Thanks to a tip on Instagram (one of those surprising travel apps!), I discovered a cool, new art exhibition in Soho happening this week. Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium provides a unique and unusual critique on the state of Soho today. Historically, the neighborhood has been home to seedy sex shops, gentlemen’s strip clubs and erotic cinemas. But in recent years, these shops have been forced to close or move out due to rising rents, gentrification and changes in Britain’s pornography laws.
This exhibition by Lucy Sparrow (herself a one-time worker in the adult industry), offers a way to test the boundaries of these laws and the definition of what Soho was, and what it’s becoming. With over 5,000 products made of felt (created over the past six months), the felt sex shop allows people to view the sex retail industry in a new way.
What I found most interesting about the exhibition was the fact that it made these sex products more approachable. Often, sex toys are kept behind lock and glass, under the bed, never discussed in public. Sparrow’s exhibition brings these items out in the daylight—everything from S&M bondage gear to lubes and poppers.
Our world seems to be moving in two different directions—simultaneously more open-minded and free when it comes to sexual attitudes, but also more prudish and hawkish when it comes to pornography.
Learn more and find out about buying these felt sex shop items at www.madameroxys.co.uk. The exhibition is only on until Saturday, October 17, 2015.