It was only after years of contemplation and lively discussion on the nature of sex and society that Passionfruit The Sensuality Shop finally opened its doors in June 1998. It began when I started to question why a foray into a sex shop or a desire to more openly explore sexuality made me feel so downright devious. If sex was so good, why were sex shops so bad? After all, sex is the most universal of acts, and most importantly, an act that in its purest form, is an expression of love. I began asking myself more questions and what I discovered and learned along the way shaped the principles and philosophy of PASSIONFRUIT.
Michelle Temminghoff founded Passionfruit in 1998
First and foremost, a healthy attitude to sex can only have positive effects. Physically, pleasure improves circulation and increases energy. The emotional effects include greater self-esteem, increased self-confidence, and a generally sharper mind. Spiritually, pleasure enhances appreciation of our blessings and contributes to a brighter outlook. When we feel positive about our sexuality and our selves in general, we can contribute to a more nourishing society.
Although we might feel confident about sexuality within ourselves, our outward expression of it has become distorted. Religion, modern culture and censorship have all played a part in this distortion. Christianity taught us to separate body from soul, to deprive our bodies of pleasure. Abstinence was pure and sex considered a tool for reproduction only. When we're taught to divorce sex from emotion and soul, we separate it from love also. The result is a corrupted expression of our natural sexual self.
This separation of sex and self has become evident in the way it is portrayed in the media and the marketplace. Sex has become a commodity - a thing outside of ourselves - used to creatively sell cars and ice-creams, but never for the purpose of sex in its own right. Selling vibrators, condoms or lubricants is a no-no. Traditional sex shops perfectly reflect this disparity of sex and soul. They rarely market sexuality in a way that hints of emotion, intellect, humor or love.
For many women and those who identify as women, the disabled, the senior, the shy and the queer (just to name a few), the overwhelming expanse of explicit videos and magazines is confronting and non-arousing. If walking into a sex shop inhibits our sexuality rather than expanding it, then the effects can only be negative. Diminishing our capacity for pleasure, love and well-being ensures a less vibrant, compassionate and inquisitive society.
We're so used to seeing sex objectified that we don't really expect anything more of our adult stores. We haven't openly embraced the creative force that is inherent in sexuality or expressed it in a marketable way. When we do object to the darker or more shallow expressions of sexuality, we seek to censor and ban, resulting in a further distortion of truth. Porno's fine, its just not all there is.
Passionfruit The Sensuality Shop has grown from a need to understand the nature of sex in our culture and a desire to express it more truthfully. I wanted a shop that would have me feeling so delicious that the thought of trying new things would be exciting rather than devious. I wanted a sex shop that would uplift, inspire and assure me. When we feel confident within ourselves, we become a part of a greater whole.
These thoughts underlie the purpose and direction of Passionfruit and have become the basis of our philosophy.
"Our mission is to reinvent the sex shop and enrich our sexual culture with fun, love and passion"
One day when one of my most outrageous friends lamented about having to go into "one of THOSE shops" to get herself a new vibrator, I thought, "Well if she can't go into one, what hope have the rest of us girls got"?
I began talking to more and more women and found an overwhelming interest in sexual and sensual products but an underwhelming response to the shops that sold them. What an odd society we must be, I thought, if we can use sex to sell everything from cars to ice-creams, but when it comes to selling sex itself, we put up black windows, flash neon lights and get relegated to the Industrial Zone!
I was getting depressed and thinking of moving to Brazil. But the more I thought about it, the more my anger and passion rose. I felt it was about time we all - men, women, trans, queer, gay, straight, young, old, abled, disabled - ALL OF US - celebrated our sensual and sexual selves in a more succulent, wild, passionate and natural way.
Passionfruit The Sensuality Shop embraces sensuality, empowering and connecting us to our most intimate, creative and sensual selves. Our Sensuality Boutique offers a luxurious range of products to enhance sexuality within a beautiful and positive environment.
We offer professional and discreet service where your care, health and well being are our priority. All our personal products are of the highest quality and we endeavour to stock only a certified organic, allergy free range. At Passionfruit, you can shop in a boutique environment with a select and extensive collection of quality and range to browse.
Passionfruit's premium selection includes lingerie and hosiery for the boudoir, catering to all shapes from the most petite to the most voluptuous. Luxury labels include Hopeless Lingerie, Lascivious, Something Wicked, SJLingerie, Marlies Dekkers, KissKill, Fraulein Kink, Only Hearts, Mimi Holliday, Ludique, Creepyyeha, Erica M NYC, Chromat and Vex Latex.
Our BDSM accessories include the finest silk and velvet blindfolds as well as the most decadent leather paddles and floggers. Passionfruit’s lubricants, oils, body chocolates and powders are of the most divine certified quality because we aim to treat our customers to the very best.
We stock a carefully selected range of adult toys including JimmyJane, Fun Factory, JeJoue, L'Amourose, We-Vibe, NJoy, Tenga and Tantus. Our products are chosen to help all of us connect, bond and elevate our lives and relationships.
At Passionfruit, we work within our community. We support and work with sexual health services, health professionals and related community groups around Melbourne. Your health, well being and and the quality of your relationships with yourself and others are our priority. We can provide you with the right information, whether it is regarding sexuality, health, workshops or services.
VIP Sale Nights: Renee Ruin
Photography by Leila Koren