Sunday, February 27, 2011

Customers of 2/27

This whole weekend has been freezing, so my night time shifts have mainly consisted of cleaning and inventory management. But behold! Sun appears and the people come in for their devious sexual apparatuses!

First off, my boss's 26th birthday is today, so last night she had a little late night party at the shop. When I come in the back office is a mess, but lucky for me she came in today to clean it all up.

-First customer of the day was a young college student who came in looking for garter belts, but ended up asking me lots of questions about the Under the Bed Restraint System, and whether it will work for her bed. Personally, I was gifted this when I was in college, so I was able to give her all the information she needed firsthand. She ended up purchasing them. Theses restraints are really good for someone who wants a little kink in their life, but nothing too intense.

-Two Asian girls shop around for vibrators. One buys a red Siri from Lelo. These have becoming increasingly popular lately. Strong, small, rechargeable vibrators that have really smooth silicone at the tip. She buys her friend a small three speed power bullet in blue. It was cute.

-Woman comes in asking for specific products that we do not sell. I try to find a vibrator that was close to what she described, but she leaves when I go to answer the phone. She was looking for deep vibrations verses high vibrations, which tends to be a little difficult in vibrators. She seemed interested in one of the large power bullets that we sell, but didn't like that we only had them in pink and white. I understand, I am too very particular about my toys.

-Woman on the phone is upset that the bullet that came with her dildo broke. She kept describing what happened to it to me, and when I explained to her that bullets are cheap and easily replaceable, she keeps talking about how it must be defective and broken. Let me just break this down for ya'll. A bullet (or power bullet as I sometimes refer to it as) is a small, barely two inch, vibrator that can be used, not limited to, clit stimulation and various body sensations. Many dildos will come with these toys because they are cheap and vibrate through silicone. But bullets do not last forever. They have a low battery life (barely an hour) and are not meant to last a lifetime. Therefore, it is not surprising if a bullet dies after a few months. Never fear, they are easily offered at most sex shops. Okay, back from that tangent. I offer her a free cheap one speed bullet. (we keep a pack of them behind the counter) She comes into the store about ten minutes later for the free bullet, and ends up buying a new one as well (we sell three speed bullets, but have a case of the one speeds behind the counter for replacements) and yet again keeps describing to me how weird it is that her bullet broke so easily.

-Man comes in asking about leather male thongs that we used to carry. He buys vibrating anal beads, explaining that his last ones broke.

-Man comes in and buys one blue bullet and one green bullet. Wow, popular item today.

-Woman comes in to buy a vibrating egg. Bigger than a bullet, but the same concept. She tells me that hers broke, since the batteries weren't replaceable. When I explain to her that the batteries are just AA batteries she pauses, trying to remember whether she knew that. She shrugs and tells me she'll just return this if that's the case. She gets huffy with me when I explain to her that we have a no return policy, unless the toy is defective. She still buys it, but is very harsh towards me when leaving. Bitch.

-Old woman with kickass pick and black stripped fingerless gloves asks me to make change for $100. I am out of $20 bills, so I can't.

-Photographer that I worked with once came in to ask about showing his work at the shop. I am mortified that I did not recognize him and he had to remind me who he was, and that we did a nudes shoot. I am flustered the rest of the time, embarrassed for not recognizing him. I have a poor memory for faces.

-Couple comes in. They linger around the lube and porn. While I am ringing up their purchase of massage lotion and a leather cock ring, the girl asks me abruptly how much it will cost all together. I look at her weirdly, since, well, I was ringing up the products. So if she waited like two seconds, she would find out. She makes her boyfriend pay for it all, and is snobby leaving the store. What is with people today?

-Tall individual in leather jacket walks around the store chuckling creepily at everything. They leave after a few minutes.

-Woman comes in to buy things for her boyfriends birthday. She buys some lube, pleasure wipes, and fishnet gloves.

-Middle aged couple buys a dvd on female ejaculation

It's about halfway through my shift and I have run out of things to do.

