The suburb of Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa, had neither sex shops nor a public discourse about sexuality. A woman has now set out to change that. With her shop, the G Spot Adult LoveStyle, Mmathabo Ndlovu wants to confront her fellow countrymen with the topics of sexual health and female lust.
South Africa is one of the countries in which repressive sexual ideas cause great social damage. One-fifth of the population is estimated to be infected with HIV, one-third of all schoolgirls carry the virus. Statistically, a woman is raped every 9 minutes. Sexuality is a taboo subject in the public eye and female sexuality is suppressed. In hardly any other place is it so obvious how vital it is to deal openly with sexuality.
Dangerous prejudices about sexuality
In her opinion, many of her fellow countrymen have completely distorted ideas of what a sex shop is at all. Some people think that you can book strippers or prostitutes in her shop. Nevertheless, Ndlovu is optimistic: “The feedback is basically positive. I think the market was ripe, people wanted something like this, but didn’t know where to find it.” She feels that more and more people are interested in sexual health.
Even older people, who initially enter their shop with the greatest skepticism, would change their attitudes as soon as they learned more about the concept and aims of her store.
She wants to spread the message in the minds of her fellow citizens that it is perfectly okay to deal with one’s own sexuality and desire. In an interview, Ndlovu says, »And that has nothing to do with being dirty or hanging out in dark, sleazy places.«
A country on the move: Prominent comrades-in-arms
The sex shop operator says that a lot is currently in motion. It helped a lot that Lilian Dube, one of South Africa’s most famous actresses, spoke openly about owning sex toys. That’s why Ndlovu thinks more people should dare to talk openly about it and look for information about sexual health themselves.
Another topic moves her a lot when she thinks of her industry. So far, South Africa’s erotic market has been completely controlled by whites. And she said that this had to change. She encourages others to follow her lead and open sex shops as well. »If you go to the northern suburbs, you will find a sex shop every 5 kilometers. I think we could do that for the black community, too.«
Plans for an Online Shop
For the future, the bustling entrepreneur plans to set up an online shop to increase her radius of impact. The daily experience with customers in the shop helps her immensely. The feedback of the customers goes directly into her work.
Although she sees her primary target group in the townships of the South African metropolis, she wants to achieve a nationwide impact on the long term. Sexual health is still a taboo topic, especially in the rural areas of South Africa. It takes time to change this. And committed pioneers like Mmathabo Ndlovu. »I serve a need that exists. There is a need for what I offer, and I will fight for it.«