Looking for more information about sex in Bangladesh?
Home to more than 163 million people, the South Asian country of Bangladesh is the 8th most populous country on Earth. Bordering India to the east, north and west and Myanar to the south-east, the country is a rich landscape of greenery, river deltas and fertile valleys. Classed as a developing (or lower middle income) country due to its relatively poor GDP, Bangladesh is an enigmatic nation with a rich culture.
In this guide, we take a look at the pornography and prostitution laws as well as reviewing the social and cultural role of sex in Bangladesh. We also take a look at the dating scene and LGBTQ rights in the country.
Sex in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has changed a lot over the last few decades and the capital, Dhaka, has transformed from a small city to one of the fastest growing megacities in Asia. With a population of over 17 million people, it is now the 11th largest city in the world and, with urbanisation and migration, is still growing.
After Indonesia and Pakistan, Bangladesh has the highest population of Muslims in the world with almost 90% of the country identifying as conforming to the Islamic faith. As a result, much of the country’s laws and social attitudes reflect those of this conservative religion.
Sex is a taboo subject in Bangladesh and both sexual relationships and sexual health are topics that are rarely discussed, even among family and friends. Shyness and social stigma are at the heart of this and as a result teenagers, in particular, lack basic knowledge about contraception, promiscuity and sexual health.
Despite the government clamping down on pornography in Bangladesh, sexual imagery and pornographic material is widely available, both on the internet and in the cities in the form of foreign import DVDs, magazines etc. However, in some areas of Bangladesh you can find public places screening pornographic films. Sex workers are commonly found around these venues in order to provide services in the cinema or afterwards in a cheap hotel.
According to a 2014 report (Pornography, Pleasure, Gender and Sex Education in Bangladesh) even those living in slums have access to blue films, dirty magazines and CDs. Material is often shared with neighbours and is used both as a way to arouse themselves and their partners but also as a primary source of education.
The report goes on to show that the effect of ‘foreign’ pornography has influenced the style of sex in Bangladesh with many couples moving away from the traditional ‘missionary’ position to more experimental methods. Viewed as more ‘pleasurable and enjoyable’, these ‘modern’ positions are becoming more and more commonly expected in the bedroom.
As ever, porn has a lot to answer for when it comes to expectations and because discussions among peers are rare, both men and women have unrealistic aspirations about sex as a result of exposure to pornographic material. Most Bangladeshi men commonly believe that masculinity is all about the size of the penis and that well-endowed men can have their pick of women. It is commonly perceived that a thick penis of between 8 and 10 inches is ideal. This is not an uncommon misconception globally among men as a result of anatomically superior porn stars being the prevailing norm.
Duration of sex is also a common anxiety among Bangladeshi men with sex expected to last at least thirty minutes.
The same report also identifies a common perception that Bangladeshi men must ‘defeat’ a woman in the bedroom though the definition of this varies. For most men, this simply means that they must bring their partner to orgasm before they themselves climax. However, in some relationships, men perform until a woman pleads with him to stop. This notion of powerful and forceful sex is particularly potent with Bangladeshi men who associate ‘real men’ with hard sex in which the woman screams and shouts. This is even reflected in magazines and films as being desired by women.
Sex education in Bangladesh is very poor and the country has one of the highest birth rates (83 births per 1000 women aged 15-19) among adolescents in all of South Asia. The rate is driven by a commensurately high rate of early marriage where almost three quarters of women are married before the age of 18 (compared to just 3% of men).
Teachers are often, themselves, embarrassed to discuss sexual health and choose to skip education in this area. Recent studies show that there are also social barriers about discussing such matters with students of the opposite sex.
The government of Bangladesh has acknowledged the problem and has started providing facilities ad funding for more universal access in schools to sexual education and health services. Though the focus has improved to provide girls with more information about sex, marriage and childbirth, external agencies are trying to further enhance the general levels of education for all.
