ANKARA, Turkey — A new website champions an unlikely niche market: observant Muslims who want to spice up their love life in accordance with Islamic law.
Turkish developer Haluk Murat Demirel launched helalsexshop.com last Tuesday, which offers ‘halal’ sex products, such as lubes and aphrodisiacs. For those not in the know, Halal is any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law, and encompasses all aspects of daily life.
Demirel explained that he tailored the site to appeal (and not frighten) his target customers, who might be offended by explicit content, including racy photos or certain products deemed Haraam (i.e., un-Halal).
“Online sex shops usually have pornographic pictures, which makes Muslims uncomfortable,” he said. “We don’t sell vibrators, for example, because they are not approved by Islam.”
Since its launch last week, the site has garnered significant traffic, drawing 33,000 visitors on Sunday alone.
Because of hesitancy surrounding sex in Muslim culture, there are relatively few sex shops even in the major metropolises of Turkey. The conservative Turkish Prime Minister also pushed last year to rebrand the ones that do exist as "love shops" to reduce the verbal prurience associated with "sex shop."