The power of sex shops and the rise of women empowerment

December... the month of the magical holidays and the end of a crazy year. We are dedicating this month to women who impacted the world, empowered us and other women to follow our dreams, and fight for them.

“Women-run sex shops are the little pockets of sanity around the country where women can go and get sex information...and get their toys and vibrators. This is where feminism- if there is such a thing- lives if you want to deal with sex.” Betty Dodson

The amazing and eternal Betty Dodson never ceases to enlighten us. Curious about the famous sex educator, Betty Dodson? Check our previous article about her!

Sex-shops and women empowerment

In 1960, the FDA approved the first birth control pill. Such an iconic event that led to the growth of women's sexual autonomy and promotion of sexual freedom. The sexual revolution started to reach more and more places over the world, and women started to (re-)gain control not only over their lives and bodies but also over their orgasms. And what’s a better way to reach an orgasm than by getting to know your body, what works and what doesn’t by trying it out yourself? For this pleasurable adventure, vibrators and sex shops really come hand in hand (pun intended) as they also lower the stigma around self-pleasure. What are other benefits of self-pleasure? Read more about them here!

Women’s interests in sex toys increased over the years, and so did the expectations. They needed good products that were aesthetically pleasant and durable. And who knows more about vibrators than women? More and more companies started listening to the female voices (and orgasms) and developed better sex toys for satisfying orgasms. But how did the vibrators and dildos evolve over time? Read the amazing evolution of them here!

Nowadays, sex toy makers have expanded their horizons. Anyone can find something that suits them. Whether you want a simple dildo, a vibrator, a butt plug, or some remote controlling vibrating panties, the world is your oyster. And what better place to search for the perfect toy than a sex shop. What was once an industry long dominated by men, has now become a powerful path to expressing sexuality in women. The expansion and approachability of sex shops also increased thanks to television. TV-shows such as Sex and the City (remember the famous Rabbit vibrator?) and Fifty Shades of Grey (full of toys that could easily fill a sex shop) encouraged women to take pleasure into their own hands. Literally.

We dedicate this article to the young and ambitious business owner of a sex shop, Elizabeth. Wandering around the heart of Amsterdam, the fancy and cool look of Heaveno7 will catch your eye right away. At first you might think you have entered a luxurious cosmetic store. You have to look twice to realize that you are actually in a chique sex shop, where the enchanting Elizabeth welcomes you with a warm heart and a lot of suggestions. Is it your first time buying a sex toy? Do you want something new to add to your collection? Or maybe a present for your partner? Well you can find everything here.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Elizabeth and we are grateful for the insights that we gained about the business world of sex shops as a young and ambitious woman.

Take a cup of tea and enjoy! *scroll down for the Dutch version

Hi Elizabeth, Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you (nationality, age, studies, hobbies, etc.)?

I'm Elizabeth, born and raised in Amsterdam and 21 years old. In 2019, I started my part-time study “Art History” at the University of Amsterdam. Particularly the first year was great fun, due to several trips to all kinds of museums and churches in Amsterdam. Also, through education and different stories of the teachers, the city appears in a different light. This is why I appreciate the city much more than before my studies.

Unfortunately, because of the measurement taken due to the COVID-19 virus, the faculty is now unable to host any excursions. This has a great impact on a study like Art History. The art that we need to look at and analyse, must be in real-life. Reading and analysing these paintings on a digital screen is of course anything but optimal.

In addition, I work in a sex shop called “