Saturday, April 30, 2011

Colors and Sex Toys

There are many aspects that may one your eye to a certain sex toy. Perhaps it is phallic and that arouses you, perhaps it is not, which turns you on even more. Maybe it has the right pulsation, or buzzes ever so softly. Some of the most common feedback I get on the sex toys in our shop is about their color. Today I was helping a woman find the right vibrator for her and she refused to even look at one because it didn't come in the right color. This happens often. I believe we choose toys based on what appeals to us and is arousing, after all, we are having sex with it, so shouldn't we be attracted to it? So it would make sense that if someone if not turned on by the color green, they would veer away from toys that color.

My favorite observation about color revolves around gender. Sex toys come in a large variety of colors, but pink and purple dominate the market. This is gendered marketing, assuming that all girls like pink and purple, so they will want these certain colors on their sex toys. This form of marketing sometimes works, as many women who come in (usually to buy their first toy) will go with something pink and light colored to feel at ease. My favorite moments is when women refuse to buy anything pink/purple as a way to defy this gendered industry. I have even had customers announce to me that they didn't want to buy "pink shit."

At the counter at the shop we have a display for bullet vibrators. These small clit vibes are usually bought last minute as an add on with a purchase. At least we keep them there for that reason. Through these quick purchases it is fun to figure out and guess which color someone will buy. The bullets come in four colors: pink, purple, blue, and green.

The pink vibes always sell first, followed by purple, then blue, and lastly green. A friend of mine once summarized the gender theory of color vibrators pretty well, "Pink is for girls, blue is for defiant girls, purple is for queers, and no one ever wants green." As blunt and slightly off putting this statement may be, it's pretty true. Time after time I have watched young girly girls squeal and giggle and grab for the pink vibrators. I have seen lesbian and gender queer couples and individuals prefer purple toys due to it being a gender neutral shade. I have sold blue vibrators to customers who have stated that they refuse to buy "pink shit". And the green vibrators end up piling up, being the choice for customers when there is no other option.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dating sites and sex workers

Recently I joined a social dating site to see what all the hype was about. I have only had my account a short time, and being a proud sex shop worker and educator, I have it written on my profile what my career is. Due to labeling myself as a sex-positive person I have been getting dozens of messages per day. Some are really great and I have met some awesome people, and some just make me shake my head with the silliness of humanity. Here are my top twelve so far.

1. "If I were a short, chubby virgin with a small dick and I wanted to learn how to use sex toys and experiment with a much taller woman, would that turn you on? What if I masturbated one or more time per day and I like to cook? "

2."Lets fuck"

3."Girl, you are so beautiful...I would go to battle against a family of silverback gorillas with only a plastic wiffle bat as my weapon just to have the oppurtunity to split a fifth of vodka with the male nurse that was in the delivery room when you were born. "

4."Before I get way to far ahead of myself I better be up front with you. Yes I do have a girlfriend and we have been together for a while. She is aware of what I'm doing, she ain't thrilled with the idea but understands. She dosent want anything to do with what I'm doing ( out of site out of mind).
Now back to the kink, I love cyber/phone/text sex and photo swapping, I don't wanna screw anybody but my girlfriend but a mans got fantasies! I was hoping this is something you would enjoy or know someone who would!
I do not have a pic of me on here but am more than willing to share one. The pic I do have up here is one of dr. Venture from the venture bros. I do resemble him more than I'd like but that's life. I am bald, long beard that comes to a point, and on the skinneyer side. I'd love to here back from you. You do seem to be one of the few honest people on here. Most are so full of shit I can smell it from here. "

5."Hey naughty girl.. I think you need a spanking.."

6."You should message me and see whats up tonight.. Im in need of some good company. You seem like a lot of fun. We should get to know each other..."
Two hours later
"You seem like a very freeing person.. I really dont have ant brutal honesty in my life right now.."
6 hours later
"sorry Im really bad at this "

7."u are hot as fuck... i may not look it but i am on ur wave length... lets chat "

8. "I would love to meet a sexy woman like you to hang out with.. I realize I dont have any pics, but, that is due to wanting to keep my professional and private life seperate... If we connect I would be happy to email you pics or trade xell numbers and send pics that way. Anyhow I hope to hear from you, I have a 12 pack, a hotel room and nothing to do and noone to do it with... ;) "

9. "love to fuck the hell out of you..
get back to me.... "

10. "hey, you think you are good at talking about sex?..well i dont think yo are as good at it as i am, would be cool to chat, you are amazing, i could teach u some hawaii stuff "

11. "Hey you look sweet really cute and cuddly lets fuck"
My response "No thank you"
"bitch i want to tear your mouth open and not let you breathe"

12. "want to taste 8) "

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Annnd they came back

So the couple came back (the one from last post) to return the vibrator they bought from me last night. They claimed it didn't vibrate properly after they used it. So I put my rubber gloves on and tested the toy with batteries from our shop. No surprise, the toy worked fine. The guy still wanted to return it. I had to get my boss to explain that since the toy worked fine, we couldn't take it back. To calm him down she gave him a free mini bottle of lubricant. He still ended up buying the vibrator that he wanted to buy last night. And of course, she payed for it.

