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Qassam at night
Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman
Mr. Qassam the matchmaker
Rocket attacks interfere with Sderot sex life, but also bring people together
When a sexy voice woke me up from my dream in early morning hours with the repeated words “Color Red, Color Red,” I could not help but wonder what happens to the sex life of residents in Sderot these days.

 

People here do not rush to discuss this issue, yet the security situation also affects what happens between the sheets.

 

Sderot is not Tel Aviv. Here you will not find pick-up bars or crowded pubs, and it is not easy to find a partner for a one-night stand. Usually, I have been told, relationships here develop slowly and surely, and only the crackling rocket alert loudspeaker serves to accelerate the process. Indeed, the Qassam rockets are an effective and active matchmaker.

 

Who wants to be alone when rockets are landing around here? At times of distress, we all need an embrace, a shoulder to can cry on, a warm chest, and a comforting and protective body: I don’t want to stay alone tonight, so stay with me - simple words that connect people and arouse hidden desires.

 

However, the Qassam rocket is also the main obstacle to the sex life in the Gaza region. People may connect to each other more easily, and some of them stay together and get married. However, what kind of a sex life could you expect of a father and mother whose young children refuse to sleep in their own rooms and join their parents’ bed every night for fear of Qassams? Or when a young girl needs to confirm once in a while that mom and dad are around? What can you tell your young son when he appears in the bedroom and insists on sleeping in mom’s lap?

 

Hard to go back to sleep 

During periods of heavy rocket barrages, we face another problem. We are all too tired. It is difficult to understand this from afar. Even if the rockets missed and the radio announces that they landed in open areas, and that no injuries or damages were reported, the rocket alert system’s loudspeaker wakes us up.

 

We go into our protected space, or into the building’s stairwell, waiting to hear the sound of the rocket landing, relax, go back to sleep, and wake up two hours later because of another incoming rocket warning. And if it happens again for the third time, it’s hard to go back to sleep. The night has been ruined, and so has the next day. We walk around with fatigued eyes, aspiring for a good sleep when night falls.

 

Besides, when we know that a rocket alert may be sounded at any moment, there is something about it that dries up desire. To begin with, it’s hard to think about sex when the soul is fearful. Yet even if the urge overcomes it, the thought that within 15 seconds of the alert system going off you will need to stop, calm your raging blood, find your clothes in all the mess, get dressed, and find shelter in the stairwell, with your hair wild and all your neighbors looking at you…well, it’s quite clear why your woman does not show excitement about it.

 

Prof. Dror Ze’evi, a lecturer in Ben-Gurion University, recently moved to Sderot and shares the experiences and thoughts of a new resident in town

 

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