What’s an Arab strap, anyway?

It’s both a sex toy and a rock band. You want to know about the sex toy, but I’m going to tell you about the band first anyway: the Arab Strap are a Scottish indie duo; their best album is probably 2001’s The Red Thread. They started in 1995; three years later, fellow Glaswegians Belle & Sebastian paid them tribute by naming an album The Boy With the Arab Strap, which is how many people first heard of the band (and the toy). Now you’re ready for the sex toy: “An Arab strap is basically a cock ring of metal with two leather straps. The ring goes around your dick and the leather straps go around your balls and it keeps you erect for longer,” Malcolm Middleton, one-half of the Arab Strap, told me. He says their name came from the band’s singer, Aidan Moffett. “About ten years ago, his girlfriend asked him to order a large orange dildo from a magazine. And there was an offer, if you spent an extra five pounds on a video, I think it was called Naked Werewolf Lady, you got a free Arab strap.” Moffett still has the original strap, which he carries around in his drum-machine case for good luck. Middleton said, “I believe he’s not used it with anyone else, but he’s tried it on a few times.”

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)