They may look tough, but these Afghan soldiers are softies at heart. And they like butt sex. © T. Dworzak Collection / Magnum Photos
As the Taliban is enjoying something of a resurgence in Afghanistan, foreign armies are hightailing it out of the country faster than ever. The Canadians pulled out this summer, Sweden is scheduled to leave in 2014, and ever since early November, when a rogue Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier opened fire on Australian troops, the Aussies have been ready to roll out too. When the US finally exits, it will leave the ANA to assume full control of the country, a fact that has NATO shitting bricks bigger than the hash slabs ANA use to steel themselves through firefights.
But the party doesn’t stop here: Aside from widely reported drug abuse and the ANA’s infiltration by Taliban double agents, ANA soldiers are also fond of dressing up like pretty little ladies and butt-fucking one another. One Canadian infantryman I spoke with was jarringly candid about his experience serving alongside them, and said, “Honestly, Afghan men will fuck anything. To them sucking cock is nothing. It’s like smoking pot.”
Since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, NATO troops have reported the curious effeminate tendencies of their “really friendly” ANA allies. Complaints vary from reinforcements consisting of a platoon full of drag queens to walking in on “Man-Love Thursdays,” weekly gay-sex parties in the barracks where the freshest recruit is essentially dolled up to be the centerpiece of a gang bang.
Catcalling is rampant. After manning howitzers all day, a Canadian artillery gunner who served in the Panjway District would walk around the base shirtless amid the whistles and wandering eyes of ANA soldiers. “They told me I should be thankful how beautiful I was. They were dead serious about how cute my ass was… fucking thanks to my army-issued short-shorts.”
By many accounts, there’s a tradition of casual homosexuality within the ANA, one surprisingly unrestrained by a strict Islamic code forbidding a limp-wristed lifestyle. Mike Luongo, editor of the collection Gay Travels in the Muslim World, told me that he once ventured into suburban Kabul in 2004 for a cruising party where all the guys in attendance had served in the ANA and bragged about their exploits killing Taliban. According to Luongo, not only has homosexuality in Afghanistan never been stigmatized as in the West, but the very idea of being queer doesn’t really exist. Instead, it’s something guys do to relieve the sexual frustrations endemic in a repressive Islamic state. Mainly, though, especially in Kandahar Province, where a tradition of homosexuality exists among the ethnic Pashtun, gaying around seems to be the sexual alternative for men who fear the risk of being caught balls deep in an unmarried girl. This is a land where vaginas can kill you. “Sleeping with a woman can end up with a very costly honor killing,” Luongo says. “There is a saying in Afghanistan: ‘Men cost gold, women cost your life.’”
I spoke with a member of the deposed Afghan royal family and powerful Mohammadzai clan, who explained, “In brotherhoods like the ANA, it’s a matter of hospitality. Satisfying your brother’s sexual needs, like a blowjob or sex, is a means of relieving his stress so he can be a better fighter.”
Whatever these bizarre gay encounters are, ass-spelunking Afghan soldiers might just be onto some next-level warrior shit. Luongo put it best at the end of our conversation: “If you look at the Afghan people, nobody has ever defeated them and men have been having sex with one another for thousands of years there. We may have gotten bin Laden, but nobody wins in Afghanistan.”