Ladies, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the most magical place on earth is not Disney-land, it’s a sex shop in Hoxton.
I ended up in Sh! in a slightly odd way. A university friend of mine was somehow friends with this amazing second wave feminist who happened to be having a book launch in a sex shop and I was invited. This is how the love affair began. My boyfriend will tell you the way to my heart is through food, so being greeted by cupcakes and pink champagne was definitely a big winner. Granted, this is not the norm for the shop and the feast was only there on account of the launch but it was still amazing.
Sh! Women’s store is a female-run sex shop for those who identify as women (men are allowed in if accompanied by a woman and on Tuesday evenings un-accompanied). In fact, it was the first sex shop in the UK to specifically cater for women. In their own words, Sh! was designed to be “a place where women could explore and discover their own, true sexual selves rather than having it dictated to them”.
The store has everything you could want: dildos, harnesses, erotic literature, and bondage gear to name just a few. All the toys are laid out, with batteries in if needed, and the utterly wonderful staff actively encourage you to have a little play (with your hands mind…). Lubes are there to be handled – and tasted. If you have any questions at all, the staff are consistently wonderful and extremely knowledgeable.
Sh! in fact manufactures some of their own toys and has become the largest producer of silicone dildos in the EEC. Plus, good news for those who like to buy local – they’re all made here in London!
Sh! is also famed for its incredibly well-informed and friendly classes on everything from the squirting to pegging (some classes are open to couples, this information can be found on their website). The price of the class includes a glass of bubbly and a £5 voucher to spend in store. It was at Sh! that the very first strip-tease class for women was held in the 1990s by Jo King “Burlesque Queen” of striptease! The classes are as fun as they are educating and are worth every penny.
If you can’t get to Hoxton, no fear! With free delivery the Sh! website is another way to get your kicks. While you’re there, take a little gander at their advice blog where they’ll give you the lowdown on the right kind of lube to use, how to use a glass butt plug and the best nipple clamp safety guide I’ve ever read.
If that wasn’t enough to recommend it, Sh! also collaborates with the NHS, providing sex toys for women with sexual difficulties, so you can orgasm away knowing your strap on is helping to fund an amazing little company.
57 Hoxton Square
N1 6PB, UK
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm Everyday