My experience with Ann Summers

That made you look! 

I have had several experiences with Ann Summers over the years. My first introduction was a crazy home party in Barry which opened my eyes to a different world that my Catholic upbringing was extrememly unaware of. (imagine a room of Nessas!!!)

I see this amazing organisation in different eyes now and want to share some of my thoughts. The prudish me will say "it's that sex shop" in a Les Dawson kind of way. *

The nurses will often unofficially recommend Ann Summers as a place to support women going through any trauma related to "anything under their knickers". One example is a a young women going through stage 3 cervical cancer treatment as was given a vaginal expander to help her after her radiotherapy treatment. She was of the opinion that at the grand old age of 30ish she will never have an intimate relationship again. Thanks to a kind NHS nurse and a brave step through the doors of the Ann Summers shop she viewed her recovery in a new light. They recommended a bath, candles, a glass of wine to relax and change the mission into something non medical. 

Thinking differently about health can sometimes break that cycle of being medicalised. Thinking differently about health can completley change your approach to your body and can often reinvent outlooks. This young woman is now in a fantastic relationship and she is in a happy place. She is healthy, active and in control.

Still not convinced? Still concerned about being seen in an Ann Summers shop? I refer you to the values of Jacqueline Gold and how she perceives her business. :Passionate about our business
Respectful to each other:Inclusive in the way we work.:Daring in everything we do.:Experts at what we do.

Still not convinced? I visited a local branch of Ann Summers to interview the Manager about health and "sex toys" and was fascinated by the response. Once I got over my giggles. I listened. She was sensitive, professional, kind, understanding and truly wanted to make a difference. She went onto tell me how many older peri-menopausal and menopausal women seek guidance from the experts at Ann Summers.

No , I am not on commission but should be! Because as a Pilates instructor, I am contributing to improve pelvic floor health, core strength and educate around personal anatomy to improve quality of life. I don't have all the answers and I love listening to experts in the field of female health.  Cherry Baker runs a fantastic narrative workshop called Uptight and Out of Sight. . Mrs Menopause Tanith Lee who experienced early menopause sheds an interesting light on female health.

So back to Ann Summers. LUBE. I say that like I am Miranda. LUBE. It turns out its the saviour for women who have vaginal dryness and can make such a difference in terms of intimacy. The difference between good pleasure and uncomfortable pain. Vaginal dryness is linked to the reduction of oestrogen and is way more common but treatable problem that many women experience at some point in their lives.

Don't ignore a dry vagina or feel embarrassed to seek help if it's a problem for you. IT IS A FACT OF LIFE.  And life is not over after hysterectomy or menopause. Life is beginning. The third Age is a time of consolidation. My time. So many women out there believe the generations before us. We have served our duties, raised our families blah blah blah.. age is just a number and feeling sexy and sixty is the way to go. There are self care ideas around supplements and nutrition to increase lubrication and reduce dryness.

Do you remember the song "Lets talk about sex baby" ? Do you? Do you talk about how good it can be? Start with that conversation in your head. Then say it out loud just like the Vagina Monologues**. Then talk about what feels right and what could be improved on. As a women be kind to yourself as you are a long time dead! I know you are agreeing with me because you message me privately. Too scared to go public! Please don't feel I am putting pressure on you. I am raising awareness. Sex is the course of life so we shouldn't fear the conversation. Gutted to hear in the BBC this week that women are avoiding their smear tests due to feeling embarrassed. That is not good new ladies. It is the difference between living and dying.

In my my blog I received countless private message from women with similar symptoms to myself. Too afraid to share their fears. Too scared to speak to the doctor or seek help. the blog started

Come on girls. It's 100 years since we won our right to vote and now we are stepping up again. My daughter tells me I am a Liberal feminist. I like that. I support women. I am raising two of them. I want their futures to better than mine. 

You are entitled to be sexy and fabulous. Break the myths. Start with you. Liberate Yourself. Emancipate yourself. Don't be afraid, if it doesn't feel right then ask. 



Lincoln Brydon is another fabulous influencer who inspires me and  learn from. His knowledge of hormones makes you think differently about the phrase a moment on the lips and lifetime on the hips!

*Les Dawson- was an English comedian, actor, writer, and presenter, who is best remembered for his deadpan style, curmudgeonly persona and jokes about his mother-in-law and wife.

Vaginal Expander - A vaginal dilator is an instrument used to gently stretch the vagina when it has become narrowed, such as after brachytherapy for gynecological cancers or vaginal surgeries.

Vagina Monologues**is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler. The play delves into consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities, and other differences.

Helen TiteComment