Khadija Ahmed showing off some of her sex enhancing products.
That woman in the traditional headscarf and abaya?
Leave your stereotypes at the door — she’s here to help with your sex life.
In what could be called “Sex and the Souq,” businesswoman Khadija Ahmed’s store is proving such big business in Bahrain, a small Arab country in the Persian Gulf, that she is ready to open a second outlet to keep up with demand…
Ahmed, a 33-year-old married mother of three children, launched Khadija Fashion House (Dar Khadija Lelazya, in Arabic) in 2008 as an online shop for sex products before its popularity convinced her to open her first store front.
Today, covering all bases, the Khadija Fashion House product range includes lingerie, massagers, sex toys and abaya, the dress-like overgarment worn by women in parts of the Islamic world.
“The (main) reason to sell these products is that married people in Arabic countries are really missing these products,” said Ahmed, who believes her store is the only one of its kind in the Arab world.
“There is nothing wrong with this kind of business. Married people need it to spice up their life. Where is the wrong when married people need these products? In Islam, nothing is not allowed between married people.”
Local customs officials, however, did take offense earlier in the year.
Ahmed spent a night in jail and faced a court charged with “insulting” a customs official in a dispute over importing certain products before an “amicable solution” was reached, according to local media reports.
“The case is closed,” Ahmed said. “I don’t like to talk about it anymore. It was a very difficult experience for me.”
Ahmed, 33, works behind the store counter and said male customers appear to have no problem making purchases or receiving advice from a woman about the products.
“Not at all,” she said.
A local mosque complained about lingerie models in the store window, but opposition to her business, she said, was to be expected.
“It may be unusual for a woman to own a business like this for some people, but not all,” Ahmed said. “Bahrain is an open country.”
“[There was some opposition] from some of the people but not all, and that is normal.
“Some of my family like it and they are supporting me, and some of them do not agree. I don’t care for them because I know what I am doing.
“My goal is making products available for people to use without facing any problems.”