Is it embarrassing to buy sex toys in a sex shop? That’s just one of the questions sex toy shoppers have when in comes to buying sex toys from a brick and mortar store. And, I can’t say I blame people who are bashful about shopping for something so very personal. See, after selling sex toys in private residences for 13 years, I heard those questions and concerns a lot.
But again, those were the days when most sex shops were a storefront for peep shows and triple-X-rated video rentals. Moreover, they were mostly frequented by men, hiding their faces in shame while renting “Sheena’s Steamy Secrets and Slutty Slumber Parties.” That is why I was so successful at selling sex toys in a home party plan.
Since then, lingerie and sex toys shops have evolved and become more mainstream. Additionally, these shops are now frequented by young couples, men and women alike seeking adult playthings for various reasons. So, because of that, I am going to answer all of those awkward questions about sex toy shops with the help of Tom, a sex toy shop manager from Indiana.
Is It Awkward in Sex Stores?
Some people shy away from buying sex toys in person wondering, is it awkward in sex stores? Personally, I have never had a problem browsing the sex toys in a brick and mortar sex shop. However, I also carried around huge suitcases filled with fleshy dongs, beginner dildos, brightly colored vibrators and an assortment of lotions and potions for many years and had become immune to embarrassment.
Trust me, no one shopping in a sex shop is paying attention to what you’re looking at. Most likely, they too are embarrassed and wondering if you’re taking a peek at their selections. Therefore, relax and focus on why you are there; to find an exciting adult plaything for your pleasure. Also, listen to what Tom had to say about shopping in a sex shop,
“When we have new couples that are shy and seem a little scared, we try and give them whatever help they need but want them to feel comfortable here too. It’s a relaxed and fun environment and we love to help people when we can.”
Tom is the manager of a sex toy shop located in Greenwood, Indiana and has been with his company for 10 years. With over 60 shops located in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions, this particular adult shop carries a large variety of sex toys, lotions and lubricants, lingerie, sexy footwear and fun, grown-up novelties and gifts. As store manager, his role is more than a behind-the-scenes job. In fact, Tom is there answering phones, helping customers with questions and product choices as well as running the cash register. He prides himself on running a store that is comfortable for everyone while providing a great deal of professional knowledge about adult products.
Is It Embarrassing to Buy Sex Toys in a Sex Shop?
Some folks, especially those purchasing a sex toy for the first time, may be concerned and asking, “Is it embarrassing to buy sex toys in a sex shop?” Tom had this to say,
“No. The simple fact is, it’s what we do for a living. It’s no different than selling shoes. Now if you go to buy a personal massager from Wal-Mart or the drug store, that may be a bit more embarrassing because they sell so many different kinds of things.”
I agree with Tom 100%. Sure, some people will find their first purchase from a sex shop to be embarrassing, but really, it shouldn’t be. A sex toy shop is a specialty store. Therefore, the people that work there specialize in sex toys and don’t think twice when faced with butt plugs, leather ball gags or edible underwear. They are, in fact, professionals in their field.
What Do Cashiers at Sex Stores Think of Customers’ Purchases?
While speaking to Tom during our interview, I posed the following question: “What do cashiers at sex stores think of customers’ purchases?” And here is his answer:
“We don’t. Even if we helped someone pick something out, I couldn’t tell you what they bought 10 minutes after they leave. It’s like working at McDonalds. Do you think they remember what was on that last burger they sold? We are the same. Sex toys are tools of the trade. The more we sell, the better our job security.”
“Sure, we love helping people find the things they want, we’re happy to do that. But after they’ve checked out and left, we don’t think twice about their purchase.”
Though I have never been a cashier at a sex toy shop, I did have to sit down privately, with customers, at the end of a party. The only time I ever remembered what a particular woman bought was when a 70-something grandmother ordered a (quite large) adult toy stating that she lost her husband years ago and she missed sex.
However, I didn’t judge her nor was I shocked. Honestly, I wanted to give her a big, high-five and tell her, “Way to go granny!” So, don’t worry about what the cashier at the sex shop is thinking about your choices because he or she is likely thinking more about what they’re making for dinner at home tonight.
Do Cashiers Laugh at You in Sex Stores?
Shopping for sex toys can be awkward, especially when you are in a sex shop for the first time. But, do cashiers laugh at you in sex stores? Well, yes and no. Tom says,
“Absolutely not. Except for when a person who’s never been in a store like ours (comes in) and we’re like, ‘We gotta green one here!’ Then, late night customers come in a little inebriated, laughing and saying, ‘Oh my God, look at the big dicks! Look at this vibrating strap-on!’ We laugh with our customers, not at them!”
