In basic terms, Amora is a series of connecting rooms, all themed around one particular aspect of sex. While you are walking around, sex comes at you from every wall, and the almost constant sounds of orgasm float around in the air. It's a very ethereal experience (especially if you are on your own), but not unsettling. You're given a little telephone/radio thing so you can listen to a commentary akin to a museum's, should you wish to. It's clearly well-thought out.
The main problem I had with Amora is that it's clearly designed for people who actually are having sex. The rest of the clientèle (and at 8pm, it was sparsely populated) consisted of curious middle-aged people, and one young, attractive and quite clearly sexed-up couple who were probably below my age. The information on the walls, while actually incredibly interesting (if you like obscure facts), assumes point-blank that you're going to go home from Amora and shag someone immediately, the only exception being the relationship room (the first one) in which there's a billboard condoning the joys of casual sex right next to one about the values of long-term relationships. Well, they cater for all needs, I guess.
The other thing, of course, is that, however you try to describe sex - if you're not writing erotica - it will sound very clinical. Some of the displays could have been written by doctors; the language was explicit, but extremely medical. I mean, I know what the labia minora are, but what's wrong with something like 'the lips of the lady garden', hmmm?
What I did like Amora is probably best summarised in list form:
- The staff are very helpful and very knowledgeable about the subject. There aren't many of them, so they aren't overly intrusive, either.
- The interactive displays are very good: I liked the model girl for exploring of the erogenous zones and the subsequent model girl who elicits a moan if you find her G-spot. I rubbed her to orgasm before moving on. (Since one of her legs is missing, it's easier to find, though.)
- The fetish room has a model girl and a model boy you can spank with actual spanking paddles. I tried for a long time to reach the right force. The plastic bitch either thought I was too weak or too strong. Ah well, do it to yourself if you like it that much.
- There's a soft mould of Jenna Jameson's breasts which you can touch and fondle. That, and her vagina, and even her anus. Bloody hell, my finger's been in a porn star's pussy. I feel so dirty.
- The video demonstration of how to give a girl oral sex really turned me on.
Something I was really looking forward to was the aphrodisiac lounge, but when I got there, it was completely vacant. I liked the way it looked - it looked comfortable; pouffes and chairs and tables, something akin to a bed, and a bar; but the bar was not staffed and there was nobody else in the lounge. To actually enjoy it, you'd need to be tired, with someone, and in need of a drink after going through Amora.
The sex shop was on the way out. Here, I lingered until the helpful assistant showed me all the male sex toys. Evidently he's tried them all, because he told me exactly how they work. I wasn't tempted; in fact, I was mostly tempted to walk back into Amora and try and fit two fingers into Jenna's vagina again, but you can't blame him for trying. I guess I'm just not a toys man.
Walked out of Amora and back in again, had another browse, then out again and found myself on Shaftesbury Avenue. I decided that, since I'd dipped into depravity, I might as well look in another sex shop, since I'd never been in one before. Walked to Oxford Street and entered Harmony.
This was a wrong move. As I expected, there was no softcore ("you'd have to try Ann Summers for that," the man at the till said) and I couldn't make head nor tail of the sex toys for men - even ones that were moulds of vaginas (no way am I sticking anything up my arse, even if it does make wanking feel great). Basically, I felt very out-of-place, and I quitted the store having bought nothing from either there or the one in Amora.
"Innocent Loverboy," I reminded myself. "The word 'innocent', ironic as it may be, is in your name. You don't belong in a sex shop; you belong in a girl! Have a Subway sandwich, and calm down."
But I'd done what I wanted to do; I wanted to explore Amora and I wanted to see what Harmony was like. I'd done both; I had no souvenirs, but a lot more knowledge.
And, credit where credit's due, a museum with a red "orgasm tunnel" featuring telescreens with constant videos of people having wild, orgasmic sex has to have something going for it - even if it's barefaced cheek!