A ‘halal sex shop’ which aims to sell Sharia-approved products is set to open in Mecca, Saudi Arabia – Islam’s holiest city.
Abdelaziz Aouragh, a Moroccan-Dutch businessman and owner of erotic brand El Asira, says that his latest branch will open in Mecca, which attracts more than two million Hajj pilgrims every year. According to Arabic news channel Alyaoum24, Aouragh said that Saudi clerics were consulted to ensure that the shop followed strict laws and customs. They have reportedly given the proposed establishment their approval.
Due to Islam’s prohibition of masturbation, the shop will not be selling sex toys such as vibrators and sex dolls, nor will it distribute pornographic material. Rather, it will offer a wide selection of “pleasure enhancing” products including scented candles, massage oils, and creams. Aouragh said that the shop’s “products include items that increase feelings of sensuality and improve the atmosphere between the couple in the sexual relationship”.
The businessman added that he wants to change the way Islamic society views women. “It is not true that Muslim women are seen only in the kitchen and seen only wearing the veil. We should also highlight love”.
Aouragh insists that his products will elicit “more admiration and love for women” by improving marital relationships. In Saudi Arabia, women face a plethora of restrictions, including the observation of a strict dress code and the need for a male chaperone when leaving their houses.
The first sex shop to open in the Muslim world was an online store which opened in Turkey in 2013, adhering to the regulations of Sharia law.The site’s founder, Haluk Demirel, told the BBC that “despite what outsiders may believe, sexuality is a normal human necessity in Islam”.
As ‘halal sex shops’, Demirel says that establishments must be careful not to use “pornographic” language. “For example, instead of ‘horny’ we use ‘desiring’. These details are important”.