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They’re on the ground floor and have teams of employees.

When I hemmed and hawed—what’s the Turkish word for dildo? Tucked away on a leafy side street among beige and taupe buildings in the quiet, upscale residential neighborhood of Gumussuyu, Eromega is not the kind of place one just stumbles upon. It was closed the second time I trekked out there, too, a far cry from the erotic shops on Tarlabasi Boulevard, which never shut down, their neon lights blinking long after the nightclubs close.—he held up a pudgy finger, disappeared behind a filing cabinet and returned with something black that was the size of my forearm as well as what appeared to be a bright red boomerang. Unlike those at its competitors on the opposite side of Taksim Square, there are no neon lights or flashing arrows announcing the sex shop’s presence. When I dialed the number on the website, the female voice on the other end sounded calm, bland.Eromega is contained in two rooms, one of which is Reyhan’s private office, on the second floor. “If there’s something you don’t see, just let me know.We have a depot in Kadikoy and, if they don’t have it, we are happy to find it for you,” she told my friend, who was holding a hot pink vibrator.It was 8 p.m., and I was on my way home from my office, which is generally quite conservative (as in, try not to be seen heading to a sex shop after work).

Instead of crossing at the kofte meatball stand to my apartment, I continued down Tarlabasi Boulevard.She has good reason, it turns out, for her shyness.According to Turkish law, erotic shops cannot be located on the ground level, as they are across Europe.“Whenever Turkish society begins to see sex as a normal part of life, they will accept and talk openly about sex shops.” Even the people who work at sex shops in Turkey have a hard time talking about it.Volkan, an Istanbul sex shop owner who was interviewed in Aylin Ohri’s 2010 documentary “Sex Shops in Istanbul”, has been doing this for a decade. “I don’t need to say that they find these things wrong,” he tells the camera.I did my best to ignore the leering and kissy sounds—“normal” fare for a woman walking alone at night in this part of town—along the way. ,” from the top story of a darkened, boarded-up building.