Sex Store Etiquette

Part-rant, part-common sense, but all helpful, here’s a wee guide to help you behave like the sex-positive, educated adult that you are.

1. Do not screech, yell, scream or otherwise make loud, obnoxious noises, especially when accompanied with “OH MY GOD LOOOOOOOOK AT THIS THING!!!!! WHO WOULD STICK THAT UP THEIR BUTT?!?!?! HAHAHAH!” Because this indicates to me that the answer, my dear, is: you. You want it so bad, but you’re way too embarrassed to admit it, and this is the less than mature way that you’re handling it.

Embarassment and nerves are totally natural, but a better way to handle it is to admit it, rather than putting on a bravado act that the sex store employees will see through as quickly as the mesh panties you’re giggling about as well.

It’s also really rude to the people beside you who *are* buying that toy, or the people around the corner who are totally into it.  They’re not making fun of your sexual interests, so please do the same thing for them.

2. Don’t try to pick people up in a sex store. It’s not a bar, club, or even a regular old store. People are buying/researching/looking at highly intimate objects and having your creepy-ass all up in their business is going to get you a one-way ticket to getting that ass thrown out.

3. Wait your turn. If an employee is talking to someone quietly about a toy, lube or anything else, please don’t try to horn in on the discussion and ask questions about the product at hand. The other person might be using all their power to even *be* in the store and you are not a welcome interloper. I’ll be free to answer the exact same questions about the exact same thing right after I’m done, thank you very much.

4. Don’t bring your newbie friends in so you can play “sexpert”. For one, that’s a terrible word, and for two, it’s an even worse idea. Your friend is the greatest expert in her sexuality and pleasure and just because you liked a specific toy doesn’t mean she will. This is not the same as shoe-shopping or picking out lunch. Unless you’ve had sex with your friend or have discussed specifically how strong or weak of a vibrator she likes, leave the toy-finding to her and me. I’ll be happy to ask her some questions, show her some options, talk to her about allergies and price ranges. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain to someone that their friend just said that she likes stronger/weaker/higher-pitched/whatever stimulation, so the toy “sexpert friend” is pushing on her friend wouldn’t cut it. I don’t understand this phenomenon, and it’s not helping anyone.

5. Don’t assume I’m a sex worker or slut. I use “slut” here in the sex-negative, oppressing-women’s-sexuality way here. I don’t give massages with “release”, I don’t know how to find a sex worker, and you absolutely CANNOT grope me without getting into some serious shit. I’m a retail worker who happens to sell items that are used in a sexualized space, and the store is not one of those spaces.

6. Picking up a whip, flogger or any other spanking type item and hitting a friend as hard as possible is totally unacceptable, for your friend’s sake, for the toy’s sake, and for my sanity’s sake. A) You haven’t purchased that toy so don’t put it through its maximum paces, b) your friend did not give you permission to do that and c) because I said so. If you don’t know what you’re doing and believe me, people who do this are NOT involved/knowledgable about BDSM, you could seriously hurt someone. You don’t know how to swing it properly, you don’t know its strength, and you’re going to make me get very very angry with you.

7. Do not make the store part of your sexual scene. I’ve had obvious submissives come into the store, who I can tell are saying verbatim what their master/mistress told them to say at the store, about how they have to buy a certain toy/blindfold/whip/etc or they are going to be extremely punished for being so very naughty. Ick. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing what you want, and getting punished ’til your heart’s content, but do NOT include me in your scene! I haven’t given consent to this and I wouldn’t. Feel free to buy the toy, ask me for the most painful set of nipple clamps I have by all means, but don’t make me your mistress by proxy. It makes me feel gross and violated.

8. Babies and children do not belong in a sex store.  Just like in fancy restaurants, people.  Children one year and under?  Okay, fine, that’s not a big deal, but bringing in your toddler?  Nope.  Bringing in your seven year old?  Bigger nope.  Bringing in your twelve year old?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  I, and other sex store employees do not want any involvement in your child’s future therapy visits, and it can really bring down the other customers.  No one wants to buy a butt plug in front of a gurgling child – it’s just creepy.  I’m all for sex-positive raising of children, frank and open discussions with them, and making sure your older kids have easy access to condoms, lubes and educational internet sites, but I don’t want to be breaking the law by allowing your kids in the store, okies?

Ahhhh, I think I’m done.  That was very cathartic and really needed.  If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for travelling down the road of Tracey’s greatest work pet peeves.


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