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Women in Turkey are especially shut out of the conversation.
According to the sex shop owners Ohri interviewed, the proportion of their customers who are women is, as Ohri told me, “seriously low.” It can be challenging enough to be a woman in Turkey, where 39 percent of women have suffered physical violence at some time in their lives according to a 2011 United Nations report (higher than the U. or Europe) and Prime Minister Erdogan has suggested that each woman should have at least four children. “That women feel comfortable walking in is important.
I had gone to sex shops owned by men before in Istanbul, and if I learned anything from that experience, it was to not do it anymore.
Last November, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered all “erotic shops” in the Turkish capital of Ankara be renamed “love shops” because he’s “disturbed” by them. Gulum Bacanak of the Turkish Sexual Health Institute is not surprised that it’s so taboo.
“In Turkey, you cannot ask about sex shops directly because they are considered shameful,” she said, adding that many of her patients are curious, but dare not go look for themselves.
It was 8 p.m., and I was on my way home from my office, which is generally quite conservative (as in, try not to be seen heading to a sex shop after work).
Instead of crossing at the kofte meatball stand to my apartment, I continued down Tarlabasi Boulevard.
When I hemmed and hawed—what’s the Turkish word for dildo? Tucked away on a leafy side street among beige and taupe buildings in the quiet, upscale residential neighborhood of Gumussuyu, Eromega is not the kind of place one just stumbles upon. It was closed the second time I trekked out there, too, a far cry from the erotic shops on Tarlabasi Boulevard, which never shut down, their neon lights blinking long after the nightclubs close.
—he held up a pudgy finger, disappeared behind a filing cabinet and returned with something black that was the size of my forearm as well as what appeared to be a bright red boomerang. Unlike those at its competitors on the opposite side of Taksim Square, there are no neon lights or flashing arrows announcing the sex shop’s presence. When I dialed the number on the website, the female voice on the other end sounded calm, bland.
My friend, a Turkish gay rights activist, was helping me haggle. I’m not sure what I expected the female owner of a Turkish sex shop to look like but I had not been expecting what I got: someone who resembled my mother.
She told me her first name is Reyhan, but wouldn’t say her last name.
“I’m just looking,” I said with a polite, tight smile.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating