The Dr. Ruth of the Muslim World

Muslim woman hosts a sex advice show, and she does not hold back.


April 11, 2007 — -- From a modest suburb of Cairo, Egypt, Heba Kotb is starting a revolution.

Kotb is a devout Muslim who has one unique mission for the Arab world: have more sex.

"Wherever, however and whenever," Kotb said, "because having sex in the same place, with the same women, the same way, same steps -- this drives you into the most widespread complaints."

Kotb, a certified sex therapist in Egypt, deals with all sorts of topics in her private sex clinic for married couples. In her part of the world, discussing sex is taboo. It's not something talked about openly -- especially by women.

Once a week, however, Kotb hosts a sex advice show that is broadcast across the Arab world, and she does not hold back.

Kotb will answer phone-in questions from the public about ejaculation, oral sex and even recommends what she thinks are the best sexual positions.

On one of her shows, she said, "The outer opening of the vagina is very small, but God has provided it with a lot of tissues, which enable that, and God has also created a flexible organ so that sexual relations becomes easier."

She gets away with all this sex talk because she is considered a good Muslim.

Allah is central to Kotb's approach to sex, and while she has four graduate degrees, her main resource isn't a textbook. It is the holy book of her Islamic faith, the Koran.

"I found out that the foreplay was there in Koran," she said. "The female orgasm was there in Koran, and the discharge was in Koran."

Her source for sexual well-being is located in the chapter in the Koran called "The Cow," which details the daily life of a man and woman, including their sex lives.

Kotb said that, contrary to the beliefs of some devout Muslims, the Koran actually encourages the faithful to have sex often, mix up the positions and please each other, while not fearing exploration.

On a recent show she even encouraged women to explore their own bodies. She believes there is too much sexual ignorance in the Arab world. She points to Egypt's divorce rate which is more than 60 percent.

She said married couples should have sex all the time -- no excuses. Otherwise you will become tired of your partner. "Keep it interesting," she encouraged her listeners.

Kotb said that your sex drive "is not just there for your moods. You have to have sex with her repeatedly and frequently."

The only things off limits, according to her sex advice by the Koran, are having sex during a woman's menstrual cycle and anal sex.

"Everything else is fair game," she said.

Kotb was not always this bold. She grew up in Cairo, and as a child she was taught little about sex. However, after she was married with children, she began to realize how little she knew.

She decided to study sexology through a doctoral program in Florida. While studying in the United States, Kotb was struck by what she saw as America's very open attitude toward sex.

She took her newly found sexual education and applied it to "Big Talk," a television show she hosts that is spreading throughout the Arab world. On the show, she not only encourages open discussion of sex, but she also encourages women to explore their bodies.

"Most think females are forbidden from getting to know their sexual organs … to touch or explore their organs. All of that is just social and cultural fear, and is in fact wrong," she said on a recent show.

To test that "social and cultural fear," ABC News approached some future brides in a bustling Cairo market while they shopped for wedding items.

One bride-to-be Noura is getting married in a month. She said there was no need to talk about sex until the very last minute, and her fiance, Hussein, agreed. He believes the bride's mother should sit with her just before the wedding and explain everything to her.

Kotb says problems begin when couples like these get married and know so little about sexuality. If people followed the Koran, she says, many of these problems would be solved.

Not everyone agrees with Kotb's approach.

"For some people, she is still playing it safe," said Nashishibi, a psychologist who does not think Kotb's show has the answer to many of the modern sexual problems in Egypt. "[You] are not really touching on extramarital affairs, possible pregnancy outside marriage, things about young people about how they [see] themselves and their sexuality."

In case there was any confusion on the subject, Kotb is no liberal.

"I don't believe there is a homosexuality," she said. "I do believe it is a disorder. It's not a genetic thing, it's an acquired thing. It's just like being an alcoholic and like a drug taker."

She also has conservative critics as well. Muslim clerics have criticized her for making such private topics so public.

Kotb ignores the controversy and continues to publish question-and-answer books and a column.

She also teaches Muslims in the Arab world the sexual lesson she finds most valuable: "Please your partner … often … and you will please Allah."

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