I opened Coco de Mer just over a year after I bought my very first sex toy; a vibrator. Buying that vibrator was the reason I opened my shop, and I suppose you could say that single purchase changed my life.
The night before a friend of mine had told me a story that gave me the impetus to walk into a shop that, for many years, I had hovered around but never dared to venture in. The story goes, two days before she had bought herself a silicone vibrator that was a shape of a tree with a snake wrapped around it. It came with a warning, the sales assistant said, 'just so you know, we have many reports that this vibe makes women cry when they orgasm'.
Obviously my friend thought 'rubbish' only to go home, orgasm, and promptly burst into tears. Well, let's face it, that is enough to sell it to anyone. So I did the brave thing and crossed over the door to a whole new world...
As a customer I was nervous and quite ashamed by how little I knew. I had never talked in depth to anyone other than a lover about how sex felt to me. To be honest I wasn't the best at communication, so the idea of talking to someone about how I masturbate or have sex was an embarrassing prospect. Thankfully, once I broke down this obstacle in my mind and crashed through that barrier of social shame, my journey of sexual enlightenment truly began.
Today I'm in the privileged position of witnessing many women's light bulb moments as they venture through the doors of my shop for the first time (the majority being in their thirties and forties). It's just a shame it has taken them so long.
So here's what I've learned: previous inexperience is no obstacle to satisfaction; the less you know, the more there is to learn. It is a good place to be when it comes to sex because if you are emotionally and mentally open there is a whole world of pleasure to be discovered. The more pleasure: the more happiness to be had.
And forget the 'try everything once' philosophy, try it at least three times before you discard it, I say. It takes time to learn something new, relax into it, experience it fully and feel comfortable doing it again.
Often women think they like something and keep doing it for decades until they experience something else and find that, in fact, the total opposite to what they've been doing is what actually turns them on. Introducing toys is no exception. We've come a long way since the much hyped but rather vulgar Rabbit, so it's worth reconsidering using toys if you don't already.
The best vibrators are the ones used externally on the clitoris. They can be a fantastic tool for couple sex; while he is penetrating it can be held externally, giving greater sensations. Many women can only cum in one or two positions so a clitoral vibrator can really add to the amount of positions you can orgasm with.
Another tip is that it doesn't need to vibrate - a dildo that is designed to massage the G-spot is fantastic. Using it while your lover is making a delicious meal out of you is a sure route to heaven.
Remember that vibrators can be used all over the body. They are one of the best sex tools you can buy - but make sure you don't just lie back and think of Britain, it isn't the green light to becoming lazy!