UAE Says Yes To Sex Toys, No To Blackberry- Sort of

The United Arab Emirates is awash with contradictions. You can never tell what bizarre news will issue forth from this gulf country, although much of it is quite amusing. Not everything makes one laugh, like the poor people hauled to jail for an innocent kiss in public, but some things are just too funny to pass up.

I was perusing alarabiya.net for some interesting tidbits to write about and on the same front page were two articles that floored me. The first was about the huge interest in sex toys in the UAE. Granted, they’re illegal, but forbidden or not it’s a very prosperous business venture for many in Dubai. Who would have thought that people, in a country that is so seemingly modest and inhibited in public, are immodest and wild behind closed doors. And the irony is that women make up the bulk of buyers in the sex toy/product industry over there.

With women making up to 90 percent of the customers to buy such sex-related products, the mostly smuggled products are in high in demand and run fast.

“Demand for these products is very high and they run out of stock very quickly,” a saleswoman in one of the malls in Dubai told the UAE-based EMIRATES BUSINESS 24/7.

“Our products range from flavored lubricants to sex games, body stickers, costumes, handcuffs, sticks, rings, and a bevy of other items. They are very popular and demand is very high,” she added.

In addition to Arab women being the biggest buyers of these adult-products, there are Arab men who have interest in the sex-related merchandise, the saleswoman said.

According to the article most are middle-aged, although I don’t consider 30 to 45 being middle-aged. According to one saleswoman the demand is extremely high for sex products, but she said,

“However, we don’t sell them, as it is illegal. They also ask for videos, which we also don’t sell.”

The prices of these adult products range from Dhs100 to Dhs550.

“Our customers find these prices very reasonable and almost similar to those in countries such as Thailand, Australia and Germany,” said another saleswoman.

“Our products are mainly made in the USA. These are approved by the authorities there and customers can eat some of them.”

I’m not quite what she sells, and frankly I don’t think I want to know. She went on to say that

“By selling these products, we are actually helping married couples by bringing them closer,” she said.

If a couple needs sex products to help their marriage then there is something drastically wrong. I find the appeal very bizarre, but to each his own.

The other article was about the evils of blackberry cell phones, which I am now a proud owner of. It appears sex toys, though illegal, are okay (since it’s such a booming business in Dubai) but Blackberrys are dangerous and pose a social and security risk, at least so says the UAE government.

BlackBerry was operating “beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation,” the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“As a result of how BlackBerry data is managed and stored, in their current form, certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.”

The UAE was working to resolve “these critical issues with the objective of finding a solution that safeguards our consumers and operates within the boundaries of UAE law.”

Hmmm. What could those social, judicial and national security issues be? Maybe browsing for sex toys?

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