Gay Pakistan: Where sex is available and relationships are difficult
Pakistan is not the kind of place that most people would associate with gay liberation. But some say the country is a great place to be gay - even describing the port city of Karachi as "a gay man's paradise".
Underground parties, group sex at shrines and "marriages of convenience" to members of the opposite sex are just some of the surprises that gay Pakistan has to offer. Under its veneer of strict social conformity, the country is bustling with same-sex activity.
Danyaal, as he's asked to be known, is a 50-something businessman who lives in an affluent part of Karachi, and uses his smartphone to organise Karachi's gay party scene.
"One of the first things I did online, maybe 12 years ago, was type in G - A - Y and hit search. Back then I found a group and made contact with 12 people in this city," he says.
"These days there are smartphone apps that use GPS to tell you how close you are to another gay person with an online profile. There are thousands of gay men online in Pakistan at any one time."
The party scene is big - so big, he jokes, that he rarely gets time to himself.
"If you want sex too, it's a gay man's paradise. If you want a relationship, that may be more difficult."
These invitation-only parties are a rare opportunity for gay men to be open about their sexuality.
Pakistani is fiercely patriarchal. Pakistanis are expected to marry a member of the opposite sex, and the vast majority do.
The result is a culture of dishonesty and double lives, says researcher Qasim Iqbal.
"Gay men will make every effort to stop any investment in a same-sex relationship because they know that one day they will have to get married to a woman," he says.
"After getting married they will treat their wives well but they will continue to have sex with other men."
Source and full article: BBC News
I'd love to read what the Pakistani members of the Neowin community think of this article.