My 55-Minute Gay Marriage to a Muslim Man in Lebanon

Despite Lebanon’s precarious economy, political instability, and various other challenges, securing a reservation at any restaurant during the Christmas season was as challenging as finding a good pair of skinny jeans on Black Friday.

RuPaul’s Drag Race in Lebanon
With new hotspots mushrooming all over Beirut, tourists and Lebanese expats flocked to the scene, adding some much-needed flair to the crashing local economy. In fact, they pumped so much life into it that you’d think they were giving the Lebanese economy a makeover on RuPaul’s Drag Race!

Ah, the silver lining of this festive frenzy was unmistakably evident on my Grindr grid – a veritable buffet of fresh faces and tantalizing choices. Yaaas, queen! Typically, Lebanon’s Grindr scene boasts a homegrown blend of Lebanese gents, a dash of Syrians and Palestinians, and just a hint of exotic globetrotters spicing things up occasionally. But, let’s be honest, it’s usually a one-flavor ice cream shop. However, the holiday season transformed it into a tantalizingly diverse sundae bar, complete with all the colorful toppings one could dream of.

Festive Fabulosity
The master plan was to soak up Lebanon’s glitz and glam all through December, flutter away to San Francisco two days before Christmas for a week-long soirée, and finally return to Beirut to ring in the New Year with a bang. And, darlings, my December social calendar was as packed as a drag queen’s suitcase!

Social Roulette
I attended an endless parade of dinners and parties, rubbing elbows with all sorts of fascinating new friends from work, the streets, bars, and of course, Grindr – I was the toast of the town, the freshest face to hit the city’s scene. The parties were wilder than a disco inferno, and I met some gentlemen with whom I’d eventually go on dates.

Pleasure Cruise
And then, if I weren’t busy painting the town red on a hot date, I’d end my nights tucked in bed like a burrito, scrolling through Grindr’s hot late-night chats before embarking on a one-man pleasure cruise. The flirty chats tickled my fancy, sometimes leading to dates in the following days and occasionally – just like finding a unicorn at a rodeo – a spicy hookup.

Mystery Muscles
Until, of course, that destiny-filled night, mere hours before boarding my San Fran-bound flight. There I was, trading playful repartee with a 50-year-old “Pure Top,” a towering 6’4″ (193cm), 220 lbs (100 Kg) monument of muscle. But alas, his face remained a mystery, a common theme among the tops in this country, who prefer to masquerade behind chiseled chest photos or, oddly enough, profile pictures featuring ferocious felines like tigers, lions, or even the occasional cackling hyena (true story – I’ve seen a hyena prowling Lebanon’s Grindr grid).

Daddy Dazzle
After a bit of sexy chatting, he sent an “expiring Grindr pic” and sugar, it was like unwrapping the best Christmas present ever! He was just my type (or one of them): a dashing daddy figure, brimming with masculinity, a silver fox so foxy he could outfox a fox, and eyes so mesmerizing that I’d melt faster than a popsicle in a heatwave. But, alas, he refused to share another photo for the sake of his “discretion.” Another married man? Well, I’m becoming quite the expert at navigating these matrimonial mysteries in this part of the world.

Steamy Smarts
Our conversation was a delightful cocktail of sultry seduction and intellectual indulgence. As he shared his steamy fantasies – which I must say, I absolutely adored (a Dom Top who loves taking control in the boudoir, with a dash of BDSM that I don’t mind sampling now and then) – we also exchanged thoughts on the economy, international markets, and the somewhat frightening global situation. With his expert blend of sex appeal and smarts, he managed to secure an invitation to my flat – a rare skip-a-date honor usually reserved for the crème de la crème of late-night rendezvous.

From Steamy to Steamier
A mere hour later, freshly emerged from a steamy shower (though little did I know, things were about to get even steamier), I opened the door, and honey, I was ready to pounce on him like a cat on a sequin-covered laser pointer! The many gin basils I’d enjoyed earlier certainly fueled my enthusiasm. He was the epitome of hookup perfection – a macho masterpiece just begging to be unwrapped. We exchanged hugs and a triple kiss on the cheeks (the upper ones, for now). Dressed to impress with a hint of rugged charm, his wavy grey hair added that irresistible touch of dishevelment. Then, as per his request, I poured him a stiff whiskey – because a man like that knows what he wants – and treated myself to another gin basil.

Silent Seduction
The room was filled with an unexpected silence, quite the contrast from his chatty demeanor during our app-based banter. Was he timid? Mysterious? I couldn’t quite put my perfectly manicured finger on it, but it was undeniably sexy, at least for a moment. Eager to break the ice, I tossed him a few standard questions about what he did in his life, to which he replied, “I work.” Alright, mystery man, I thought, no need to spill the tea just yet. I asked about his day, and he simply said, “Fine.” Taking matters into my own hands, I launched into a monologue about my life in San Francisco, my big move to Beirut, and the thrilling details of my day. Perhaps the reminder that I wasn’t a local helped him loosen up like a sequined gown on a dance floor.