Condoms are generally regarded as a barrier to pleasure and are not widely used, even when using the services of a sex worker. As a result, STI rates in Bangladesh are quite high although HIV rates in the general population are not.
Adult Industry in Bangladesh
Since 2012, it has been illegal to own, watch, produce, distribute and sell pornography in Bangladesh. The maximum punishment is ten years in jail plus a fine of 500,000 BDT ($6,000).
The government took steps to criminalise pornography in an attempt to curb what they deem ‘a disease in Bangladesh’. Blamed for creating ‘perverts’, the ban has caused controversy in the country with many opponents believing the prohibition contravenes freedom of privacy and speech.
In 2017, the government issued plans to further the extent of these laws by actively blocking pornography sites from within Bangladesh. This follows a move to curb pornographic material from being viewed over social media.
As a result there is very little pornography production occurring in Bangladesh with most of the content available being homemade and starring amateur performers. Most of the studio porn available in Bangladesh is imported from India as well as other Asian countries and the West. There are only a small number of actresses who have made a name for themselves as porn stars from Bangladesh.
Top Bangladeshi Porn Stars
According to XVideos, the top porn stars from Bangladesh (by world rankings) are as follows:
|Performer||Total Video Views||Asian Ranking||World Ranking|
Jazmin Choudry is a U.S. based porn star who is widely reported to be the first Bangladeshi to break into the adult film industry. Her first appearance was in 2003 and she has gone on to make almost one hundred titles. Formerly a resident of Chittagong, her parents moved to the U.S. where she started a career in nude modelling before joining Mark Spiegler in Los Angeles to start filming. Initially working with some low budget West Coast production companies she has since been filmed by some of porn’s biggest names including Axel Braun, Lethal Hardcore, Wicked Pictures, Digital Sin and Adam & Eve Pictures. She has now retired but you can still find many scenes from her back catalogue on XHamster.
Other adult stars of note who hail from Bangladesh include Steele Sarahi whose parents are Norwegian, British glamour model Sonia Yasmin Ali and the Japanese AV model, Aive.
Though Bangladeshi porn is still in its infancy, there are a few names to watch for as future stars including Ashi Alamgir and Rasmi Akter.
Prostitution Laws in Bangladesh
Prostitution in Bangladesh is legal and is one of very few Muslim countries where it is so.
See more: A list of prostitution laws across Asia.
You can find brothels in rural areas; some of these villages house over a thousand sex workers at a time and meet the demands of nearby cities. The site of some of these red-light districts are over 200 years old and underpin a long history of the sex industry in Bangladesh.
It is estimated that there are over 200,000 prostitutes working in the country with the vast majority being Bangladeshi women. In cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, you can also find prostitutes of other nationalities including eastern-Asian, Indian and some Europeans.
There is large migrant community in Bangladeshi, particularly in cities like Dhaka, where men are working and living without their wives and families. As a result, there is a huge demand for regular access to cheap sex to satisfy carnal needs as well as intimate relationships and companionship.
Among the larger population, unmarried men often use the services of sex workers as a form of education and to gain experience. Married men also visit prostitutes and there is a cultural norm that wives play the role of mother, housemaid and regular partner whilst sex workers are acceptable for taking pleasure with.
Anal and oral sex are both forbidden (and illegal) and does not commonly occur in marital relations, however, sex workers are reporting more frequent requests for this kind of sexual activity. It is thought that the extent of access to ‘foreign’ porn is the cause for this rise.
Sex work is considered a lowly and disreputable profession and rates of pay are very poor with each customer paying less than a dollar in the brothel villages. City escorts can, and do, charge a lot more as they are usually able to sell their services to tourists, businessmen and wealthier individuals. However, the rates are still low and can be around $20 to $50 per hour. European and other foreign escorts can charge considerably more.
Bangladesh Porn Viewing Trends
There is very little specific information about the porn viewing trends in Bangladesh but we’ve found a little information about what the country is watching and from where.
