Swedes are a notoriously private bunch. Despite their no-nonsense attitude towards sex, BDSM-centric shops serving expert sex-ed and quality pleasure accessories weren’t always easy to find, but kink connoisseur Attila Dobor is out to change all that. Dobor knows the fetish scene like an old friend, though it wasn’t as friendly when he arrived in Stockholm. After a long struggle to secure top-tier fetish gear, Dobor took matters into his own hands and opened the type of kink-positive boutique he’d been seeking all along. Now Dobor sees the industry from all angles, and he’s using his insider secrets to create a new wave of kink-friendly, sex-positive Scandinavians. This long-time lifestyler and pleasure business owner has successfully crafted a boutique that speaks to all levels of kink without scaring away shy types. Dobor spills the latest in trends, toys, and Swedish sex in this exclusive interview with EAN.
What inspired the product selection and atmosphere inside Chambers of Love?
Atila Dobor: The idea is that you should be able to come to Chambers of Love even on your first date with someone, without a feeling of it being dirty or wrong – just a natural and fun way to learn more and explore things together, if you want to. But it is just as much to give a safe space where you can ask questions and buy things you maybe always wanted to try – no matter if you’re a kinkster or if you just want to get new sex toy!
We want Chambers of Love to feel welcoming and comfortable for everyone no matter of their age (above 18 of course), gender, sexual orientation or preferences. We don’t want to have the old-style dark and gloomy basement with creepy weirdos and a vibe of the “wrong kind” of dirty – that does have a certain type of charm to some people but not to us. And when I started the company there were much more “dark basements” than it is today. There was also a really lousy range of products in Scandinavia, so I got inspired by the products I saw in Europe. I wanted to given Swedes the opportunity to buy equally good products in Sweden so they didn’t have to go abroad to get it, and at the same time give them a nice place to buy it at. Therefore we want to give the customers a bright and easy place with well-educated staff and a really good range for everyone.
Was selling BDSM products just a good business idea, or did you have a personal passion for kink products that led you to this niche market?
I have been in this lifestyle since 1991, so I certainly have a strong personal passion for kink and really wanted others to have the opportunity to buy good products – something I couldn’t do in Sweden for quite some time when I first got into BDSM. This is how Chambers of Love was born.
What’s the kink scene like in Stockholm right now? Do people like to go out to gothic clubs and fetish events? Or do they mostly keep their kinks in the bedroom?
The kink scene is definitely bigger now than a few years ago. We have more BDSM/Fetish events and many more go to those events and clubs now when there are more happening. But of course there are also those who don’t want to take their kinkiness outside their own (or others) bedrooms, playing behind closed doors so to speak. So it goes both ways, as I think it does everywhere.
How open are Swedes – at least in city areas – when it comes to talking about sex? When they come into your shop, are they shy and want to browse privately, or do they often ask questions about products or their sex lives?
We get all varieties of course, all from the shyest and most private to the secure and very open ones. Everyone from vanilla beginners and to experienced kinksters. But I would say that the bigger part are open with asking us questions, getting our advice and talking about their sex lives. They want to get a better intimate experience and want to learn what products are good for them and rely on our expertise.
What are some of your top selling products at the moment?
Since we have such a wide range it is really hard to point at just one product. But our handmade, steel-boned corsets, our leather clothing, unique impact play tools and own brand of sex toys is definitely up in the top! As well as the products we have from our new partner Orgie (aphrodisiac, lubes, oils, etc). And right now our new neoprene collection is also gaining good speed on our sales charts which makes us very happy!
When you attend a trade show like eroFame, what kind of products do you look for? Is there a certain level of quality desired, or a certain type of product?
We always look for unique products with the highest quality, products that aren’t on the market here yet. We always strive to be first in Scandinavia with new exciting products. So we keep our eyes and minds open and when we see anything that has the level of quality we want, we make sure to talk business and see what kind of market we could find for that product.
How much do Swedes recognize brand names when it comes to choosing sex toys and kink products?
The Swedes are getting more and more interested in brands and searching for high quality, and more and more start to understand that it is better to buy one more expensive thing with good quality than five cheap things that break fast. And that makes them more and more interested in Chambers of Love too, of course, so we couldn’t be happier for that progress!
Which companies, in your opinion, produce the most superior quality sex toys and fetish products at the moment?
When it comes to clothes I would say Mister S, Mister B and actually ourselves too – the quality and range Chambers of Love has created is really up there in the top layer now and that makes us really proud! Same goes for other kink and fetish products. And when it comes to sex toys I think LoveToy is a really good brand and they have a very wide range, something I really think is important.
What are your business plans to keep customers excited to return to Chambers of Love this year?
We are designing and developing clothes, accessories, toys and gear all the time and releasing new items several times each year, and that is definitely something to return for – 99% of the time, you will come into our store and find something new and exciting! And for that reason we will also keep attending fairs and finding new factories and partners to expand and raise our quality even more. We are also working hard to strengthen our wholesale business in both Sweden and Europe so that more customers can enjoy our brand – both clothes, toys and gear.