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Christian Sex Toy Shop Opened By Marc Angenent, Former Pastor

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Marc Angenent, 56, is a former minister who is now a licensed sex therapist.
Marc Angenent, 56, is a former minister who is now a licensed sex therapist.

Marc Angenent was a minister for 23 years before finding his true calling: sex therapy.

The 56-year-old Dutchman operates a website, Liefdes Tuin (Love Garden) that includes articles about sex, options to sign up for various sex-related lectures and workshops, and--the thing that's brought the former pastor the most attention--sex toys for sale.

Products offered include dildos, vibrators, erection rings, and prostate simulators, according to the New Age. Angenent sees the site, which contains no nudity, pornographic images, or offensive language, as a safe space for Christians to make these purchases. He doesn't offer whips or other fetish items, Der Spiegel reports, but not because he finds anything wrong with them: He just doesn't want to shock the Christian community.

Liefdes Tuin addresses a problem Angenent terms "lust phobia." As a minister of the Free Church, a Protestant congregation in Utrecht, Holland, he spoke with married couples and found that many of them were unhappy with their sex lives, according to Der Spiegel. Many Christians, the pastor concluded, are simply afraid to give in to their sexual desires.

Angenent however, firmly believes that lust can be a healthy part of the Christian faith, and his concern with this issue ultimately led him to begin training as a sex therapist. He stepped down as a pastor in December 2010 and saw his first patient last year, according to Sowetan Live.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly printed "Liefdes Tuin" as "Lief Destuin."

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