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.

37 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

That story about the lubricant is definitely a weird one man, I don't think it's a good idea to eat lubricant of any kind but like you say, it really does make the flavour aspect of it pretty damn pointless. Interesting, thought provoking post anyway buddy.

kaykuala said...

To be in a sex shop is to be furtively looking over the shoulder. In case someone known to you is around. But it is not a bother. Such shops lacked customers anyway!

Hank

Tony Van Helsing said...

Matthew: 'I don't think it's a good idea to eat lubricant of any kind' has just become my latest favourite quote. Nice one mate.

Hank: they are uncomfortable places.

dirtycowgirl said...

The first time I went to Soho I was about 18 and my mate and I had our pic taken in the doorway of Raymonds Review Bar (wonder if it's still there). When the pic were developed my Mum found them. That was an interesting conversation.

Actually think there might be an undiscovered market out there for OAP bondage gear, but those are some pictures that I REALLY hope I never see.

Adam said...

I tasted some strawberry, grape, and watermelon ones. They won't taste like candy like you'd expect.

Speaking of the shops, I went to one once with my girl, and 3 people came in the door. They were a husband, wife, and their adult daughter. That's just so weird. I'd be embarrassed to bump into a friend there, let alone go with anyone I'm related to.

jamiessmiles said...

I think I just figured out why I get those looks in sex shop. Act like an adult.... nu'uh'uh, you can't make me.
Funny enough the last time I was at a sex shop the guy ahead of us was taking back pornos, giving the ratings and comparing it to the other pornstars work like it was "art". I found this ridiculously funny.

D4 said...

I've always had a bit of an issue with these "flavored" sex purchases and how they're really only used for scent. I insist they should call them scented condoms. Even if they do taste good, they're only good for the scent. S***

G said...

I once DJ'd a gig for Anne Summers in the UK...crazy night

Janie Junebug said...

I have never been in a sex shop and don't own a single toy. Why would you buy the lubricant in a specific flavor if you can't lick it?

Love,
Lola

SkippyMom said...

Bravo Tony. I especially like what you said in the final two paragraphs. Good advice and salient points.

Everytime they try to open a shop like this here the neighbors get so up in arms at the mere suggestion of them. Their argument is that it will bring the "wrong types" to their town. I wish they would get over themselves - half the time you can't even tell what they are until you step inside or know it is there. I always comment that the ones that protest the loudest are either the most jealous they can't shop there [what would the neighbors think?] Or they have the largest stash of toys and lubes hidden in their nightstand while presenting themselves as a goody goody, pious fake at their local house of worship. I suspect it is usually the latter. giggle.

Take care my friend. Always nice to see you :)

Amy said...

Living in Vegas, I was subjected to so much ad-skin all the time, in the entertainment papers, news stands, even ads on the back of taxis showed bare bottoms. And the sex shops in Vegas are on every corner and they are warehouse sized! The more you are exposed to that sort of thing, the less it affects you.

Ray Sorrow said...

Great post! I Enjoyed the read and your commentary.

Azra said...

This post was so funny! Especially the Strawberry lubricant part... thanks for a good laugh, and yeah I agree - it's none of anyone else's business what people want to do in their lives.

Nicki Elson said...

They didn't find the dildo to the forehead funny? But surely they laughed when you pulled the condom over your head and blew it up with your nose, yes?

Craziness abounds said...

All I can say here is Bravo!

Workingdan said...

I get uncomfortable going to a Victoria's Secret with my wife. It takes a lot of liquid encouragement to get me into a store like that! Not saying I've never been in one...

Those lubricants never taste as good as they claim. And yeah, why make it flavored if you can't eat it?

Al Penwasser said...

It's not a good idea to eat lubricant of any kind?
Crap, NOW you tell me.
Just when I sprayed WD-40 on my banana split.
By the way, I mean a REAL banana.

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altadenahiker said...

Definitely a cultural thing. I'm always shocked to see those places in Norway where dildos are dangling in the shop window as openly and casually as salamis.

MRanthrope said...

that lube tasting story is priceless.
I haven't been inside a legit sex shop in years. The Hustler store in Hollywood doesn't count IMO (even though they do sell sex toys/porn) because it's more of a touristy spot, even sports a gift shop/cafe, and doesn't have the dank qualities of seedy locations we all know and love.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I would have thought the lubricant was safe to eat, too. If it's not edible, it should have been strawberry scented. That would make more sense to me.

I was going to go to a sex shop with my friend. She used to go all the time because she was writing erotica (it was for research she claimed). In the end, I never did go.

AguiLeon said...

nice share

Mynx said...

took me a long time to go into a sex shop on my own. I hd been to plenty of "toy and lingerie parties" but I just couldn't get past the sleeze reputation.
Happily a shop opened up locally promoting itself as female friendly and I loved it.
Still haven't found a chance to drag hubby back there though. Think he is a bit worried about my shopping list

Bart said...

that is uh... pretty gross. now im not one to have moral standards but even i wouldnt go to one of those.

tigey said...

Thank you for sharing that experience, the lubricant story was weird, but I think you were on the right side.

Bart said...

you guys play hockey on grass fields over ther dont you? so wrong.

Jax said...

I had an adult toy part last year. I went from sex shop to sex shop to find the perfect host to teach how to use the goods! That was the most awkward fun that I've ever had with my girlfriend! hahahaha

Thanks for the tips ;) I totally noted your opinion on British porn. lol

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

The fact that you actually tried to return something to a sex shop makes me roll on the floor with laughter. Thanks so much for the tips. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!!!

P.J. said...

It would seem that everyone (well, anyone looking for humor) has a story about an adult shop -- or establishment. This one was a thorough laugh!

Mark Koopmans said...

"I tried to counter with the fact that if it was not to be ingested orally then why was it strawberry flavoured?"

That's my quote of the day, thanks Tony :)

PS... thanks for your comments on my recent post... *really* appreciate it :)

Kelly Polark said...

Tony, you crack me up!!

When I was in college, I took a human sexuality class with my best friend because I needed a health class credit. And we knew we'd giggle the whole time. We went to an adult store on a class field trip!!

Baur said...

Strange story lol

Vapid Vixen said...

I can't believe you would have the audacity to promote your sexual agenda to the rest of us law abiding, bible reading, umm... I can't think of any other obnoxious stereotypical things so say.

I've never tasted a lube I've actually liked. But picturing someone waggling a dildo off their forehead made me giggle. Because I'm immature like that.

Juliette said...

If its strawberry flavoured you should be able to eat it. How ridiculous!

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh my. This post is so awesome. Hilarious for the most part, but with a good dose of honest wisdom at the end.

I came here from Katie's blog (Creepy Query Girl), and am now your newest follower, so: nice to meet you, Tony!

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