Monday, 21 May 2012
Sex Shop Etiquette.
WARNING! The following contains material of an adult nature so any kids, people of an immature mindset or the easily offended had better stop reading right now.
Have they gone? Okay, let's get started. Shopping is easy to understand, I am either shopping for something I really want and therefore thoroughly engaged or I am shopping for basics like food and cleaning products and will bimble along on autopilot.
Shopping in adult stores present a problem as people are never quite sure how to behave. We point at vibrators and giggle like school kids or affect a disapproving attitude while looking at handcuffs and tell our partners that we would never be interested in such filth, even as we are imagining them cuffed naked and spread eagled on the bed.
A few years ago myself and my girlfriend were in the Soho area of London and went into a sex shop. It was one of the old fashioned, sleazy ones full of furtive men trying to look nonchalant while trying to decide whether to buy Anal Outrage 2 or Big Tit Swingers. We had a look at some of the video covers but British porn is frankly fucking awful and everybody in them looks ill so we decided to buy a bottle of strawberry flavoured lubricant.
After buying this we went to a nearby pub and had a look at our purchase. I squeezed a bit onto my finger and had a taste. It was absolutely vile and so we decided that we were going to get out money back as it had clearly gone off. There was no sell by date on it but it had probably been brewed up in a Chinese sweatshop by someone trying to earn a pittance while under the yoke of Communism, so the last thing they would be worried about was a Capitalist running dog like myself getting bad guts.
We went back into the shop and I strode confidently up to the bored looking guy behind the counter
and asked if we could have out money back as the lubricant appeared to have gone bad.
"What do you mean, gone bad"? he asked so I explained what had happened.
"You tried to eat it"? he said looking incredulous.
I didn't feel on such solid ground now and could sense the furtive customer's ears pricking up behind the bongo mags they were reading.
"When you say 'tried to eat it', I didn't put it in a sandwich or anything like that. I just tried a bit on my finger", I said.
By now a big, Maltese-looking bloke had come out of a back room and was standing behind the counter.
He explained that it was a water-based lubricant and was not to be ingested orally. I tried to counter with the fact that if it was not to be ingested orally then why was it strawberry flavoured?
At this point he told me that I couldn't have my money back and to fuck off. So we did.
These days sex shops are on our high streets and are far more professional and respectable with pleasant and helpful staff. My last encounter was in an Anne Summers shop when I went on my own to buy a blindfold. The girl behind the counter showed me a black leather blindfold but I said it looked a bit sinister, I was trying to arouse my wife and not scare the shit out of her. She then showed me a quilted, floral pattern one with frilly edges and I commented this was more like something an old lady would wear, if you can imagine such a thing. I finally settled on a plain black fabric one and said that I was like the Goldilocks of blindfolds.
The assistant and I both had a laugh and I realised that at no point had I felt uncomfortable or embarrassed and had discussed my purchase with a helpful member of staff as though I was buying a shirt.
I was an adult in an adult store and I was treated like an adult and not like some sort of sexual deviant.
So if you want to go into a sex shop, go in with your partner and have fun while you are doing it. I don't mean that awkward, self concious sort of behaviour that usually involves putting a dildo to your forehead and waggling it about. Trust me, this just annoys the staff. I mean discuss what you both want from each other and what excites you then have a look at what's on offer.
And always remember that sex between consenting adults, no matter what gender, is their own business and NOBODY else has a right to interfere, no matter how offended they claim to be.