I started working at the Love Boutique a few months ago. I hoped that working there would be a way to gain some good experience on my way to becoming a sex educator, blogger, writer and whatever other endeavours I see fit. The shop I work at is in a busy mall and the traffic is much higher than other stores might get which also mean people don’t always know what they’re walking into. This is what I’ve experienced so far during my time there.
- Underage teens think it’s hilarious to annoy me.
There is never a day when I don’t get kids opening the door and running away. It’s like a right of passage for the mall dwellers of today. I had one kid walk all the way in and get to the massage oils at the front of the store, before I told him to leave. I remember when I was a teen my friends and I would go for late night drives and try to be inconspicuous walking into the 24 hour adult store near by, but we didn’t fool around. I went in there, because I was actually curious about all the mysterious things sold.
- There will always be immature people laughing at everything.
I always thought mostly younger people would walk in and be immature about the things that they saw, like the 16in hand that everyone calls a fist; which obviously it’s not.
I’ve learned maturity levels vary in ages. Often it’s groups of young men old enough to be there, but with the maturity level of preteens going through puberty. Other times there have been seemingly mature adults much older than me giggling at strap ons and huge dildos that they can’t comprehend. I’ve learned to ignore it, but I’ve also had to ask people to leave, because they’re making other people in the store uncomfortable. It’s rare that the gigglers buy anything anyway.
Some people are afraid to touch vibrators.
Some are more serious about looking for toys for their partners or spouses they come in looking for “The Vibrator”. Without realizing there is a large variety. So I ask what do they like? Internal? Clitoral? Both? Stiff toys or flexible. Once we figure that out and I start showing them toys some people are so skeptical about touching them. You’re already here buying it. Why not make sure you like it. VIBRATORS AND DILDOS WON’T HURT YOU.… unless you like that or you’re doing something wrong. It’s honestly so much more awkward when they say “oh no, it’s okay” while I hand them a vibrating toy then for them to just take it and feel the vibrations. Also just because it looks like a penis doesn’t mean it is and definitely does not make you “gay”. Unless you actually are gay. I can’t believe I actually have to say that. Don’t fear the dildos embrace them.
- Couples love to spice up their sex lives.
Older couples especially come in for the first time looking to spice up their sex lives which I think is great. Although, on occasion I have accidentally overwhelmed people with the vast world of sex toys. Some usually younger couples already have toys and are looking for something new or want to surprise their lover with a new treat like a vibrating penis ring or an arousal serum. There’s always something for everyone to add that makes things a little more fun.
- Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I’m trying to steal your man.
I am a woman and so are all my co-workers. We’ve all experiences other women getting very defensive or protective over their boyfriends or husbands. Because the job requires me to talk to everyone and show them things of a sexual nature doesn’t not mean I want to bang them. I’ve been glared at or rudely dismissed by women who don’t want me talking to their boyfriend. It might not be my place, but it makes me question those relationships if they are so insecure or jelaous. I’m literally just trying to do my job.
- Everyone gets embarrassed.
Sex and pleasure is personal which can make it embarrassing, but I think people sometimes forget that I work there and that nothing is going to surprise me. To be fair not everyone working in a sex shop is understanding of the differences and issues or things that someone might be looking for, but for me I pride myself on helping people discover new things that they like. So there’s no need to be embarrassed asking questions, or for feeling the vibrations on a toy and liking it. That’s the whole point finding things that give you pleasure.
- Creepy men often ask what me favourite toy is.
Probably the number one thing people think happens being a woman working in a sex shop. Creeps. Men who just want to talk to a pretty girl while being surrounded by dildos. That’s not really the case, although there was one guy that stood staring at the DvDs for over an hour rubbing his dick through his pants. Often it’s just curiosity when searching for a toy for someone else and they’re unsure if that person would enjoy it. I’ll get the question “Well do you like it?” or “What’s your favourite?” in those cases I find it perfectly acceptable to ask, because the intention is looking for the best toy for their partner. Others are awkward and think making jokes will make the situation better and ask what I like and I usually ignore the question and move on to showing them something different.
