Vera Lui Wing-hang, a sex toy shop owner, shares her transformation from a girl with zero sex knowledge to a sex educator promoting positive sex.
By Angel Woo
Growing up in a Sex Taboo City
“Hi! I am Vera from Sally’s Toy. Perhaps many of you have heard of G-spot without knowing where it is. So today let me tell you how to find your G-spot,” says Vera Lui Wing-hang in her first YouTube video, holding a model of a vagina in her hand.
This video named “Tips about the G-spot that every girl should know” hit 2.4 million views since it was published in 2012. Since then, Lui has kept making YouTube videos regularly to educate people about sex. Her channel has about 102,000 subscribers and over 100 videos now.
Lui covers all topics relating to sex in her videos such as – “How to find the perfect condom?”, “What if my girlfriend doesn’t let me masturbate?”, “Can you swallow semen?” and so on.
She runs a sex toy shop in Hong Kong since 2010 and produces YouTube videos to clear public misconceptions about sex. The sex toy shop owner also gives sex advice through social media as she often receives messages from her customers.
But the sex educator was once ignorant towards sex.
“When I was young, nobody taught me about sex. I never thought of sex or masturbation, and never imagined having sex in a relationship,” Lui says.
Born in a traditional family, her parents never taught her about sex. Anything relating to sex is taboo in her family (conversations). “Sex should not be discussed – this is my family’s sex education,” she recalls.
“I was having a family gathering when I had my first period. I told my mom when I saw blood stains on my underwear and she secretly took me to the toilet,” she says.
“‘This is a sanitary napkin. Stick it to your underwear. From now on, you have to do this every month.’ – that’s all she told me, and we never talked about this topic again,” she recalls.
“When I stepped out of the toilet, my cousins asked what happened. My mom just said ‘Shh! Nothing happened!’ and my aunties said, ‘Don’t ask!’, that was when I learned that periods were something I should not talk about,” Lui says.
The first porn she watched was a DVD given by one of her classmates when she was in secondary school. “A boy in my class asked me to pass a DVD to another boy. That DVD had no packaging, so I asked what it was. They said it is not suitable for girls. But I was curious, so I asked them to let me watch it,” Lui recalls.
“I was not too shocked when I watched it, because all the sex scenes were blurred. But I knew I could not let others know that I watched the sex video, so I threw the DVD into a public rubbish bin after watching it,” she says.
Lui, now 34 years old, said that the first time she had sex was when she was 16 years old.
“All I could remember is that my thighs were in so much pain. You need some flexibility when doing sex, but I am not a flexible person,” she says with a laugh.
“The whole process finished so quickly, and it was not enjoyable at all. Before I turned 24, sex was not something I wanted,” she says.
The Enlightenment of Sex
A new chapter began when the then 24-year-old Lui was given a vibrator that was shaped like a cigar when she was on a date with her boyfriend. A vibrator is a type of sex toy that creates sexual stimulation through vibration. On that night, she finally found a healthy relationship with sex and had her first orgasm.
“I did not know how to masturbate so I googled for several hours before using it. On that night, I started to explore what exactly a vagina was, where the G spot was and how to stimulate the clitoris,” Lui recalls.
“I never knew I could have such relationship with my body. Why did no one ever tell me that masturbation is so pleasurable?”, Lui sighs.
“It was so empowering. I used to think of sex as a way to please my boyfriend. But I finally realized that I own my body and I have the right to enjoy sex,” she says. ‘That night’ changed her completely. She then founded Sally’s Toy, an intimate lifestyle store aiming to encourage positive discussion about sex.
“On that night, I started to explore what exactly a vagina was, where the G spot was and how to stimulate the clitoris.”
“I believe I am not the only one who has little sex knowledge in Hong Kong. But why does nobody tell us about sex? So, I was thinking if no one talks about it, then let me talk about it. That’s how the story of Sally’s Toy began,” she says.
In 2019, she became a certified sex educator after studying a one-year sex education programme organised by the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong and learnt the practical skills on how to communicate with clients to solve their sexual difficulties.
Educating Sex Differently
To Lui, sex education is not only about sex. “The fundamental of sex education is about self-love and loving others,” she says.
“Once we can respect our own bodies, it is a way of self-love. When you respect others in a relationship, it is a way of loving others,” Lui explains.
She also gives sex education workshops in schools such as the University of Hong Kong and HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity. Her way to educate people about sex is different from traditional theory-based sex education.
“When I was teaching at HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, I organised a condom-making workshop with a condom producer Sagami. It would be easier for the secondary students to understand the importance to have safer sex in a more interactive way than in the classroom,” she says.
From Lui’s observation, teenagers usually feel embarrassed to discuss and reach a consensus with their partner before sex. She opted for a unique way to help the teens breaking the shackles.
“In a relationship of BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Sadism & Masochism), communication between partners is very important. So, I organised a BDSM workshop for them to understand the importance of communication through roping the body of others,” Lui says.
“The fundamental of sex education is about self-love and loving others.”
Her sex toy shop is another type of classroom for sex education. “Our shop is like a pharmacy which gives basic advice to patients. People seek advice from us when they encounter sex problems,” she says.
Her hard work paid off. One day, when Lui was walking on the street, a middle-aged lady bumped into her and said: “Are you Vera? Thank you so much for your videos and your products!”
“I am divorced and could have never imagined having sexual pleasure after the split. But I started exploring my body after watching your videos and had the first taste of orgasm. I never experienced it when I had sex with my ex-husband,” the lady explained.
“I will never forget how excited she was. This encourages me a lot and it’s the drive for me to keep doing positive sex education,” she says delightedly.
She understands there is still a long way to go for Hong Kong’s sex education. It is not easy to talk about sex in a sex taboo city, but she is still positive.
“I would already be grateful if I could help seven people in the seven million in Hong Kong,” Lui says.
Edited by Savoki Zhang
Sub-edited by Sarah Ryou