The Lure of the Veil

A History and Examination of the Practice and Pleasures of Veiling

paktoon burqa

Dave Potter about the history and practices of veiling (right below)

Dave Potter about his personal interest in veiling

10 Questions - Bo_Emp. Answers to Dave Potter's veiling questionnaire.

10 Questions - 'Our Host'. A second set of answers to Dave Potter's veiling questionnaire.

10 Questions - Emily W. A third set of answers to Dave Potter's veiling questionnaire.

The birth and development of Veiling Erotica until September 2012 by Dave Potter for the update to celebrate the 7th year birthday of TOTV.

How I got here by Nick Lucas for the update to celebrate the 10th year birthday of TOTV in October 2015.

A decade of veils by Dave Potter for the update to celebrate the 10th year birthday of TOTV in October 2015.

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Since time began women have veiled themselves. In virtually every culture in every country on earth, the fairer sex, (and on occasions, the less fair!), have been covering their faces. The Carthagians, Chinese, Romans, Jews, Japanese and South Americans all did it. And to this day, many still do it, for religious or other reasons.

Today however, if we are to think of the veil, we naturally turn our minds to the Middle East and the stricter adherents of the Faith of Islam. In many ways this is understandable, although in others perhaps less fair. It is understandable because Islam commands - or at least recommends very strongly - that its female followers cover themselves to a certain degree. These two quotes the first from the Holy Qu'ran and the second from the Hadiths demonstrate this clearly:

Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks ("Jalabib") veils all over their bodies (screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way Tafseer Al-Qurtabi) that is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."

Surah An-Nur, Verses #30 and #31
And Say to the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)

Islam however, is not the only religion that recommends modesty. Its close cousins Judaism and Christianity are almost as keen. Take this quote from Corinthians, chapter 11. Read verses 3-10.

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven. For if a woman is not covered, let her be shaven. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. A man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man. For man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority over her head, because of the angels.

And to re-enforce that, look at this picture of a nun and tell me if she looks so different from an Islamically-clad lady...

nun

So, as we can see, perhaps it is the Muslims who draw our attention because they actually follow the rules laid down before them. Interesting...

But to move on... So, veiling is widespread and rightly or wrongly, we associate it with the Muslims primarily. However, that doesn't start to explain another aspect of the practice, the aspect that this site deals with in some detail; that aspect being, the erotic appeal of the veil.

If we think about it, surely the veil should be the most unerotic garment on earth. After all, is not its purpose to cover the lady's beauty up, to leave her comeliest features unseen and hidden? Do not the wearers of the veil don such garbs solely to prevent male lust? Indeed it is so and yet veil eroticism or veil fetishism does exist. Just read this entry in the Wikipedia online encycopaedia if you don't believe me:

Veil fetishism is a sexual desire for women wearing veils over their faces. The causes of veil fetishism may include interests in mystery, bondage, and the preservation of virginity.

Those with veil fetishes may be interested in niqabs, burkas, and harem-style veils. Some are attracted to women who wear all-covering Muslim style veils, while others are attracted to women wearing translucent veils. They may also be attracted to both.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, the War on Terrorism, the War in Iraq, and other Middle Eastern related news topics have led to the rise of photographs of veiled women appearing in the news. The rising interest in Arabic and Islamic cultures may lead to veil fetishism becoming more popular. One of the main reasons Muslim women wear veils is to avoid being lusted after, which makes veil fetishism paradoxical to them.

Many harem women in sexual fantasies portrayed in movies and on television wear veils. Female servants often appear veiled fanning their masters. Harem women exemplify being veiled for the preservation of virginity and mystery.

In the 1999 movie The Mummy and the 2004 movie Hidalgo, actresses flirt with men while veiled. In the 1992 movie Aladdin, three women appear wearing only their colorful underwear and translucent veils. It is not uncommon for women to appear veiled on Halloween in genie or harem costumes. Christina Aguilera appeared veiled as a genie at a promotion for her song "Genie in a Bottle." Lil Kim wore the top of a burka for a picture. An actress will be veiled in a scene from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. The model Feiticeira, who has appeared in Brazilian edition of Playboy twice, is almost always wearing a veil.

Many who have veil fetishes also have bondage fetishes. Women who veil are restricted. Arab and other Muslim women are often seen in the Western world as being veiled against their will; they are only doing it for religious or social reasons (though many contend otherwise). Brian Mitchell forced Elizabeth Smart to wear a veil during her captivity. While the reason was to conceal her identity, he may have also had a veil fetish. Women may become sexually aroused by veiling themselves. They may feel protected, or feel similar enjoyment as women with bondage fetishes.

