Last year, one of my girlfriends bought me a present that I would never forget. It was wrapped with an adorable bag tagged the shop name Amy’s Bedroom. I unwrapped it quickly only to feel nothing but ashamed. It’s a pair of black knickers with a hole on the private part shaped like hot red lips.
I had never seen such lingerie like that before. Apart from being a bit embarrassed, I became very interested in this Amy’s Bedroom shop. So I went there a week later.
Located in old French Concession, Amy’s Bedroom stroke me as a cute boutique from outside. But when I entered, I saw dozens of dildos and vibrators which made me realize it’s a sex shop.
That was the first time in my life that I had visited a sex shop. I believe most girls including me are against traditional adult shops due to the lousy shopping environment and those middle-aged male shop assistants. But in Amy’s Bedroom, I was welcomed by two local young girls. They told me that Amy’s Bedroom is particularly designed to be a girl’s bedroom where girls feel comfortable shopping and looking around.
Cute as it was, no one actually shopped there. I noticed a couple of local young girls were checking out all the items with great curiosity and whispering to each other. They probably saw the shop from the street and entered without any specific purpose.
But this year, I witnessed the change! Five customers including three locals shopped at Amy’s Bedroom during an hour when I was there last month. A young local couple was even comfortable asking shop assistant about the differences among a few dildos and discussing which one they should buy.
I also noticed the difference between western and local customers. Sex shops are already well accepted in western countries, therefore, they are familiar with the products. I saw two western men select and purchase the products directly without asking any questions. It took no more than two minutes. However, local customers are different. “Sex shops are still new to locals,” said the shop assistant. “When they are in the shop, they prefer to look at things that draw their attention such as couple slippers shaped like penis and boobs, nurse and maid uniforms, etc.”
Despite half the customers being foreigners, local shoppers have increased in the past two years. One of the owners Kara told me, “local people are more open-minded about sex which is not taboo or secret for them anymore. They don’t feel ashamed talking about it. More local customers are hitting the shop and buying products now.”
Kara is not alone. According to a survey on the sexual concept of Shanghainese female undergraduates conducted by Fudan University in June, some so-called sensitive terms such as cohabitation, one night stand and premarital sex are no longer taboo to female university students in Shanghai. Planotic love isn’t the mainstream anymore. Today, female undergraduates generally accept sexual activity as part of the relationship.
Another statistic reported by China sex products sales net in 2009 shows that Shanghai, lagging behind Beijing and Guangdong Province, only takes 7.39% of the total sex products consumers in the nation, while in the usage and consumption of sex products, Shanghainese women are 7% above the national average. I’m not surprised to see this result after my second trip to Amy’s Bedroom.
When it’s just opened up over two years ago, there was few sex shop like Amy’s Bedroom in Shanghai. But the number is rocketing this year. I have seen such shops on Nanchang Road, South Shanxi Road and East Tianmu Road. Dildos are even being sold at convenient stores. I think it will be fun to buy some cute presents from those shops for my girlfriends as we all need to spice up our life a little bit.