Oysters. Truffles. Chocolate. Maybe an affinity for filet mignon, or coq au vin. These would be the dietary staples we would most commonly envision for a virile, contemporary casanova—foods with sensual, aphrodisiac qualities; a vision of a gentleman who wines and dines his women with perfectly crispy toast points smeared with Beluga caviar, accompanied by a shimmering glass of Champagne. Or at the least, on a budget, maybe some decent spaghetti and a slice of strawberry cheesecake.
Well, over in Egypt, Haider Abu Shadeed has somehow caught the heart-eyes of 62 wives without the aid of any of the above. Instead, Abu Shadeed attributes his sexual prowess and boundless energy to a diet consisting of glass, raw meat (including chicken), whole fish (scales and all), and an occasional treat of hot coal. Appearing on the Egyptian satellite channel Al Hayat with host Amr Elleithy this past weekend, Abu Shadeed snacked on a broken bottle and a burning stick of blackened charcoal while detailing the so-called secrets of his bedroom aptitude as the show's host looked on in abject horror and confusion.
In regards to his regimen, Abu Shadeed explains, "I eat glass, but only as an appetizer. I live on raw meat and fish, which I eat with its bones. I can also eat burning coal."
Abu Shadeed self-reports that he sleeps with his wives five times a day with the aid of his bizarro-Paleo diet, which he appears to be proudly bequeathing to his two sons (the fauxhawked one of whom gingerly and joylessly eats glass and scaly, bone-filled whole fish in the video). It should be noted that he currently has only three wives, as things didn't work out with the other 59—one leaving after a mere hour of marriage.
Although watching this guy smugly feed on a pink, follicular chicken carcass and a pint glass is moderately horrifying, he's actually not alone in his affinities for either.
Glass-eating has a scientific name—hyalophagia—and is considered a form of pica, which is the pathological urge (most commonly found in children and pregnant women) to eat non-food substances such as dirt, clay, sand, and chalk. Though hyalophagics may appear fine immediately after chewing glass, their crunchy snack still has the ability to cause damage in the throat and digestive system on its way down. Or, godforbid, on its way out.
A few years ago, the TLC show My Strange Addiction featured a "glass addict" named Josh, who explained that biting into wine glasses and light bulbs gave him "a warm feeling" that he enjoyed "a whole lot … like eating horrendously sharp rock candy." He did, however, disclaim that he often had cuts on his lips and gums, and that he rarely did it alone—acknowledging that he was "really addicted to the attention."
As with his glass-eating, Abu Shadeed appears to relish the attention that he obtains from sinking (what's left of) his teeth into a raw chicken. But, as much as it may be uncommon due to fears of salmonella and other pathogens, chicken can be, and is, consumed raw in many places in the world. Esquire even gave it a shot once, inspired by the brazen rawness of the chicken at some Japanese yakitori spots, though writer Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn commented that it was "slippery, limp, [and] bloodless." No word on its effects on sex drive, but "limp" and "bloodless" doesn't sound so promising.
With his wives and his charcoal sticks and his broken glass and his raw meat, Abu Shadeed may fancy himself to be perfectly unique. But in actuality, it looks like someone has a mean case of special snowflake syndrome.
"Most of them married me for my extraordinary energy," he says of his wives. "I do not take any stimulants or drugs. It is just a gift from God. I am now planning to have a fourth wife, who should be slim and brown."
Won't she be lucky.