An Erotic Tale of Forbidden Love
It took me a long time to realize that Zein was playing me. Or perhaps that is not entirely true. On some level I always knew he was playing me. I just couldn’t tell what his game was.
When I first met Zein he did not stand out that much. He was cute, but not that cute. His eyes were pretty, but not that pretty. He was charming, but not that charming. He made me laugh but not that hard.
I’m not sure why I agreed to go out with him. I’m an attractive woman and guys ask me out all the time. It’s rare for one to strike a chord.
Yet Zein did. He touched something within me, an old fantasy that I was carrying around in my heart, unconsciously, an old craving I had. For Forbidden Love.
I’m Arab,” said Zein playfully, taking a step forward, stealthily moving his body closer to mine. It was our first meeting and we were chatting, flirting. He had already effusively complimented my beauty and expressed interest in getting to know me better.
“I’m Jewish,” I said, not sure how he would react.
“Yeah I could tell that when I first saw you.”
It would be obvious to anyone who can recognize it. I have dark curly hair, fleshy lips, a full, curvy figure.
He was gazing at me with desire in his dark, Arabian eyes. I was surprised he wanted me in spite of that. Or because of it. I couldn’t tell which. His energy was taut, a lion poised to pounce on its prey.
“I’ve never been with a Jewish girl before,” he said, reaching out and lightly stroking my arm. His touch felt warm and pleasant.
I liked that. It sounded like it meant something to him, as it did to me. As though he was raised traditionally enough to know how taboo it was. After all, this is America and not everybody retains the old ways. But I could see that Zein did.
I reveled in the illicit thrill of dating Zein. It was in defiance of my Jewish mother and her prejudices against Arabs and Palestinians. It was in defiance of my Hindu ex-boyfriend and his shit-talking about Muslims and Pakistanis. It was in defiance of Donald Trump and his travel bans and Islamophobia. It was in defiance of all the worldwide bullshit of racism and tribalism.
Zein was Arab, Pakistani and a Muslim. He ate halal; he abstained from alcohol. He was The Other. Yet on our dates when we talked, I felt we had so much in common, like he could uniquely understand me. I felt at home with him in a strange way.
Zein’s parents were from India, but he was raised in the United States. His family originated in the Middle East, travelled through Iraq and Iran, India and Pakistan; like me he was a member of a disapora. On our dates, over leisurely dinners, we talked about growing up in an ancient culture and religion, having one foot in the old world, one foot in the new. Our conversations lead me to examine my feelings about identity and belonging, which had been rising to the surface since the presidential election, when bigotry and Anti-semitism flourished in America at a level I had never seen before.
Talking to Zein had a healing effect on me. I started to see how these cultural wounds were still holding me back, keeping me small, preventing me from stepping out and pursuing my dreams to the fullest.
Though he came from a poor family, Zein had a drive and confidence that inspired me. He was an intrepid young entrepreneur who founded two tech businesses in Silicon Valley. “I make great hardware,” he bragged, a statement that tickled me, made me laugh; it just seemed hilarious. I wondered how did this guy ever figure out how to “make hardware?”
Zein liked that I did not take Silicon Valley too seriously. He loved my esoteric energy, something I have cultivated through meditation and spiritual practices, and complimented me on it frequently. He showed attentive interest to me when we were together, flattered me opulently. I adored all his sweet words. With him I felt comfortable, seen, appreciated.
“I’ve always had a fetish for Jewish girls,” he confided once, with a coy smile. “And everything I’ve ever liked in Jewish girls, you have… in abundance.”
Though Zein was handsome, I was not that attracted to him sexually to begin with.
The first time he made love to me, there were things I liked, and things I did not. I found the scent of his cologne cloying. His touches were too soft, flowery. His rhythm did not feel quite right for me.
Yet I loved how he directed me to lie back on the bed; he kissed and sucked my toes, kissed me all over, then moved on me with animal strength, and I sensed the lion energy unfurling inside him, feral and strong, regal.
Zein’s body had a thick quality to it, a pleasing heft against mine. And there was something unique about him: Zein had scars on his back, red raised lines that looked like gashes. The scars intrigued me. He explained that they were from an Islamic ritual, in which he had been whipped with chains, as a kind of spiritual initiation. The scars radiated a dangerous beauty.
On our next date, Zein romanced me harder. His aggression came out; he wanted to win me. He attuned to me more deeply, tracked my reactions more closely. He wanted to roast my heart on a stick like a kebab.
