Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women's Intimate Lives in the Arab World


The women of Morocco speak out about the secrets and lies of their intimate lives in this fearless exposé by the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny and Adèle.

“All those in positions of authority–politicians, parents, teachers–maintain the same line: ‘Do what you like, but do it in private.‘“

In Morocco, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, and sex outside of marriage are all punishable by law. Sexuality is both an obsession and a taboo, provoking violence, frustration, secrecy, and shame, and women have only two choices: They can be wives or virgins.

Leila Slimani was in her native Morocco promoting her first novel, Adèle, about a woman addicted to sex, when she began meeting women who confided the dark secrets of their sexual lives, from assault to their closeted homosexuality to the perils of leading a sexually liberated lifestyle. Their vivid, often harrowing testimonies, combined with Slimani’s passionate and intelligent commentary, make a galvanizing case for a sexual revolution in the Arab world.