I have to agree with Tom again. They do get a kick out the reactions of new customers, as seeing all of those colorful or realistic looking penises that vibrate is quite a shocking, surreal but fun experience. I got the same reactions passing around toys at my parties. Thing is, it’s okay to laugh! It’s okay to have fun when shopping for sex toys! But, no worries, no one, especially the cashiers, are laughing at you.
The Benefits of Shopping in Sex Stores
If you can get over your fear of embarrassment, there are incredible benefits to shopping in sex stores. First and most obvious, you get to take your brand-new sex toy home with you right then and there; no waiting for it to be shipped or fear that your package will end up on your neighbor’s front porch (which happened to me a few months ago). Plus….
You Get to Touch the Merchandise
Another benefit to shopping in a brick and mortar sex toy shop is that you get to touch the merchandise; something you cannot do when ordering online. That way, you can feel how soft and flexible a dildo is or how powerful a clitoral stimulator is. Furthermore, many sex toy shops have displays as well as samples of massage oils and edible lubricants you can purchase for pennies.
Finally, you can see the sizes of the sex toys, read their packaging and learn what they are made of and see if there are warranties, if batteries are needed and what types of lubricants are compatible.
Sex Toy Shop Workers Are Helpful and Knowledgeable
Sex toy shops aren’t like super-stores or fast food restaurants. Therefore, people who work in sex toy shops aren’t teenagers or retired folks just there to make a few bucks. It takes a special breed of person to sell sex toys and more often than not, these folks are friendly, knowledgeable and extremely helpful.
For instance, you want to plan a special night in for your man. A sex toy shop worker can help you plan everything from the candlelight to lingerie, massage oil and blindfolds. They ask the right questions and have all of the answers you could ever need. They are professionals that believe sex (and sex toys) are an important part of life. From Tom,
“Everyone has sex! And if they’re not, they should be! That’s why we are here and this is what we do.”
Sex Shops Have More to Offer
In addition to sex toys, sex shops have more to offer shoppers. For example, Tom’s store carries a full line of lingerie; everything from sexy panties and stockings to thigh-high boots and role-playing costumes. Plus, in most sex shops, you can find lubricants, massage oils, naughty adult greeting cards and fun novelties for bachelor and bachelorette parties; penis straw, anyone?
Most importantly, everything you buy goes home with you that night. So, sex toy shops are perfect for those impromptu romantic evenings when the kids all have sleep overs and you have the house to yourselves. So, Google lingerie and adult shops in your area and get shopping!
Too Shy for Sex Stores? Shop for Sex Toys This Way!
Okay, I get it. Some of you are very private people and that’s okay! You can still shop for sex toys in the privacy of your own home. Here are the best ways to shop for sex toys so you won’t have to ask, is it embarrassing to buy a sex toy in a sex shop?
There are literally thousands of sex toy shops online in addition to sellers like Amazon and Wal-Mart (yes, you can buy sex toys from Wal-Mart). However, just be sure and read their ratings and reviews before spending your hard-earned cash. That is because some sites are based in other countries and shipping takes forever, if you get your product at all. My favorites are:
- Lovehoney: They have a loyalty program so the more you buy, the more points you earn
- The Screaming O: Best direct to consumer sex toy site
- Cirilla’s: Best site with brick and mortar stores too
Home Party Plan
Sex toy home party plans are just like Tupperware or jewelry parties. You find your local consultant, book a party, invite your friends and have a blast! Personally, I believe home parties are the next best thing to shopping for sex toys at a sex shop as you get to touch, feel and experience the products. Plus, they are so much fun.
If you’re interested in hosting an at-home, sex toy party, here are some companies for you to check out and see if there are representatives in your area. If not, who knows, maybe you can be the next sex toy lady and do what I did and enjoyed for more than a decade. Try Pure Romance, Intimate Tickles or LoveWinx.
What’s Your Sex Toy Shopping Story?
Are sex toy shops awkward for you? Is it embarrassing to buy sex toys from a sex shop? Share your stories with me! After all, laughing about an embarrassing or awkward sex toy situation is the best way to make it less awkward. So, in fairness, I would love to share one of my many sex toy shopping blunders with you!
Just after hosting a girl’s night in at my apartment in 1995, my friends talked me into becoming a “romantic consultant”, aka: the sex toy lady. And although I had a lucrative career, things weren’t always easy. In the beginning, during one of my shows, I was showing the ladies these super-stretchy cock rings called “magic rings.”
As I stood in front of the giggling but attentive group, I pulled and stretched a ring to show them how easily and comfortably it would fit around a penis. All of a sudden, the ring slipped off my fingers and shot across the room like a giant rubber-band and landed directly in someone’s drink!
We all had a big laugh over that one. And, even though I was extremely embarrassed by what happened and was apologetic to my guest, it didn’t matter. She bought a box of magic rings and reported back that they were everything I said they would be. So, spill the tea and tell me about your funniest or most embarrassing sex toy blunder.