The buttoned-up nature of Dubai's workers made Otten and her colleagues — who were analyzing the city at the time for an exhibition co-curated by Rem Koolhaas — especially curious about the nature of sex there. "It's not that I was looking for sex, but you hardly saw any evidence that anyone was doing it or thinking about doing it," she says. Except, that is, when it came to what was on the shelves at the malls and drug stores, which pointed to both the city's high concentration of foreigners and its underground nightlife: super-high-heeled shoes and bizarrely named sexual snake oils. "Tightening lady virgin liquid? How do you use it? I don’t even know what that is."