When one thinks of a devout religious couple in bed together — as one so often does — giant, throbbing dildos and risqué lingerie aren't usually part of the picture. But that's about to change, thanks to a growing number of websites that have started selling religion-approved sex toys. These smart God-trepeneurs have figured out how to make money off the praying kind: by taking regular sex toys and turning them into special holy sex toys! Kind of like how its okay to drink the wine in church because you pretend its Jesus blood. Except in this case the vibrators and tubes of lube aren't receiving any kind of holy blessing — they're just being put in different, less tit-and-cock-laden boxes and described with less salacious copy.
This might sound like the work of evangelical Christians — who are experts at making money off of God — but it's actually happening across most of the religious spectrum. Muslims, Jews, and Jesus-worshippers of all kinds are joining this titillating club. Christians can shop at Book 22 (named after the Bible's Song of Solomon), Hooking Up Holy, Covenant Spice, and Intimacy of Eden. Jews can peruse the practically-named Kosher Sex Toys, and Muslims have the more staid sounding El Asira (which means "the society" in Arabic).
How nice that all religions are embracing this concept! Everybody deserves to get in on the action. Oops, well, not everybody... Turns out these sites only cater to hetero, married couples. Of course they do, because every religion's God forbids the singles, gays, and living-in-sin crowd from having any fun. But unless the site requires you to send a PDF of your marriage license in before purchase, this rule is probably pretty easily bent.
Anyway, the industry is expanding rapidly, and it has the full support religious leaders. David Ribner, an Israeli rabbi and sex therapist, says, "Religious people do it like everybody else. Why shouldn't they have access to toys that make their lives more satisfying?" They definitely should! Though it's kind of sad that they can't just get their vibrators and handcuffs at bachelorette parties like the rest of the country does. Still, shopping at these sites sounds kind of fun — if a bit tame. According to the Daily Beast,
None of the sites feature any nudity, instead relying on mannequins to display lingerie. Nor do they feature any sexy language. Kosher Sex Toys, for example, rewrites product descriptions that risk shocking its audience. (The "Butterfly Clitoris Stimulator" becomes, simply, the "Vibrating Stimulator.") And while they don't flaunt their holiness, they'll occasionally rely on religious messaging to sell themselves, or perhaps put potential customers at ease.
And it's not just the sites that are G-rated. The products are also de-sexed before shipping. Some of the sites repackage things in plain boxes; while others only sell brands that are already tasteful enough for their customers. A site's inventory depends on the religious persuasion of its customers. For instance, Book 22 doesn't sell condoms or anything anally-oriented, since "The Catholics protested the condoms, and the evangelical Christian community is sensitive about anal sex and play." Abdelaziz Aouragh, of El Asira, says he only sells "Sharia-compliant items," which nixes vibrators and dildos. At Kosher Sex Toys, you won't find anything that could help a male masturbate because according to the Torah, "God frowns on wasted potential." Luckily for the ladies, Judaism has no problem with you throwing your orgasms around like they mean nothing; so there's a large selection of "personal massagers" for your pleasure. For the couple, Kosher Sex Toys has some intriguing, if not particularly sacred-sounding, options:
"Whips and drip candles; performance-enhancing pills and sprays; clear-heeled shoes and thigh-high boots; and a variety of handcuffs, restraints, and tools for cutting them off."
Smart. I guess pleather and fake fur are about a kosher as it gets. Also, please tell me someone has made some sort of handcuff/tie-device that makes it look as though your partner has been nailed to the bed like Jesus to the cross??
So how are customers reacting to their newfound God-approved sexy times? Apparently, they're lovin' it, but not necessarily right away. According to the owners of many of these sites, their customers often need a little bit of guidance to achieve, shall we say, enlightenment. Ribner, who consults for Kosher Sex Toys, says couples have often been given bad advice in the past on topics ranging from E.D. to spanking. Here's a little taste of what he deals with:
One couple was told that if the woman does not like sex, she should take two Tylenol and finish as quickly as possible.
Ah, yes, the old pop some Tylenol and think of England advice… Fortunately, there are plenty of happy endings to these online shopping stories. Here's a heart-warming one: Joyce, an evangelical Christian, had never had an orgasm with her husband of 25 years, and she admitted, "I didn't know I wasn't having one." But then God sent her a message from above: some friends from church told her about the miracle that is a real orgasm. She was shocked: "All that happens to you?'" Then, she says, "They looked at me like I was crazy," before directing her to Book 22, where Joyce purchased a selection of "marital aids." Now the burden of an orgasm-less life has been lifted, and she says, "I'm a Christian, but this is awesome. It was like being newlyweds again." Blessings upon you, Joyce!
Religious Sex-Toy Sites Vow to Save Marriages [Daily Beast]
Image via B.Stefanov/Shutterstock.