By: CHRIS GRAEME
REMEMBER THOSE Avon and Oriflame ladies that came to your house in the 1970s and 1980s to show you and your friends a range of beauty products?
Now, in the new millennium, the latest craze for girls-only get-togethers at home extends to elegant porcelain sexual toys and a range of creams and cosmetics aimed at women who want to add a bit of sparkle and ooh la la to their sex lives.
“Lots of Portuguese women, partly because of our culture and the way our society was for so long are ashamed to enjoy sex and experiment.
“Sometimes they don’t like their bodies or think they don’t deserve to have a happy and fulfilling sex life and it’s only satisfying the man that counts,” said Alexandra Campos Real, Commercial Director of ‘La Maleta Vermelha’ (The Little Red Bag).
The Spanish company which is now in Portugal has a team of 40 agents who call at your home in a relaxed and friendly environment and demonstrate a whole range of classy, erotic but definitely not sordid toys and accessories aimed at the modern liberated woman.
It’s just one of the new innovations presented at the fourth Lisbon Erotic Fair (Salão Erotica- SIEL) held between October 31 and November 2 at FIL.
Of course the usual porn stars were mobbed by queues of men wanting to have their photos taken with them, the pole and lap dancers, the shops selling all kinds of blow-up dolls, battery-controlled toys and herbal pills and creams designed to improve one’s sexual appetite and make one’s manhood just that little bit bigger.
“It’s all good, clean fun because we’re pretty responsible in the way that we promote sex as something to be enjoyed, something that is good for the health, providing sensible precautions are taken,” says Júli Simón who organises and manages the event both here in Portugal, Spain and other countries worldwide.
“One thing that really impresses me is the amount of women that come here on their own or together with their boyfriends or husbands, looking for ways to spice things up, or simply out of curiosity. That shows me that Portugal is really opening up to these kinds of shows and products. It’s no longer taboo, no longer seen as purely a man’s realm,” he told The Resident.
“I think the Portuguese are very sensible and level-headed when it comes to sex today, they want to experiment and have fun without taking risks; they are an extremely demanding public, both in terms of companies linked to the sex shop trade and customers. They want to know how things work, why they work and the science behind them,” he added.
“One of the problems I hear from women all the time in Portugal is that they feel fat or are ashamed to experiment, or want to look like the models in cosmetic and perfume campaigns. “Most of us don’t look like that. But they are realizing that they can learn to feel good about their bodies, and that it’s alright to want to please and be pleased by their partners. They don’t want to feel guilty and fear that if they don’t, their partners will look elsewhere,” said Alexandra Campos Leal.
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