Mystery Ravished
The night progressed with my sexy enigma of a guest slowly peeling back the layers of his mystique. He revealed that he’s a practicing Shia Muslim from Beirut’s southern suburbs, working in the Gulf states and currently on holiday. To him, embracing his “gay thing” was akin to indulging in a “sinful hobby.” He went on to explain that much like a Christian baptism, he sought to cleanse his sins by asking God for forgiveness after each romantic rendezvous with a man, which he claimed rarely happens.

Double Life Dilemma
This intriguing gentleman was, indeed, married with a whole brood of children – one of whom was only a few years younger than yours truly. Evidently, he’d tied the knot quite early, at 18. Eventually, he shared his profession with me (which, fear not, I shall keep under lock and key, as Closeted Mates is all about preserving the safety of our dashing subjects).

Closet Chronicles
I must confess that while I don’t always understand the plight of closeted married men, I do sympathize. Leading a double life must be as exhausting as organizing a Pride parade on a marathon day. If only our world could be more open and understanding of our diverse desires, we could all bend (Yeah, baby!) and stretch to embrace our true selves without breaking a sweat or entering into sinful hobbies.

Winter Heatwave
The night soon transformed into a sizzling, steamy affair, despite the chilly December air outside. It all began with a passionate kiss that left my upper lip branded by his playful bite. We shed our clothes faster than a drag queen’s costume change, making a beeline for the bedroom. Once there, he tossed me onto the bed and engaged in a feverish make-out session that leaned more toward the aggressive side. It was sexy, and I craved more.

Proposal Pandemonium
As I moaned into his arms and our sensual emotions soared to dizzying heights, he playfully flung me onto the bed and flipped on the lights. Oh, honey, talk about a mood killer! I was momentarily filled with trepidation as I locked eyes with him. But then, he flashed a mischievous grin and popped the question: “Would you marry me?” I wondered what on Earth he meant by that. Was this some twisted joke? Well, I couldn’t help but burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all, as I was starting to get “less excited,” to say the least.

Pleasure Pact
He urged me to hold back my laughter and instead asked me to repeat a phrase I had heard about before: “I am wedding you myself for one night.” This was none other than Nikah mut’ah (Arabic: نكاح المتعة), a temporary marriage permitted in Shia Islam, traditionally between a man and a woman, for the sake of pleasure. The couple must recite this phrase before they can, ahem, seal the deal.

Holy Matrimony
I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer audacity of his request, considering that homosexuality is punishable under Islamic law. Yet, here was this devout gentleman, requesting a same-sex marriage quicker than you can say, “holy matrimony.” It felt like a groundbreaking theological experiment: “Queer Eye for the Straight Sharia.”

Fleeting Fidelity!
So, picture this: a smoldering, naked man who had just whisked me away in a whirlwind of passion, now requesting a one-night marital commitment before we could proceed. Well, honey, it’s like being handed a pair of fabulous stilettos in the wrong size – you find a way to make it work! So, I thought, why not embrace the temporary nuptials? After all, it’s just one night of wedded bliss!

Honeymoon Hijinks!
Feeling like a blushing bride, my one-night husband and I got down to business. The temperature skyrocketed, and I’d easily give him a 5.5 out of 5 – a rare honor that’s only been bestowed a handful of times in my life. However, the score was about to plummet faster than a dropped feather boa.

Vanishing Vows
Suddenly, there he was, naked in bed, agitated, going off like a broken record about his regret over our passionate rendezvous. He lamented partaking in homosexual activities, beseeched the heavens for forgiveness, and made a mad dash to wash up and depart. It was like watching a groom get cold feet minutes after the wedding bells had stopped ringing! I attempted to strike up a conversation, but I just couldn’t. In a flash, he vanished like a magician’s assistant, leaving behind a bewildered, 55-minute-long (Yep, that’s how much that hot fun lasted for), one-night wedded divorcee.

Pleasure and Pain
As I lay in bed that night, pondering the whirlwind encounter, a thought crossed my mind: mental health for these gents is no laughing matter. To experience such immense pleasure, and believe me, it was mind-blowing for both of us, only to be followed by crippling guilt, must leave an indelible scar.

Empathy Embrace!
While many might roll their eyes at these conflicted men, we can take a step back and send them good vibes for finding peace with their identity and navigating the labyrinthine struggles they face. After all, coming to terms with one’s identity in a world that often judges before it listens is like trying to put together a puzzle while blindfolded and riding a unicycle. If only the world were a more accepting place, darlings, we could all glide gracefully through life’s challenges hand-in-hand and maybe even host the world’s sexiest, all-inclusive conga line.

Quickie Matrimony!
We never spoke again after that whirlwind 55-minute marriage. I jetted off to San Francisco the following day, feeling all satisfied, and by the time I returned to Beirut for New Year’s, he had already left for the Gulf states. He never texted me again, and you know what they say, darling – “til 55 minutes do us part!”

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