I became a woman in London.
Of course, I was already a woman in form, but it was London, Milan and Paris that mentally, spiritually and sexually molded me into the kind of woman I am today.
Walking around Covent Garden one day, I stumbled upon Coco De Mer (link NSFW), London’s premiere sex shop. But it isn’t just any sex shop. Coco De Mer changed my life.
I stared through the shop window. Lace. Leather. Harnesses. Whips. I was intrigued. I had never been inside of such a gorgeous store before. The sex stores I knew were lit with harsh florescent lighting, with a lonely looking, overweight man working the counters behind a glass partition. The toys are all packaged in plastic, with silly names. More of a novelty store, I suppose. The kind you go into with your friends for a good laugh…or for gag gifts.
But this store was different. Dark, chocolate colored walls, gold plated mirrors, plush leather seats, feathers, pearls…the smell of scented oils and candles. I stepped in and my breath was immediately taken away. I gently touched the lacy undergarments, ran my fingers over leather and brass wrist cuffs, stared in awe at the jade and glass toys. It was all so beautiful. I had never been in such a gorgeous, erotic, titillating store. It was almost a tad bit overwhelming to my then 20 year old self. A young woman who worked there came up to me, dressed in a short black skirt, peekaboo thigh highs and sky high pumps.
“Can I help you with anything?”
I stammered some random answer before I bolted out of the door. Why I left? I don’t know. But as the cold London air hit my cheeks, I realized that I had experienced a sort of sexual awakening. It was beautiful, alive, vibrant. I wanted to go back. I wanted to find more stores like this one. The owner of Coco De Mer says it best:
We, at Coco de Mer, are unashamedly about sex. Celebrate the beauty from which we all come!
Savour life and drink it to the full.
Something had awaken inside of me, and I had to find out more.
I was still with Johnny while I was in London. Long distance relationship aside, being alone in London was one of the best things I could have done for myself. It was more than just traveling. It was more than just studying in a different country. There was an unexplained sexual energy that ran through the veins of London, of Paris…of everywhere I went while I was abroad. Before this time in my life, I was ashamed to talk about sex. Johnny and I always had an insatiable attraction to each other…and everyone knows that Sagittarius and Aries have the best sex in the world. But we were just barely scratching the surface. Then, sex was a fun activity, yes…but it wasn’t until after I went to London I appreciated sex for what it really is. Glorious. Intoxicating. Bliss. I told my friends; I told Johnny. I embraced this new part of me.
I suppose it has something to do with the fact that in general, those across the pond are more open and welcoming about sex and the human body. It’s not a big deal to show a nudity. The body is adored. Sex is celebrated, welcomed. Sex is talked about openly. None of this hush hush type stuff I’ve experienced in America. Sex is taboo here. No one has sex. And if you do, you better not talk about it. That’s gross. Dirty. Weird. But guess what?
Sex is beautiful.
Sex is human.
Sex is magnetic. Alluring. Healthy. Fun.
With all of my new found knowledge, I started to really love my body. I welcomed the weight I gained from drinking beers and late night McDonald’s runs. Long gone was my 98 lbs, tomboyish frame. I accepted my curves. I had hips. Shapely legs. A great ass. I felt like I was Sex personified.
A picture from my first week in London
Throughout my time in London and the rest of Europe, I embraced my sexual freedom, my emerging womanhood. I went back to Coco De Mer many, many times. I bought feather ticklers, luxurious massaging oils, my first vibrator. I went to a latex fetish store in London that also had an assortment of vintage sex toys. I bought a lingerie set at Agent Provocateur. I went to coffee shops where erotic literature lined the walls. I indulged in chocolates. I bought my first (and only) pair of Dolce and Gabbana underwear in Italy. When Johnny came to visit me, we went to Amora, an interactive erotic boutique and gallery in the heart of London. I was having a sexual revolution. I was becoming a woman. Liberated. Free.
Now at the age of 24 and looking back at that time in my life, I realize now, more than ever how much my time abroad shaped me into the woman I am today. My entire perception of life changed during those short 5 months. I came back to America a completely different person.
And now, I embark upon another journey, this time with Johnny by my side the entire time. I’m older. Smarter. Wiser. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have another sexual revolution. As a matter of fact, I welcome it with open arms. (And I’m sure Johnny does too )
**The main picture for this post was taken by my friend, after I stumbled in my flat drunk and took off my dress from my 21st birthday. It’s hands down my favorite picture of me. Sex personified, indeed.