Your local sex shop is no longer a seedy adult video store with an attendant who is wanking to the latest release, oblivious to the customers’ needs. The shops have evolved to become a physical embodiment of the sex-positive movement – safe spaces where anyone is free to embrace and explore their sexuality in a way that makes them feel comfortable, without pressure, stigma or derision.
On the other hand, the sex shop employees are now equal parts therapist, salesperson, and Samantha from Sex And The City.
Even with all these changes, it appears that some of us are not quite aware that there is some ‘sex toy/stuff shopping etiquette’ to observe. Specifically, there are questions you really shouldn’t ask.
Before we dive into it, a disclaimer: I cannot overstate enough that the employee is not at all judging you. People often fear that sex-toy-slinging professionals are judging the products they’re looking for, the sex they’re having, the questions they’re asking, etc. And it is understandable given that there’s still so much stigma around talking about sex or seeking
pleasure and sharing this with a stranger can feel really vulnerable. But let me say again: no one is judging you!
So, what shouldn’t you ask the attendant?

What’s the most popular toy?
Yes, we get it – you want the toy with the highest rating for happy endings. However, everyone is so different that there can never be a BE ALL END ALL toy that works for all of us. There is no BEST. There is no BETTER.
My friend has never had a vibrator, what do I get her/him?
Refer to the previous section — there’s not one vibrator that’s THE beginner’s vibrator.
Surprising a partner or friend with a vibrator is very nice and we are all for it, but we’re not at all familiar with your partner or friend’s preferences so maybe we could get a little more to go on?

What’s YOUR favorite toy?
Boundaries, people! This is such an invasive question! Just because they work in a sex shop don’t assume they have practically used every product in the shop and have a catered list of their favorites. Maybe they do – but it’s none of your business unless they choose to share that info
with you.

I don’t know what I want, can we browse together?
Must we really take a tour of the shop? We get that you might be nervous and looking around might help you feel more comfortable telling us what you want. But we COULD just be focusing on the section you’re actually interested in. Even just vague information on what you are looking for is more helpful than asking for an entire tour.

My friend said they like this toy, is it good?
Maybe it’s good for them but it will not be good for you. Getting suggestions from friends can feel safe and comfortable and it can totally work out. But think of this shopping experience as an opportunity to find what works for your body, mind, and sexuality.
My partner doesn’t like this thing but I want to get them to try it anyway; do you have any suggestions?
No! Sex should always be consensual and fun for all parties. Don’t enlist out help to bully others.
Let’s make this a lovely sex toy/stuff shopping experience for everyone involved, shall we?

Must we really take a tour of the shop? We get that you might be nervous and looking around might help you feel more comfortable telling us what you want. But we COULD just be focusing on the section you’re actually interested in. Even just vague information on what you are looking for is more helpful than asking for an entire tour.

My friend said they like this toy, is it good?
Maybe it’s good for them but it will not be good for you. Getting suggestions from friends can feel safe and comfortable and it can totally work out. But think of this shopping experience as an opportunity to find what works for your body, mind, and sexuality.

My partner doesn’t like this thing but I want to get them to try it anyway; do you have any suggestions?
No! Sex should always be consensual and fun for all parties. Don’t enlist out help to bully others.
Let’s make this a lovely sex toy/stuff shopping experience for everyone involved, shall we?