And he did. That night his scent intoxicated me. His touch made me melt. The rhythm of his lovemaking was just right. His body, which had been strange to me, became familiar, became delicious.
I grew enchanted by the nuances of him. I buried my face in the warmth of his hairy chest, took comfort in his masculine strength. I licked and tasted him all over. He had shaved his face and his genitals for me. I loved the smoothness of his skin against my lips. I slept in his arms, my heart next to his. I felt close to him, happy and at peace, wrapped in his manly embrace.
After that night, I craved Zein. I craved his body. I craved his kisses. I craved his chest against my breasts. I craved his cock, in my mouth, in my pussy. I craved to hear his lion growls as he fucked me. I craved the scent of his cologne, which I could almost smell lingering in the air when I thought of him.
I did not know Zein that well, but he seemed like such a gentleman — sweet, romantic, thoughtful, clever, capable. I was not quite in love but I was infatuated.
In one of my nighttime dreams, Zein appeared as a golden lion. I was naked, adorned in gold jewelry from head to toe, and when we kissed, the kisses emitted golden sparks that turned everything beautiful. Zein was like King Midas within my inner world. I began to think of him as a gem, a treasure, a great man.
From his messages, Zein appeared to crave me too. But he remained elusive. Sometimes he seemed like a mirage.
He would disappear for weeks or even months at a time and then return, saying he had been out of the country traveling for his business, in Asia, in Europe, that he had unfortunately missed seeing my texts. I imagined him attending conferences and business meetings all over the world — a freewheeling young bachelor consumed by his passion for entrepreneurship and the pursuit of success. Whenever I talked to him he would ply me with flattery, send kissy faces, say he wanted to see me soon, suggest days and times, but often he would not follow through on making plans. Or he would make plans but then have to cancel for various reasons. I was confused. I started to think of him as an international man of mystery — the spy who shagged me.
I pondered his strange behavior. Could it be that he was incredibly busy with work, as I knew guys in Silicon Valley sometimes are — and after all he was running his own company — or was it that he just wasn’t that into me? Men legendarily lose interest once their initial pursuit is successful.
Or maybe he was indeed attracted to me but there was something in the way. Perhaps he was dating someone else, or many others. Or he didn’t want to get close to me because of our backgrounds. Religion was clearly important to him. I saw The Big Sick so I knew that sometimes Pakistani Muslim guys do marry white girls, but that is rare. And I didn’t want to end up in a hijab. I realized a relationship was impractical, unrealistic. Yet I couldn’t help but want more dates with Zein.
The next time we met, a couple months later, Zein said he had been missing me, that he thought about me all the time. He drew me into his arms; he devoured me hungrily. He told me about his work, listened to me. He flattered me as usual. Yet he did not spend as much time with me as he had before. He seemed rushed, distracted.
Zein wasn’t showing up for me in the way that I needed from a lover. I knew I should forget him. Yet my desire was stubborn and my curiosity had become piqued by his odd behavior.
Then Zein suggested another date. He told me he would come to my place, about an hour from where he lived, take me out to one of my favorite downtown restaurants, a classy Afghani place, and spend the night with me. He set a day and time and told me he would make us a dinner reservation.
My heart soared, thinking of the fun we would have together. I imagined our engaging conversation, the food at the restaurant, the lovely velvet dress I would wear, every sensuous detail. He had never been to my house. I knew he would like it. I imagined lighting scented candles and creating a special romantic atmosphere for him to ravish me within.
In my fantasy I would play Middle Eastern music and enact my dream of dancing for him, nude, in front of my bedroom mirror, an informal, meditative form of bellydance I do called Tantric Bellydance.
My dance is special. It is very beautiful because of the way that my body is; so feminine, sensual and powerful. It is that of an ancient Hebrew goddess. But I am shy about it; I have always kept it to myself. I never danced for a man before.
Dancing for Zein would be a kind of role play. It was a fun idea that symbolized something deeper to me. It captured what being with Zein meant to me in my heart. Zein was a direct descendent of the prophet Mohammed, and I was descended from one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Our people were once brothers in a mythical past; now they were embroiled in endless conflict, were mortal enemies. Yet even before that, long before monotheism and patriarchy overtook the Fertile Crescent, we were all nomadic bedouins, living in the desert, celebrating the sensuality of life, worshipping The Goddess.
Ishtar. Ashtoreth. Inanna.
I imagined Zein watching me dancing, enraptured by the beauty, transported.
