7 Surprising Things I Learned from Working at a Sex Shop
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I’ve always dreamed about working in a sex shop. Weird, I know.
In high school, while my friends were worried about what to wear to dances, how to get the guy they liked to give them attention and discussing what their "first times" might be like, I was plotting my ascent into the world of sexuality.
Sex has always interested me, even when I wasn’t doing it. It's not the act of sex that fascinates me (although it’s part of it) it’s the diversity. Fetishes, kinks, turn-ons, turn-offs - as humans we all have our own set, and they can change, adapt and evolve over time and with different partners. I write about sex and major in sex at university (yes there is such a program) so it only made sense that I would work at a sex shop too.
I went into the job thinking I would be selling dildos, giving advice on lube and helping shy or conservative people find what they were looking for. This job has turned out to be that and so much more. Who knew working in a sex shop would be such a life-changing experience? Here's what I've learned.
1. There's Something for Everyone
The first thing I learned was that I didn’t know half as much about sex as I thought I did. The saying that "there is something for everyone" turned out to be even more true than I imagined. Whatever you're into, you can probably find it in some sex shop. I mean anything.
I quickly realized that what I knew about sex came from my own perspective and experience. It didn't take long to figure out that there's a huge world out there when it comes to human sexuality - and the toys and products to go along with it.
There are aromatherapy products, lotions, potions and creams, libido enhancers and vibrators galore. We even sell one that is a replica of a 22-gauge shotgun. (Why that would be easier to explain to someone than carrying a vibrator I have no clue.)
Then there are oral sex kits, candles, instructional DVDs, lube and anything else you need to set a romantic mood.
In the back of the store is where things get more interesting. Situated between vibrators andG-spot stimulators is an impressive dong wall. Have you ever seen a 14.5-inch realistic looking dong before? I hadn't before I got this job, but I wish I'd gotten the chance to personally high-five the customer who ended up purchasing it.
On the kinkier side, there are BDSM, torture and pain tools, and body modification tools like nipple enlargers, pussy and clit pumps and testicle binders. Actually, there's more than you even imagine, and one store is just a fraction of it. But trust me, it's an amazing, sexy world out there.
2. Nothing Shocks Me
It is very rare that a customer is able to shock, embarrass or surprise me anymore. I never knew what a "spreader" was until a customer asked me if we had any anal plugs that would help her get to the point of being able to do it. (In case you don't know, a spreader is someone who is able to stretch and contort their anus into much larger sizes. There is a whole genre of kink porn dedicated to it (and yes, we sell that too).)
Doing this job, you learn to get personal with people, and push past things that may make you uncomfortable. A female customer once asked a co-worker of mine for advice on G-spot toys and how she could reach a squirting orgasm.
"Is this it?" she asked my co-worker while pointing at a close up shot of her vagina on her phone.
"Yep…that’s it," my co-worker answered, and they continued their search on the G-spot wall.
Trust me, there is nothing I haven’t seen, heard or been asked yet. If I haven’t I’m sure it’s on its way. Keep that in mind the next time you have questions you feel too embarrassed to ask a clerk at your local sex shop! (Wanna find a great sex shop? Be a snob. Read more in Why I'm a Sex Shop Snob (and You Should Be Too).)