Ladies of London! Have you heard about the Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium yet? If not, where the devil have you been hiding? In the days before the opening of this delightful den dedicated to female sexual pleasure, adult shops were either men only affairs (dark, seedy and full of nasty graphic gadgets and magazines), or cheap ‘n’ cheerful with tacky hen-party stock. Sh! was the first boutique-style erotic shop in the country and remains the only one that is 100% female owned and run. Bringing pleasure to the women of east London since 1992, Sh! spread its wings and opened a second branch on Portobello Road in the summer of 2010. So, if you live in west London, there’s really no excuse not to pay them a visit.
Sh! was founded with the aim of offering women and couples a welcoming safe place in which to buy quality erotic products. They provide receive good honest advice along with top service and a cuppa whilst you browse. To ensure the female-friendly environment for which they are well known, men are asked to visit accompanied by a woman or during “Gents Nite”, which is held every Tuesday evening in both stores. Sh! sell everything from organic massage oils, candles, games and lubricants, to more rather more racy items. However, as they aim to offer a more discerning range of boudoir products, even the most hardcore of the toys they sell are stylish, sensual and distinctly non-offensive.
One wall of the Portobello store is devoted to quality lingerie from the likes of Playful Promises and Vollers, whilst another area is devoted to books which cover all aspects of women’s sexuality, health and erotic fiction. There’s even a suede lounge-chair for really decadent browsing! Central to the west London shop are the “playthings that purr”, a collection tasteful vibrators with prices to suit everyone. Each is has a fully charged display model and playing with them is actively encouraged. If you need help deciding, the friendly Sh! Girlz know all there is to know about the stock so don’t be afraid to ask.
One of the things I like most about Sh! is that the core of their ethos is education. They want women to feel able to explore their sexuality freely and with the appropriate knowledge. To help you, each product in store is displayed with a “toy tag” which provides useful information such as what the toy is designed for, what it’s made of, sound/intensity levels, battery requirements etc. In addition to this, the terribly tactful Sh Girlz are trained to guide even the most nervous shopper with sensitivity, personalised advice and honest recommendations. Plus… I haven’t even mentioned their wonderful classes yet! I’m attending one of these this Wednesday, so will save that delicious detail for another post.
In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that the lovely ladies at Sh! have offered one of their goodie bags – including a Sh! Bullet, Sh! LurveHeart, Lush Touch Massage Oil, Lush Lube 250ml and Lush Refresh Toy Cleaner – to one lucky Rarely Wears Lipstick reader. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me who you would like to visit the Sh! Portobello store with, and why. It can be someone real or fictional, a lover, friend, celebrity or historical figure… use your imagination! You have until 5.30pm on Friday, when I shall pass the stories on to my deliciously saucy competition judge who will pick a winner. Don’t forget to make sure you leave an email address so that I can get in touch to tell you if you’ve won. Good luck!
I'd like to visit with Jim Morrison if he was still alive, I'm sure he would light my fire ( awful joke I know but I couldn't resist)
I would visit with Queen Victoria, and would love to watch her mouth hit the floor are she realises that lesbians really DO exist. That all kinds of women enjoy wonderful sex. And that women's clits are not myths. *giggles*
As a man, this makes me slightly sad. Where's the place catering to someone who also doesn't like the seedy or tacky premises, who doesn't just want to be taken along on the arm of a woman or only on a Tuesday?
It does sound great and if I lived anywhere near I'd definitely take a look. I just suddenly feel a little….jealous of the ladies.
@mousearmy – Have you Googled for a sex shop geared towards men (or everyone) without the sleaze? There's bound to be something out there already, near where you live. I've visited a few that are classy and welcoming.
I'd love to go with my other half, as he is rather vanilla, and I'm looking for some gentle but exciting ways to expand his mind.
As a bi woman, I'm sure Angie Bowie would be a scream. Or an ice-cream seller, so I could crack endless bad 'vanilla' jokes. But on balance, probably Dorothy Parker: forthright and witty are what you need in a plus-one here. (Not sure who's eligible to enter but we've had a couple of chats on Twitter so you can DM me for my email addy if necessary…)
I'd love to visit with all the leaders of the major world religions. Because it would help them think about pleasure and the body in a positive way. Or at least, it would challenge their thinking 🙂
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I still fondly remember visiting with my last love, she was shopping for a strap-on and found a gorgeous harness and marvellous black beast of a cock. I was struck by the great range of stock & the friendly atmosphere (where else would you be offered tea while browsing dildos). Not sure if your comp is open to men Lori, but if so…
I would love to visit Sh! as the 'guest' of Queen Boudicca. I have a feeling she'd know what to do with a submissive male and some of the wonderful toys there 🙂
Ooo I'd love to visit the Sh! store with Jesus so that he could pass along the female sex positiveness to all of his followers and let them know that sex can and should be awesome, fun and exciting 🙂
If Jesus was other wise engaged, I'd visit with you, because you'd know where you're going (and last time I tried to find the Sh! on Portobello Road I got hideously lost), we'd have a giggle and I imagine you'd have some good recommendations 🙂
I would visit with Charlie Chaplin. As one of the world's greatest mime artists ever, he would know how to be quiet, so we could play with all the toys in the corner without anyone hearing anything…apart from the vibrations.
I had an entry on Twitter from someone whose iPhone wouldn't allow her to use the comment form, and I've only just spotted it (although she did send it in before the deadline):
@photochicken would take herself, because she's fucking worth it (or so her therapist tells her)! Failing that, she would take Houdini, and show him how a real woman ties knots.