Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the day before X-mas

So today has actually been pretty calm. All week the shop has been buzzing with people, so it's a nice feeling that today isn't so crazy. Sales are still high though, which is always the important factor to slow days. It's good that it's slow, but it's great that the few sales that I have done are big ones.

So far the most popular item is porn. Specifically, female ejaculation porn. I have already sold half a dozen videos about female ejaculation, from instructional, to "Squirt Girls". And this is all to different customers, who all seem to want the same item.

Cock rings is the second most popular item of the day.

Lots of lube as well. You can tell that people are getting ready for warm nights at home. That, and they tell me that they are buying presents for their partners.

One couple bought over $400 worth of product. They left with huge smiles. I love sexually healthy couples.

Anyways, happy holidays to you. Keep warm, masturbate often.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Avi Answers

Just fyi, I just join formspring.com, which is a questions/answer site. So you may be seeing updates from people asking me questions about a variety of topics.

Last night I got a customer emailing me because I recommended the wrong porn to him for his wife. In his message he said that I had told him that I hadn't seen it, but he still bought it. He then talked about mistrusting me now due to that. Honestly, I don't remember this customer, but I feel bad that I let him down. But in fairness to me, I had told him I hadn't seen it, and I also am not a wizard when it comes to magically recommending porn. Everyone has a different preference, and saying "I want Fem Domme porn" doesn't really specify things for me. Well, let's try again.

Honestly, the best Fem Domme porn I've seen is on Divinebiches.com

formspring.me

Sex, gender, life. Ask me anything http://formspring.me/AviAnswers

I know it says "Ask me anything", but what would REALLY be out of bounds (outside of clear abuse)?

Nothing, as a sex educator and kink lifestylist, I'm pretty open to answering anything. It's kind of my job. If it's stupid or ignorant, I might just get annoyed.

Sex, gender, life

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Children and the Sex Shop

While walking to work today I passed the downtown civic center where The Nutcracker is playing. There were children everywhere. I chuckled to myself as I walked across the street to open the store. I'm pretty sure that sometime during the show I'm going to get a parent who sneaked away in order to buy some sex stuff.

Anyways. Children. Our store is 18+ (duh) but there are some times when we do let children in the store. Not in a creepy way or to sell them anything, but there are certain situations where kids are allowed in, or at least, times where I have interacted with them in terms of the shop.

The most common situation which I have come across is when a couple, or a pair of friends, shop together and they take turns coming into the store. One will wait outside with the children, and the other will scope around. Then they switch off. If it is a couple, usually the second person who comes in buys things.

Another option is the parent bringing their child in with them. Here I have a very specific rule. If they are not old enough to recognize where they are, are not going to grab things, then it's okay. Usually this means less than a year old, where the parent brings a stroller or carries them in their arms. If the child can run around, they are probably too old to be in here. It also makes the other customers uncomfortable to have a toddler around when they are shopping for sex. Or so I assume. Parents use their own judgement, I've never actually told anyone yet to leave due to them bringing their kids in.

The only awkward situation I get into with kids is when they wander in. The location of our store is the prime area where festivals happen, and where there are festivals, there is lots of kids running around away from supervision. Sometimes children wander into our store, on accident or on purpose. I then have to politely shoo them out. I need to make sure not to be mean, but have them leave the store as quickly as possible. I make sure to be polite and not touch them. Sometimes parents come in after them, horrified, but I make sure to be sweet and unalarmed. After all, no one likes a freaked out parent.

At Halloween one year I stood outside with candy for the downtown trick or treating. It may sound weird on paper that a sex shop worker stood outside her work with a basket of candy to give to children, but it wasn't. Parents actually really liked it, especially that I stood outside for four hours just to give out candy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bitch of a Customer

Okay, so my day hasn't started off so well. Maybe I'm in a bad mood because my only job assignment for the day is to hand clean the plants, which takes forever and covers my in dirt and dead bugs.

Anyways, my only customer of the day so far was a bitch to deal with. So she walks in straight to the counter, asking about penis enhancement toys. After I lead her over to the sleeves she picks up a masturbation sleeve and asks if it would work. She gets a little pissy at me when I explain that I am not sure, since I have only sold it for male masturbation purposes. Anyways, she takes one. Next we head over to the dildos (apparently I am her personal shopper) where she examines one that she saw on our website. For this particular dildo we don't have a demo model out since we only have one in stock, and she starts whining that she wants to know what it feels like (even though a dildo made out of the same material was on display). She keeps bugging me until I open the package so she can feel it. After a while of comparing it and complaining about it's thickness, she says she would like to buy it. Then she informs me that she wants to buy it, but doesn't want one that has been open.

I take a breath. Not only did she already know that it was a closed package as well as our last one, she nagged me until I opened it for her. And now she demands a closed one. I explain to her that this was the first time it was opened, and that it is made out of non-porous high grade silicone that can be easily washed with soap and water. She starts complaining that she doesn't want to buy anything that has peoples dirty hands all over it. I then explain again that she is the only one who has touched it. She reluctantly decides to buy it.

When I ring her up, she asks me for a discount. I tell her that I can't just give her a random discount (more politely than that). She takes out her customer rewards card and says that she should get a discount. I scan her card, which tells me that her NEXT purchase after this one will have a $20 discount. When I tell her this, she gets pissy, saying that maybe she won't buy anything until she can get her discount. By this point I am annoyed. Fuck it, I gave her a small discount to stop her complaining. I think it was like $5. After she made her purchase and I had wrapped everything up for her, she tells me to take everything out and put it in an unmarked bag. Then after I put everything in the bag, she tells me to take everything out of the packages because she doesn't want her husband to see the packages. Then after I hand her all her toys, she smells them and say they smell funny. I explain to her that there are no harmful chemicals in them, and that she is smelling the silicone, which after cleaning with soap and water will be less strong.

She leaves and I go back to my cleaning

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Customers of 12/11/10

Wow, I just realized that today's date is pretty awesome.

Saturday night shift. It's usually more exiting than my Sunday shift since there tends to be more people. Also, there tends to be more drunk folks coming in, which means interesting interactions.

-Short female with glasses comes up to the front desk, cock ring in hand. "Is this it for your cock ring selection?" She is snotty, and when I point out that we have more than a dozen options varying from metal, rubber, and vibrating, she looks at me like she didn't see all the other cock rings that were right in front of her. "Oh..."

-Young couple ask me to help them register for a class at a dungeon in San Francisco. When I explain to them that I have connection to the dungeon, and also that we are hours away, he starts getting frantic. He says that he's called and emailed them. Again I explain that there is nothing I can do since we have no connection to them. He buys a bunch of bondage books, but again returns to tell me that he really wants to attend their class.

-Middle age man buys a pink g-spot vibe.

-Right when I took a big bite out of my sandwich, a guy walks in to by lube. I had to scarf down my food real quick. It was pretty awkward.

-Lesbian couple asks me my opinion on the Rabbit vibrator. They seem miffed that I've never tried it. They then ask me what my personal preference is. When I explain that my opinion should effect their own, since everyone gets off differently, they kind of dismiss me and don't want help anymore. They stop and stare that the fetish section, then one spanks the other and laughs.

-Two older women and a guy come in together to browse.

-Woman came in to ask if my boss had her pants. What?

-Two women in designer outfits come in. One tries to by a vibrator, but her "members only" black credit card was declined. She gets insulted when I tell her that her card is declined. I'm not making this up lady! Her friend pays for her in cash.

-Young guy buys stimulation pills

-Couple comes in to ask about special ordering sex furniture. One day when I have a house I want lots of Liberator furniture. http://www.liberator.com/

-Woman runs in to by lube. I can hear her husband and children waiting outside.

-Middle aged couple comes in to buy him a prostate massager. He keeps his back to me as I explain the toys, slightly shy/embarrassed. They buy a vibrating prostate massager, lube, massage oil, and an instructional book on fellatio. She thanks me for being so open and informative.

-Cock ring lady comes back. She doesn't like our selection because a bunch are made in China. She leaves without buying anything.

-Three people from earlier come back in. One woman approaches the counter with a vibrating clit pump in hand. Her male friend comes in and demands that I explain to her how to use it. She blushes and keeps her head down as I quickly give instructions. As she purchases it she turns to her female friend saying "I can't believe I'm buying this!" I think they are all a little tipsy.