- A lot of people don’t know basics.
I guess what I consider basics aren’t all common knowledge and that’s one the reasons I am becoming a sex educator. Basics like Silicone, glass, metal toys, or hard plastic are always a better choice. Rechargeable silicone toys last longer and are usually much better quality depending on the brand. I find myself often telling people something they’ve never heard of before or thought of before talking to me. For example, different ways to use a vibrator other than directly on your clit or inside of you. Or when you’re starting anal Go slow, warm up first, lube is your best friend, and most importantly do not use a numbing spray on your anus.
- Some people swear by Pvc or Jelly toys and there is no convincing them otherwise.
I’ve learned a lot lately mainly from a wonderful post by Epiphora a sex toy review about what is actually body safe. Unfortunately, there is no regulation for it in the sex toy industry and the toys that hold smells, bacteria, and “sweat” and many other things that you don’t want to put in you body are still legally sold. With that people either unknowingly or stubbornly come in looking for those types of toys, because they are cheaper or it’s something they’ve already owned and aren’t willing to try something new and safer. I will open a million other body safe overall better toys trying to get them to go home with it, before I sell one of the toxic ones to them. In the end if they’re still gunning for the toxic toys I suggest condoms with every use to hopefully prevent and bad reactions and or worst case trips to the hospital.
- Sometimes people just don’t want to talk to me.
This happens so often, because of things I’ve mentioned before. Jealous girlfriend or embarrassed by looking at dildos or feeling how something vibrates. It’s the nature of retail people think I’m going to try to force them to buy something. Some other people walk in and automatically look at me disgusted and don’t want to hear what I have to say (which is usually just hello) or the people that walk in and think that they know everything about everything and aren’t willing to hear my corrections or descriptions about how something works. I said it once and I’ll say it again I’m literally just doing my job trying to help you.
- Sometimes people tell me waaaaay too much.
It’s more common though that people will share way too much information with me that they don’t need to tell a stranger or in general that I just don’t want to know. When someones looking at a penis ring they’re usually intimidated by the small size without seeing how much is stretches and they tell me “Oh I’m so much bigger that that” . Which is an understandable statement small rings are scary. Other times I have had people come in who are obviously into some rough anal play bring up the biggest dildo they can find while looking at it I’ve heard. ” I wonder if I can take that.” which is very much something they could have kept to themselves. I don’t really need that image in my mind I’m not into that. I’m happy they’re enjoying themselves, but that image is a little too graphic. Sometimes people get way too personal I’ve heard too many a story about smelly vagina problems that I have no way of helping them solve. Only the obvious suggestion of visiting the doctor. I’m always open to conversation and helping suggest things that might improve their sex lives and I’ve given lots of advice on masturbation and beginner anal play. There’s not much I can do to help with medical issues or the things you choose to insert into your body.
- Educating people is so fulfilling.
Lastly, and most importantly the entire reason I work where I work is because I really enjoy having these informative conversations with people and helping them find toys that they love. I want to help them enjoy their sex lives with themselves and/or with a partner. I love introducing people to their first toy. And often giving insight on something that they might have not considered. I think that’s where my purpose is and it is a really fulfilling feeling to be a voice of reason or encouragement in what might be a terrifying new world for someone inexperienced. Keeping in mind that I still have a lot to learn.
So, these are the things I’ve learned and experienced on a daily basis. It has it’s ups and downs, but I really enjoy where I work, who I work with and the people I get to meet oversharers, creeps and all. I hope to gain more knowledge, experiences and stories to share in the future.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to share them with me.
See you next time friends!
P.S Here’s a link again to that Post by Epiphora: YOUR GENITALS DESERVE BETTER: THE CASE AGAINST TOXIC SEX TOYS