How to walk into a sex shop like you own the place
Sex shops can be a great way to check out a product before becoming very familiar with it, but they can also be intimidating. The entire premise behind this type of shopping is that you’ll go into a place of business and explain to a stranger who works there what would give you the best orgasm – definitely not a situation you encounter anywhere else in life. Can you imagine getting that personal with a Woolies employee?
There are easy things you can do to guarantee a straightforward, educational and totally not-daunting experience. Sex-shop employees Ryan Dimartino and Victor Tobar share a few easy tips to avoid looking like a deer in headlights.
Find the right kind of shop
Ryan explains you should look for a store that’s “education-centric”, a model becoming common around the country and a far cry from the seedy porn shops of the past. “An education-centric shop isn’t focused just on moving product but on making sure that we’re able to help you find the right thing and know how to use it properly,” he says.
To find sex-positive shops in your area, do a little research: read unbiased sex blogs or even just look at a store’s website to make sure diverse body types and preferences are represented.
Don’t turn everything into a joke
Another tell that you’re a sex-shop first-timer? Cracking jokes. “There are times when people come in and everything becomes a joke really quickly,” says Ryan. “That’s a really common defence mechanism. Because, as a society, we really don’t have the tools to talk about sex in a healthy or desexualised way with strangers.” If you feel the need to make a joke, that’s fine, but remember that these employees have seen it all.
And make sure you don’t yuck anyone’s yum by making a joke about a product another customer might be in there looking for – just because you feel awkward doesn’t mean you should make someone else feel that way, too.
And if there aren’t sex shops in your area, don’t fret: sites like Matildas (matildas.co.za), Désir (desir.co.za) and My Sex Shop (mysexshop.co.za) have online shopping – and discreet shipping.
You likely came into the store because you had a question, had your eye on a product or were curious about what the shop is actually like – that’s great! So ask that question or find out what to do with that thing; lots of rookies don’t. “It’s clear it’s someone’s first time if they walk in and walk right out without asking for assistance,” says Victor. You’re allowed to find an employee first thing and ask them for help – they’re probably more than happy to tell you which condoms or vibrators they’d personally recommend.