-Couple comes in to look at double sided dildos...they don't buy one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Fleshlight

We have some controversial sex toys. And by that, I mean people tend to look at them and have long conversations with their shopping buddies all about the toy. Usually about what the heck that item is, and how the hell you use it. Confusion over what a sex toy is is pretty normal here. The use of sex toys is not always obvious, and many times needs explanation. The first time I saw a Crystal Wand, I blurted out "what the fuck?" which at the time made the presenter that was showing it off glare at me.

It's when people start making fun of someone who would purchase an item is when I get annoyed. Confusion is fine, everyone is confused by sex. Especially sex toys. It's a complicated area of sex, not everything will make sense to everyone. But just because there is a sex toy that you wouldn't personally bring into the bedroom, doesn't mean that you need to make fun of it, or anyone who would use it.

The biggest example I can think of is The Fleshlight.


The Fleshlight is a male masturbation sleeve. Basically, you stick your dick in it, and fuck it. Well, that's the most blunt way I can describe it. The Fleshlight comes in a variety of shapes and textures, but we only carry The Pink Lady line. As seen in the picture above, it looks like a vagina, and has bumps on the inside to create texture. So people pick this item up the most (actually there's a couple playing with it right now)and laugh and stick their fingers in it (clean up time for me after they leave). That's fine, not everyone is used to seeing a rubber vulva. But I get a little irked when people start commenting on what kind of person would use it. Usually they go "ew, what kind of looser wants this?" Which, is a sucky thing to say. Just because it isn't your thing, doesn't mean you need to degrade people who use it. Not to gender this, but is it usually females, of a younger generation, making these comments. If with a friend, it is common for them to joke about buying it for their single male friend. Sometimes they will turn to me laughing ask if people actually buy them. They are shocked when I explain that they are one of our most popular items, that guys love the masturbation sleeves in general.

And then usually a little after they leave a guy walks in and buys one coincidentally.

Like right now

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Fuck Madness!

I felt the title is appropriate for my current status.

Since Thanksgiving has ended, and the holiday shopping has begun, the store has become a den of fuck toy madness. Customers swarming in, demanding different toys, and ordering online an obscene amount of items. Which for me is always good thing, since I get a bonus every time I make a big sale. And also it makes me happy seeing people buy sex stuff for their partners.

In the past two days online sales have gone up. Today I filled an order that was full of BDSM gear: A sex swing, a bit gag, restraint system, and nipple clamps, all the way to Tennessee.

The top sellers of the season so far is the new Lelo line of lightweight, rechargeable, waterproof vibrators.


The genius thing about these toys is the hole in the middle for easy grip. Too many times I have been complained to by customers that they don't like to hold their toys. And they are super light, which is nice as well.

I have this theory about being attracted to your sex toys (forgive me if I have written about this before)but I strongly believe that if you are not sexually attracted to your toys, why are you having sex with it? Sex toys need to be sexy, and these definitely are.

Speaking of sexy, the We-vibe now comes in different colors! So far the teal has been the most popular.

Pretty, no?

The most interesting customer I've had this week was a guy on the phone named "Randy". Randy is a pimp, or as legal to a pimp as possible. He runs a "female entertainment" where the girls are hired at parties to wear next to nothing and masturbate each other. Randy is a sweetheart, and he buys his girls their outfits and toys. They are going to start teaching sex classes with "hands on" demonstrations, and I am helping him plan out the curriculum. Pretty interesting for an over the phone business transaction (Randy works on the other coast)

Some girls I went to college with just came in tipsy off bottomless mimosas. One of them came to the counter with anal beads, admitting shyly that she never had the nerve to buy them, but has the liquid courage to now. Kind of adorable.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shopping with your gay boyfriend

The most note worthy customers of the day:

This tall woman walks in with this short, flamboyant, Asian man. Right away I knew this was a gay boyfriend shopping date, which are my favorite customers to interact with. It is common for women to come in with their gay best friends to shop for sexy things for their partners, and the comments they make are hilarious. Right away this guy made his friend comfortable, being a charming goof and pointing out things she would buy.

When she was questioning a pair of sexy stocking he said: "Honey, you have got to get that. Not even for sex, I would just strut that around." When they looked at butt plugs, he pointed out the Pretty Plug, saying "Honey, this will make your ass shine."

They ran around the store pointing out things to each other. The woman picked up a copy of "WHORE magazine" and shouted, "Darling, a magazine about us!" He made jokes about her buying him a dildo until he could find a real man. They left as quickly as they came, with smiles on their faces and happily prancing about.

As they walked out he turned to me with a smile and said, "Darling, I love what you've done with the place."

The eye of the storm

So the holidays are coming up. Which for us in the sex industry, is the busiest time of the year. Winter holidays, followed by Valentines Day, are pretty hectic. To prep for this time of the year, our store does a complete cleaning overhaul. From the light fixtures to the condom packets, everything gets dusted down and scrubbed. Today I polished clothes racks, sorted through lingerie, and organized sex toys.

After Thanksgiving is when the busy season starts. People come in looking for the newest and coolest products. Last year rechargeable toys were the fad. This year it is rechargeable waterproof toys, especially the Form line from Jimmy Jane.



These hand sized toys are really powerful and are multi speed and vibrations. And since they are waterproof and rechargeable, it's pretty apparent why they are so popular.

Anyways, I need to get back to cleaning.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dumbass

Dear customer,

That annoying high pitched ringing that you are complaining loudly about? That's the vibrator you have been looking at that you left on, rumbling on the glass shelf. It's right in front of you, moving and screaming for you to not let it fall. It is very expensive, and not something to turn on and leave. So stop being a dumb ass and press the off button, which is the same one you used to turn it on.

Thanks

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Art Shows at Sex Shops

Last night Celeste Duran joined a unique group of artists. Artists whose first art shows are displayed at sex shops.

I have mentioned before that my shop monthly displays local artists, the first Friday of which we host an "open gallery" of the artists work. The artist is there to talk to the public, and we serve snacks and drinks. It's quite fun.

Last night I made the joke that I should write a book about artists whose first art shows were at sex shops, since the topic came up so much last night. Duran explained to me that her work is usually weddings and private boudoir shoots, so she never had the chance to display her work. Her show was a success, many people showed and admired her stunning photographs of intimate couple portraits. She even sold a few pieces.

What makes an artist decide to have their first show at a sex shop? It isn't that they haven't had the chance to show other places, many of our artists are highly talented and could display at public galleries. Personally, I think a sex shop creates a delightfully awkward environment for an already awkward event (many artists are nervous at their first show, and therefore become shy). It also is a more private gallery, since it is such an intimate location. Duran also made a really good point. At a sex shop, she could display her art that may not be okay to show other places. Erotic and intimate art is not always welcome at public gallery's, so it's a great venue to show more racy art than is normally displayed from the artist.

We have had some great shows from first time artists:

Sasha Neese (www.sashaneese.com) displayed her self portrait nudes.


Georgette Clay showed her queer art portraits, using chalk.


And last night Celeste Duran (www.saltysirens.com) displayed her erotic couple photography


Honestly, I am looking forward to seeing what other artists we can take the "art show virginity" from.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scary Stories of Halloween Weekend

It's that spooky time again, where ghouls and ghosts haunt the streets and women wear slutty outfits of pretty much anything imaginable. Anything. Seriously. Today I went to the bank and there was a slutty Star Trek officer bouncing around and giggling to her Little Red Riding Hood co-worker in her barely there skirt. And all around them the male co-workers were dressed as skeletons and baseball players. It was a little ridiculous.

Today's customers have been pretty blase. A few vibrators sold, some tights and pasties for those last minute holiday must haves. One woman bought her boyfriend a matching anal toy, which is kind of adorable.

And then I get this couple. They seemed pretty typical, running around purchasing different products for their romantic weekend. And then the guy turns to me and starts telling me his recent trouble with lubricant. And let me tell you, there was detail. Apparently he had used a KY warming lubricant, and it burnt his skin off. Like shredding, burning, and bleeding. He was asking me if he should sue, but then kept going back trying to explain how his chemically burnt penis looks. There are very few times I get weirded out by customers, but this was definitely one of the exceptions. I am not a doctor people. I cannot cure your medical problems, no matter how sexually related they are.

Great way to start off my Halloween weekend.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Avi Answers about Anal Sex for the first time

Hey Avi. So the bf really wants to try anal...and I've heard its messy and don't really know where to start...someone told me lube and laxatives. -Anonymous

Avi Answers:

no laxatives!
bad idea!

Okay, well first you want to stretch out the area. after all, the anal opening is a muscle. I recommend using a silicone lubricant.
If your worried about poop, make sure to empty your bowels at least two hours before any activity. You can also get an anal douche (this is what i use) and fill it with warm water and a pinch of salt. They sell them at drug stores, just don't use the solution they give you, that's a laxative

Douche until water runs clear. But remember, anal sex can still end up being dirty, so have a towel ready.

