Sex: I Get to Try out All the New Sex Toys ..and I Can Have a Big Discount Too; She Had a Strict Religious Upbringing and Wasn't Even Allowed to Mix with Boys. So It's No Wonder Gita Karki Still Hasn't Told Her Parents about Her Job as a "Sexpert"
Byline: HILARY FREEMAN
YOU could say that Gita Karki is guaranteed job satisfaction. As an Ann Summers "Sexpert" she tells customers how to spice up their love lives and tests all the latest sex toys.
Gita, 22, from East London, is based at the company's flagship store in Oxford Street.
Here she reveals how, despite her strict upbringing, she loves her chosen career.
MY parents don't know I'm an Ann Summers Sexpert and earn my living by helping women choose sex toys.
I come from a traditional, strict Indian family. Ideally they'd like me to marry a nice Hindu boy - Mum keeps offering to introduce me to one - but there's little chance of that.
Growing up, I felt repressed. I wasn't allowed to go out after school and I couldn't mix with boys or wear miniskirts. Sex before marriage was a no-no.
When I left college at 19, I announced that I was leaving home so that I could finally be myself. There was lots of shouting and crying, but they didn't stop me. I think they thought I'd soon be back.
Desperate to prove I could look after myself and pay my way through university, I printed out 20 copies of my CV and headed for Oxford Street.
The first place I walked into was Ann Summers. I handed in my CV, then started playing with the goods and chatting to the customers.
The manager came over and offered me a job immediately. The other 19 CVs went straight in the bin.
THREE years ago, I was an ordinary sales consultant. But my bosses noticed that rather than just talking to customers about the products, I was helping them with their personal problems, too.
I made them feel comfortable, like a friend. Customers would ring up and ask to talk to Gita, their sex guru.
So, a year ago, I was given the unique role of Sexpert. If customers have queries, they're pointed in my direction.
To do my job you need product knowledge - and experience - good communication skills, the ability to listen and a friendly personality. You have to be willing to talk about your own sexual experiences, too.
To prepare, I did lots of research, not just about sex toys but also about human psychology and relationships. I talked to customers and read information on the internet.
People think sex toys are only bought for a laugh for hen nights or by perverts, but that's not true. Most women masturbate, whether they admit it or not. It shouldn't be taboo.
When prudish girls are dragged in by their friends they say things like, "Why would I need a vibrator, I have a boyfriend?" Underneath, they're usually just shy and nervous.
I start by showing them the lingerie. If I'm bubbly and open with them they see that sex toys are fun, not dirty.
Sex toys can help couples rekindle their passion, or if they're having sexual problems.
A couple came in last year and the woman admitted she'd gone off sex, but wouldn't say why. I recommended the Pulsatron, which can also be used as a massager. Two months later they came back and said the toy had worked - they were having sex again and closer than ever.
It turned out she'd had an abortion and felt unable to have sex for fear of getting pregnant again. Knowing the Pulsatron couldn't impregnate her gave her back her sexual confidence. I've also helped doctors to choose vibrators for their abused women patients. It's not unusual for a woman to buy a vibrator because she has been raped and wants a way to ease herself back into enjoying sex without having to face the trauma of a penis.
ONE girl felt she was too fat to have sex. By talking to her about the sex toys that she could use, I helped to boost her self-esteem and make her believe in herself as a sexy person.
We also get quite a few virgins in the store -- girls who want to acquaint themselves with the sensations before they have sex with a man.
We have starter vibrators for girls like that - unthreatening, non-phallic looking ones in sparkly, girlie pinks. …