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Meet Posmo, the Australian sex toy concept store based on queer theory

IMAGES VIA PHEBE SCHMIDT
WORDS BY COBY RENKIN

“I really wanted to create a journey where you shop for a sex toy in the same way you would buying some nice clothing.”

There’s a lot about shopping for a sex toy that can feel, well, unsexy. Whether it’s the bright lights, the tacky packaging or the lack of diversity and inclusion, it’s not always the intimate or satisfying experience you hope for it to be. 

Sexologist (and Fashion Journal’s resident sex therapist) Laura Miano and her partner Liam Brosnahan recognise this, and with Laura’s professional experience, her interest in queer theory and Liam’s eCommerce background, together they’re doing something about it. 


For more sex talk, head on over to our Life section.


Laura and Liam are launching Posmo, an Australian-based sex toy concept store with over 100 products spanning sex toys, sex accessories, sexual health products and various forms of art centring around sex. They have been working on the concept for over a year, but plan to have a constantly evolving product range even after the launch. 

Partners in business and life, they are all about “enjoying life to the fullest – we travel a lot together and we’ve kind of done things in an unconventional way and we’re really trying to bring that out in Posmo, just people having fun and connecting to pleasure and just doing what feels good,” Laura says. 

Set to launch on December 8, Posmo will at first be an online store, but the pair hope to one day turn it into so much more, running regular educational workshops as well as parties to form what they call a “pleasure project”.

 

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A post shared by POSMO (@_posmo_)

Queer theory, which Laura and Liam describe as “a little radical”, is the basis for a lot of the inspiration for Posmo. “It basically argues that sexual orientations are problematic because they try to sum people up and put people on a hierarchy which on an institutional level can oppress certain groups… it just opens up stereotyping and people might feel like they have to act in line with their sexual orientation, it really boxes people in,” Laura explains. 

The name ‘Posmo’ comes from ‘postmodern sexuality’, which Laura says is also tied up in queer theory. “So translating that to Posmo and a store, what I want to take from it is when someone has a sexual orientation, we are not going to assume anything about that person. We fully support and celebrate people of all sexual orientations but we want to enquire further.

“We might ask something like ‘so you identify as queer, bi etc, fab we love that, but tell us more about your sexual preferences. Do you like pegging? Do you like anal play?’ Unless someone explicitly states what they like, we won’t assume what kind of stimulation they prefer.”

Laura and Liam decided to open their own store after finding a lack of uniqueness in existing sex stores. “We looked at what was available trying to buy our own product and there weren’t that many unique products available, no unique stores.

“We just found that a lot of them were race to the bottom sort of discount stores where they didn’t really have a nice aesthetic or presentation about them. Because sex is such an important part of people’s lives, it’s important to start off on the right foot and enjoy your experience of buying a product,” Liam says.

“I used to work in fashion and when I was studying and looking into sex toy stores, one thing I realised was in fashion there’s such a big emphasis on aesthetic and when you shop you just have this really fun journey of seeing all these beautiful things and it’s just so different to sex toys, so I really wanted to create a journey where you shop for a sex toy in the same way you would buying some nice clothing,” Laura adds. 

 

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A post shared by POSMO (@_posmo_)

When choosing the products to feature in their store, high-quality materials, being body-safe, well designed and visually appealing were at the top of their list of requirements. Laura’s work as a sexologist also inspired her to ensure the range included products that could assist people with sexual dysfunctions, so the store will include toys specifically made to aid those with conditions like vaginismus and erectile dysfunction.  

While they are aiming to create a more educational and aesthetically focused alternative to other sex stores, Laura and Liam still want to keep Posmo connected to its roots. “We’re not trying to PG it, we’re still saying ‘Yeah it’s sexy, it’s dirty, you get sticky and sweaty and stinky,’ we want to honour that,” Laura says. 

They tell me that the store and its product range will cater to all needs and occasions. “We have a really broad range of products, some of them are the more high-end sex toys, some of them are the more affordable and accessible products, we have toys from some of the biggest and most reputable brands and we have toys from, for example, an indie toy supplier in America,” Liam reveals.

On top of products from suppliers, Posmo will eventually launch its own toys and hopes to have a silicon lube for sale soon. The duo is excited about where this new venture will take them.

 

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A post shared by POSMO (@_posmo_)

“I just want people to be able to be curious about their sexuality and be able to express it and embrace it in any kind of idiosyncratic way it presents. I just want people to feel really in touch with their own experience of their sexuality,” Laura tells me. 

As for the couple’s long term dream? It’s to create “a hub in Melbourne for sexually progressive people to come and feel really safe to talk about sex and explore their sexuality and ask questions and connect with like-minded people”. 

To keep up to date with Posmo, follow its Instagram and shop its range here.

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