The fetish merchandise business in Pakistan
In Pakistan, a flogger is known only as the Taliban’s choice whip for beating those who defy their strict codes of Islam.I don't own any of their merchandise. I think it would take great courage and chutzpah to operate such a business in Pakistan as well as in other parts of the world that are not as open to the "lifestyle" market. Maybe they can bribe the Taliban by giving them discounts on the whips.
But deep in the nation’s commercial capital, just next door to a mosque and the offices of a radical Islamic organization, in an unmarked house two Pakistani brothers have discovered a more liberal and lucrative use for the scourge: the $3 billion fetish and bondage industry in the West.
Their mom-and-pop-style garment business, AQTH, earns more than $1 million a year manufacturing 2,000 fetish and bondage products, including the Mistress Flogger, and exporting them to the United States and Europe.
The Qadeer brothers, Adnan, 34, and Rizwan, 32, have made the business into an improbable success story in a country where bars are illegal and the poor are often bound to a lifetime in poverty.
If the bondage business seems an unlikely pursuit for two button-down, slightly awkward, decidedly deadpan lower-class Pakistanis, it is. But then, discretion has been their byword. The brothers have taken extreme measures to conceal a business that in this deeply conservative Muslim country is as risky as it is risqué.
It helps that the dozens of veiled and uneducated female laborers who assemble the handmade items — gag balls, lime-green corsets, thonged spanking skirts — have no idea what the items are used for. Even the owners’ wives, and their conservative Muslim mother, have not been informed.
“If our mom knew, she would disown us,” said Adnan, seated on a leopard-print fabric covering his desk chair.
“Due to cultural barriers and religion, people don’t discuss these things openly,” Rizwan said. “We have to hide this information.”
Even customs officials were perplexed at how to tax the items, not quite sure what they were, they said.Recently, when a curious employee inquired about the purpose of the sleep sack, a sleeping bag-like product used in certain kinds of bondage, she was told it was a body bag for the American military in Iraq.