She wears bondage heels and black leather, has a very good sex life, and runs The Pleasure Place with the lesbian partner she met when she was just about to turn fifty. Her name is Eleanor Leung.
The store is a glittery warren of sex toys and renaissance masks, pink lace and penis-enhancing creams, and a small vibrator that hooks up to Ipods and vibrates to the rhythm of mp3s.
Eleanor calls the store a refuge, a safe haven for those who want to be free without judgment.
Her customers range from women from the provinces who confess they have never had orgasms, to the man in search of bondage paraphernalia.
Eleanor wants to educate women about their bodies, about pleasure, and about empowerment. Opening a sex shop, she says, was fated.
Eleanor grew up in a conservative Chinese Catholic family. She was chaperoned until she was married at age of twenty-three.
She insists, however, that her open-mindedness is a result of that same upbringing. She had two grandmothers, both married to her grandfather.
“We would sit around the dinner table, and my grandmother was always the one at the head of the table, and she was the one always talking about sex and how she did it herself and so it was a laughable matter," she says. "Everyone had fun when we talked about sex. She talked about who was oversexed, who was sleeping with whom, we talked about things like that because it was real.”
Watch Eleanor Leung tell her story on Storyline’s “Fated” episode—three narratives of rebels who carved out the paths they believe were theirs by fate. “Fated” airs on Friday, 6pm and 11pm, and Sunday at 3pm at ANC. Eleanor’s story will be featured with former boxer now high-fashion hairstylist Buboy Bajado, and magician Erik Mana.