Then you want to relax the muscle with fingers or toys at least an hour before going in. This makes your body comfortable with something there.

Even if you and your bf are fluid bonded, I recommend using a condom, especially due to potential dirtiness the best way to actually have anal sex, in regards to position, is for you to back onto his penis, not him enter you it gives you control of whats happening, because him just jamming it in does NOT feel good.

Just take it slow and use lube!
no laxatives!

-Avi Answers

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rainy Days

Today is the first rain of the season.

Playing my Beatles mix, drinking ginger tea, and sitting in a sex shop. I think it's the start of a pretty good day, don't you think?

Customers today:
-Guy buying "Best Women's Erotica of 2010"
-Young guy on the phone with his grandfather asks for change for two dollars for the parking meter
-Couple comes in to ask about our workshops and classes. They inquire about the "Negotiating Successful Threesomes" class.
-Young couple buys an assortment of lubes and fun treats. When picking out flavored nipple lube, the girl asks her partner what flavor he preferred. When he didn't seem to care, she exclaims "You're the one whose going to be tasting it!" He says no watermelon flavor. She picks raspberry.

People have not been wiping off their feet at the door. I predict lots of cleaning the front stoop through out the day.

-Couple playing with the Rabbit Habit by Vibratex. She is very giggly. They don't buy anything.
-College girls come in and quickly buy batteries for their vibrating bullets. Overheard "I should wait till Hanukkah and buy this for myself."
-Man comes in asking about the art on our walls (we change every month). The art has changed since he's been in and he can't remember the artists name. All he can remember is that there were pictures of naked women.
-Young women buys an assortment of lube sample packets
-Local porn actor comes in with a lady friend. We chat about busy lives and people in the industry.
-Friend of the owner buys a pocket rocket

Less rainy, but my day is only halfway through and I'm a little bit bored.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Home Sweet Sex Shop

Lately due to family problems, I have been missing a lot of work. Which resulted in me emotionally missing work. Dearly. There's something very comforting working in a place where nothing I do can be judged and I can just sit and breathe.

Right away I sold a couple a vibrator and I knew I could breathe again. Here I am focused on someone else and their life, answer their questions, and listen to their problems. And the best thing about it is that it all has to do with sex, which is the most comforting topic for me.

Welcome back to me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Customers of 10/2/10

-Spanish speaking gentleman (does not speak English, I don't speak Spanish) is patient with me while I try to recommend lubricant and erection pills. He accidentally puts over $100 of pills on the counter, thinking it costs $20 dollars. Eventually we get it sorted out and he leaves happy with lubes and pills. I wish I knew how to say "lubricant" in Spanish.

-Middle age woman in baseball cap and a little league t-shirt comes in to buy "surprises for her husband". I smile as she starts making a pile of fetish porn, ball gag, and advanced nipple suckers. After about 30 minutes she returns to the counter with more fetish books, and stockings. Now she is looking at vibrators. She brings up two. And a french maid costume. $400 worth of product, and I must admit I am a little jealous.

-Young college friends come in looking for black thongs. One girl buys a garter belt, the other buys a book on urban tantra.

-Three couples wander in separately to look at costumes. Yup, definitely Halloween season.

-One couple buys anal beads with lube <3

-One couple (a good ten years between them I think? She looks like she's 40+ and he's somewhere is his late 20s early 30s) shops for crotchless panties.

-Man peeks his head in and asks how I am doing. Then he leaves.

-Fuck, I have to pee and my co-worker is out to lunch.

-Nerdy guy in Iron Man shirt comes in and looks at porn. He asks about masturbating sleeves. He buys a Tenga masturbation sleeve, some lube, and condoms.

-Three college students come in and play with the handcuffs. One girl is wearing a dog collar and leash.

-Elderly woman comes in asking for change for her meter.

-Two middle aged men separately come in, wander around, and then leave.

-Guy buys sex pills

-Young girl buys vibrator

I still need to pee

Jokes

My first customers today was this couple celebrating 25 years of marriage. How did I know this? The husband made a joke about it to me. He was also paying for all of the stuff they were buying. And how did I know this? He made a joke about it.

Customers joking to me is not unusual. More often it comes from men who are shopping with their partner and are left standing with the shopping bags and a pile of toys as she scurries around the store picking out more and more. Since I am standing at the counter, it makes sense that small talk occurs. And what is a better ice breaker than jokes? And considering the environment, sex jokes.

This man today was just vomiting joke after joke. Some about marriage, and the rest about sex. Like "What's the food that kills a woman's sex drive?" "Wedding cake". "Whats the greatest release a man can get?" "Divorce." "Why do eggs have the worst sex life?" "Because they only get laid once and you have to boil them to get them hard." I kind of wish I could remember more.

I was more focused on his sarcastic joking when it involved his wife. She was trying on corsets and called for him and he remarked on her "squawking". When I gave them a free tote bag for buying so much, he replied "choke bag?"

very funny sir

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And Fall rushes in

This is a college town. As much as the locals hate to admit it, the university here is pretty dominate. School started this week, and it is definitly noticable. Young groups of adults wandering around big eyed, trying to find their way to a bookstore or coffee shop. New friends grasping for life to each other so that they survive their year.

The store is slightly effected as well. We get more "drifters", youth who wander in giggling and poking at everything and then leave quickly. When I was a student I gave sex tours. I took groups of students around the town and taught them about safe sex and took them to local sex shops and health stores. I also took them to the on-campus health center. They became pretty popular, and after I graduated, one of the girls in my original tour took over. I wonder if they are going to do it this year. It's extremely important to inform students about their resources for sexual topics, be it health or recreational.

We give a 10% student discount that I had started when I was a student. The students appreciate it, and it gets the word out about our store. But honestly, students are not our most common customer. They also don't spend that much money. Twenty bucks at the most.

Oh well, hopefully they are getting their first orgasms out of them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shoplifting Sex

As much as I'd love to say we've never been shoplifted, it would be a dirty lie. Though it is not a common event, things do tend to disappear every once in a while. This morning I came into work and noticed that a few of the display items on the shelves were missing. Small clit vibrators mostly, but it was still irritating.

Two years ago, at our grand opening party I caught an older man putting vibrators in his bag. I stopped him and told him to pay for them or get out. He did end up buying all of them, around $60 worth of product. The same man came back a year later and walked out of the store with a Hitachi Magic Wand. I wasn't there, but the store owner actually chased him down the street and took it back after threatening him with cops.

I have only once chased someone down, but that was because she walked out of the store with an expensive item that didn't ring up properly. She told me that she was hopping I didn't notice.

In general, I hate watching customers every move. I find it a little creepy. My trick is to do work on the computer, and occasionally glance at them. But if there is more than 6 people in the shop, I do walk around and watch. Our shop may be small, but vibrators are smaller.

Sometimes I joke with customers that if I ever get robbed or catch someone shoplifting I am going to chase them down with the Njoy 11, our 3 pound aluminum dildo.


Yeah, you would not want to steal from someone wielding one of these babies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Awkward Telephone

Calls have been coming in all day. Some have been really awkward to the point that I can't tell if they are a joke.
My responses are in parenthesis

"Do you carry dildos? (yes, we have a large variety.)I am gay and want toys. Do you have gay toys? (We carry a large assortment to toys, you can check out our website if you want to look at the selection.) How far away are you from LA? (8 hours. You can order off of our website) That's okay, I'll drive there." *Hangs up*

"Do you carry men's toys? (Yes, is there anything specific you are looking for?) Do you have blow up dolls? (No) Do you have things that look like porn stars vaginas? (No, we do carry the fleshlight that looks like a vagina, but not anyone specific) But it looks like a vagina? (yes, there is a picture on our website if you want to see it.) Is it under anal toys? (No, it is under penis pleasures) But it looks like a vagina? (yes) Do you carry a variety of vaginas? (no, just the one kind) Does anyone else carry vaginas? (yes, this store *gives address*) Okay *Hangs up*

Oohpah!

Apologies for the lack on entries. I decided to take a needed vacation and go to Burning Man this year.

Being away from the store for at least two weeks is pretty odd. I start to miss the shop and my interactions with people. I begin to have dreams about work, usually involving me being late to shifts or giant changes in the store that leave me panicking or confused.