-Couple asks me about porn meant for women. They heard about it on Oprah. Kinda know what they are talking about, but annoyed when people just follow Oprah's advice on sex, especially when she has made bad recommendations. And I have watched many of the porn she recommends, and I'm pretty sure she has not watched them herself. They end up buying a silicone vibrator by Evolved. Simple, waterproof, three-speed. And the silicone is really smooth, which is nice.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Gender Experiment

The sex shop that I work at hosts classes and workshops about once a week. These classes are incredibly popular, and usually sell out. We offer a range of topics from various local, and internationally famous educators. From lap dance instructional, to BDSM lectures, our course offerings are pretty interesting and fun.

Currently there is an interesting observation happening surrounding gender and the classes.

We have two classes being taught next week by the intelligent and lovely Oh Megan, a certified Sexuality Educator. One is called "Oh! Ohh OHHHH! How to make her come back for more". The other is called "Blow Him Away: How to Please Your Man in Bed." Both are classes focused on how to make a partner of a particular gender orgasm and be sexually satisfied. The concept of both classes is fairly similar, she will be exploring erogenous zones, pleasure points, and tips on how to give please to your partner. The only real difference is that each are based around different genders. When being blunt I call these "orgasm classes".

We have "Orgasm classes" pretty often, sometimes offered from different instructors. Oh Megan has taught these classes here before, about a year ago I believe. They are always great classes to offer, because no matter how long you are sexually active, there is always something new to learn, be it about your partner or yourself.

Currently we have over a dozen sign ups for the Blow Him Away class, which is about half full. Being that it is next week, this is pretty good.

And how many sign ups do we have for the female orgasm class? None. Zip. Not one sign up.

This is where the current gender observation is occurring. Why is it that two classes, basically identical in structure, have such drastic differences in interest? Many of the employees and other spectators have made theories. Here are the most popular ones, and of course, my comments.

1. Men are not comfortable going to a class on female pleasure. It is socially unacceptable for a man to admit that he may not know everything there is about pleasing a lady. Guys are supposed to know about orgasm already, and going to the class is admitting failure.
Okay...plausible...we do live in a society where women have more outlets to talk about sex (Sex in the City is a good example) but then again, the class is open to all genders. This isn't a class just for guys to please girls. Where are all the queer girls? Or women that just want to learn about their own bodies and orgasms? Men are not the only ones to look at when it comes to the emptiness of the class. Where are the ladies at?

2. Being a sex shop, we get more female than males in the store, so it is possible that men wouldn't be comfortable coming into the shop, even for a class.
----------We actually have an equal amount of customers that are of all genders. Our most common customers are actually couples, who together come in and browse. Actually, about ten minutes ago I was explaining the class schedule to a couple that was new to our store and their eyes lit up when they heard about the male orgasm class. So both genders were present, but they focused on the class that was based around him. But I have to admit, we tend to get groups of females who sign up together as a girls night out. We never get groups of male friends signing up for classes together.

3. The partner thinks they don't need to learn anything new, so why would they come to the class when they already know enough to please their partner?
----------Also, totally possible, and an interesting social observation. In my experience, in a heterosexual couple, females have a hard time expressing their sexual needs to their partner. And if they do not speak up, the partner may not even be aware that there is something to improve upon. Almost once a week I get a female asking me how to ask her boyfriend to do something, whether it's use a toy on her, or perform oral sex on her. And when I tell her, honestly, that the best way to get something is to ask, the woman usually explains that it makes her uncomfortable. But if the woman doesn't actually give any feedback or suggestions, then how will their partner know what to do, other than what they are already doing (which is not satisfying her).

Any other theories would be great to hear!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Sex Joke

Last night I attended an all girls night party for an organization I am involved in, where we played bonding games like truth or dare, and other silly slumber party-esque things.

One of the games involved answering random questions that we drew out of a hat. Some examples "How old were you when you lost your virginity?" "Which dead person would you like to have a conversation with?" etc. One of the questions was "What is your dream job?" I listened to the women go around and talk about their dreams of stardom, acting, dancing, being a housewife, etc.

When it came to me, I said "Feminist BDSM Porn Producer/Writer."