I imagined how the sight would enflame him. He would pull me against his chest, draw my hips against his, kiss me all over. He would make love to me every which way, in every position, in every room…
I was rapturously fantasizing.
Then reality set in.
All of a sudden I realized he would not follow through on the plan. He would cancel, like he had in the past. I had foolishly gotten my tender hopes up. Now inevitably I would have to deal with disappointment.
The day of the date came and by that point I knew with certainty that Zein would not show. My intuition was crystal clear. I tried texting him a few times and he was not responding. I was disappointed, annoyed. Eventually he replied that something at work came up and he couldn’t make it. He barely even apologized.
That night I felt angry and frustrated, empty. I wanted something from him that I thought would be delicious for both of us, but he wasn’t even showing me basic respect. The situation was making me tense and anxious.
Finally I decided to search for him online and see if I could find any clues as to why he was acting so contradictory.
I googled his name. I looked at his social media accounts. His picture was displayed along with the name of his company. Zein’s personal brand was pretty smooth. Barack Obama followed him on Twitter. His profiles were set to private so I could not see much.
I was familiar with all of this, as I had surveyed it when I first met him, almost a year before. But this time I decided to look more deeply. I searched his name in a number of different ways along with his location.
I noticed that some of the listings that came up showed a female relative named Fatima with the same last name as him, in the same cities. I chose to investigate this woman further. I searched her name on Facebook.
As I clicked on her profile, a sharp feeling of dread came over me. My breath caught in my throat.
Fatima’s picture appeared and there was Zein, holding a woman in a headscarf lovingly in his arms. They were both smiling happily. Her profile read: “wifey. mumma. #blessed.”
She was Zein’s wife.
I was shocked. I stared at the screen, horrified, frozen. My heart hurt, in a physical way. My pulse was beating wildly. It was an out of control feeling, a kind of panic. Darkness descended over me like a moonless night.
The darkness lingered for days. I had never been lied to like that, about anything. I could not sleep well; I dreamt uneasily of Zein. I could hardly eat. Sadness drained me. I felt weary. Work required extra effort.
It was difficult for me to grasp what Zein had done. He had drawn me into an affair without my consent. He lied to me about so many things that I wondered if anything he said was true. Was he ever in Malaysia, in Singapore, in London? Or was just sitting at home with his wife that whole time? All his sweet words now seemed laced with poison.
I struggled with the cognitive dissonance. For too long I had been admiring him, desiring him, wanting to talk to him, nuzzle my face into his chest, inhale his scent, to have sex with him again. Deep in my heart I could not clearly discern: was Zein my lover or my enemy?
I thought we were having a golden connection that represented peace between our respective peoples, a rapport that was healing old rifts within me. But Zein only reinforced negative stereotypes about Arabs as deceptive, duplicitous, philandering. I grieved for my ideals, my fantasy of who I thought he was: the gem, the great man.
And I pondered: who was Zein really? What did I know about him? He was a Sayeedi. He was a crypto millionaire. He was a founder. He drove a luxury car. He had a lion inside of him.
In the beginning I thought Zein’s touch was too soft, that maybe his sex was too vanilla for me. Then he asserted his animal side and fucked me just right. But as it turned out, Zein dominated me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. BDSM play, which I have occasionally dabbled in, is consensual, but Zein brought in a level of darkness that went beyond that. By lying to me, he put himself in a position of ultimate power, control and domination. Everything about the dynamic was asymmetrical as he held all the keys.
Zein lured me into The Temple of Dark Eros. The pleasure he gave me came with deep pain. I should have walked away once I realized that. There was no possible way to win.
Yet somehow I couldn’t.
My appetites are not always controllable. I’m not one of these perfect little women who drinks kale smoothies all the time and posts about it on Instagram. I eat whatever I want. I follow my cravings. I longed to taste Forbidden Love. Now I still craved something more from Zein.
I decided to stay, to confront him in his Dark Temple. Like the Vishakanyas, maidens of Indian mythology who derived their power from ingesting poisons and growing their immunity, I would take in the darkness and somehow flourish. Incidentally, the Vishakanyas were also known to kill their enemies in the act of lovemaking.
I told Zein I wanted to see him. He suggested that we meet for a couple hours at an upscale spa. He reserved a private room for us.
I prepared for the encounter with a heavy heart. My makeup felt like war paint as I applied it. Still my face looked lovely. I wore the velvet dress, which highlighted my exquisite bosom and cinched at my waist, showcasing my curvy figure to perfection. I wanted Zein to witness the goddess he was messing with in all her glory.
