Hitting the right spot with a sex workshop
Credit: SPOT OF DELIGHT/FACEBOOK
Educate yourself on opening up to your partners about pleasure and desire at a local London boutique sex shop.
“Sex education is lacking and there is a severe deficit in talking about pleasure with sex outside of reproduction,” Nicole Zouki, workshop facilitator of Spot of Delight said. Zouki said that each employee in the store continuously tries to educate themselves on different techniques from a variety of resources.
They invite people in the community to ask for specific workshops and will create workshops depending on demand. “If we don’t have the expertise on it, then we reach out into the community [to find people that do,]” Zouki said.
The store offers workshops in a range of topics such as dating, fellatio, and kinks. Information for these workshops is posted on their Facebook page and website in advance. The store offers a sliding scale for people who cannot afford the full fee.
The sex store is an environment where people are invited to celebrate sexuality and pleasure in a non-threatening way.
On occasion, some participants walk into the store feeling nervous and Zouki said that “part of [their] job is to make [participants] feel at ease”.
Zouki said she believes that part of the process is figuring out where the nervousness is coming from: whether it is the fear of being judged or shame, she wants people to realise that “in this space no one is judging you.” “When [most people] think of a sex shop, they think of a dark [space]… pornography everywhere and that’s not who we are…” Zouki said.
Breaking from the traditional sex shop model, Spot of Delight tries to create “a community space” where people can “come in and have tea” and “sit on the couch”.
The workshops are held in store after hours, with the blinders down to ensure participants’ privacy. They start off by introducing anatomy and communication techniques before introducing the theoretical and practical elements.
Most of their workshops are not practical based: for workshops that involve anatomy such as the fellatio workshop, participants will bring in non-porous silicone dildos (that can be sanitized completely) and flavoured condoms. There are no bodily fluids exchanged in these workshops. The only workshops with a practical aspect are the rope workshops and impact play.
Zouki acknowledged that it might be daunting for some people to come out to these workshops. “I work in a place that empowers [people] to speak up,” she said. The staff are trained to deal with conflicts and will remove anyone who is not contributing to a safe and respectful atmosphere.
“You’re allowed to ask questions without feeling silly,” Zouki said. “We want to normalise [sexuality].”
Zouki emphasizes that learning how to communicate with your partner is the most important part of these workshops, as it is just as important to “discuss what you like, as what you don’t like” to ensure all parties are receiving and giving pleasure.
Starting discussions in the bedroom can be hard for some couples because of their insecurities. “I know a lot of people think that [their partners] want toys because they are not good enough. That’s never the case. A toy is not going to replace a person. It’s only going to enhance [the experience],” Zouki said.
She believes that sexuality is “demonized” in our society and that people are “told to feel ashamed about sexuality.”
She suggests that people come in just to browse and to “gauge your partner’s reaction to different things” as a means of introducing new things into their sex life in a safe and non-threatening way.
“This place is where you can learn something that you didn’t have the opportunity [when you were] growing up, and usually things people are ashamed of in everyday life. You can come here and explore [all of that] in a safe way,” Zouki said.