It’s not every day your launch event attracts a visit from the NYPD. But then it’s not every launch event that offers people the chance to connect with their sexual selves before trying out a brand new sex toy in the changing room.
When we first told people about The Changing Room – an orgasm pop-up shop in Manhattan to celebrate the launch of our amazing new clitoral stimulator the Queen Bee – we weren’t sure how many people would want to come along. It’s quite a big ask, after all: join our orgasm stylist, Diana Barone, to talk about your orgasms and masturbation, then pop into a room to try out a whole new kind of clitoral stimulation.
Would people want to visit? And were they up for having a frank and open conversation about the importance of self-pleasure?
We’re delighted to tell you that the answer is ‘yes’! A resounding, wholehearted ‘yes.’ In fact, in the first 48 hours after announcing the event, we received over 1000 emails asking for an appointment at The Changing Room. As the website Page Six explained: New Yorkers are ‘gutsy’ – we should never doubt them!
— Hot Octopuss (@HotOctopuss) August 11, 2017
Sorry to those who we weren’t able to fit in – we’ve learned a lesson for next time and that is:
1. If you’re offering free orgasms, expect to be oversubscribed!
On the launch day itself we had queues round the corner, and plenty of happy women left The Changing Room with their very own Queen Bee and a unique new experience to tell everyone about. One may even have fallen in love at first sight…
— MADAME NAMIO (@madamenamio) August 10, 2017
Other lessons we learned that day include:
2. Orgasm pop-ups attract all sorts… including the NYPD!
We were a little bit worried when the police showed up outside our pop-up: giving pleasure isn’t illegal in New York, is it? But they weren’t there to tell us off. As The Inquisitr explained…
“Because of the nature of this two-day pop-up event, concerns about this affair attracting some “unscrupulous people outside” this pop-up store prompted the NYPD to show up. The services of the police weren’t needed as disruptive onlookers never showed up, but the people holding the event were happy to see them.”
As well as the NYPD, we even had a visit from one of our favourite sex bloggers – @fdotleonora made us the stars of her Sinful Sunday post!
3. Sometimes you have to take risks
We loved this write-up of the Changing Room experience from writer Ricky Soberano in Bustle. Having told orgasm stylist Diana Barone
“how sexual I once was and how everyday life had diminished my ability to fully embrace my sexual vitality to the point that I even wondered if I was still functioning properly.”
… Ricky took the plunge – and Diana’s advice – and took a mindful approach to trying out the Queen Bee. Her verdict?
“My mind and body felt like a weight of that magnitude had been lifted. I let out a sigh of relief knowing I’d made the right choice in taking a risk to tap back into my sexual being, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to do it all again.”
4. Orgasms are mental as well as physical
As Maria Yagoda explained in Broadly, sometimes its her mind that’s cock-blocking her from having a brilliant orgasm. She explained to our orgasm stylist that anxiety often gets in the way of amazing sex, and asked for tips on how to deal with that.
“One tip Barone gave me—considerably different from the inane “blow on his shaft to drive him wild” genre of advice—was to imagine physically putting my worries, insecurities, and concerns into an actual box. Sometimes, the effort to annihilate all anxieties is so consuming that relaxing becomes even harder, she said, so it helps to simply tell yourself you’ll deal with them later. After all, you’re not going to solve, “When will I die?” right now, so why don’t you just put that question in an imaginary mind box, masturbate, and open the box later?”
5. Our boss thinks we’re like ‘sex positive evangelicals’
…or so he told writer Hannah Smothers for Cosmo. Naturally, we’re flattered and happy to be able to spread the good word about the pleasures of masturbation! As well as visiting the shop to see what all the fuss was about, Hannah interviewed one of our customers – Renee.
“Renee told me about when she bought her first vibrator — a rabbit, after seeing the famed Sex and the City episode — when she was still married. “I was afraid to use it, I kept it hidden in my closet, totally hidden,” she said on the sidewalk outside the pop-up. Now she leaves her vibrator lying around her apartment to charge and doesn’t care if anybody sees it.”
6. Sometimes masturbation is more than just masturbation
We’re firm believers in the power of masturbation to improve lives – not just to bring pleasure, but to help you understand that sexual well-being is as important as other aspects of physical and mental health. And one of the most important lessons we’ve learned about masturbation is that there isn’t ‘one weird trick’ that works for everyone – it’s all about getting in touch with what your body likes, and how best to experience pleasure.
“I soon realize that I’d been looking for something prescriptive. Somewhere between all the middle-school sex fables I heard and Cosmopolitan “blow his mind” articles I read—and despite how sexist I knew about these instructions to be—I had subconsciously swallowed the idea that sex and pleasure are something you figure out by learning the right tricks. I thought Diana would correct me or tell me the “right” way to do it, but when she takes out the Queen Bee and shows it to me, she simply tells me to use it how I see fit. The advice is so simple, but I feel like an actual light bulb is illuminated over my head as I leave the consultation room.”
And did it work? Well…
“I breathe. I check in. I find what feels good to me. I follow that and then it starts to really feel good.”