The Veiled Beauty webgroup, a group interested in all aspects of veiling, ran a poll to see just why people found this supposedly unerotic garment so erotic. The answers were as follows:

The aura of mystery, what do those veils contain within? 20%
It's a domination and submission thing. It shows that a woman is controlled by her husband, she is property. My property. 11%
That a woman will cover herself to please her husband shows true love 14%
That a woman will cover herself to please her God is too beautiful for words 8%
I'm into layering. Imagine how hot and humid it is under all that... 5%
Restriction is my thing. She can't see, move, perhaps even breathe clearly. Wow! 12%
The lure of the Harem. Exote dark eyed beauties ready to prostrate themselves. Arabian Nights is my fantasy... 9%
Not the aura of mystery, but the danger! It could even be a man that I'm lusting after. Scary! 0%
She has consecrated herself to the domain of the home and family. That is the ultimate expression of femininity. 9%
No, your wrong, I don't find veiling erotic. I'm here for completely different reasons, sorry. 8%

So there we are, the mystery of the unseen and the fantasy of domination are the reasons behind the majority of veil fetishists.

chador

 

All this talk of generalalities is fine however, but what I want to get onto is my own personal interest and the purpose behind this page. Now I don't know when it was that I first got interested in veiling as a fetish but after searching the internet and reading about purdah and the lives of niqaabis, that interest only increased. I am definitely a hidden mysteries man (yes, I am a man), and also a lover of restriction and sub-dom so I suppose it's not surprising that I drifted veilwards sooner or later.

On top of that however, I am also a lover of the Middle East where I have travelled frequently and 'Orientalism', a concept which perhaps needs a little explaining.

Now 'Orientalism' is the title of an excellent, if heavy-going book by one Edward Said, a sociologist who argues that for too long Westerners have formulated the popular image of the 'Mystical East' rather than the Easterners themselves and that this has immense negative implications on the cultures of those Eastern societies as they are often erroneously and unfairly represented. He gives examples such as Lawrence's 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', Flaubert's 'Salammbo' and the travel memoirs of the same to back up his arguments. Well, great argument Said, I tend to agree with you old chap, but that is not the Orientalism that I am on about. Instead, what fascinates me is not the reality of the situation on the ground but the very fantasy that those naughty Westerners like Flaubert and Lawrence created. My Orientalism is a dream of minarets and domes, or dark-eyed houris reclining in perfumed gardens, of obese sheiks and sultans with a harem of unwilling beauties at their command, of women living locked-up and restricted lives behind the high walls of their desert homes, a chance glance through layers of black veils of a temptress in the bazaar, of smoking a hookah by the creek as the dhows pass by, eating falafel, drinking chai and and wondering which one of my veiled and restricted wives will be pleasuring me tonight.

As I said, not quite Edward Said, not quite reality, but definietly a lot of fun!

kinski

All of which leads me to the picture that you've just viewed, a screen grab from my favourite film ever, 'Harem', starring Natassija Kinski and Ben Kingsley. And the story behind the film? Young, sexy, upwardly-mobile New York career woman is drugged, kidnapped and wakes up in a Morroccan castle from which she cannot escape and is forced to live as a veiled inmate of the Sheik's harem.

Any film with Natssaja Kinski in is good, but veil her and subject her and you're onto a winner!

That film I cited just to demonstrate what it is that I like and what it is that I feel there is not enough of on the internet. On our 21st century World Wide Web kinky stories abound, from TG transformations, to corset fiction to bimboification, extreme bondage, latex, you name it, it's there. Except that is, if it involves veiling. For some mystical reason, veiling fetish tales are all too thin on the ground. And that is why I started this page, and that is why I want you to send in your efforts. The world needs more tales like 'Harem', and I wish to host them.

And I need you because, alas, I cannot complete this task alone. You see the problem is, that whilst I can knock up a story as well as the next man (or woman), unfortunately they all tend to be, well, a bit... extreme. I'm sorry, but I can't help it. If a gag, ankle chain or tight corset can be added, well, I have to do it. And that's the milder stuff. I don't know why, I love to read the softer stuff but I just can't write it. I sit down, put finger to keyboard, but all that seems to come out is sentimental, romantic tripe. And alas, I am no teddy bear, roses round the cottage door, 'oh you're my bestest friend' sentimental kind of guy. So instead, if I write, all that you get is hard-core.

