It’s not quite the "Kama Sutra" or "The Joy of Sex" but it does offer a similar kind of assistance: the first online sex shop for the Islamic world has opened in the Netherlands.
But there is nothing sleazy about “El Asira” — “Society” in Arabic. Indeed, the Web site looks positively demure. The homepage depicts a street divided by a line; women customers click on the left of the line, men on the right. Inside the shop — navigable in Arabic, English and Dutch — customers can shop for massage oils, cocoa butter lubricants and aphrodisiacs such as "Pure Power," a capsule that claims to “heighten male performance, desire and pleasure.”
And while it remains to be seen whether these services will also heighten the pleasure of religious fundamentalists — the founder of the Web site, who has been careful to take religious advice, said his business has been a hit so far.
“We had 70,000 hits in the first four days,” said Abdelaziz Aouragh, a Dutch citizen born and raised in Amsterdam by his Moroccan parents.
His aim, he says, is to change the perception that Islam is hostile to women.
“The image of women in the kitchen, submissive, dressed in a burka isn’t true,” he told the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. “There is a lot of love. Islam has a lot of respect for women. Our shop puts the woman at the center of things.”