My first weekend back has been pretty full. There is a local Greek festival happening right outside the shop. The smell of fresh gyros waif in as well as people tipsy off ouzo. Working during the festival is one of my favorite pastimes. There is a large surge of people coming in to check out the store, in addition to live music and snacks that my friends dropping by give me. (says while eating tzatziki sauce and pita bread)

And of course, there is more unique interactions:

-Dozens of couples coming for the first time walking around the store together. Most do not buy anything, but it's pretty frickin cute to watch.

-Three women (on separate occasions) telling me this is their first time in the store because they have been too scared to come in and the festival give them a excuse to drop by

-Drunk guys pulling their embarrassed friends into the store so that they can make an ass of themselves. Examples: Loudly remarking on masturbation sleeves, paddling their friends, buying penis shaped candy for girlfriends. Thankfully I did not have to ask anyone to leave (last year there was an incident with drunks throwing dildos across the room at each other). Did get one girl storm out in embarrassment when her friend started talking about "pussy" very loud.

-Awkward drunk guy came in to ask if we we're Greek and started telling me about how the police we're after him for bugging people at the festival. He ate a gyro sloppily over the counter and I had to clean the juices he dropped after he left.

-Man who worked at the festival (think he was a food vendor)came in to ask politely if the event helped or hindered our business. I explained to him that usually it helped, but since this year for some reason there is booth blocking the view of our store from the street, it isn't that great. There are still people coming in, but not as many as we'd like. He then asked for mint flavored condoms.

-Man came in and bought an anal plug and asked for us to hold it for him so he could walk around the festival without our store bag.

Well, let's see how Sunday works out.

Also, if you have any questions that you want me to answer please email me at avianswers@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busiest Day EVER!!!

Today has been busy

oof

Three young girls going to Burning Man all buying and trying on corsets. They leave our racks empty. I don't think they are aware the Burning Man is all dusty and their pretty new outfits are going to get dirty.

Woman comes in for the first time to sign up for our email list. She is friends with Tantra instructors Charles and Leah Muir, who teach classes regularly at the shop.

Young male comes in asking if he can trade quarters for five one dollar bills

Female couple with a puppy named "Dorthy" ask if it's okay to bring her in. Sure, we're pet friendly.

Woman tells me she is going to Burning Man for the first time. She is opening every package she touches. When I ask her not to, she gets defensive. She breaks a vibrators packaging and pretends it "came that way". Fortunately the toy is not broken and I can repackage it. I just hate liars.

Man with a cane asks for the owner by the wrong name. When I explain that she is on vacation in Israel, he says "funny, she doesn't look Jewish, but I'm Mormon so whatever". He buys lube after asking on the price of some Japanese Bondage Instruction books.

Young couple uses a 50% off coupon to buy a vibrator. They are both tiny and adorable.

Friend of mine comes in and buys vibrating anal beads. It makes me happy that my friends are okay with my knowing about their sexual acts.


Couple looking at cock rings and masturbation sleeves. She exclaims "no, don't put your finger in there!" and makes other customers laugh. They start whipping each other and other customers start giggling and shout at them to get a room.

Two middle age women come in to find their g-spots. They say they have been searching but can't find them. They make two piles of sex toys on the counter. Matching vibrators, cock rings, and lube. They demand mink tickler toys from the back storage room because they don't want any that have been "used". They ask a lot of questions about the g-spot and have me write down information.

Couple comes in and buys the We-vibe 2. She tells me that her ex husband was a prude.

Young guy walks around the store with porn in hand. Is nervous when I ask him if he's finding everything okay. He comes to the counter with porn and a penis pump. As I ring him up, he gets a phone call. All of the sudden he is loud and proud. "Yo bro, I'm buying a fuckin dick pump." I try to suppress my giggling as he continues his banter about his purchase.

Guy with bleach blond hair with black spots (weird) comes in and start flogging his arm.

Giggling girls drink Frappichinos while talking about their sex experiences. Just said "I thought it was a Jewish thing?". I wonder what the hell they are talking about. Oh circumcision. Weird hair guy is explaining circumcision to them. I jump in, representing my Jewish culture. Now I think he is creeping them out talking about infection and torture. He is standing awkwardly while they talk. He asks if they've been with a man who is uncircumcised. The girl he asks says "my husband isn't." They make an excuse about needing more coffee and walk quickly off.

Really young couple looks at condoms. It's adorable.

This is probably the busiest I have ever seen this store outside of holiday season.

And there's three more hours of my shift.
Oof.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

*sigh*

Tonight has been one of those nights.

Guy in his forties walks around the shop after testing out silicone lube and touches almost every product. Thankfully he actually bought something, or I'd be pissed. His items were slippery as I put them in his bag. He then asked if we had any unmarked bag since one with our store logo was embarrassing.

Group of young 20 year olds run around the store as if it were Disneyland. They play and throw things around, causing a mess and don't purchase a thing.

Shabby looking old man walks in with a walking stick. Creeps other customers out.

Gentlemen walks in and has me describe every massage oil we carry. Didn't understand when I calmly explained multiple times that oil will stain sheets. He then opened every bottle to smell it and announced loudly what each smelled like. He left without buying anything, saying maybe he'd come back after coffee.

Woman walks in to complain about our advertisement outside (poster of a pin up girl). She proclaims she is a feminist and is appalled by our shop. She then says she pities me for working at a place that is so degrading to women. She takes my bosses business card and walks away in a huff. I don't answer her and give her a blank stare. Sometimes no reaction is the best reaction. My mood altered by her. I am troubled by this interaction.

A couple walks in asking about almost every product in the store. I am in a bad mood due to "feminist" lady. But they are good natured and inquisitive. Doubt that they will buy anything, but at least it's positive company.

Sleazy guy with a runny nose comes to the counter, leans in and asks if we do more than sell stuff. When I talk to him about the classes we offer, he starts asking if it's a good place to meet hyper sexual people. When I tell him that the classes aren't really for picking up dates, he still pushes that he could meet someone there because "if she's there, she must be not as experienced, like me, right?" Way to try to pray on women who just want to learn. Bravo sir.

*sigh*

So two cute old ladies walk into a sex shop...

Sounds like a beginning of a really good joke or a really disturbing porno. But really, this did happen to me last night.

Two elder ladies in cute sweaters and big glasses came into the store. At first I guessed they needed change for the parking meters (something that people tend to wander in our store for) or were lost or something. Once in a while I do get older folks in here, but it is pretty rare and they usually buy a Hitachi or something similar.

These women walked straight up the the counter and in the sweetest voice you can imagine asked politely, "Do you carry bongs?" I have to say, I almost fell off my seat. She explained that she collected them, talking as my own grandmother does about her beloved Frank Sinatra collectors items. When I directed her around the corner to the new smoke shop that opened up a few months ago, she kindly thanked me and wished me well in my business. She said she wished she could purchase something, but she hadn't had "those kind of needs" since 1993.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Class Theories

Last night we had a overly sold out class about rope bondage by the very well known kink enthusiast Lochai (http://kirinawa.com/). Needless to say, it was pretty epic. Lochai brought along two topless female assistants to help out and demo on, and overall everyone seemed to have a great time.

Lochai shared with me his theory on classes (hopefully I get this right):

There are three types of people who attend classes

1. Fans of the subject. People who will attend any class having to do with a particular topic. For example, rope bondage. It doesn't matter who is teaching it, they will attend if it has to do with rope bondage, be it beginners or advance. After attending four or five classes having to do with the same subject, I'm pretty sure the info is embedded in their minds. But like one customer said to me after his third rope bondage class "every teacher has a different technique and I want to learn as many as possible."

2. Fans of the teacher. There are some people who will take any class as long as a particular teacher is running it. I find this most accurate to Midori (http://www.planetmidori.com/) who teaches a class here every other month. There are people who will take repeats of her classes just to hear her speak. Some sit in the back of the class all starry-eyed just watching her every movement. Depending on the speaker, some people will drive from hours away just to sit in a two hour class.

3. Fans of the store. Lastly, there are those who will attend classes or buy tickets just to support our business. Doesn't matter what class or who is speaking, they will buy a ticket just to show they want business to continue. There are a few customers who come in each month just to buy about $200 worth of class seats and show up to about half of them.

The best is when there is a combination of the types of class attendees. Like someone is a Tantra enthusiast and loves Charles Muir. Therefore, when Muir comes to speak at our store, we know they are going to attend.

Anyways, yay for full classes! It always makes me sad when we have to cancel due to low attendance.