And so here is my plea. Please, please, please, write for Tales of the Veils. Write of veiled love, of veiled beauty. Write of harems, and of sheiks. Write of burqa and niqaabs, made in silk, cotton or latex. Restrict your women or free them; give us happy endings or sad ones, but whatever you do, please write. Write and write and write so that your soul is lifted towards paradise and this site becomes a true home for all veiled fiction...

rachel weisz

Wa'leikum sala'am
Dave Potter

Postscript

Mr. Waters, one of our regular visitors and the gentleman who posted the 'Veil Fetishism' on Wikipedia, has been researching the subject of the lure of the veil and has come up with the following theory. All in all, I am far from sure that I agree with his conclusions, but they are interesting and worthy of note nonetheless. Read them and see what you think...

*Please do not read if your are offended by the idea of veilfetishism.*

I may have made a breakthrough in figuring out this whole veilfetish thing ... "The causes of veil fetishism may include interests in mystery, bondage and the preservation of virginity. Another explanation is that the brain believes veils to be similar to the hymen covering the vagina." These are the two sentences I used to describe the causes of veilfetishism on the Wikipedia article. I added the second sentence yesterday. I believe that all sexual interest is caused by chemicals in the brain, and how neurons are wired. This can also be affected by social factors. I believe that men develop sexual interests in veiled women because the veil covering the face is similar to hymen covering the vagina. Compare the vagina to the human face. The nose corresponds to the clitoris (or perhaps the opening of urerthra), the mouth corresponds to the opening of the vagina, the cheeks correspond to the labia, and the pubic hair corresponds to the hair. Although the hymen only covers the opening of the vagina while a veil covers the nose, cheeks, and mouth, I think you can see the relationship. The brain believes theveil to be a hymen.The hymen is a symbol of virginity, relating to the first sentence.This connects to the social constructions of virginity and people trying to keep women virgins as long as possible.

 

16th September 2007, Dave Potter has asked

10 Questions - Bo_Emp

Bo_Emp is one of the most prolific writers here on TOTV and so as a special birthday treat for the site, he's agreed to answer ten questions about veiling and his unique take on it all...

1).How did you come across TOTV?
I'm not hundred percent sure, but I think it was a mail from you in the Yahoo group Veiled Beauty telling the page had been started.

2).What first interested you in veiling?
The mystery, a sort of fascination of the hidden, starting my imagination to make stories of what can't be seen.

3).Do you have any real-life veiling experience?
I do not know anybody personally who is veiling. But I see veiled women as part of society regularly. It's quite easy to see veiled women in Copenhagen if you go the right places. More in question 8.

4).What fascinates you about the veiled woman?
The mystery of what is hidden.
The problems it creates for the veiled women avoiding being seen.
It's attraction to women not veiling but wanting to be.

5).What makes the ultimate veiling tale?
If I knew I had written that instead of my other stories. But I hope I keep writing ordinary tales, because making the ultimate will only happen on the day of judgment.

6).What's your favourite tale(s) on TOTV and why?
(This is not a ranking)
1. Strikte Erziehung (Strict Upbringing) - presents a somewhat old-fashioned (perhaps 1950s) Western society, where veiling is natural, fashionable and a longing for teenage girls. A special fascinating veil drives the storyline.
Alisha Takes The Veil - a young women gets attracted to veiling, learns about heavier veiling and wants to take the lead on women veiling by tradition. The flow of the story with veiling increasing a little in each chapter is fantastic
Laila - the classic story of a woman unvillingly finding herself in a harem, and a basic in describing heavy veiling.

7).Which veiling style do you find most attractive?
Full length pashtoon or kashmiri burqa with two separate mesh holes for the eyes. The veil covering more creates more mystery!

8).Any travel veiling experiences?
I found out veiling fascinated me when in my late teens visiting Beersheba, Israel, where the bedouin women cover completely in black only showing eyes and a strip of white from the headscarf below their bodywrap.
The town Essaouira, Morocco, has many women in white haiks and face scarves (most black) leaving only eyes to be seen. In Marrakesh veiling is not as common, but still easy to observe, and exists in many varieties from young market women with flimsy face covering worn for tourists to completely hidden women with gloves and eye veils.

9).In reality, do you think veiling is good for women or oppresive?
To some it is liberating, for most it's just tradition, to some it is opressive. In Western societies it has become the opposite of the Gwen Stefani or Madonna look, both are extremes compared to how the majority dresses. And it's impossible to discern if a veiled woman does it to show her own piety or she has been forced to veil to protect family honor.

10).What inspires your writing most?
Real life stories and pictures.

Thanks a lot for that Bo_Emp and let's hope that you're candid answers can inspire many others to write some Tales of the Veils...

