· By Team PLEASE
Talking all things PLEASE and pleasure with CECZA
Team PLEASE sat down with Holly & Candice from CECZA to find out about the birth of PLEASE.
Here are some snippets of our interview with CECZA:
South Africa is still recovering from the repressive conservatism of our historical context – and once such aspect that stands out, and intersects deeply with racial, gender and cultural oppression and subjugation, is sexuality. Sexual wellness – or even openness – murmurs among communities, echoed between lovers, friends – rarely families.
This is where ‘PLEASE the sex shop’ comes in, with a vision and hope for sexual wellness – dialogue – conversation and most of all pleasure.
“I came across this incredible sex shop on Instagram – WOVO Store in Milan – and their imagery, branding and way of expressing their viewpoint in the sex industry was so beautiful. That was the spark, where I thought, why does something like this not exist here? This was quite a few years ago. It took a lot of time, and a lot of work – and meeting Greg, before we made this into a reality. It’s quite crazy that the concept has remained the same throughout the years – which is that there’s a huge gap in the sexual retail space in South Africa, where we can offer people the space – digitally or physically – to have a beautiful experience overall when shopping for these things.” says Mira in our conversation, recounting the early seeding of Please.
To birth a sex shop is one thing – but to do it with ones partner, is to bring together a whole different sense of what is possible in integrating feminine and masculine perspectives of sexual wellness; as not mutually exclusive or in opposition, but forming the beautiful loop that sex between people across the gender spectrum, can generate.
Mira says, “I told Greg about this crazy idea, and he was actually like – this is a great idea – and then we eventually got to a position where, work-wise, we both could carve out the time and resources to give this a real go. I think it’s pretty interesting and beautiful that it’s a business started by a soon-to-be married couple. For both of us, eradicating the stigma of sex and promoting sexual wellness is so important – the point is to get people talking, and to shift any shame around sexuality, sexual preferences or experiences.”
Please is centred on an elevated experience of sexual pleasure – equal parts sophisticated and playful. The essence of a boutique that Please conveys exceptionally considered, with Mira and Greg set on offering South Africa a diversified access to products. Greg comments on this, “When we started to source products, we did a lot of research at the large online stores, but they’re already stocked here. We went searching for products that were not readily available here, but just as aligned to our aesthetic and functional intention for the store. We wanted to be, in most cases, the first to stock many of the brands that we have. Out of all our products, only two of them are already found here.” This vision has allowed Please to enter into a saturated market with an energy of originality and bespokeness – playing effortlessly between inviting their audience into the ‘best kept secrets’ of sexual pleasure, while building a community of people committed to sexual wellness & education.
Currently, Please is a digital sex shop – with the discretion of online shopping as an intimate introduction to their clients into their vision. I ask Mira and Greg whether there is a showroom or physical space in the future- to which Mira says, “Absolutely, the idea actually came from this vision of wanting to have a physical space that breaks down the boundaries of the sex shop experience – how cool would it be to have an exquisite, art gallery space where it’s all things sex? It’s not easy to start off a business as brick-and-mortar, but it’s definitely the goal to get there. Beginning online and building a community is our first priority right now. Yes, we are selling products – but underneath that is our desire to be a part of shifting the culture around sexual pleasure.”
On the way forward for Please, Mira says, “We’ve been chatting with people here to stock more local products. We are also going to branch out into our own merch – and possibly lingerie, too. We would also love to get into bondage and kink, which we have a strong community in South Africa. We also want to give back to the sexual wellness industry, too – with a specific focus on sexual education. All these hidden experiences are happening – like how common it can be for some people to be unable to orgasm without the assistance of a toy, and when you go online to read about it – it’s usually from the male gaze. I think this idea of “wrongness” and the divide between male and female perspectives and content needs to be challenged. Please is a sex shop where anyone, of any gender or sexuality, can explore.”
Lastly – Mira and Greg let us in on what their favourite products are from the store – Greg says, “I’m enjoying the cuffies the most – the silicone based handcuffs.” and Mira says, “Mine is the Aer – which is pulses of air instead of vibrations, which is insane.”
The sexual experience is said to be one of humanity’s closest portals to the Divine. These ecstatic, out of body states available to all who desire and choose it, have also been shown to be highly integral to maintaining a healthy body and mind. In a world where sex is dominated by violence – PLEASE the sex shop is an expression of resistance, and a further move towards a more sexuality liberated world; a world that women, allies and LGBTQIA+ folks have sought to fight for since time immemorial. We are thrilled to welcome the newest dawn of sex…please!