When I arrived at the spa, Zein was already inside the room. The reception area was serene and quiet. I was welcomed at the front desk by hushed voices. The sounds of running water from fountains mingled with ethereal tones of soft music. I was ushered by an attendant down a cavernous hallway to the door of the private room where Zein was waiting for me.
I took a breath. I was not nervous to see Zein; I always felt comfortable with him. But I was nervous about how this would go.
I entered into an enchanting oasis. The room was designed in the style of a luxurious Turkish bath, inlaid with dark blue tile and artful mosaics. The lighting was low, dark like a cave or a dungeon. Pale blue light danced through the jets of the hot tub, casting languid watery shadows against one wall, while diaphanous steam rose from the surface. To one side was an elegant daybed made with fresh sheets and inviting pillows. Tibetan bowls and mantras resounded over the spa sound system.
It was The Temple of Dark Eros.
Zein rushed to welcome me. He was still dressed in his street clothes, looking casually stylish. He paused to take in the sight of me.
I was wearing red lipstick. A makeup artist told me once that red lipstick on a woman means business. It is a devastating look on me, with my pale skin and dark hair. His eyes grew wide. I watched the lion inside of him unfurling.
“Wow it’s so good to see you,” he breathed. “You look fantastic!”
He moved towards me aggressively, drew me close into his embrace, pressed his lips to mine.
But I stopped him, pulled away from his kiss.
“Let me see your eyes,” I demanded. “It’s been so long.”
Obediently he gazed into my eyes.
They say the eyes are the window of the soul. I wanted to peer deeply into Zein, to somehow understand the essence of this man who had so badly deceived me.
I already knew there was no way to win. Rather, I wanted to illuminate the circumstance with the light of truth. To see Zein as he was. To understand.
I gazed into his dark eyes.
I saw that Zein was a lion. Lions are king of the jungle. They are merciless with their power. They seek the juiciest prey and tear it limb from limb — they conquer; they pillage; they take what they want; roast hearts on sticks. That was why he royally fucked me. Zein had uncontrollable appetites too.
Zein’s body was so close to me that his familiar scent flooded my nose. A wave of heightened emotion overwhelmed my senses.
I chose to let go, allowed myself to be taken. I melted into his embrace and let him hold me, kiss me. His tongue plunged deep in my mouth. He smoothed his hands over my hips, squeezed the plump cheeks of my ass in his palms. He pressed his body against mine and guided me slowly to the bed.
I felt his warm kisses traveling down the nape of my neck, fluttering at my throat, my chest. He freed my breasts from the velvet dress, licked and sucked them. My nipples stiffened in his mouth, tingling with arousal.
He hiked my dress up, pulled it off, removed my black lacy lingerie, until I was unwrapped like a gift, naked before him.
“Come here baby, lie down,” he directed, gesturing to the pillows.
I lay back, exposed, vulnerable, my body gleaming in feminine abundance, full breasts, rosy nipples, soft belly, the lush bowl of my hips, bare pubis, dewy pink pussy.
He swiftly disposed of his clothes. I watched his erection bounce out of his pants as he pulled them off. His cock was so hard it was buoyant, pointing up, straining towards me.
Kneeling at my feet, he carefully kissed and licked my feet, sucked on my toes, swept up my legs with kisses. He pushed my legs apart and spread me open, burying his face between my thighs. I could feel the heat of his breath lightly tickling my labia, his tongue wet and lush in my clitoral folds. He licked and tasted me; plunged his tongue deeper into the slit of my pussy and fucked me with it, wet and hard. I writhed with helpless pleasure.
I opened my eyes to behold the sight of his handsome face engulfed in my pussy. My desire for Zein was mixed with anger. I wryly imagined squeezing my thighs and crushing his head between them.
“Stick your finger inside me,” I whispered. He spit on two of his fingers and dipped them deep into the oozing honey of my pussy. I cried out, feeling his fingertips, slick with juice, touch the deepest part of me, the inner sanctum of my G-spot.
I undulated and moaned. He lifted his head, matched my heaving breaths with lion roars. With animal stealth, he climbed up on top of me, kissed me on the mouth. I felt his cock slide into the slippery well between my thighs, plunge deep into the plush walls of my pussy.
Feeling him rocking back and forth in me, thick and powerful, was emotional; the intensity of it was almost unbearable, as though I was being pried open to the depths of my being. The combination of pleasure and pain, the rawness of this unbridled intimacy with Zein, pushed me to the edge of tears.
