By Mobeen Azhar
Gay Pakistan: Where sex is available and relationships are difficult
Pakistan is not the kind of place that most people would associate with gay liberation. But some say the country is a great place to be gay - even describing the port city of Karachi as “a gay man’s paradise”.
Underground parties, group sex at shrines and “marriages of convenience” to members of the opposite sex are just some of the surprises that gay Pakistan has to offer. Under its veneer of strict social conformity, the country is bustling with same-sex activity.
Pakistani society is fiercely patriarchal. Pakistanis are expected to marry a member of the opposite sex, and the vast majority do.
The result is a culture of dishonesty and double lives, says researcher Qasim Iqbal.
"Gay men will make every effort to stop any investment in a same-sex relationship because they know that one day they will have to get married to a woman," he says.
"After getting married they will treat their wives well but they will continue to have sex with other men."