Happy Friday the 13th

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Passion verses Family

Yesterday I had a lovely visit from my cousin her family from St. Paul, Minnesota. I hadn't seen my cousin in a good year, and she came to have lunch with me and her husband and adorable two and four year old daughters. After lunch her husband asked if we could pop in my work so they could look around while I watched their daughters. I asked them if they needed any help finding anything and my cousin looks puzzled at me and says "wouldn't that be uncomfortable for you?"

In my family my work is a little bit of a running joke. Something along the lines of "oh that Avi, such a wild girl, isn't is soooo her to do something that crazy?" That or some sort of fear that I am joining the underbelly of society. I know that my job at times is a little worrisome and scary for my parents to grasp completely, and honestly I would rather them not know the full details of what my job encompasses. It's not that I'm ashamed of working at a sex shop, quite opposite. But I believe there are some aspects of my life that I should keep separate from my family for both our sakes.

Most of my family has been to the shop at least once, excluding my father. He has dropped me off at work before, but never cared to come in. My brother actually was the first one to visit, when he was nineteen. He has been the most casual and supportive of my choice of industry business. In fact, he sends his friends who attend the local college to come visit me and use his "friend and family discount." Thanks bro. My sister has briefly visited once, but has gotten more supportive over time. She doesn't understand why I choose to hide my work from extended family, why I don't tell our 90 year old grandparents what it is that I do. She sees it as me being ashamed of my work and doesn't understand why I would work somewhere that I hide from people. Honestly? I just don't want to give my grandparents a heart attack. My mother has been in the shop once, where I held her shaking hand while I slowly walked her through the store. Somethings freaked her out (bondage gear, dildos) but I think it was good for her to see the environment that I work in. The term "sex shop" tends to cause many different assumptions and perceptions, so it was good for her to see that my work was much less frightening than the sex dungeon she envisioned.

Anyways. My cousin's went in the shop while I took their girls to the public library that is right next door. After about fifteen minutes they meet up with us with a small paper bag of purchases (using my family discount of course) and praise for the comfortable atmosphere and high quality of the store. For me, this is another step forward. They will report back to the rest of the family their positive experience which will help my parents understanding of why it is that I have worked here for over two years.

Truth of the matter is, I don't know where life will take me. I want to do more in the sex industry, but fear that this may separate me from my family. I know my family will love me to extremes, but will there be a breaking point? What happens when I go too far for their understanding?

Love and life is a funny thing

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cock blocked by the community

The local community is great, don't get me wrong. When we first opened two years ago there was some protest because we are located near a church and the public library. But over the years the local community has learned to cope with a sex positive shop exhisting.

This weekend is the arts, music, and wine festival. And of course, it is right outside the shop. Booths block our entrance and families quickly rush by as children try to enter the store. Needless to say, sales have been incredibly low. Sometimes the local festivals are great for buisness, like the Greek festival in the fall. But that is mostly due to the oozo full drunks. The arts festival is more about family, and well, even though our store is owned by a mother and daughter, it still doesn't attract people right now.

The vendors look scared and embarassed as I opened the store this morning. When I went outside to check out the booths near us, the owners giggle when they realize where I work.

Yesterday some children ran into the store. I was stumped when their parents didn't rush in and pull them out. I stood near the children as the parents half heartidly got them to leave. Don't they understand it's illegal for us to have children in the shop? Especially when the little girl picked up a book about cunnalingus and started shouting "look mommy, it's you!"

Today we have had one customer buying edible nipple lube and a vibrator as a wedding present.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Irritating Customer of the Month

Hello Most Irritating Customer of the Month.

Woman walks in, age 50-60. She comes to the counter carrying a pair of stockings and looking puzzled. So I ask her if she needs any help. She is meeting with a "friend" this weekend and was instructed to pick up some fun toys. She tells me she has used a vibrator before, misleading me that she knew anything about sex toys and buying them. I start her off by showing simple three speed vibrators. She keeps asking "so these are all vibrators". Okay, a little weird, but some people get confused.

She continues to ask the oddest questions. Do the vibrators come with the display pillows? (no) Why not? (The pillows are not for sale) So these are all vibrators? (yes).

After a good ten minutes of questions I excuse myself so she can explore. At the counter I start to hear buzzing. I look over and realize she has left on every display vibrator. There are like 30 buzzing and shaking toys, and she looks stunning when I rush over to turn them off before they bounce off the shelf. I kindly ask her to turn off the toys if she is going to turn them on. She looks confused and says she didn't realize they were on. Guh.

Finally she comes to the counter. With the display toys. When I explain to her that she needs to buy the ones in the boxes she doesn't get it. And then when I ask her if she would like to buy batteries she is snarky. Of course she wants batteries, how else would she get it to work? Finally she finishes her purchase.

As I start to help the gentleman behind her, her phone rings. Okay, people talk on the phone here all the time. She decides to have her phone conversation right outside the store door, which is fine, but she keeps pacing in and out, causing the door ringer to constantly go off during the duration of her phone conversation. She ignores the irritated looks of customers, and kind of blocks the doorway for some of them. And keeps having a loud phone conversation over the ringing of the door.

Any wonder I have a headache for the rest of the night?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Erotic photography (boobies and butts)

Sometimes the redundancy of the sex industry gets to me. Sure, the new toys and books that are coming out are advancing more and more, but sometimes the indicative nature of things in this industry just annoy me. The most popular selling vibrators are pink, men buy sex pills with arrogance, blah blah blah. Somethings just never surprise me anymore

Take the art we have hanging on our walls. Every month we participate in a local art tour where we display different artists. People come in and are so wowed by the art work and amazed by the eroticism of the work. Me? I get so annoyed by the common topic that the artists like to display in our store. Women, naked women, different angles of naked women. Boobies, vagina, butts butts butts. Seriously? Yes, we are a sex shop, but there is so much more to erotic art than the female form. Yes, it is beautiful, but there becomes a point of time where I just want to yell at the artist of the month that there is more to eroticism than close ups of skinny girls with boobies.

This month we are displaying the artwork of Lochai (http://kirinawa.com/) a well known photographer and kinkster. As I prepared myself for more boobies and butts, Lochai pulls out his first piece of work and hangs it up with pride. And what my dear readers is the giant picture that he displays in the main spot next to the counter? Balls. Well, more specifically an erotic photo of a mouth blowing smoke onto male genitalia. But really, when I look over, I think "Well, those are balls." And you know what? Thank the fucking lord. Lochai is finally an artist that doesn't just photograph pretty girls and call it art. Yes there are lots of pretty pictures of naked girls all around the store, but they all have a theme. Some are tied up in beautiful rope work, some nude in the bathroom. None of the work makes me think "oh god, here's another guy with a camera who takes pictures of women's naughty bits and calls it art". I mean, there is a large photo of a guy sucking someones toes, burlesque dancers, couples in loving kinky embraces. This guy gets it, that erotic art is more than just naked women. That a picture of sucking toes is just as breath taking as a close up of some girls ass.


My dream is to have an artist display erotic nudes of fat hairy guys. But take it seriously, like well done erotic portraits. Calling all artists, let's break the mold of erotic art just being pretty girls. Push the limits.

Get some balls

<3

Friday, July 23, 2010

Customers, you are my porn

Porn is entertaining
Porn is sexy
Porn is hot and bothersome
Porn is funny
Porn is intriguing
Porn is random
Porn is a little skeezy

Today, my customers have been all of these.

Two cute mid 20s women buying matching lubricant. We laugh as the cash register runs them up accidentally as different prices, one at $19 and one at $53.

Mid 50s woman has me walk around the store with her explaining most products. She tells me about her feminist beliefs in vibrators and leaves with two kinds of lube, a new vibe, a vibrating tongue ring, and batteries for her cock ring. She also reveals at the end of the purchase that I was in a fem studies class with her in college.

Sketchy looking guy drops his backpack at the counter and starts looking through a book on Pony Play. He creeps other customers out, but doesn't mean to bother them. I keep my eyes on him. He doesn't buy anything.

Suave acting guy comes in looking for flavored warming lube. Settles for just flavored. Then he asks for a vibrator that is insertable that is just as strong as the Hitachi Wand. I tell him there is no such thing and we joke about the power of the Hitachi Wand. He buys an attachment for it instead. Also a blue clit bullet. Asks about one of our former employees. Typical. She was the hot one.

Two women come in straight towards the corsets. One is a hot pin up punk rock girl. She is not offended when I recommend a large instead of a medium. She knows her corsets. I feel inadequate around her.

Two barely English speaking men come in to giggle about the store. I ignore their remarks, and they leave shortly. But not after winking at a female customer. Skeezballs.

Cute female buys cute pink vibrator. Enough said.

