Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » On buying toys

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: On buying toys
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was wondering if anyone here has bought a sex toy from a shop or online and how they found that experience. Were the staff approachable and helpful? Was the environment ok or intimidating? How did you feel about the whole thing?

For me, it was really interesting and kind of emotional for some reason. I can share more about that.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, the sex toy/item purchasing I remember most is having to go into a sex/porn shop off the highway in the 80's when save in very few cities, the only sex toy shops you could go to were very much for men, and HIGHLY unfriendly for women. Even with a male partner with me at the time, I felt unsafe and uncomfortable. It's tough to feel comfortable surrounded by text from video items everywhere overflowing with misogyny, and when the other denizens of the shop are eyeing you like you're the talent.

Thankfully, there are a lot of other options now, and especially in some areas, independent women-run shops, or those which are simply made to be friendly to women. I've spent a good deal of time in many of them, either to purchase items or to give talks or workshops, and it's such a blessing.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68215 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cian
Activist
Member # 44405

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I bought my first (and only) vibrator at a sex shop that was sitting nice and snug on the main road through town. It took me a couple of weeks of preparation and very carefully revising my "my friend is turning 20 and me and a couple of friends thought it'd be a fun idea" lines. The shop lady was like you'd imagine them in a silly cartoon, a disinterest looking older woman with unkempt hair and flakey make-up.
Now I am a prude from head to toe. It was thoroughly distressing for me to walk into a sex shop, more stressing to see all the pornography plastered in everything (I always wondered why is there a porn star decorating the cover of my vibrator's box, it's not really something I feel very appealing as a woman, and I figure vibrators are primarily a female toy? I might be wrong, but that was just my observation)((Let it also be mentioned the first time I accidentally happened upon porn on the internet I was so disgusted by it my sex drive diminished to nothing for a few months, hence the anxiety)).

Back to the topic. So I did walk in, told the lady my very convincing "oh it's not for me" story. She pulled out the biggest, reddest, scariest toys and because I was mortified at the sheer SIZE of them I told her that I figured something small and cute would be more appropriate, we don't want to scare "her" (me, haha!) after all.
So after finding something suitable I found out they don't take debit cards! So I had to walk out, walk down the street to an ATM, and face the humiliation of walking back in on a busy street.

In the end I got my toy. But I don't think I'll set foot in a sex shop again, I'll just order online if I feel like getting something else. I just feel very uncomfortable with it all.
There's been a reform and apparently a range of sex toys are now available in some major grocery chains. But I imagine I'd feel uncomfortable taking it to the cashier, with all those people around and children and everything..

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cian: you are aware there are shops that are in now way like that, yes? Including some where you're not going to find a single toy with that kind of packaging?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68215 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cian
Activist
Member # 44405

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Equally aware as a dice has 6 sides and none are the same, yes. [Smile]
Not that I've seen a sex shop that'd have any kind of class before in any of the towns and cities I've lived in/visited in. The two I've been to have both been rather dingy and very stressful for me. The first time I was actually buying a gift for a friend with a group of friends, and was too embarrassed to do much else but stare at the floor.
But I don't doubt there are more welcoming and better managed/more tasteful sex shops. Just not available for me at the time. But personally I feel that buying sex products may just not be my cup of tea.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cian, that does sound like an uncomfortable experience! Wow, if I went to a place like that I may well feel similarly.

I was lucky to find a store that's very women friendly. When I go there, I've only found women around my age working there. Interestingly, its well-lit, theres no 'secret area' and they sell no explicit magazines or dvds at all. So I walked in. She asked me if I was whether I was looking for anything in particular. The first time, I just looked around and walked out. The second time, I asked about a vibrator. She asked whether I'd used one before and whether I'd enjoyed it. And then about whether I liked internal stimulation/ external/ or some of both.

It was surreal to be standing in a shop in the middle of the day, talking to a stranger about what I enjoy sexually. And yet it was fine and kind of freeing.

She talked about different toys that she had tried and about which ones aim for the clitoris and which ones for the g-spot and how to find those places if you didn't know. About which lubes were sticky and which ones felt good. She encouraged you to turn the toys on and have a look. And showed you how to put the batteries in. And she didnt assume that I had no partner or that I had many partners or about what gender they could be.

It was so cool that I teared up a little at the counter. It was like one step towards me acknowledging my sexuality and feelings and ditching the shame around it. Understanding that I'm allowed to have desires and act on them and have pleasure just like anyone else. It's not selfish. It's a good healthy thing.

(My only criticism is that they push the more expensive items, but I guess that's how any business makes money.)

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
himynameis
Neophyte
Member # 47111

Icon 1 posted      Profile for himynameis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, I had a question about sex toys. Are there any that can be harmful when inserted? Could they be made with any type of chemical or coating or rubber/latex that can be harmful when inserted (minus the fact that you could be allergic to them)?
Posts: 4 | From: Somewhere in the world | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cthulhu_hungers
Neophyte
Member # 47022

Icon 1 posted      Profile for cthulhu_hungers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've bought sex toys from the weirdest places, but never from an actual sex shop. My first was from a little head shop near campus. I've also gotten toys from Spencers (yes, the joke shop in the mall)and from amazon.com, of all places. There's even a antique store in town called Hypolite's Unique and Unusual that sells sex toys, as well as vintage porn. So if sex toy shops of any stripe creep you out, or you can't afford to have a sex toy shop on your debit card, you've got plenty of other options.
Posts: 39 | From: United States | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Felixosaurus
Activist
Member # 42678

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Felixosaurus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://hercampus.com/love/totally-tmi-her-campuss-guide-sex-toys

I just stumbled across this article on sex toys aimed at female college students that may be interesting.

--------------------
www.criticalmasculinities.com

Posts: 42 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm, well I've never bought toys, but I did go into a zone d' erotica once with my ex.

It was really uncomfortable. I remember that the only people in there were the lady behind the counter, myself, my ex, and this one guy looking at the porn magazines. I felt really, really uncomfortable. To me, my sex life/sexuality has always been something really private, and the fact that I was acknowledging it in front of a couple strangers really bothered me. I was too nervous to even look at anything.

If I ever want to get a toy or something, 'll definitely just look online.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bio
Neophyte
Member # 46687

Icon 1 posted      Profile for bio     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My girl friend and I are regulars at porn stores and usually get most of our toys from Adameve.com. If you join there mailing list they send you a 50% deal every so often. But as far as people in porn stores. There usually really helpful. generally speaking they use what they sell so if your open about asking questions they'll happy to help.
Posts: 28 | From: usa | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
artiemei
Neophyte
Member # 47989

Icon 1 posted      Profile for artiemei     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My toy shopping experiences were actually pretty good. I've always wanted to buy one, but was always shy about it, but when I started going to the University of Michigan, I found out that the city itself was actually pretty open about sexuality and the such (with LGBT groups and more). I found out that they had a Safe Sex Store and this made me think more about getting a vibrator. At first I wanted to get one online because I was shy, but because it would be my first vibrator and I'm a virgin, I decided I'd go in to see what the seller recommended.

So I hyped myself up and went down to the store. I was expecting a woman for some reason and ended up with a man, but he was extremely friendly and helpful. I asked him what he recommended and he even showed me what it felt like and what the vibrations could do (all packages are opened to make sure that the battery compartments work and to show customers their products, so obviously it is also recommended that the vibrator be washed before use). I ended up buying a pretty cheap one that he suggested and lube as well and all in all was great. I want to take some of my friends down there one day and possibly go back for another vibrator [Smile]

Posts: 3 | From: Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3