I'm Ky, founder of Sh!, and I'd like to say a HUGE 'thank-you' for being part of the Sh! community - we couldn't do what we do without you!
When I started Sh!, waaaaay back in 1992, it was to create a comfortable place in which to explore our unique relationship to sex, pleasure and our bodies, because nothing like that existed for women.
30 years on, with women's right to owning their sexuality firmly on the map and with toys now freely on the shelves of every major high street, Amazon and a billion online stores, so to this extent, our mission is complete.
So, the fact that you choose to buy from Sh!, and so support our work and vision means everything, because it allows us to do sooooo much more than just flog sex toys!
What You Helped Us Achieve in 2021
Sadly, the pandemonium of the Covid-19 pandemic meant the closure of our (multi-award-winning!) physical store in 2020. We were all gutted about that, because individually advising peeps and providing upfront, comfortable info around sex and pleasure was always at the heart of Sh! Being a Yorkshire lass through and through, I was determined to carry this on.
Only one thing for it: Roll up sleeves and move the Sh! ethic online.
With the help of wonderful sex educator Evie Fehilly, the enormous wealth of expertise of Renee (multi-award-winning former store manager) and a fantastic film crew, the Sh! classes were reworked into online courses, and Shush Life was created.
March: Shush Life Launch
Shush Life is a sex-positive, educational platform harnessing decades of Sh! experience. Here, you can take courses to enhance your pleasure and get tailored advice from us.
Personal details (like names) are of course kept anonymous, but we use the platform to share our advice so everyone can benefit, as this question on how to have an orgasm.
It's your support that allows us to spend time spreading our advice.
We launched Shushlife in March 2021, with a huge online bonanza featuring Ginger and singer & TV personality Sinitta and big thanks also go out to them for their Sh! love and support!
ShushLife was featured Notebook, the Sunday Mirror supplement, which helped spread the word - according to the article, I help 500 women orgasm each week – but no woman is an Island - Sh! is run by an amazing team, more on whom later...
Sex Talk on This Morning
Then, on the back of the Notebook piece came This Morning. A researcher picked up the article and before I knew it, I was discussing orgasms and Vaginismus with Phil & Holly. Take a look at the recording here: This Morning.
Emails started coming in before the segment was even over. The stories shared with us were heartwarming and equally honest. Most thanked me for talking so openly/honestly about sex on morning TV, and many asked for advice regarding their particular issue (see one of the emails here).
It took days to individually respond to each person who got in touch, but we did. And it's your support that allows us to do that.
June: Macmillan - Cancer, Sex & Intimacy Launch
Just before the pandemic launched itself on the world, we were approached by Sarah, a young woman looking to reignite pleasure after cancer. Sarah also got in touch with Emma Quintal at Macmillan, who instigated an innovative and pioneering collaboration with Sh! As Covid-19 and lockdowns happened, the wonderful Cheryl came on board too and together we created four sex-positive online sessions for women affected by cancer.
Watch this space: I can't give too much away at this point, but we have something beyong amazing coming up with Macmillan!
September: Vaginismus Awareness - Our Most Far-Reaching Event Yet!
Over the years, we've met thousands of women with Vaginismus, and we made it our mission to break the silence around this painful (and lonely) condition that prevents vaginal penetration.
In 2015 we created a dedicated Vaginismus website alongside Vaginismus Awareness Day in 2015, and each year VAD grew.
This year’s event was our biggest to date. Due to lockdown, we took the event online, which meant guests from all over the world could attend, and they did!
As fun as sex toys are, our passion really lies in helping women find pleasure and empowerment.
Having Vaginismus doesn’t mean that pleasure isn’t possible – it most definitely is. It’s about figuring out other ways of exploring and experiencing pleasure without penetration. The first step is simply talking about this taboo subject and we're proud that the conversation was started in places as far afield as India, Canada, Australia, and South America.
