It was the 1980s. I can still picture the small, single sex shop in my hometown. For a 19-year-old, the whole experience of going into, receiving my gag gift, and then leaving was embarrassing.
The reputation of the old-fashioned sex shops has been one of dismal and filthy. With their darkened glass windows, they hide a dark and sexy interior containing a lot hardcore porn. They had a reputation for being sleazy. This establishment would never be suitable for a woman who has any self-respect.
You may have noticed a shift in the market. Slowly, forward-thinking store owners have realized the importance of buying power and created a new market: women’s sex shops.
Eve’s Garden, a New York women’s rights activist, was the first to open its doors. Eve’s Garden claims that Williams felt ashamed of walking into a departmental store and purchasing a vibrator hand-held. This led her to advocate for women’s sexual freedoms.
Joani Blank, a feminist, was dismayed at the lack of resources available for women who wanted accurate information on sex and high-quality sex toys. She moved to San Francisco in 1977. Good Vibrations was founded by her.
In smaller cities, women are more likely to group together and discuss new ideas. Men don’t mind going to sex shops alone, so the old retail model is biased towards men. The women weren’t biting.
The solution for the woman? The woman gathered her girlfriends in her living area to buy sex toys for home parties. Sex parties are like Tupperware parties, except that they sell all kinds of sex toys.
After seeing home parties and sales rise, the sex industry discovered that women are the largest purchasers of sex toys. In the past five to ten decades, every major city has witnessed a new retail model that caters to women’s needs.
John Ince (author of The Politics of Lust), is a friend of mine and owns and runs The Art of Loving in Vancouver. His shop would be considered the latest wave of sex shops.
Ince’s store was quite a different experience than the old sleazy shop. The store has an airy feel, with big windows and sunlit windows, wooden floors and comfortable leather couches. I was immediately struck by the area that featured erotica.
Upstairs to the right you would find shelves of sex books. Customers could pick up sex toys from the left side and inspect them. Each product came with a detailed description and a troubleshooting guide. Staff were friendly and willing to help with any questions.
I spoke with Ince about his clientele and business. Ince said that 70% of his clients are women and their average age is between 28-45 years. John estimates that customers of all income levels visit his shop, spending an average of $40-60 per visit. Women are more likely to purchase smaller items and then, as they become more comfortable, move up to larger items like The Rabbit (which Charlotte on Sex and the City made famous).
Ince’s store offers 60 to 70 sexuality workshops per year. Education is Ince’s top priority. The more educated a woman about her sexuality, and consequently the more likely she is to buy sex toys, it is clear.
Let’s take a look at what others are doing if you still have doubts about sex shops. Durex Condom’s 2003 Global Sex Survey found that 49% of Americans use vibrators to improve their sex lives. Babes in Toyland’s website states that 500 vibrators were sold at the time they opened in 1993. In 2004, it rose to 83 250.
Despite all this progress in sex shops that aren’t so sleazy, most sex toys sales still take place online. Brown paper packaging is appreciated by many people for its anonymity and lack of stigma. If you are interested such toys or products like erotiikkaliike from nearby store then feel free.
Do you shop online for your husband or wife? Or, are you a banker who plans to spend your savings online shopping for the women in your family? Online shopping websites can be used by anyone, regardless of gender, whether they are geeks, housewives, bankers, fashion-istas, or shopaholics. Online shopping sites are great for those who don’t have the time or energy to shop during the week. Some male readers may not believe me. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Men are not able to shop online. Online shopping for men has been a long way off. This would seem strange to most people, especially if you were to talk about shopping online for shoes and apparels for men. This is a great way to shop online for shoes for men. No nagging girlfriend or wife, no crying kids, and no salesmen trying to push you. Isn’t online shopping for men like a wanderer finding an oasis? That’s true for all men. What happens when you need to shop for the sexier species, the mysterious species, or the venus dwellers? If you are a ‘Mars’ dweller, it would make your life easier to have another woman help you find the perfect gift. It’s much easier than asking random women in the store for their opinions, and then getting slapped. Instead of going online and opening a portal into a new world, I mean shopping on-line. Online shopping is easy for women. You can shop for apparel, accessories and shoes as well as bath and beauty products and even stereotypical kitchen and home appliances all in one place.
No matter if you are a man or woman, you know someone who doesn’t have a smartphone. Although owning a smartphone is open to debate, mobiles are still essential. Many of us end up unhappy with our mobile phones, even though we’ve seen them advertised on the internet or were recommended by friends. Imagine if you could not only learn about the specs of the phone, but also the user experience. Then you can order the phone right away. After my lengthy monologue, online shopping for men’s is starting to sound appealing. However, convenience is always a priority for men. I am certain that it is impossible to make shopping online for mobiles easier than the click of one button. This stuff is already pre-programmed for geeks and women so I don’t have to market it to them. Some time there is a hesitation in females to buy such stuff.
There is no reason to be concerned about the safety of shopping online. Many websites offer a ‘try-n-buy’ option. If you order shoes online for men, you can return the item and receive your money within days. Many of these websites offer a 30-day return policy. You can either have your item picked up by their staff or you can ship it yourself to get reimbursed for any shipping costs. It’s easy to keep up with technology and fashion by shopping online.