I just read the post that Linoleumsurfer (thelinoleumsurfer.blogspot.com) did on prostitution and how it is veiwed by the majority population of men in the Gulf. I'd post the link but I can't since my blogger won't let me copy-and-paste for some reason. But shyrebelliousarabgirl also posted the link to the exact post. I agreed with his article wholeheartedly, because I've had friends here (guys who I knew through guys I knew through my before-Islam days as a child in Oman) who've used prostitutes too. Even someone I knew very well who'd never used a prostitute a day in his life due to his knack with women---he admitted to me his more religious brothers from his family had. Which blew me away, because the ones that don't drink, the ones that pray, they used prostitutes. And it was okay to all the guys they were friends with, even more religious ones who hadn't done the same things.
Alot of Omani women don't know that their husbands have girlfriends or use prostitutes. My husband, MOP, got mad a bunch of guys at his cousin's work who were bragging about the "whores" they were dating. Understand, these are women who are in a relationship with the guys, who have an emotional attachment to them, and are not "paid" to sleep with the guys. But they are equated as whores. Any woman who sleeps with a man before marriage is a whore in the mindset here, and Linoleum Surfer accurately documents how these women are treated and veiwed, and how alot of sexworkers end up stuck in the trade, not something they chose for themselves. When MOP asked why the guys (married) did such a haraam (sinful to Muslims) thing they said, "their wives were not enough for them." They married a cousin ect, were not in love or overly attracted, ect. Now I know some will think my husband is bad for making this suggestion but he asked them "then why don't you take a second wife?" For Muslims, this is better, and safer for the poor the wife as she isn't likely to contract some sexually transmitted disease, and preserves the rights of the other woman the man finds more suitable to him. She isn't descrated for her affection and devotion to the guy as a "whore". Though why these coward lame excuses for men married at all women that "weren't enough for them" is the blame of culture MOP and I agree. The answer of the adulterers was: "our wives would be mad" "too much trouble, from family, from one's wife, from treating the other woman with all her Islamic rights [which any woman a Muslim man intends to engage with should be offered]. Houses, rent, food are expensive right"
These are their excuses. As if that will make everything right for a wife who married as a virgin and gets an incurrable disease and passes it on to her sinless baby when it is born.
Some of the "respected" husbands and men in our village have gone on trips to Egypt to sleep with prostitutes. Yet a man who knew their sins and would not reveal their sins for fear of God/Allah and desiring the mercy of His Creator, was attacked by these same men and their wives, and scorned as "bad" when he took a second wife. Yet he had, married his first wife as a virgin, maintained her and loved her with all her rights in Islam, and maintained and honored his second wife with all her rights as well. Both wives know full well despite the rumours they have to endure, the friends they have lost, that their husband never slept with a woman he was not married to, and the only women he ever talked to were ones he was determining whether or not he should propose marriage to them. That to many women in the village who do not know their own husbands, the husband with more than one wife is the worst of men, but then, I guess that is why our religion tells us not to judge others, for one we think is the worst, is better than us.
Many things figure into this. Divorce being end of marriage prospects for a woman as an attitude prevalent in Oman, marriages that are arranged before couples fully understand what they are getting into, the idea that "boys will be boys" but that women who are anything but virgins who don't speak to men outside of their work duties are whores. All these things have to change.