According to Alexa’s web analysis data, of the top fifty sites in Bangladesh by volume of traffic, four are adult in nature:
- XVideos is the 17th most frequently visited site in Bangladesh with the average visitors spending over 14 minutes per visit.
- XNXX is the 26th most frequently visited site in Bangladesh with the average visitors spending over 13 minutes per visit.
- Bonga Cams is the 49th most frequently visited site in Bangladesh with the average visitors spending about 4 minutes per visit.
- Pornhub is the 50th most frequently visited site in Bangladesh with the average visitors spending over 8 minutes per visit.
The majority of internet porn viewers in Bangladesh are aged between 18 and 21 representing almost 50% of the traffic to sites like Pornhub.
Porn Viewing Stats
As we said earlier, there isn’t very much data available as to the porn viewing trends from Bangladesh, however, we did find one fact.
Not to cast any aspersions but, according to Pornhub, audiences from Bangladesh are the least likely to be searching for porn featuring ‘big dicks’. Along with Albania, Singapore, El Salvador and Egypt, the country’s porn searches have the lowest figures for content in this category.
Best Bangladeshi Porn Sites
Most of the popular tube hosting sites have content that is tagged as Bangla porn but there are no dedicated niche sites for Bangladesh.
LGBTQ in Bangladesh
An Islamic country, the social and moral culture of Bangladesh is a traditional and conservative one and attitudes towards homosexuality are extremely negative. Same sex relations are illegal with the punishment being up to life in prison. Though such a harsh sentence is rare, it does reflect the perception of how immoral the act is considered in Bangladesh. The law is part of Section 377 of the Penal Code and also covers sodomy in heterosexual relationships and even fellatio.
As you would expect, there is no recognition of same-sex marriage or civil union in Bangladesh. The country also has no anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBTQ community against prejudice of any kind, including indirect discrimination, hate speech, in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services.
Discrimination against homosexuals in the country is rife and assaults are common, either physically or verbally. Though rare, such attacks can even result in murder.
Conversely, the situation for transgendered individuals is slightly different with this area of South Asia having a large community of people who identify as a ‘third sex’. Known as hirjas, this community is recognised by the Bangladeshi government and, in common with neighbouring India, may legally change their gender to identify themselves as neither male nor female. However, this group also suffer a lot of discrimination and are regularly subjected to abuse and assault from both the general population as well as official organisations.
Public opinion over homosexuality is split and in a recent poll, conducted in 2017, the results showed that:
- 47% of Bangladeshi people supported equal rights for LGB people whilst just 38% did not.
- 49% of Bangladeshi people said that people in same-sex relationships should be criminally charged.
- 50% of Bangladeshi people believed that LGB people should be protected in the workplace.
- 40% of Bangladeshi people supported the right of transgendered persons to legally change their gender.
However, the same poll identified that over a third of Bangladeshi people would try to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of a neighbour if they were found to be gay.
The community has very little visibility at all in Bangladesh and attempts to rally members at events such as Pride marches, conferences and even creating online groups is met with strong opposition.
Overall, the situation for the homosexual community in Bangladesh is poor with very few rights, protections and tolerance. Gay and lesbian Bangladeshis are not able to live their lives openly without discrimination and fear of personal attack.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Bangladesh
Casual dating in Bangladesh is not that common as the majority of Bangladeshi women are married (three in four before the age of 18). Certainly, casual sex is very rare and it is uncommon for a Bangladeshi woman to have sex on a date.
When it comes to online dating, most services are geared around matching singles for more serious dating with a heavy focus on marriage. However, there are a couple of sites in English where you can find some opportunities for more casual dating.
Some of these sites offer free registration but with limited access to features whereas others are a premium subscription service.
- Bangladesh Dating Talk
- Love Habbibi
- Free Dating BD
- Date in Asia
- Lava Place
- One Love Net
- Top Face
- Love Awake
Featured image via Pixabay.