A sex shop which caters for female shoppers has given journalists a peek inside the door. The team over at Sh! want to help women reclaim their sexuality and learn to orgasm, claims MyLondon.

Ky Hoyle had the idea to open up the UK’s first female-only sex shop in 1992 after finding that other venues held mostly blow up dolls and x-rated videos that alienated women.

She explained: “After a couple of glasses of wine I skipped off to Soho, and I found it to be the ickiest, alienating, male-focused place to go.

“It’s changed so much [now], but none of it was directed towards any woman’s real sexuality, it was all very fantasy[-focused].

“I basically stomped back from that shopping trip [and thought] about how there needs to be somewhere for women, and about three months later I opened Sh! in a little street in Hoxton.”

Sh! is entirely focused on women though it recognises that gender can be fluid and that “not every woman has a vagina nor every man a penis”.



Ky founded the sex shop in 1992
Ky founded the sex shop in 1992

The shop stocks everything from female-focused toys to accesories, but there’s one aspect that makes a big difference. Sh! gives free, one-to-one, personalised advice and offers online courses in special subjects.

Ky said: “Education is absolutely what we’re about, it’s not about flogging toys at all.

“The toys are secondary to exploring your sexuality and owning your true sexuality – not what the telly tells you or the magazines tell you.”

And, Sh! even has a sexuality educator: Renée Denyer.

She told MyLondon: “Selling sex toys is, of course, lots of fun and we laugh a lot, but my main reason for working at Sh! isn’t the dildos or vibrators. It runs a lot deeper.

“It’s an honour to be able to offer help and advice to women and couples who are perhaps visiting a sex shop for the very first time, or who haven’t yet experienced their first orgasm.

“I work with women who are ready to love their bodies after sexual violence, women who have survived FGM, HIV+ women, LGBTQIA groups including offering free pleasure workshops to asylum-seeking lesbian women, and am currently involved with two different cancer and sex projects.”



The ladies at the shop will help you with any sensitive questions
The ladies at the shop will help you with any sensitive questions

There are advice articles and in-depth courses available on the Sh! website which look at orgasms, oral sex and sexual confidence.

And, you can email or use the chat box online to contact Renée directly.

She added: “It’s not generic, one-size-fits-all – if anything, I’d rather speak to the person, have them email me so I can ask questions that will help me gauge what might be suitable for them.

“I do ask some personal questions, but I do it in a very gentle way, and I try to make the experience as light and as fun as I can – I want it to be fun for them as well. I want to make them feel that it’s okay to ask questions.”

The sex educator said that she has helped couples from strict religious backgrounds discover sexual pleasure after they found themselves unable to consummate their marriage.

Plus, she helped a woman in her 70s explore her sexuality after her first marriage turned sexless.



Sh! is based in Hoxton
Sh! is based in Hoxton

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And, she’s even assisted a butler with buying toys for his mistress from a shopping list. Hint: not a real butler.

Renée recalled: “I was once booked to give a spanking workshop to a World War One group in West London.

“80-year-old Mary didn’t want to be spanked, but she laughed so much, she almost fell off her chair.”

Sh! prides itself on providing a rounded experience for women to explore their sexuality regardless of age, experience or sexuality.

Ky said: “It’s mostly around empowering. Yes, we’ll teach you the tips and tricks, but it’s very much about giving women the confidence to really own what it is they like to do, their fantasies, and what really gives them pleasure.”

To speak to Renée for your own personal advice, or to find out more about the courses, toys and accessories on offer at Sh!, visit their website at sh-womenstore.com .





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