But for the Olympics, the gold medal for most popular topic of conversation in London this summer would surely have gone to EL James for her breathless and dominant novel, 50 Shades of Grey. From absolute nowhere, she has emerged as a leading talent in her field, drawing acclaimed success across the capital.
London has been going Olympics mad this summer and will continue to do so throughout the much anticipated Paralympics too. But no sooner has Gabby Logan’s highlights show been turned off, everyone (well, not far off) has been getting turned on, not by shades of red, blue and white, but by shades of grey; 50 of them to be precise.
Where Charlotte Dujardin used a horse and Andy Murray a tennis racket, EL James combined the two sports to strike gold using an assortment of whips and love balls, both of which, thanks to the book, are becoming extremely popular. But the question is where does one obtain such implements and how much for?
Sh! – that’s where, and for not much money at all, you’ll be excited to know. As the UK’s first and best established sex store run exclusively by women, Sh! is the authority on sex trends in the UK and, after receiving ten times the number of requests from men looking to buy kinky toys for their Ana-wannabe partners since the book went viral, Sh! has developed a not-to-be-missed BDSM class for individuals and couples to attend so they can be shown the ins and outs of how to work Christian-isms into their sex lives.
Ms E L James’s trilogy has shown there is a mass market for bondage/discipline/sadism/masochism in the capital right now, illustrating that experimenting in the bedroom with your partner is not something to be ashamed of. So if you are intrigued, nosy, inquisitive, or may want some help in knowing how to apply 50 Shades of Grey scenes to your own life, at any level, get yourself to the next class.
You’ll be walked through all the terminology and safety prerequisites that involve being spanked or having nipple clamps attached to yourself. Perhaps the most popular of the toys from the book are love balls. Get yourself a pair from £17 to find out what all the fuss is about. Whips and paddles start from about £15 too. Sh! is ideal for this activity – it is a place for women and couples to explore real-life sexuality, not a contrived idea of what is sexy, and how people can look to enlighten their sex lives, via a very informal, relaxed and feminine environment.
29 August: couples and single women.
14 September: women only.
12-8pm Monday-Sunday: men are welcome as guests of a woman or unaccompanied on Gents night every Tues 6-8pm, and at some classes.
Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium
57 Hoxton Square
Tel: 020 7613 5458
Image by Mikamatto