Hot pin up girl asks for my opinion on her waist cincher. I tell her we also have one in leather. When I ask if she wants me to get it for her she winks at me. Porn I tell you, pure porn.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Mistress NSFW

I started off writing a really boring entry about today's work shift. Instead, I'm going to write about poop.

Poop is the secret mistress of ass play. Probably a weird sentence, but I have had so many conversations with people about ass play and have had to subtly mention "the mistress" without actually bringing her up by name (yes in this analogy, poop is female). When it comes to ass play, the number one fear that people have, besides the fear that it will hurt, is the fear of poop. Except, very few will actually flat out say it.


There's a reason so many anal toys are black, why black gloves and black condoms are so popular, why black dildos sell more than the white ones. It is harder to see any "dirtiness" that may come out on something black. Don't think I'm criticizing the black toy phenomenon. It's actually quite genius, and if it weren't for black toys, many people may not even consider exploring anal play.


Anyways, when I talk to customers about anal play, the mistress comes up about 70% of the time. Usually from questions about "cleaning and prepping oneself for play" (see how formal and subtle I am about the ass?) Depending on the customer, I am either pretty explicit, or direct them towards books about ass play. Some people just get uncomfortable hearing intimate and possible embarrassing things from a stranger. As a sex shop worker, I understand this completely, which is why the book and DVD section exists. The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men by Bill Brent, and The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women by Tristan Taormino are the books I recommend for those interested in an experts opinion on anal play. Miss Taormino also wrote The Anal Sex Position Guide, which is quite amazing (hot pictures). Oh, and her Expert Guide to Anal Sex DVD is quite good and simple to understand. And did I mention HOTTT?


For the customers who I feel can hear the explicit stuff, I recommend douches for prep. When explaining douching, I use terms like "expel the water" and "clean thoroughly", making sure that the mistress's name is never mentioned, only implied. It is very rare that you'll actually hear me use the word "poop" when talking to customers. We dance around the subject in our conversations, making sure the customer is comfortable with the subject and ideas I purpose.


But the reason that so many people are interested in anal play is the "dirtiness" of it all. The mistress is a dirty little temptress that scares and excites so many. Not implying that being into anal play and scat play are the same thing. Very, very different ideas that happen to revolve around the same hole. This is not about scat play, but about the sexy fear of the dirtiness of anal play. The idea that your partner is playing with your "dirty hole" is sexy to some. It's taboo, it's a little gross to some, and it's shocking.

When I show porn to my friends and there is ass-to-mouth involved, I turn to see their faces. It's usually 50-50, with half the people yelling in horror and disgust, and the other half with this smirk of recognition and excitement on their faces. But this is usually the fact for most sex acts. Not everything sexual is for everyone, and sometime that grosses you out may in fact be the only way someone else gets off.


Once in a while I get a customer who asks me what they should to to avoid the mistress, or what they should do lest she appears? The best advice I can give besides douching, which is still not 100% reliable, is be aware that it may happens. Slip ups happen. Don't be afraid of them, it's the beauty of sex and exploration. If the mistress does appear, have a towel on hand, some sanitizer if needed, and a shower. It's what showers are for after all, cleaning up after your dirty deeds. Shit happens, pun intended.

Sometimes I get caught off guard by how many people can accidentally pee, queef, fart, and burp during sex and be fine, but once the topic of poop comes around, they freak out.

I joke to my employer that we should sell the children's book "Everyone Poops" next to the anal play section. After all, the mistress is there, whether or not we address her by name.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Little moments of joy

Gay boy couple dildo shopping and singing along to Katy Perry on the radio. Warms my heart.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blase

Sometimes I worry that working in a sex shop makes me a dull person.

I know that's probably a weird statement coming from someone who surrounds themselves in porn and dildos, but it's a pretty common worry. Have I become to desensitized? Have I become boring because socially scandelous things just don't shock me or even cause a reaction?

A customer was talking (or possibly flirting) with be the other day when a man walks straight in towards the counter. He asks if we have any funny X rated shirts (which we do not). He then started reciting some of his favorites, and then walked out. The customer looked at me suprised I wasn't offended or even shocked. Hell, I barely aknowledged that he said anything over the top. I just shrugged and admitted that customers coming in saying outrageous things just don't really affect me.

Then the other night my boss and I were looking at clips from Kink.com. Her friend was behind the counter too and was really shocked that we were to blase about watching porn. Especially since we were discussing the actors we personally knew in the video we were watching. My boss turns to her friend and says "we're just not affected by porn."

It's true, porn doesn't make me uncomfortable. I have watched so much, it becomes just like watching a movie. The sex part doesn't become a factor, just another scene.

And then there are days like today when people are asking me detailed questions about their sex lives and I answer it like I would answer how the weather is. Just sold an anal plug quickly and efficiently, asking questions about the experience of the user with pretty imtimate inquiry.

Wow, I sound like a bummer. Don't get me wrong, I love my line of work. I just get paranoid that I'm becoming a bore because dildos, vibrators, anal plugs, porn, and masturbation tools don't affect me really.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Requests from customers on 7/3/2010

Vibrating ring for a prince albert piercing

Anal beads that on one side is a dildo and on the other is anal beads

Realistic sex doll. Specifically, not crap. Like real, high class, but cheap.

*sigh*

0-6?

From what I thought was going to be a slow day, suddenly turned into a full store. It's like people know to come in packs. I'd say there are six different groups of people here. Woops, now they are gone. Weird. Now there are three guys wandering around. And now they are leaving too. That was a very quick time.

So far I have sold two bottles of lube, a penis extender, and a masturbation sleeve. Where all my girls at?

People have this assumption that sex shops that ours are meant for women. Yet, today it's been all men. Now only if it were full of men that actually buy things instead of browsing the pictures of hot girls on the covers of books and packages.

Now it's an empty store.

Back to cleaning.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Psychic Powers

There are sometimes when I am psychic. I can hone in on my supernatural powers and predict the future and read minds.

Of course, I am referring to sex toy purchases.

When work is slow, or when I feel like it, I play a guessing game with customers. I predict their purchases depending on who they are and how they act.

For example:
-A young couple walk in, male and female, early 20s. They look new to the store (looking around wide eyed). Holding hands. They spot the vibrator wall and head straight there. From this I access that they are looking for something simple (from looking new) and cheap (youth tend not to do large purchases). I guess that they are going to buy a Breeze bullet, which runs less than $20.


and I am right. They buy the exact product, plus some inexpensive lube. They tell me that this is their first time in here. Score one for my psychic powers.

Second example:
-A gentleman (guessing age 40-50) walks in by himself. He is friendly, but doesn't make eye contact with me. First he heads to the porn, but then slowly moves across the store. From this I access that he's probably looking for a masturbation toy for himself. Men sometimes seem embarrassed to buy masturbation toys from us sales girls. When they stay to the right side of the store and slowly inch back towards the cock pleasure section, it means that they've been here before, but don't want any attention on them. He buys a Fleshlight masturbation sleeve, and doesn't make eye contact with me at the counter.


Score two for my epic powers.

I also have been able to predict the type of porn people are looking for.

But sometimes my powers fail me. Like today, this girl-girl couple comes in and heads towards the left side of the store where the dildos and vibrators are. I make the assumption that they are going for the dildos. But no. They quickly and efficiently purchase a Rabbit Habit vibrator.


I am reminded that I need to not make assumptions all the time. Everyone's sexuality is different and I should never assume anything in this industry.

And then five minutes later another gentleman (age 40-50) comes in, doesn't make eye contact, and edges towards the right side of the store. Hello masturbation section.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Customer of the Day: June 13th 2010

Dear lady on the phone,
congratulations, I hath deem you customer of the day.

Not only do you in detail describe you need for pubic dye (which we do carry, lucky you!) but you also describe your pubes so that I can tell you over the phone if the brown color will be right for you. Wow. This was actually not the awkward part in the conversation. Details about peoples personal habits or grooming is nothing new.

It got uncomfortable when I was putting some dye on hold for you and asked for your name. "Salina?" I repeated, making sure it was correct. "No, Salima, with a "M". I'm not Mexican."

.....

Thanks Customer of the Day

Friday, June 11, 2010

Returns

Sometimes I buy something I think will be delicious. Then, after first taste, it does not agree with my palette. It's just not for me. It's not bad, nor defective in any way. It was sold perfectly intact. It's just not for me. I think to myself, "what do I do now?" Do I return it? Do I throw it away? Maybe give it to someone else? Find other uses for it?

