and contemporary critical theory

Chapter 1: Introduction - Contemporary views of female homosexuality in the Middle East

Chapter 2 - Constructing and deconstructing sexuality: New paradigms for “gay” historiography

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