It has been reported that a shop selling adult sex toys inside the city of Mecca, the holiest place for the followers of Islam, would be opening soon. The news is yet to be confirmed with many contradicting stories floating at this point of time. Whether or not the story is true, many are intrigued about women in Saudi Arabia being able to purchase sex toys from a local store. Freedom is a basic human right and most people cannot accept the fact that Saudi Arabia forbids women from doing certain things. Apart from pork meat being considered forbidden in Islam and the ban being stringently enforced and practised in Saudi Arabia, sex toys like the rabbit along with others are forbidden from selling in Mecca as well as across the country.
The recent media reports about an adult sex shop opening in Mecca have ignited a debate about gender equality. Based on these stories, an intimate products company, El Asira, may or may not be opening its doors in Islam’s holiest city. Millions of Muslims visit Mecca every year when they undertake the Hajj pilgrimage. Some say the erotic brand company that originates from Amsterdam just might be visited each year as well.
El Asira is said to be a Sharia obedient store and even if it does open its shop in Mecca, it is unlikely to sell sex toys or dirty movies. The company would be more into supplying lingerie, scented candles, lubricants, creams, massage oils, and other products that enhance sensuality. A healthy sexual relationship may use sex toys and dirty movies to keep it spicy. In a country that has an abysmal human rights record, especially with regards to women, many find it sad that the women in Saudi Arabia cannot choose to experience those pleasures. It is even more sad for a single women who wishes to satisfy their sexual desires. One wonders if the female population of Saudi Arabia is considering rabbit and similar toys as forbidden fantasies as they are banned in the country just like pork meat.
Women in Saudi Arabia are repressed from doing many things that men in the country are free to do. The fact that they are required to be accompanied by a close male relative or a spouse when in public is absurd. Unfortunately, the list of such restrictions on women goes on to include taking the husband’s permission before opening a bank account, women driving a car is frowned upon, going for a swim, competing freely in sports, trying clothes on when shopping, entering a cemetery, reading uncensored fashion magazines, and buying a Barbie doll are only some of the ridiculous controls that men have over women in Saudi Arabia as per law.
It is said that both the Holy Quran and the Hadith literature encourage sexual intimacy between a husband and his wife. However, some people wonder if the husband cares if his wife is really enjoying sex. Islamic tradition emphasises that it is not repressive about sex or sexual pleasure for women, and El Asira hopes that their store will improve marital relationships in Saudi Arabia. However, it is hard for some people to believe that women in Saudi Arabia truly enjoy sex when women are being made to wear an abaya and most of the marriages are arranged. It will be interesting to see if that stereotype can be destroyed and the sex shop does open in Mecca as rabbit and other such sex toys are forbidden fantasies in the country exactly like pork meat.
By Ankur Sinha
Photo by Jhayne-Creativecommons Flickr License