In a few words, what is a “sex toy party"?
A tupperware party is a fun, convivial get together between girlfriends, a gathering where you can be just among girls and talk about anything without reservations, and have a good time just getting together.
Can you briefly describe your role as a demonstrator?
My role is to simply encourage pleasure-seeking, to recover a couple’s sense of togetherness and sensuality, sharing with your partner. It’s also about rediscovering physical contact and lots of sensuality.
Can you describe what happens at these parties?
A lot of sharing, a great deal of crazy laughing, confidentiality and pleasure. Above all there is a lot of participation and interaction. It’s really a pleasure to be a Soft Love demonstrator.
Do even clients who are new to this sort of thing actively participate?
Yes, always. I try to encourage the weaker ones, the most shy, to come and play. I make all my hostesses and all the guests participate so that they can make the most of the party and learn about all the toys.
What is your favourite sex toy?
The “sex and the city!” (Laughs)
Do you think there are still taboos about sex? If so, how does that affect the parties?
From the moment one arrives at the home, there are already less taboos. People want to be at and discover things at the parties.There is still a taboo about going to a sex shop or talking about sexuality. When we do a home demonstration, our clients are curious, not in a unhealthy way, but out of enjoyment. When we come to people’s homes, we are above all invited. I feel invited by my hostess; I don’t come just to make a demonstration, I also come to enjoy meeting new people and having them learn about my products.
Has there ever been a party that did not go well?
Yes and no… Once I felt very watched, there were only four people, and yet I made an incredible sale. So the amount of guests doesn’t necessarily reflect how many sales one can make. I am always pleasantly surprised when it comes to taking orders who makes the actual orders. Whenever I go to a party, I can say exactly which scent or which product will be chosen the most.
Who are your clients? What is their age range?
A little of everything, because the company sends me to do demonstrations, because there’s a great word-of-mouth… I’ve made a lot of prospects! Otherwise, my clients are basically friends of friends and mostly between 30 and 45 years old.
Do more women than men come to the parties? Is it a “girly” thing to do?
Yes, the majority of the parties are between girls. The men go to football games, and meanwhile I do demonstrations for the girls in the kitchen. It’s very “girly,” and since it’s in style, they’re going to do it. There is always a pretext for doing the parties. I do more of them in the winter when it starts to get cold, and I push getting warm with your girlfriends. So it’s very girly, kitchy and fashionable at the same time. I whisper a lot, too (laughs). I pay attention to the words I use, mixing soft words with some that are a little more “trashy.”
In your opinion, why do people come? Do they come to get rid of their inhibitions, to release stress, or to learn more about discovering another form of sexuality?
A lot of them come out of curiosity, others through friends or peer pressure or to learn about the products. At Soft Love, it’s more “cosy,” “glamourous,” and we respect everyone’s privacy, we do it very confidentially. I’m the only one who knows who orders what. One can really relate to each other. It’s become the latest thing!
It’s the latest thing, for sure. But is it typically Brussels? Isn’t it basically of Anglo-saxon?
Hysteria, the film … The sex toy is an English concept, it was originally a therapeutic object to treat hysteria. We have Holland which is very “open” to sexuality, sex shops … For Belgium, on the other hand, it’s a fairly recent phenomenon, more so in the city, so one could say it’s a Brussels trend.
For how long have these parties been going on?
I’d say 2 to 3 years for Soft Love, but I’ve been demonstrating sex toys for 5 years.
Do parties take place mostly over lunch breaks or more in the evenings after work?
These parties take place mostly in the evenings for relieving stress, mainly Friday and especially Saturday evenings. I’m trying to develop Thursday evenings, so that clients can take off the weekend and spend time with their families. It’s “after work before night.”
Is the sex toy sector developing a lot?
Yes. We’re not hiding. We had 50 saleswomen last year and now we’ve got more than 200.