This article originally appeared on VICE Indonesia.
Citra Ayu Mustika, an Indonesian sex guru who advises young mothers on motherhood and sexual health, shocked netizens when a photo of her wearing a hijab appeared in a promo of an online sex shop that bundles her book Uncensored with free condoms and lube.
Mustika described the book as a “guidebook for solehot wives.” “Solehot” is a play on the English word “hot” and the Arabic word solehah, meaning “pious woman.”
In a society where openly talking about sex is often considered taboo, a hijab-clad woman was probably the last person netizens expected to promote condoms.
While the combination of the promo shot, the term “solehot,” and the book’s caption, “My hobby is traveling. His body is my favorite destination,” would usually send conservative netizens over the edge, Mustika received overwhelming support and affirmation that sex education is indeed lacking in Indonesia.
"I cried after I read the first chapter because I could relate so much. I though to myself, why doesn't anyone talk about how complicated sex and breastfeeding are?" said one Twitter user.
“This is not about women who wear a hijab or halal condoms,” one Twitter user wrote. “She replied to my DM about how to use lube. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know how,” another said. Many others had fun with the word "solehot".
Uncensored is Mustika’s account of how she developed her relationship with her husband after marriage, her two pregnancies, how she gets along with her in-laws, and, of course sex (the cover of her book features a pretty conspicuous eggplant).
It is also an extension of what Mustika preaches on Instagram every day, from breastfeeding tips and prenatal nutrition, to post-natal sex. Her straightforward demeanor attracts many Indonesian women who have never received any form of sex education. The lack of sex-ed is so bad that some married Indonesian couples don’t even know how to do it.
Dr. Boyke Dian Nugraha, Indonesia’s leading sexologist, said that mothers who are educated on sex are more likely to pass that information on to their children at an early age, which may, in turn, help prevent sexual abuse.
“Indonesian children receive no form of sex education. But sexual predators are everywhere. Without proper sex education, how will children know they are being abused?” Nugraha told local media.
While many expressed support for Mustika, not everyone is as lucky.
In 2017, a Malaysian woman wearing a hijab was harassed by netizens and forced to apologise for uploading a video demonstrating how to put on a condom. The unnamed woman only intended for her cousin and close female friends to view the video, but it spread to other WhatsApp groups.