Being the head of the returns department at a sex shop is a funny title. Hell, it's a funny job entirely. My job is to return defective sex toys to the sex toy companies. I am the satellite between the customer, and the producer. It's actually pretty fun, when my inbox isn't overflowing with toys and unreturned messages from companies. I get to deal with two kind of customers. The unfortunate, and the confused.

The unfortunate are those folks who purchase a sex toy, getting all exited about it, and then open the box only to find it broken. I feel bad for the people who actually start a session with their toy to have it die or overreact (oh yes, motors go crazzzzy sometimes). What a disappointing evening! Luckily, like many sex stores, we have a 48hour return policy, so that if something is automatically wrong we can take care of it. Or more specifically, I can take care of it. Full refund in store credit or a switch of items is usually the deal.

The confused are a little rare, but do happen. Once every few months, I have someone try to return a product just because they "don't like it". Or their partner "doesn't like it." Okay...well I'm not taking it back. Though you may be confused on how return policies work at sex shops, we do not exchange used disliked toys for shiny new ones. This is not an exchange service. Of course, I am much more polite in person about this confusion, but in my head I am most likely laughing. Last confused person we had tried to tell me that his cock ring was defective. So I took out my gloves (yay safety) and tested out the vibration. It worked perfectly. He then started telling me how his wife didn't like it and since he had purchased it the day before he figured he could return it. Um....no. You have taken this product out of it's package. You have placed it on your genitals. You have used this item during sex. And the item works perfectly. The only problem is personal taste. Unfortunately for this customer (and his wife) there was no refund issued.

The only time I ever make exceptions is if the item has not been opened and there's a good reason, like they want to trade out for a different color or product. That's usually it. Otherwise, I have to be a hard ass. The companies do not take back perfectly fine products, and we can't resell them. So in the end, we would be loosing money. As much as I would love to make everyone happy, this is a business. A sex business is just as serious as any other.

Oh, and don't try to break it on purpose.
I can tell

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Shift

Recently I was promoted to Sunday shifts. Well I'm not sure if promoted is the right word. Sunday is the questionable day when it comes to the shop. It's either really really dull or full of people. Some days are predictable. Saturday for example, is a large sales day, and Saturday night is date night, so I am constantly on my feet. Sundays...not so much.

My day had been pretty eventful though, considering the fact that there is construction happening on our block and traffic can't go through.

It started off with a middle aged man asking about g-strings and skirts that would fit him. He didn't end up buying anything though, nothing fit exactly right.

Then a woman came in complaining to me about a vibrator that she bought from here that she said was too hard. As I pointed out that it was made out of hard plastic, she tried to argue that she didn't know it was that hard. Luckily she wasn't trying to return it, just trying to find something cheap that was softer.

A young girl comes in buying pasties and an expensive male masturbation sleeve.

Then I help a diabetic man pick out a prostate massager because he is starting to get sexual dysfunction. He is friendly and very open about anal stimulation.

Two young girls in matching t-shirts and glasses hold hands and walk around the store. They just left.

Asian woman is still wandering around the store after a good half hour. No, she does not want help.

From what I can conclude from this day so far is that Sunday is browsing day. People look around, but don't buy anything. Lucky for me, I am not paid by commission, so I don't have to be pushy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Customers of May 5th, 2010

-Young female quickly walks in, grabs a purple feather ticker, purple crotchless panties, and a couples board game. When I am ringing her up she adds a black blindfold. Someone is going to have a good night. That, or she buys awesome presents.

-Two men at seperate times wander in to check out the store. Both stand in the center and look around and quickly leave. Their visits were about ten minutes apart.

-Frequent flyer customer heads straight to the book section. Purchases "The Adventurous Couples Guide to Strap-on Sex" and some kink erotica that I didn't know we sold. Lastly she buys a metal pinwheel. Again, someone is in for a good night.

-Tango dancer comes in to buy nude pasties

-Young woman signs up in person for our annual strip tease class. Asks me the difference between expensive lube and ky lube.

-Lesbian couple that I went to college with buys red rope. I give them a friends and family discount

-Tattooed surfer dude quickly runs in, buys a bottle of sexual stimulant pills smiling about how he got exited before at a time he wasn't supposed to. I didn't ask.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The good, the naughty, and the stoners.

On our block there are four stores.

The first is ours, the smut shop, the sex emporium. Though you can't tell from the outside what we sell, there is definitely an air about it that there is something naughty inside.


Around the corner is the family dentistry. Oh yes, family dentistry. To get there you must pass our store. Customers always ask whether they are bothered by our shop. The great thing is that the family dentistry is our landlords. They are very relaxed on who rents from them.

That being said, past the dentistry is a head shop. This bong and incense shop moved in about a month ago and is stacked with hippy memorabilia. It's like burning man compacted. Outside the store people with dreadlocks play drums and send their love to passersby.

Right next to the hippies are the hip hoppers. The hip hop clothing store called "So Fresh" sells over sized shirts with hip hop logos for the hip youth. Rumor has it that the two stores don't care for each other.

Together we all make the loving family that is our block.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fear of the d-i-l-d-o


About five minutes ago a customer, while in the midst of purchasing girl-on-girl massage porn, turns towards our strap-on area and in a disgusted manner exclaims "do women actually buy these things?"

"yes sir, many do"

(makes a face) "Do guys buy them for their girlfriends?"

"yes sire, many do."

(shudders) "Do they use it to replace their cocks? It doesn't seem right"

This is actually not an uncommon conversation for me. Our strap on section, filled with dildos and harnesses, frightens many a man. Some are intimidated by the size or the idea that a woman could replace and upgrade from their man's cock. Vibrators are fine for these men because their in no competition with "the cock". But dildos imitate "the cock" and create competition since they are getting more and more advanced. Vixen toys now makes a silicone material called VixSkin that is soft with a hard boning underneath that warms up to body temperature. Pretty advanced, no?

Guys, don't fear the dildo. And please don't make smart ass comments to me about them. It only shows your fear of being replaced.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Out of state, out of mind

You know it's a weird day when the purchases from Missouri and Wisconsin is higher than yesterdays total sales.

Since we are California based, I always find it interesting when orders come in from other states. How did they find us?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rant from a customer on 4/12.2010 on Anal

"The older I get, the more the world is into anal"
"The world likes it up the ass. We've been fucked up the ass from the recession, I came to this liberal town to sell pot and I can't even give it away, and every woman I meet now wants a dildo in their ass."
"I have slept with 37 women and they all haven't enjoyed anal"
(Holding up our bigger dildo) "I'm built like this in case you were wondering, but all these girls want dildos in their ass"


Five minute conversations are interesting

Friday, April 9, 2010

Customers of 4/9/2010

-20-something guy asks if it was plausible that we sold g-spot vibrators? I swallowed my sarcastic response as I pointed out to him that he was standing right in front of them. I'm such a sex toy snob sometimes. He ends up buying the Wisteria G-Spot vibrator by Breeze in purple, his girlfriends favorite color.

-A 30-something guy stands impatiently holding a large bottle of Liquid Silk lube as I check the batteries of the customer in line before him. I can't decide whether he's uncomfortable waiting in line, or waiting in line at a sex shop.
-A regular customer comes in to put an advertisement for a local "bicycle week" campaign. At the holiday party last year I drank too much champagne and sat on the floor in front of the erotica shelf discussion life with her and her boyfriend.
-Two obnoxious young girls giggle and play for a good half hour with almost every object in the store. They become more irritating when they don't replace anything properly back. They end up following today's purchase tradition by getting a Wisteria G-spot vibrator, but in pink instead.

I realize as I'm writing this that being in a grumpy mood at a sex shop is not a good combination. Maybe I'll look up some internet porn. Never mind, the "Numa Numa" song just came on the radio. My mood is lifted.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coming out on the internet

Last night we had one of our weekly classes. This week's class was on strap-on play, with actual live demonstrations. At first I was pretty nervous that as a shop we would get in trouble or at least a negative reputation in the community. But the instructor was very professional and had what she called "educational sex", where there was penetration, but no orgasms or moaning and or full blown sex. It was actually one of the best classes I think we've ever had. Thank you Rain DeGrey.

After class I was talking to Miss DeGrey and her demo bottom Devi Lynne about the internet and being publically "out" as a sexual educator and to what degree. For example, I am not completely out. I have this blog, a fetlife account, a twitter account, and a private email for all my sexual material, be that advertisements or rants. (by the way if you want to follow me on twitter: AviAnswers) On facebook, I am in the closet. I do mention that I work at a sex shop, but I am not as blunt and open about my life as I am on twitter or those other sites. Perhaps it's for the sake of my friends and family members who would rather not know about my work. Or maybe it's just for myself. I know that I have caused quite a stir with some people who know me already due to my facebook posts, but that's with things I consider petty mild. I took in the habit a few months ago to limit the viewing abilities of family members or anyone who would report back to my family. Though my parents know of my work, I don't think they would want to know the extent of what I do. There's still a part of me that would rather have them be in the dark.

