Board games, bright colours and bondage at the the top of Canberra's Valentine's list
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Board games, bright colours and bondage at the the top of Canberra's Valentine's list

In a nerdy twist, ACT couples are ditching World of Warcraft, Uno and Family Feud on the international day of love to make way for more erotic games.

Sexy board games are hugely popular with couples this Valentine's Day, including the game of Manogamy, which includes challenges and arousing conversation prompts. The winner gets to "make real" one of the 50 fantasies you've discussed while playing the game.

Hello Sexy employee Mikaela Brennan.

Hello Sexy employee Mikaela Brennan.

Photo: karleen minney

It's no longer about traditional black lace lingerie in ACT bedrooms - according to Fyshwick adult store Hello Sexy, Canberrans are into bright colours like fluorescent pink and royal blue and almost always opt for the classic baby doll style.

Even the world's obsession with unicorns has made its way into Canberra sex shops, with unicorn masks, a unicorn lubricant and even a unicorn tail making their way onto shelves.

Sexy Time owner Stephen Hawke says sales will go 'through the roof' now that new movie '50 Shades Freed' has been released.

Sexy Time owner Stephen Hawke says sales will go 'through the roof' now that new movie '50 Shades Freed' has been released.

Photo: karleen minney
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Hello Sexy employee Mikaela Brennan, who loves her job because "it's a really good feeling to actually be able to help people with intimate parts of their lives", says far from being embarrassed, Canberrans love coming into the store for bedroom and relationship advice.

She says while real estate agents spend their time discussing second home options with Canberrans, she spends her time discussing "second vibrator options" with curious couples.

"The majority of people we get through is couples ... some people come in and have no idea what they're after," Ms Brennan says.

"Sometimes people come in and look for something a bit new and interesting because they've only ever had the one toy and they're keen to expand.

Silk bondage rope from the '50 Shades of Grey' range.

Silk bondage rope from the '50 Shades of Grey' range.

Photo: karleen minney

"A lot of people still value being able to come in and actually get advice from a person.

"We get feedback that it's actually really good to be able to come in and see the product, see it working, make sure it's the sort of thing you're after. And in that regard, I don't think bricks and mortar is going anywhere in this industry."

Erotic board games are all the rage with Canberra couples.

Erotic board games are all the rage with Canberra couples.

Photo: karleen minney

Sexy Time owner Stephen Hawke, who services "mostly Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong couples" from his adult store in Hume, says while Valentine's Day sales have been consistent - Doc Johnson vibrators were among the store's biggest sellers - it is the launch of the new 50 Shades of Grey movie this week that will send sales through the roof.

The book and movie empire now has its own bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism range targeted at women, including gold nipple clamps, a midnight lace blindfold and fluffy handcuffs with the word "Slave" encrusted in diamonds.

Massage oils are always popular with Canberrans according to Mikaela Brennan from Hello Sexy.

Massage oils are always popular with Canberrans according to Mikaela Brennan from Hello Sexy.

Photo: karleen minney

"We have a whole section of 50 Shades of Grey merchandise and Canberrans love it," Mr Hawke says.

Ms Brennan from Hello Sexy concurs.

"The movie last year featured silver kegel balls, or pleasure balls, and we couldn't stock them quickly enough," she says.

"[The books and movies] have really opened people's minds - love it or hate it, it's made people think about what other options are out there and what different things they can try and that's been really valuable to lots of couples and to this industry."

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Bree Winchester

Bree Winchester is a senior life and entertainment reporter at The Canberra Times

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