I forget sometimes that not everyone I associate with is porn positive, or at least comfortable with the topic. The friends that know me giggled and nodded, since they already knew my answer. But then there was the reaction from those who were not comfortable with my answer. As I have talked about before, many peoples initial response when it comes to sex and feeling uncomfortable, is to make a joke. I am very used to it, since it happens probably once a day for me at the sex shop. But honestly, it annoys the crap out of me. My work is not a joke to me. What I do is important and I am very passionate about it. I did not mock any ones answer when they talked about becoming a lawyer or an executive. So why, when I say truthfully what my dream job would me, am I mocked?

Anyways, after hearing my answer this girl starts saying "What, like Avatar porn? You want to make parody porn?" I try to explain to her that the "parody porn" genre is actually mainly mainstream hetero and vanilla, which is not what I said I wanted to do. I was immediately shut down, and she continued to mock and gab on about parody porn and "that shit". While she was loudly ranting I continued to speak, saying "Well thanks for shutting me down and not listening to my answer, especially right now while I am still talking and you are making fun of my answer." The people around me noticed me getting upset, but the rest of the group continued to laugh and shout over each other, while talking down about an industry that I feel would be a dream of mine to work in.

Madison Young, a Feminist BDSM porn producer/writer/actress.

I admire the work of Madison Young, Rain DeGrey, and Miss Maggie Mayhem. They are female empowered, sex positive BDSM models, writers, producers that are able to be extremely good examples of what I would like to do with my life. In fact, I just googled "Feminist BDSM Porn" and Madison Young and Rain DeGrey were the first search results. How amazing is that?

I get it, porn isn't for everyone. But at least have respect for other peoples work.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentines Weekend...And here we go!

Valentines Day.

Every sex shops favorite holiday. The winter holidays are pretty good for us, but let me tell you, when it comes to people buying sex toys, Valentines Day is the dominating holiday. Last night (Friday) was pretty crazy. I was filling online orders, talking to people on the phone, helping customers, dealing with returns. Oh and all of our recent product orders came in. ALL of them. So I had to enter, catalogue, and stock thousands of items. And did I mention that the store was full?

The store has an add in the local newspaper that if you come in and spend over $25 you get a free finger vibrator. This has added to the V-Day rush, since everyone wants their free toy.

-First customer is a gentleman looking fora vibrator for his wife. He tells me she doesn't own one, but he'd like to get her a small clit vibe that has lots of versatility. He buys the Siri, a rechargeable clit vibe with adjusting speeds and 8 different pulsations. He also has the coupon for a free finger vibe.

-A couple complain to me about our DVD prices. Porn is expensive, especially high quality ones. They end up buying Pirates, the highest franchised porn in history. Sword fighting, CGI skeletons, hard core fucking. It's pretty popular.

They also had the coupon for the free finger vibrator

-Single older guy buys lube and a masturbation sleeve

-Young female college student, who attended one of my sex toy workshops that week, comes in and buys flavored lube and a simple vibrator.

-Blondie friend of the owner comes in looking for a double stimulating vibrator. She explains that she keeps buying the same one (not from us) and it always breaks. I introduce her to the Rosebud, our most popular double stimulating vibrator. It is made out of smooth silicone and comes with a one year warranty.

-My friend buys a candy penis lollipop

-I fill out an online order to Hawaii for two power bullets. Since I get to pick what colors to send, I choose blue and purple.

-Young woman comes in and goes straight towards our fetish section. She buys the new Sensua Suede Whip by Lelo, which is a company that usually makes rechargeable vibrators.

-Guy buys a massage stone and some lubricant. He asks me about oil but doesn't buy any.

-Another guy buys a massage candle in Fig Leaf and some lube.

-College girl from earlier comes back claiming that the lube she bought was not the same lube I presented and wants to return the opened bottle. It was the same exact lube. She stares at me blankly. I explain again I can't take it back since she had opened and used it. She walks away.

-Two middle aged women come in together. One by a book about finding love and some lube. The other buys a Leo dildo in black.

-Girl comes to the counter with a vibrator. Her boyfriend tells her to turn around and out it back. They are arguing because he wants to decide what to get her. They leave without getting anything. I feel like of bad for her, she really wanted that vibrator.