Devi said that she got tired of living a double life and finally came out on facebook as a sexual educator and sex industry participant. It makes me wonder how much longer I will be able to juggle these two lives. And what happens if the merge? Will those who love me now turn their heads in disgust? There are already scandalous photos and videos of me floating out there. What happens when my parents see them?

Too many of my porn star friends have been pushed away from their families when they came out. I don't want my family to think I've become obscene or troubled. Thanks to the sex industry I am finally comfortable with who I am and what I do.

Sometimes I feel like it's only time.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Old and new

Today we've had two customers.

The first woman came in asking what the most popular vibrator we have was. This is a common question. Everyone wants the toy that is most popular, the one that flys off the shelf. That would be the Gigi by Lelo. It's rechargeable, quiet, multi speed, multi pulsations, sleek, pretty, and has a year long warranty. While I was giving her my speech about its greatness I could see the disinterest in her eyes. So I move onto the second most popular toy, the rosebud by Vibratex. This duo stimulator is popular because it's made out of smooth silicone, is pretty and pink, and has a crazy strong clit stimulator. This sold her. She bought it right away, no further questions. I do love it when its apparent that a toy has just aroused a customer.

The second woman was quite the opposite. She had come in because she acquired a coupon that we put out in the local paper that offers a free vibrating bullet with a purchase of $25. First she asked me what a bullet was. When I showed her one, and explained that it was a little clit vibrator, she didn't understand what that meant. After explaining briefly what clitoral stimulation was, she was a little flustered and nervous. She had never been in a sex shop before, and at the age of 57 had never owned a vibrator. I led her over to our vibrator section and showed her some of our simple and classic toys. She told me to just recommend one and she'd buy it. I picked the Velvet touch, which is a classic vibrator that is waterproof and battery operated. I explained to her that she should take a relaxing bath and test it out, which is a good way to guide yourself into self stimulation. Still not quite understanding the concept of her new free bullet, she rushed off nervously, giggling and thanking me for helping her.

Days like this please me

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't you dare buy that!

We get a lot of couples in here. That is probably pretty obvious. What is not obvious is how many couples get in fights in here. A couple will come in, hand in hand, all lovey dovey and ready for a special night. Some leave pleased, giggling and kissing their naughty thoughts into the night. Sometimes couples get in debates about things. One will hold up a toy and their partner will nod in agreement or look disgusted, which is an interesting point in itself. The partner never poliety rejects the object. Instead they must have an overeactive statement to point out to everyone in ear shot (mainly me) how against it they are. Honestly, I don't care. If you come into a sex shop and you think you're the most exiting person I've expereinced, sorry to disapoint. You're not. And if you are, we should be friends.

Anyways. The fights. So today this nice boy-girl couple comes in. It's their first time here. How can I tell? They grab every free flyer and postcard possible off our shelves. Which is fine, it's why they're FREE. But the newbies always look nervous when doing it. They also spend a ridiculously long time in the store, but only buy something in the $20 range. Another sign of cautious newbies. So the couple comes in, looks around together, and then veer off into their own sections. The female looks at lubricants, asking way too many questions to me about products she never ends up buying. Her excuse? "Oh, we already have lubricant at home." Fine lady, whatever. The male goes over to the fetish section and picks up a medical play device called a pinwheel.


She automatically has a little fit. Maybe she was freaked out that he was in the fetish section. Did he have a side of him that he never shared? Or is she embarassed that he picked something out that revealed something about their sex lives that she didn't want to "publically" share? Or is she angry that he doesn't know what she likes? No matter the reason, this sparked a fight. She told him to put it down, that he was going to hurt himself, to stop touching it. Through out their whole trip she kept prodding him to put it away or to leave it alone. When they came up to the register he had it in hand and she turns to him and says "Don't you dare buy that! Let's not fight in front of her (meaning me)." Defeated he put his prized possession back on the shelf, and she grumbly hands me her cash to buy a glittery butt plug. I am not sure what exactly happened, but I'm pretty sure he's going to get an earful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Um

Just needed to thank the gentleman who ruined my buzz by standing at the counter telling me about his sex felonies and his multiple arrests for public exposure and touching women's butts.

Thanks....

And then sometimes I get caught off guard

Not going to lie, sometimes I have crushes on customers. Especially those who come in to buy something special for their partner. The ones who care and take note and really want to please their special someone. It's such a turn on to find someone who will go into a sex shop and spend the time really studying what will get their partner off. It's even more a turn on when said individual is attractive.

Dear dark handsome man with the beautiful accent,
You made me stutter and fumble my words when helping you find a vibrator for your special lady. I actually was flushed from listening to your confusion over toys, watching you examine each toy as if it were the tender parts of your partner. Five more minutes of you asking me questions and I would have demoed anything you'd like. I still have butterflies in my stomach from our brief interaction. And it was just orgasmic that you took note of what you thought she would like and went to tell her about it. Please come back soon,
and bring her too. ; )

Friday, March 19, 2010

Anal Exploration


The ass. We all have one.

As sexpert Tristan Taormino once said, the ass is the "universal hole". It is non gendered, not judgemental, and open to all.

Anal play is still the one area that I find people are the most uncomfortable with. Maybe it's because we're raised in a society where things we do in the bathroom is "private" and therefore should never be talked about, especially in a sexual manner. The ass is forbidden, it is only meant for defecation, and once that happens, we must not talk about it. Geez, sometimes I swear we should sell a copy of "Everyone Poops" right next to the anal sex position guides. But anal play isn't about going #2 (well for some people it may be). The anus is another erogenous zone. A taboo one at that, but one still. We get stimulation and pleasure out of this friendly little hole, whether somethings coming out of or going in it.

At our store we have a pretty decent anal play section. We carry everything from anal beads, vibrating plugs, prostate stimulators to enema kits. Customers who wander our store eventually end up here. They either spend a long amount of time staring, or blush, lower their eyes, and move into something less embarrassing, like lingerie. But then there are my favorite customers, the bold ass lovers, who talk and ask questions. They explore this erogenous zone, and their partners as well.


A few months ago a couple (guy and girl) came in a few months ago, shyly asking about anal play on him. They had been in before, holding hands while whispering ideas and secrets to each other. At first they bought some black gloves for finger stimulation. They next visit they bought the silk dildo by tantus, a small smooth dildo perfect for beginner anal play. A few days later they bought a simple beginners harness. Today they were back, and added the Leo dildo by Vixen to their collection. This progression from beginner to intermediate always makes me so happy. They explored and found new ways to give each other pleasure. The girl was bold and proud, grabbing her new toy and proudly presenting it to me at the register.

So to those ass adventurers out there, keep exploring the deep beyond!
Just make sure to use lube.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Battle of Clits....I mean wits

So there's two sex shops in our community. One is obviously my work place, where we specialize in adult products that are of a higher quality and have a small variety of corsets, fishnets, pasties, and all those adornment goodies. When people walk in our store they describe it as "warm and welcoming". We have no secret backroom (unless you count the inventory closet), everything we sell we have out on the floor. It's a very sex positive lifestyle supportive store.

The other store is actually around the corner from us. It has two rooms. The front is all lingerie, costumes, corsets, and dresses. A hallway full of feather boas leads you to the backroom, where the sex toys are sold. Before my store opened, I used to shop here all the time. Actually, I still do. Since the stores are not the same, it doesn't feel like cheating. Just checking out my different options.

Right now there's a slight battle going on between the stores.
As much as I would love a sex shop community support system, over the years it has turned into a mud slinging battle. Being the smaller and newer store, it has been extremely difficult for us to even stay in business. Yet, we have survived and provided a sex positive service to the community.

What I think works is that the two stores are not identical. Ours focuses on products we have reviewed and recommend, as well as local authors and toy providers. We also offer weekly classes in which people can learn and listen to a variety of topics. The other store, like I mentioned, has more costumes and clothing. Yes they do have a sex toy area, but they are mainly known for the outfits. It's important to keep the two store distinct and to give people different options. Having one store in an area may to profitable for that store, but it gives people no variety. Where's the fun?

Personally, I think the employees of the store should have a pudding wrestling contest for charity. How kick ass would that be?

*sigh* a girl can dream