Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busiest Day EVER!!!

Today has been busy


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.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


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.


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 ( 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 ( 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?