 

26th September 2009, Dave Potter has asked

10 Questions - 'Our Host'

'Our Host' is the anonymous person who likes TOTV so much he, when Geocities stopped, offered a small corner of his hosting facilities for TOTV to reside in for free (if not anonymous all his customers would want the same 'price'). So to celebrate the fourth bithday of TOTV, and the first on his wonderful hardware, he has agreed to answer the ten questions to let us learn a little about his interests in veiling...

1).How did you come across TOTV?
I’m pretty sure it was from the VeiledBeauty Yahoo group – it started with one of Dave Potter’s first stories I believe.

2).What first interested you in veiling?
I grew up in Malaysia, so I’m used to seeing veiled women (in hijabs). I’m not exactly when it started, but I do remember thinking that they looked beautiful with the veils.

3).Do you have any real-life veiling experience?
Well, I don’t veil, but refer to question 2 above for any “real-life” experiences.

4).What fascinates you about the veiled woman?
The intricacy of the veils – how it’s put together, the many components of it, the difficulties encountered by a veiled woman during day-to-day tasks. Also, their willingness to put up with the discomfort throughout the day (Malaysia is a tropical country after all).

5).What makes the ultimate veiling tale?
I’m not sure – I’ll know it when I see (read) it :) However, one with heavy veiling and high temperatures makes for a good read to me.

6).What's your favourite tale(s) on TOTV and why?
Last Day in Riyadh, Letters from Saudi (both by Dave Potter) and Picnic in Purdah are my among my (many!) favourites – their detailed description was enthralling, and made me wish for sequels!

7).Which veiling style do you find most attractive?
The Turkish hijab, and also the traditional Saudi-style full-niqab with eyeveils.

8).Any travel veiling experiences?
Not really, however, Saudi Arabians like to spend their summers in Malaysia, and that has been a fascinating experience observing full veiling close up.

9).In reality, do you think veiling is good for women or oppressive?
To me, whatever a woman chooses is good for her – as long it’s out of her own free will. Any beliefs forced upon anyone is oppressive. In Malaysia, Muslim women have great freedom to choose whether or not to veil. However, instead of family pressure, some women face pressure from society to appear more pious by veiling.

10).Do you hope to write a veiling story yourself one day?
It would be nice – but I think that task is best left up to the experts here on TOTV!

Many thanks to 'Our Host', not only for the answers. Perhaps these answers can inspire others living where veiling is widespread to write some Tales of the Veils based on real life experiences...

 

3rd November 2015, Dave Potter has asked

10 Questions - Emily W

Emily W is among the top 5 authors of TOTV stories, has contributed some TOTV News stories and is a HTML editor. So to celebrate the TENTH bithday of TOTV she has agreed to answer the ten questions to let us learn a little about her interests in veiling...

1).How did you come across TOTV?
I think it was a random internet search on Google looking for stories related to veiling and purdah.

2).What first interested you in veiling?
I think I first became intrigued by it after reading about the accounts of women who converted to Islam.

3).Do you have any real-life veiling experience?
No. I saw some women who wore niqabs at my old university, but that is it.

4).What fascinates you about the veiled woman?
I think it is interesting to try to understand why a woman thinks that she should conceal herself. How ideas of modesty become a constraint.

5).What makes the ultimate veiling tale?
Well, that depends on the reader. I imagine many if not most TOTV readers expect some level of bondage in their stories. For me, things like latex suits and gags are not interesting and just detract from the realism of the story. For me there are two different ideas that make an interesting veiling story. One is the idea of women in a conservative traditionalist lifestyle. It is something that I could never live myself, but it is fascinating. The second is the idea of veiling actually being mandated by a higher power. There is something really intriguing about that.

6).What's your favourite tale(s) on TOTV and why?
I like God the Merciful because it deals with matters of spirituality that most TOTV stories do not deal with. Hotel Hadith is also another favorite because it is one of the few stories on the site that does not have bondage. The Shrine is also a good story with an interesting premise.

7).Which veiling style do you find most attractive?
I think that the black niqab is the most intriguing of the various veiling styles.

8).Any travel veiling experiences?
Not really.

9).In reality, do you think veiling is good for women or oppressive?
I think that though it has the potential to be both, in most circumstances in the world it is to some degree oppressive. There are plenty of places where women are forced to cover themselves, not just by the law but by conservative social rules. If a woman chooses to veil on her own I think it can be positive for a woman, but it rarely seems to be the case.

10).What inspires your writing most?
I am mostly inspired by my own fantasies. I think of the things that intrigue me about veiling and try to make a story about that. I am also inspired by images of veiled women from movies or tv shows.

Thanks a lot for to Emily W and let us hope that your answers can inspire many others to write some Tales of the Veils or a fictive news article...