Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This computer rendering of Dubai Sports City in theTimes makes Dubai look a bit like Alderaan or something. Then again that's sort of what Dubai seems like on many days.

Sorry, I just took a quick look at the Alderaan entry in Wikipedia. Alderaan was mountains, seas, forests, and plains. Few shining cities, no deserts. I think I perhaps meant Coruscant.


For whatever reason, I get a bit queasy and freaked out when it comes to anything having to do with the physical act of sexual intercourse these days. (Too much information for some of you, I'm sure, but there are important bits of cultural knowledge in this post. Read on...)

To start with the most glaring example, a company is Saudi Arabia recently began marketing a product called Hymen (TM) tightening gel. Today, the company's ad agency showed me the print ads they created: The first was a screw lying inside a nut, but the nut was too big for the screw (or the screw too small for the nut). The second was two scrunchies (elastic hair thingies) laid side by side, in the shape of a -- in the shape of an oval; one is all loose and tattered and frayed, and the other is, well, not. There's a third ad I can't remember, but if I do, I'll let you in on it.

The point is that being able to please their husbands in bed is one of the most important things for Saudi women, and for Arab women in general, because if one can't make one's man happy, he'll go find himself another wife. And when you reach your mid-thirties, and after you've had a few babies, well, this becomes an issue. (Of course, this raises the question of the success rate of penis-enlargement spam in this part of the world....)

Hymen (TM) flew off the shelves when it was first introduced last year. The company could not keep up with production.

The point is, when I first heard about this, it made me uncomfortable just thinking about it.

Another thing -- and perhaps this is not so freaky, but it still made me uncomfortable. Durex, in addition to condoms and lubricant, now markets little vibrating thingies sold in a plastic package. I have not brought myself to buy one or inspect the package closely, or maybe I did and blocked it out, but I believe these to be ring-shaped. They're for sale right near the cash register at the convenience store within my office complex. Sadly, I guess this means sex toys are no longer in the realm of the adventurous. (Most of them remain firmly within the realm of those getting laid on a regular basis.)

Hymen tightening gel and convenience-store vibrating cock rings.... It all sounds a bit like science fiction, like something from Coruscant.


Anonymous Emmanuelle said...

Hi Scott,
Coming back from an evening of sangria drinking in London with Hana, we're having a blast reading your entries about Dubai and, er, local customs. Dubai is becoming this big story in the US, with articles everywhere about the sky slopes, 14 star Vegas-style hotels by the beach, hymen-replacements... Kind of makes us want to go there. Hi from Hana and Matt xoxoxox Emmanuelle

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