In February we will be at the Huishoudbeurs with Rouze with a large stand. We build an erotic story theatre: comfy bean bags and silent disco headphones to create a complete listening experience. Our team is ready: a sexy playlist of our best stories: check; a special home fair offer: check; sexy surprise package with an annual subscription: check. Only is the Netherlands ready for eroticism and then not at home?
Open the doors. The flow of people overwhelms us slightly, but once we have regained our balance, the big game begins: how do we convince these (mainly) women to come and do something with us in public, which they can try privately at home? Listening to a sexy story…
Eroticism is something for the home
The name “erotic” story theatre attracts a lot of attention. There are groups of women who want to be photographed with the word “erotic”, but do not dare to actually listen to a story; there are friends who laugh with discomfort and put the headphones on their heads and there are daughters, mothers and grandmothers who come to listen seriously to what our stories have to offer without embarrassment. Who are curious and genuinely interested.
But what predominates that week is, unfortunately, still: the nagging discomfort how people approach the word “erotic”. Visitors greet us enthusiastically until they notice which stand we are at, or even quickly look the other way when they read our brand name, or even better: bypass the stand completely and quickly slip into a side street.
And the women who remain standing often say: “I’ll do that at home, I’ve had enough sex, you know, my husband knows what to do with that, I don’t need those stories from you at all”. But also: “Sex? I don’t do that anymore.”
I am adjusting my expectations and learning to look beyond the discomfort (or shouting it down) on the surface. Every time someone says out loud ‘I can do better myself!’ and still accepting a coupon to secretly listen back to our stories at home, feels like one huge win. When an elderly woman enthusiastically returns her headphones and says: ‘Just give me one of those annual subscriptions’, I feel that another millimeter of ground has been gained.
Eva de Visser (38) is the founder of Rouze, a platform with sexy stories. When Eva talks about her work, she gets to hear the most special personal stories about love, sex and relationships. She meets inspiring people, from activist sex workers to remarkably open-hearted bank employees. Every two weeks she writes about this on BEDROCK.
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Column Eva: ‘Professional excitement’
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