PS: If you’d like Vaginismus advice or tips on how to explore penetration-free pleasure, please email us at email@example.com
October: Sex with Cancer Online Shop Launch
I’m incredibly proud of our partnership with Sex with Cancer, an online sex shop and digital resource created by and for people with cancer.
SwC was conceived by friends and artists Brian Lobel and Joon Lynn Goh in dialogue with a steering group of community activists, creative thinkers and professionals across sex, sexual health and cancer care. The website is full of peer-led advice, practical resources, newly commissioned artworks, and a specially curated selection of Sh! products available to purchase.
March 2022: Cancer, Sex & Libido
A new year and new experiences.
After losing her husband to a brain tumour in 2019, @katlister (author of A Widowhood) visited Sh!, hoping to find a safe haven - and her lost libido...
In 2022, she contacted us and we spent a lovely afternoon drinking tea, catching and looking at sex toys in our warehouse in Epping. Hitting the (G)spot, her article about reclaiming her libido as a young widow was published in March '22.
1st of April 2022 - Sh! is 30!
Happy 30th birthday! Despite having many wins to celebrate, we didn't go all out with a night on the tiles (or did we?). As always - we were busy looking after our customers :)))
Take a peak at some of our best (and worst!) memories over the last 30 years, shared on Instagram.
A Short History of Vibrators
'Welcome to Sh!'s 30th birthday celebrations, complete with cake and a short history of sex toys & vibrators! Let Fanny Talks take you on a whirlwind tour of cake batter, hand-cranked vibes and what appears to be a cheeky moment under the table...'
July 2023: Sex, Toys & Pleasure
Our collaboration with @sex_cancer_intimacy is developing and we're incredibly proud to have our advice, tips and a selection of curated products included in their free booklet Pleasure & Intimacy: A Guide for People Living With Cancer.
The booklet is aimed at health professionals who want to ensure they are clued up enough to offer useful advice on sex & pleasure. Contact us or CSI for a copy.
Sarah & Cheryl (the wonderful women behind Cancer, Sex & Intimacy) organised their first in-person event at Future Dreams House in Kings Cross, London.
We, along with our suitcase full of lube and toys, were invited to talk about ways to reconnect with your body and sexuality when you are living with or beyond cancer.
It was an emotional evening with laughter, tears and hugs. Friendships were forged, body-maps were drawn, sex toys were woman-handled...
September 2023: Vaginismus Awareness Day - IRL!
We are slowly starting to offer pop-up shops and educational events when we find venues with an ethos similar to our own.
We decided to create our first in-person Vaginismus Awareness Day event since Covid. And to be honest - we had forgotten how much work is included! An online event is so much faster and easier in terms of the actual event - all you need is a laptop, internet access and a cuppa :)
Moving stock, setting up, organsing an awesome all-women panel and clearing down within a tight timeframe wasn't all plain sailing - but it turned out to be a wonderful evening <3
Evie Fehilly, Hazel Mead, Lisa Mackenzie, Fran Bushe and Sarah Berry shared personal experiences and advice as guests relaxed in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Our customers make all the hard work worth it.
A wonderful email popped into our inbox. When we are busy spinning plates and tticking off as many tasks as possible on to-do lists, we sometimes forget to take time out to reflect on the work we have done so far. Like most women, we just keep going! So, being reminded of moments that have made a difference to somebody is simply...incredible. Thank you.
Simply a HUGE Thank-You! I have a small but formidable team of women working hard to help keep all the plates spinning and all the projects pioneering!
In terms of the day-to-day, Aphra expertly manages stock and deliveries, Yak handmakes our beautiful Sh! silicone dildos, strap-ons and bondage. Renee takes care of advice & education and Sophie, wizzard number-cruncher, keeps everything tickety-boo with the tax & Vat man.
Between us, and with some help from partners, friends & family, we keep this ship on course. When you order products from Sh! or buy a course from Shush Life, you're supporting the work we do.
We couldn't have done any of the above without your support, so once again, THANK YOU!
We are YOUR biggest fans!
Ky and Team Sh!