Pakistan: Gay Sex Is Everywhere, But Are Relationships Impossible?
BBC News is providing an in-depth look into homosexuality in Pakistan.
"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."
Reporter Mobeen Azhar spoke with a man in his fifties, "Danyaal," who says, "These days there are smartphone apps that use GPS to tell you how close you are to another gay person with an online profile. There are thousands of gay men online in Pakistan at any one time."
"If you want sex too, it's a gay man's paradise. If you want a relationship, that may be more difficult."
And that appears to be the rub. While sex is accessible, relationships between men are still unlawful in the country.
The expectation that individuals will marry people of the opposite sex, leads to "a culture of dishonesty and double lives" according to researcher Qasim Iqbal.
Iqbal says, "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."
These double lives include sex between men in public places, including the city of Karachi's busiest shrine.
According to BBC, "Families go to the Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine to honor the holy man buried there and to ask for God's blessings, but it is also Karachi's biggest cruising ground.
Every Thursday evening, as the sun sets, men from across the city gather there. A tightly packed circle is formed and those in the center of the circle are groped by those on the periphery.
Still, while same-sex sexual relations are unlawful, it's not as if Pakastan society is unaware that they're occurring.
Iqbal explains, "In Pakistan men are discouraged from having girlfriends and so often, their first sexual experiences will be with male friends or cousins. This is often seen as a part of growing up and it can be overlooked by families - it's the idea that 'boys will be boys'.
"Sex between men will be overlooked as long as no-one feels that tradition or religion are being challenged. At the end of it all, everyone gets married to a member of the opposite sex and nothing is spoken about."