The simple truth, says Ms Gold, is that people have more sex in a downturn. Fiona Davis, a director of Ann Summers, said the consumer effect of the book was similar to that of Sex and the City, which popularised designer shoes and vibrators. Sales over "events" such as Valentine's Day and Halloween spike strongly. Ann Summers is just one of the stores reporting that sales of blindfolds, whips and handcuffs have soared, reflecting the strong sadism and masochism theme running through the book. Once they feel comfortable and realise that they are not the only people in the world trying to do something different they start asking the questions they would have asked years ago if they realised there was someone to ask. In Soho, traditionally the centre of London's erotic entertainment industry, the sudden surge of interest is a welcome boost as the economic downturn continues. We have the advantage that we are niche," she adds. She says that she admires Tesco and Primark as retailers.
I ignore these mails as I do not consider them to be my problem, but they have piqued my curiosity about the sex shop business and how it has become so mainstream — at least in Britain. These days there are shops. I get at least one a week. Their best-selling product is the Rampant Rabbit vibrator with sales of at least 2 million a year. In fact, its website boasts: Mid-store are sexier lines and female "dress up" costumes — nurses, prison wardens, school girls. Today, I went to use it for the first time, however the battery does not seem to be working …" I have long been used to sharing a name with well-known people. In the past it was gay men holding hands and if now it's women going to sex shops after reading Fifty Shades of Grey then that can't be a bad thing. Just last week, this: And of course I've known about the sex shops. Then there's the woman who was sent a size 42F bra when she'd explicitly ordered a 42G and after returning it was sent the wrong one — again! As if to underline the product's normality, an example of each model is displayed on a counter for customers to touch and feel before buying, as they would a digital camera in Jessops or an apple in Tesco. However, in they announced plans to sell the brand. It is the kind of mainstream marketing event that Ann Summers has started to do on a regular basis. One hundred people packed into a room meant for Last month Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, said that the "nightmare of men-only boards" must end or British businesses risk being relegated as "backward looking" in the new global economy. Retrieved 29 December I'd brandished my passport, to show them that my name really was the same though I have an "e" , and asked if my friend could photograph me under the sign "Ann Summers for greater sexual satisfaction". Ann Summers shops are like a classroom full of kids — they get naughtier towards the back. Gold responded that the objections were "political correctness gone mad". My Google alert told me there was opposition to the Derby store opening on Sundays and in Britain's Muslims were outraged when Ann Summers launched a new blow-up doll called "Mustafa shag". History[ edit ] The company was named after Annice Summers, the female secretary of the male founder, Michael Caborn-Waterfield. Thank goodness that was before the emails to me started. But you make it work," she says. It can also involve the perusal of a catalogue, and often there are party games. How Google, Starbucks and Amazon got their names I've seen the smirks of the Immigration officers at Heathrow and the raised eyebrows of snooty Londoners. I'd learnt to feign enthusiastic surprise when yet another friend returned from a trip with a photo:
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