Sexual health charity FPA launches online shop selling sex toys

The charity has created FPA Pleasure in collaboration with the printing and direct-mail firm McCorquodale as a way to generate a new income stream

FPA Pleasure
FPA Pleasure

The sexual health charity the FPA has launched an online shop that sells sex toys to generate a new income stream for the charity.

It has created FPA Pleasure as a joint venture with the printing and direct-mail firm McCorquodale.

Through a new special purpose vehicle called Rolesar – which was registered at Companies House in November – McCorquodale has provided start-up costs for the online shop.

A spokeswoman for the charity said that when Rolesar had recouped its initial investment, which was expected to happen in the third year of the shop’s operation, profits would be divided equally between Rolesar and the charity.

The spokeswoman said: "With the vast majority of our income coming from publication sales, delivering training courses, direct funding for projects and government funding for producing sexual health information, we don’t expect FPA Pleasure to be one of our major income streams. We envisage it will account for a tiny percentage initially, with an ambition to grow over time."

In 2009/10 and 2010/11 the charity had an income of a slightly more than £4m, with £1.6m in each year coming from grants, projects and contract funding, the charity’s accounts show. In the year to 31 March 2014, its total income was £1.8m, with grants, projects and contracts contributing £800,000. The spokeswoman for the FPA said that the 2014/15 income was likely to be about £1.8m.

The new online shop includes information and advice on various sex and wellbeing topics, and shoppers can donate to the charity from the website.

At the charity’s launch event last night, Dawn Harper, a GP and presenter of the Channel 4 TV show Embarrassing Bodies, said: "One of the great things about FPA Pleasure is its inclusiveness. As a society we don’t talk enough about enjoying sex when you’re older, going through menopause, when you’ve just had a baby, if you have a disability, are recovering from a life-changing illness or have been raped or abused."

Asked if the charity expected any concerns to be raised about whether this was an appropriate activity for a charity, the FPA spokeswoman said: "I’m sure that questions would be asked, but we don’t think there is anything controversial in this at all."

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