The first sex toy store in Korea

The first sex toy store in Korea 0

The first sex toy store in Korea

Pleasure Lab Store.

`In Korea, people, especially women, are afraid of being stigmatized and treated as dirty whores,` The Establishment quoted the store’s co-owner and co-founder, Jung-yoon Choi.

Unlike many women her age, Choi `had a positive impression when she first saw a sex toy.`

`I really like it. I didn’t even know it was a sex toy store,` Choi said.

When she returned to Seoul in 2009, Choi wanted to find a store like Babeland, `to feel safe and explore, but there wasn’t any.`

Getting permission to open a store is both a procedural and cultural challenge.

`I still don’t understand exactly if I violated anything,` Choi shrugged.

`Being able to physically touch the toy you’re about to use is extremely important,` Choi explains.

Opening a store also helps debunk the stigma surrounding sex toys, as well as create a safe space in which people can freely converse.

`Other sex toy stores are not friendly,` Choi said.

`We try to position the store as a place that sells sex toys that are friendly to women, but also friendly to everyone,` Choi said.

Lack of information

Earlier this year, the Korean Ministry of Education issued instructions that the topic of homosexuality is not allowed to be discussed in schools.

Lack of information means that young people will not have adequate access to basic knowledge about sexuality and women’s health.

Cho and her colleague, nurse Kwak, are stepping up efforts to promote safe sex.

`She has met many women who suffered because of lack of knowledge about sex, about health, and contracted sexually transmitted diseases because of their husbands or partners,` Choi explained.

Although many customers are women in their 20s and 30s, who are `honest and curious,` Choi said, the store also attracts many older customers, who come looking for honest relationship advice.

`They are not children and are even more experienced than me,` Choi said.

However, Choi firmly believes that Pleasure Lab is not doing anything new.

`I think (South Korea) is late in this area, so people look as if we’re doing something provocative and revolutionary. But we really think there’s nothing wrong with that.`

It’s simply going one step further, giving Korean women the opportunity to learn about their bodies without shame.

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