A Moroccan-Dutch entrepreneur wants to open a sex shop in the Muslim holy city of Mecca to cater to Saudi couples that want to spice things up in the bedroom.
Abdelaziz Aouragh, the founder of a popular online sex shop El Asira, told an Arabic news channel that he was pursuing a partnership with Beate Uhse, the German sex toy manufacturer and would seek to open a store in Islam's holiest city.
But he said that the shop would not stock sex toys or pornographic DVDs, rather: "products that increase desire between men and women".
On the Asira website, Aouragh promotes candles, scents and massage oils as well as tablets that "enhance sexual experience".
"It is not true that Muslim women are seen only in the kitchen and seen only wearing the veil. We should also highlight love," he said.
He added that he hoped the business "would promote a positive image of how Muslims should treat women in general.'
Aouragh said that the store was fully Shariah-compliant and that he had consulted a Saudi Arabian cleric who was fully supportive of the plan.
Saudi Arabia is a deeply conservative country in which women are usually forbidden from driving and leaving the house without a male relative or husband.
But the country has thousands of lingerie shops which until recent years were staffed by men due to restrictions on employment for women. King Abdullah, who died earlier this year, reversed the rule in 2012 and banned underwear shops from employing men.
In 2000, the Telegraph reported that Ann Summers, the sex shop and lingerie chain, had been granted permission to open 22 shops in the Middle East, including one in Mecca. The store was due to open in Mecca International Mall.
But erotic shops have not always fared well in the Middle East. In 2012, a sex shop that opened in Casablanca, Morocco, was shut down and its owner fined £700 and jailed for eight months.