-Asian man who doesn't speak very good English asks me questions about the Fleshlight. I try my best to answer them. He buys one anyways.

-Guy comes in and buys a silicone Seduction vibrator in pink and a bottle of lube.

So far I am impressed with the variety of items being bought. Yes, it is mainly men buying vibrators for their partners, but there is no top seller currently.

-Guy buys organic lube and Crown brand condoms. He almost buys a vibrator for his wife for Valentines Day, but when I explain to him that he can't return it if she doesn't like it, he doesn't. The whole "not returning a vibrator because you don't like it" concept doesn't really connect with some people.

-Tattoo covered guy buys two packs of Lifestyle Skyn condoms, a Tri-O cock ring, vanilla scented lubricant, and a Bendable Flexims vibrator. I think he had a butterfly tattooed on his cheek. I tried not to stare. I am really happy with the amount of condoms and lubricants that are being sold. We have already run out of two brands of lube and I have had to re-stock the condoms multiple times. Safer sex for the win! FYI the Lifestyle Skyn condoms are non-latex, which is great for someone with latex allergies.

-Older man buys our stores massage oil and some Maui oil. He needs a napkin because he was rubbing the oil all over himself. I was a little uncomfortable with him.

-Woman buys sixty dollars worth of Yes lubricant. This lubricant is the only FDA certified organic lube on the market, which is why it is so popular. It comes in water and oil based, and comes in individual applicators if desired. Today we have already sold out of the water based version.

-Woman walks swiftly into the store. She asks if we are all out of the mens WOW stimulation pills. Since they are not on the shelf, obviously no. I politely explain that the shipment has been taking longer than we expected. She rudely exclaims "I wish I had known that, or I wouldn't have come down here!" *Sigh* I can't please everyone today.

-Woman buys a black and a red pair of crotchless butterfly panties. Hot.

-Woman comes in looking for massage candles (hey, this may become our top V-Day seller if it continues to sell!) She doesn't have enough cash and runs to the ATM. Apparently her children are hanging out outside eating ice cream. She comes back and buys two, Fig Leaf and Black Currant.

-More lube sales

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Customers of 2/6/11

It's such a warm day, it makes me a little resentful of having to work indoors. Oh well.

First customer of the day was a Willie Nelson look-alike that bought an expensive flogger. When I asked if he wanted join our customer rewards system, he said he didn't own a computer.

Young Asian girl asks for a small simple vibrator. She is new to the store and is surprised when I tell her we've been here for three years. I think I repeat this info about once a day.

Frequent customer comes in to use store credit that he has. He buys a white vibrator and is very polite.

Another frequent customer buys a green clit bullet. He has a thick accent and has a hard thing understanding what I am saying.

Women comes in to pick up a prize basket that her friend won at the Bridal Fair. She is a little embarrassed by the size of the package. Basket of vibrators anyone?

Girl I knew from college comes in with her friend. The friend is buying her first vibrator, a C-Spot from Good Vibrations. She also buys plus sized lingerie. I am really glad that we sell clothes that are not one size fits all.

Guy comes in looking for Gun Oil lubricant. When I explain we don't carry it since it has so much questionable chemicals in it, he ends up buying Probe lube, which is made from grape seed extract.

He comes back in to buy bondage tape

Polite frequent customer man comes back in. The white vibrator he bought does not work. I give him a new one. I wonder how many vibrators I will return after Valentines Day.

Group of six or so young college girls come in and buy matching pink and purple vibrators.

Couple comes in. The woman approaches me by saying "You HAVE to help us." When I start showing her toys, she doesn't listen to my instructions of how to turn them on and starts mashing all the buttons. She then asks if dildos are just for the gays. Her husband just stood there watching. I think she was uncomfortable, so the way she spoke to me was a little rude. But I let it slide, they ended up buying a Mona by Lelo and some lubricant. Sex makes people awkward, which in turn makes me them forget their manners.

Hippy looking male with long braids buys a pink double ended dildo and a Liberator sex pillow in purple.

I need to take a nap