I just hope he doesn't try to use it for anal

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sex Safety vs. Financial Santiy (and anal sex!)

Sex toys can be expensive, I'm not the first one in this industry to admit it. I get customers every day (some in the store this very minute) rolling their eyes and groaning over the price of the toys they are looking at. People come in with a set idea of how much they want to spend, like a supermarket, sometimes with lists and set items that they are going to buy and leave with much lighter wallets, also like a supermarket. The reason that many sex toys are so pricy is due to quality.

You may be reading this thinking "Hey! My sex toys weren't expensive! What the heck is she talking about?" Look at the packages your toys come in. Do they have ingredients? No? Research the material that your toy is, and what cheap chemicals are going into it. Many sex toy companies thrive off of cheap toys because they get away with it all too easily. Some people are embaressed about buying toys, so they will just grab whatever is being sold, and not think to research the product any further. People that do look into products and ingredients are often aware that sex toys that tend to be a bit more costly happen to be higher quality. When I say costly, I don't mean hundreds of dollars. Many high quality toys can be between $15-$20, which is still a lot more than their cheaper counter parts that can be found for around five bucks.

My work is one of the few proud sex stores that actually look into their products and the materials that go into them. We only sell high grade quality toys, which means no toxic chemicals, or gross jelly ingredients. Our silicone is %100, and our plastics are medical grade. Yes, this makes them a few dollars more, but we'd rather sell a fifty dollar toy and go to sleep at night knowing our products are poisening our customers than sell things quickly and cheaply.

It amazes me how much people will sacrifice health for an extra dollar. Mind you, I understand eating cheaper food and trying to pay as little as possible for clothes. As an avid thrift store shopping and dumpster diver, I do my best to try not to waste money. Yet, when it comes to sex toys and sexual health, trying to be cheap can be harmful to ones health. Note: this is not me condemning anyone who can't afford expensive sex toys. This is me wagging my finger at people being stubborn and putting themselves at risk when they can afford a better option. I hope I am conveying my thoughts correctly.

This couple came in today that was a pure example of how frustrating some people can be in this area. After browsing and asking questions, the guy asks me if I knew anything about orgasms and anal sex. I ask if he wants to know about male or female, and he says both. Lovely! I love couples who are open to anal exploration, as a sex educator and perv, it brings me glee. I start explaining how to find the g-spot anally for her, and about prostate stimulation for him. The guy then holds up a bullet vibrator and tells me he is going to buy it for this purpose. Alarm bells start going off in my head. When exploring anal play, you MUST use a toy that has a flair or flanged base. The anus can always contract at any moment, and if you are using a toy that doesn't have a wide base, the toy gets sucked right up. This is "The Big End" by Platinum toys. See how it's base is wider than the neck of the toy? This ensures that it will not get sucked up and lost in your body. This is "The Little Chroma" by JimmyJane. See how there is no flare, and how it is a straight line? Imagine what would happen if you put this in your butt and then your muscles contract and you loose your grip. That readers, is a pleasant trip to the hospital for you.

I explain this all to the couple. Apparently the woman already knew this, and been telling him that the $18 toy he wanted to get was not safe to use, but he was determined since it was our cheapest toy. I showed him similar toys, but since they were all about ten dollars more, he refused. He them picked out a similar toy that had a longer handle, stating that if he held a good grip on it, nothing bad could happen. I explain to him that it isn't worth risking the trip to the hospital, and his response was that if it did get sucked into his butt, he could just use lube and dig it out. Umm....really? I again told him that there is still the possibility that he would need to go to the emergency room. His lady friend was telling him this too, but he kept shutting us both down.

In the end they still bought something not entirelly anal safe (it was a vibrator with a long handle that slightly bulged out, not built for anal play) but more safe than what he wanted. Since it was a few dollars more, the woman paid for the whole thing. The guy even stopped me from running the card to make sure she didn't want to think again about getting something cheaper. She looked like she was ready to smack him.

The moral of the story here is don't sacrifice your sexual health, expecially your anus, for saving a few bucks. There are better things to be thrifty about.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday shift

Late night shift on a Friday, a middle aged couple comes in. Wide-eyed and mouths open, they ask how new the business is. When I tell them we opened three years ago, they look even more stunned and ask each other how they could have missed us. This is not an unusual occurrence, we are a subtle store so not everyone knows about us. After a little browsing the woman asks me if pocket rockets are the most popular item we sell. "Okay", I think, "this lady knows a little bit about vibrators, awesome. Helping her may be a little smoother if I don't have to introduce her to every single item we sell."

Wrong assumption. I get to walk her through every single toy we own, answering all her itty bitty questions. Yay....

Okay, I know I am being over sensitive, but this woman bugged me. She constantly asked me, while holding up an item, if people "actually used this." I gotta tell you, common sense, if we are selling it, people use it. So yes, people use masturbation sleeves, yes people use glass toys, etc. I think what really annoyed me was that she kept using the excuse that she's "from a small town". She used this excuse like 10x in my interaction with her. Her husband even used it.

But how can being from a small town be an excuse when your buying vibrating anal beads?