Amy Johnson has turned her passion for pleasure into a career. As the founder of Nox Shop, an online boutique for sex toys and sexual wellness products based in Montreal, Amy is striving to liberate conversations around sexual wellness, and is empowering women in the process. Her site is flush with beautiful, accessible toys and honest conversation around topics like the body, pleasure, kink and more. Amy and her team are on a mission to prove that pleasure and wellness go hand-in-hand and are redefining the world of sex with a shop that is owned, operated, designed and curated by women, for women.
People are hungry to talk about pleasure. It’s something that matters to most of us, and we’re not usually encouraged to be open about it. I’m never embarrassed to talk about what I do for a living, or about sex, and I think that makes people feel comfortable to bring it up. The parents at my daughter’s school are really curious, in a positive way. “Oh, do you know what Amy does?!” It quickly becomes everyone’s favourite topic of conversation. My mom, who lives in Palm Springs, recommends Nox to the women her age, and they all order stuff from the shop. We serve all kinds of customers. Pleasure is for everyone.
There’s a connection between the sex and cannabis industries...when it comes to the world of sex toys, there are so many people who are interested but feel intimidated. ”
The decisions we make about our bodies, and how we define what feels good for us are really personal choices and no two people are alike. If you think about it, there’s a connection between the sex and cannabis industries, especially in terms of the stigmas and taboos surrounding the conversations people want to have about their pleasure. When it comes to the world of sex toys, there are so many people who are interested but feel intimidated — they aren’t even sure where to start because the consumer experience doesn’t feel welcoming. They might not even know how to talk about their wants and likes. Because it’s not something our world has encouraged us to do.
I think there’s a similar kind of “interested but intimidated” consumer when it comes to cannabis. It starts with curiosity, or being motivated by a desire to feel well, and fulfilled. I personally enjoy cannabis on my own and rarely in social situations. I’ll often choose cannabis over a glass of wine at the end of my day, before bed or before watching a movie, and also before sex. But my relationship to cannabis has changed over time, and I’ve had to pay attention to what works for me. What do I want? What makes me feel good? I think many women are still asking those questions, of themselves, when it comes to their pleasure.
We’ve been told for so long that these forms of pleasure are embarrassing or taboo or bad. But we shouldn’t feel embarrassed about the things that bring us joy, health, happiness. I think that weed and sex have just had a marketing problem [laughs], and there are a lot of women-run businesses stepping up to change perceptions. I’m trying to do that with Nox. You also see product lines from companies like F8 by 48North, or Laundry Day, making these stunning art objects that you can’t wait to show off and talk about with your friends. It’s the start of a new kind of conversation.
Photography by Munse Monroe and Nox Shop
Cannabis can really help a lot of people get out of their head and just relax, which, for a lot of people, is a huge part of enjoying sex. Whether people prefer smoking, taking tinctures, or using an infused lube, it comes down to personal preference. People who have pain associated with sex, or their muscles tighten and don’t allow them to relax, are now able to feel pleasure through sex in a totally different way than before. We always recommend that people have open conversations with their partners before engaging in sexual activity, and this is also true when integrating cannabis into your sex-life. With any sexual partner, you need to feel able to talk openly about your boundaries, about likes and dislikes, and what you want to explore.
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