Sexuality was controlled and carefully confined to the home and was male oriented.For women it was only a matter of reproduction and with the wealthy polygamy and the young concubines often in the same household satisfied the male appetite for sexual pleasure.
elationships are one aspect of male/female socializing processes that are hardly dealt with by Iranians and their media.
The origin of direct relationships between males and females in Iranian culture is relatively new and started with other modernization processes that took place at the end of the 19th century.
Before then, religion and tradition governed all such relationships and there was no question of males and females openly dating or socializing with such intentions.
Veiling kept women at home and they became totally inaccessible to other males.
Segregation of sexes limited employment opportunities for women and the poor and the widowed with no children to support them had little choice except begging, domestic work or prostitution.
In Safavid period when thousands of acres of vineyards were destroyed, to make sure no wine was produced, unemployment increased drastically in the rural and urban areas.The number of prostitutes at the time was so high that the government officials attempted to regulate the trade by registering and taxing the prostitutes.On the other hand segregation of sexes unprecedented in history and against human nature created lasting abnormal patterns of behavior and psychological disorders for both males and females.Religious prohibition of most visual and performing arts including dance and music particularly in urban areas and the Shiite culture of celebrating death, martyrdom and mourning left very few avenues for external expressions of joy and few options for seeking pleasure except sexual pleasure for males.The erotic illustrated books or the so called 'pillow books' such as The Perfumed Garden (16th century Tunis) provided guidance for the males and instructed them on various ways of lovemaking and how to get optimum satisfaction.Despite availability of concubines and polygamy (slaves & war captives in remoter times), prostitution always existed.