“Loving somebody, playing with somebody, is a form of kindness.” —Sid Azmi

It’s undoubtedly a luxury to walk down your street and wave hello to the neighborhood sex shop owner. I guess I’m lucky. I met Sid Azmi right before she opened her sensuality store, Please, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and later interviewed her for the Play issue.

With a background in medicine and a knack for making each person she meets feel perfectly at ease, Sid was the perfect person to talk to about play as she embarked on the adventure of starting her own sex-related business. Just like her store, she is honest, not salacious; inviting, not intimidating.



Since I first interviewed her, Sid has begun hosting workshops at Please (next up: Sexual Myth Busting), where small, intimate groups come to hear experts explain, among other things, the ins-and-outs of sex toys on the market. Sid is always ready to answer (or ask) a question, share an anecdote, and lighten up the atmosphere. This is about fun, after all!

And even Sid can laugh at herself. She told me about a recent morning when her son found her vibrator while she was making him pancakes. She panicked and told him it was “for the sink,” before realizing that she should have explained it to him more honestly. “Now I have to think about how to introduce it again and correct that, because now the kid’s going to think it goes in the drain!”

Learn more about Sid, plus—did you know the vibrator was one of the first home electrical appliances to be developed and popularized following the advent of electric lighting in 1876, along with the fan, teakettle and toaster, and before the vacuum cleaner and iron? Talk about priorities!

Learn about the fascinating history of sex toys and sex shops for women, and so much more, in the latest issue—you can also pick up a copy at Please!


Photos by Tatum Mangus