Art and Vibrator-Makeup Brush
A regular bus in the prestigious area of Barcelona near Diagonal Avenue approaches a stop. Passengers disembark right next to the glowing windows of a beautiful store. It's not immediately apparent that it's an adult shop. The founders of The Vibe call it an erotic boutique and aim to transform it into a cultural and educational center.
"When entering an adult shop, many feel shame or embarrassment," says Gleb Rubakhin, the 23-year-old head of The Vibe. He admits that he used to avoid such establishments himself, finding them overly realistic.
The realism in the new store is indeed hidden on the lower floor, designed for experienced buyers. Here, one can find products, including those for BDSM practices. However, The Vibe still exudes sexual appeal: a sweet and spicy aroma, specially crafted for the project, wafts through the doors, and each customer is offered complimentary champagne to help them relax.
Interestingly, visitors peeked into the store even before the official opening, not just out of curiosity but also made their first purchases. The average check over the past few months is already 200 euros. However, the cost of goods, compared to, for example, sex shops on La Rambla, is only slightly higher. The Vibe does not aim to compete on price but focuses on providing better service to a more affluent audience.

Surprisingly, one of the first categories of customers was wealthy local grandmothers. Their youth fell during a time when the topic was taboo. Many of their husbands have long passed away, but their sexual needs remain, and in their later years, some decide to expand the boundaries of what is permissible.
According to Gleb, Spain's sex industry is currently at its peak. Despite a commitment to traditional family values, the narrative is shifting from the logic of sin to the logic of sexual health.

The demand for sex toys in Spain has increased by 97% over the past two years, placing the country second in Europe.

Maria Bolsheva
To assist in his business venture, Gleb enlisted the expertise of industry professional Maria Bolusheva. She worked as the commercial director of the popular sex shop chain "Pink Rabbit" in St. Petersburg. Maria is well-known to manufacturers and, therefore, warmly supported the opening of the new point in Barcelona.
The store stands out for its innovative products made from the latest materials and with creativity. Some items can serve a dual purpose: for pleasure and makeup, such as a vibrator shaped like a makeup brush. Maria selected samples from specialized exhibitions worldwide, and one of them will take place in Barcelona in May 2024.
The operation of sex shops in Spain is not specifically regulated. However, The Vibe decided to adhere to stricter medical regulations adopted in Russia. For example, they inquire about customers' health particulars before making a sale. For instance, if someone has a pacemaker, products with magnets could seriously harm them.
The Vibe provides two weeks of training for sellers before they are sent to customers. "We don't provide medical recommendations, but we try to make the customer feel comfortable and confident in the store. Sit in the chair and get a full consultation," explains Maria.
Despite the existence of individual and chain stores of erotic goods in Spain, Bolusheva believes the level of competition is low. Therefore, The Vibe plans to open points in Madrid and Valencia, as well as expand into online sales.

Gleb Rubakhin
The project is ambitious and requires a substantial budget. Where did the money come from? Gleb's father became The Vibe's investor. This is not just an investment in a promising sector; he hopes to prepare his son for managing the family business. In addition to his education at EU Business School in Business Administration.
"Yes, I come from an affluent family. I admit that I used to be just as embarrassed about it as entering a sex shop," smiles the young entrepreneur. "Now I just understand that everyone has different starting opportunities. So my task is to use mine to the fullest to be useful to people."
Gleb's idea is to develop not only a more profitable retail direction but also engage in education. He plans to have lectures on sexology and relationships in the boutique. Currently, there are already original sculptures on display, and over time, there will be more modern art objects to blend the sex shop with a gallery.

At The Vibe Grand Opening
«Art stimulates imagination and freedom in sexual relationships makes us bolder in all areas of life. We become more open, and unafraid to discuss and fulfill our desires with partners. As a result, we find ourselves,» Gleb believes.