Iran's Dating Game

How to Dodge a Flogging

As if dating weren't hard enough, imagine if you could get jailed or whipped for having a boyfriend. Such is the case in Iran, where young people are smart, informed, and stylish--to wit, the gals who wore Chanel shades to protest the recent election--yet are forbidden by law to date. So how do single folk cope? Increasingly, they're opting for a temporary marriage.

The marriages, called sigheh or mut'ah, simply require couples to appear before a cleric at a registry office with their ID papers, no witnesses necessary. The cleric declares the couple "married" for as long as they choose, which might be just an hour. Such unions are said to date back to the time of Muhammad, who recommended them for soldiers, presumably so the men could satisfy their sexual needs within the bounds of Muslim law. But now sigheh sites like mutah.com and nikahmarriage.i12.com are springing up, offering dating advice and profiles of singles.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Opinions on sigheh differ, with some Iranians saying prostitutes use it to dodge the law. But there are also those who know that modern love--even under a repressive regime--will find a way.

Love & Sex
Share
Life After Tinder: 8 New Dating Apps You Should Try Next
Love & Sex
Share
How 13 Boyfriends Reacted When Their Girlfriends Texted Them Pictures of Wedding Dresses
Love & Sex
Share
These Are the Qualities Men *Actually* Look for in Women
Love & Sex
Share
I'm 33 and I've Never Been Kissed
Love & Sex
Share
Avatars Are Poised to Take Over Your Dating Life
Love & Sex
Share
How My Husband and I Went from Staunch Conservatives to Die-Hard Feminists
Love & Sex
Share
What Happened When I Found Out My Boyfriend Only Had 6 Months Left to Live
Love & Sex
Share
I'm on Tinder to Meet Boys, but It's Only Strengthened My Female Friendships
Love & Sex
Share
If You're Still Friends with Your Ex, Chances Are You're a Psychopath
Love & Sex
Share
I Was a Real-Life "Sugar Baby" for Wealthy Men