Michael Bridgeman PICTURE: PEOPLE OF IRELAND
FROM hooded men in long coats to eager octogenarians, sex culture has boomed over the past 25 years according to one of Ireland’s oldest adult shop owners in Limerick.
Michael Bridgeman, who runs Angels Adult Boutique Sex Shop, on Mungret Street, said Irish society’s view of sex has changed enormously since setting up his well-known shop in the 1990s.
In the beginning, men would disguise themselves when perusing the store. However nowadays, people aged 18 to 80 are freely walking in knowing exactly what they want.
In an interview with the People of Ireland project, Michael explained that when he first started, he found that the more revealing lingerie was, the more were sold.
“We decided to go down that road, and we started introducing the sex toys as they were called back then and it progressed from there.”
The first adult stores, he explained, were black, small and seedy.
“It was the man in the grey coat coming in with the hood up, trying to disguise himself going in and out. Now, 20 years later, it’s the women that are coming in now. It’s the women who are in control, telling the husband what she wants. They are more open about it,” he explained.
His top seller is the vibrator, and comments that the new technology with the sex gadget “is just amazing, it has really progressed”.
He added: “We have got couples coming in, you’ve got the females coming in, young, old. I mean, I get them in their 80s. I get them in and I am turning them away from the door because I have reason to believe that they are not even 18. They don’t care anymore. There is no fear anymore.”