Zein lifted my legs up in the air and fucked me harder.
He moaned, his eyes rolling back into his head. “I love your pussy!” he growled. “I love fucking you!”
He turned me over so I lay on top of him, my big luscious breasts bouncing in his face, pink nipples grazing his lips. Our eyes locked. His look was blissful, beatific, purely abandoned to the moment. My heart churned with a deliriously heady mixture of love and sadness. As I rode his cock, all of my inner tension channeled itself into a wave of profound pleasure that built and built, carrying me into transcendence, into ecstatic oblivion. I came, squeezing, convulsing, contracting, and he came too, shaking and sighing with release.
We collapsed together into the bed, cuddling close, breathing in syncopation. Eyes closed, spent, we rested.
I travelled deep in my consciousness into the sacred expanse of the divine realms, where orgasm often propels me.
I touch God through my pussy, and that is why I fuck so good.
Zein nuzzled me closer to him on the bed. “Oh my god! You’re amazing!” he purred. “It’s your energy. I love it. I forget everything when I’m with you!”
I snapped out of my dreamy post-coital reverie. Listening to his words, I felt my rage return.
What he was forgetting was his wife.
I shook off his embrace and stood up.
“Here, lie face down,” I told him. “let me give you a massage. I’ll grab some oil from my purse.”
He did as I instructed. Head buried in the pillows, relaxing, he could not see what I was doing. Quietly, I unsheathed my red leather flogger from its silk case.
I kneeled over his prone body. I surveyed the gash marks on his back, his nice round ass. Zein was no stranger to being whipped. He could take it. Suddenly I cracked the whip at him with full force. It made a sharp stinging sound as it hit his butt cheeks. He yelped, jumped up, swiveled around quizzically.
“You’re MARRIED?!?” I screamed. I got in his face. “You’ve been LYING to me?!??” I swiftly cracked the whip at his crotch and managed to strike his cock with the leather strands before he recoiled, stung, holding his genitals protectively in his hands.
The look on Zein’s surprised face was sheepish.
“Nooooooo!” he lied, trying to maintain the illusion.
“I know you are! I saw it on the internet!”
He stopped. Silently, he acknowledged the truth with a nod.
I gave him an icy stare, that of a dark goddess dispensing dark justice. I unleashed my fury on him.
“I have read that in Islam, the punishment for infidelity is flogging. Your ass is MINE! Now turn over!”
He sat frozen.
Then he laughed. Zein was cunning, cagey. Determined to disarm me with his charm, he became a lion again, jumped onto his knees and theatrically stuck his ass in the air.
“Ok!” he yelled. “But be merciful! I couldn’t help myself! You’re too beautiful!”
I spanked him hard on one cheek of his butt and the slapping sound resounded through the room. I smacked the other cheek. I whipped him three times, enjoying the satisfying catharsis of the blows, the sharp ringing of the leather against his skin. I was preparing another one when he jumped up and turned, grabbed the flogger out of my hand and threw it aside. He pulled me to him on the bed. I could see his cock was hard again.
“I’m sorry baby.” He kissed my hands like I was a queen. “I feel terrible. It’s just… it’s what you do to me… You drive me wild! You’re so incredible, so sexy! Your energy is so powerful. You’re too hot! I couldn’t help myself. You’re too good!”
Zein knew the intoxicating effect his flattery had on me. I softened, in spite of myself. He caressed my neck and shoulders as he cradled me close to him. I was tense with emotional upheaval. His strong chest felt comforting, his warm skin on my skin, the rhythm of his heart beating against mine soothing. His gentle touches began to lull me.
“I never meant to hurt you,” he murmured. “I only want to make you happy. You’re such an amazing person…” he stroked my hair.
“Zein! You hurt me a lot.”
“I’m sorry.” He kissed my cheeks on each side. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s just…” His voice dropped into a deeper masculine register, took on a husky, sensual, animalistic tone. “It’s just that you turn me on so much. You’re too delicious! I can’t control myself with you! You’re too tempting! There’s something special about you…”
I couldn’t help but smile. Zein was a lover and a fighter, a formidable adversary. He was gunning for me. And I had a weakness for him.
There was no possible way to win.
He kissed my neck, my temples, my earlobes. He stuck his tongue in my ear. A thrill of sensation shot through my body. A heat was building between my thighs. I felt myself starting to swoon.
I knew Zein was playing me.
But I let him.
The game was too good.