My name is Asha, I am a student from America studying abroad and I intern at Hands Inc. About a week ago, Hands Inc. embarked on a trip to Sh!, a female-focused sex shop, based in Hackney. We took a group of women to Sh! As a part of their Menopause Project. This project includes activities like exercise courses, awareness courses, and support groups, all focused around the menopause. I recently attended an exercise class and saw how the different cardio, balance exercises, and pelvic floor movements really helped get the women moving around and really listening to their body’s. While it is great to see women moving around discovering their physical strengths through the menopause, it is not the only area that it can affect. A few of our service users expressed their interest in going to a sex shop, to learn more about their own sexuality and discuss the ways that menopause has affected them. As a 20 year old, I had never really thought about the menopause in a sexual context. What I have learnt from my time on the Menopause Project is that menopause is a mystical topic that no woman ever talks about until it is too late and they are going through it themselves. I learnt all about periods and sex but never talked about menopause in school or even with my own mother. Our service users have talked about the hot flashes, sleepless nights, cramping, and flushing but sometimes they have a difficult time discussing their low sex drive in front of others. Our trip to Sh!really helped clear up some of the more taboo subjects.
We had all of the women who were interested, meet up at the Shoreditch Town Hall and so we could walk together to Sh!. When I arrived and met some of the women, there was a certain feeling of excitement and curiosity in the air. For a few of the women, this was the first time they had ever gone to a sex shop in their lives. Others said that they would never go into a sex shop alone, without a formal group, because they were either too embarrassed or scared. Everyone was very eager to arrive at Sh!, they were even leading the group! As we arrived in the shop, we saw a few of the vibrators, toys, and lubricants. Naturally, the excitement increased as we were led into a closed curtain room with chairs set up around two tables filled with different toys, diagrams, and even plush three-dimensional vaginas. The class began and we were offered refreshments and snacks, and a nice ice-breaker to get everyone in the mood for the night. Continue reading Our Trip to Sh! Womens Sex Shop