Not too many years ago, stores that sold sex toys, adult videos and books, and other such merchandise, were referred to as “head shops” or “dirty bookstores.” People had a general belief that the only people that patronized such places were old perverts and sexual deviants. The stores were usually located on the outskirts of town in areas with strict “morality laws”, or were hidden in grimy, run-down neighborhoods deep downtown in cities. Now, things have changed. Society has become more tolerant and accepting of its sexual nature, at least somewhat. The adult superstore has replaced the head shop, and they are springing up everywhere.
The Dirty Bookstore Reinvented: Enter the Adult Superstore
Just as other retail businesses have capitalized on peoples’ desires for a wide selection of merchandise at good prices, the adult product industry has adapted. Buyers want space, cleanliness, a knowledgeable staff with good customer service skills, and variety. As the public’s acceptance of the role of sex toys and other erotic items has increased, so has the adult entertainment industry’s buying power. As the adult industry has striven to change its image from one of sleaze and shame, the adult toy store has emerged, a completely different animal.
In a typical new adult sex shop, you will find the more…innocuous things up front, in keeping with prevailing marketing theories about how to draw buyers in. Costumes, gag gifts, massage items, candles, etc., are the first things you’ll see, with the more overtly items progressing toward the back. There will be sections for vibrators, dildos, BDSM, male sex toys, magazines, books, videos, and lubes, lotions, creams and potions. Anything you need to have a sexy good time is available in an erotic toy store.
One thing about the newer adult superstore chains is that they try to emphasize friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Gone is the skeevy old guy with the squint behind the greasy counter—now, your attendants are young, hip, and well-educated about sex and sex toys. Some chains even call their employees “Romance Consultants,” and they wear clean-cut uniforms.
To the surprise of many people, more than 50% of the patrons of the sex store and erotic toy market are actually women. This is one reason why the selections of vibrators and other sex toys aimed at the female buyer take up so much space—they sell the best! If you are in the market for a power tool, a fun little clit buzzer, or a sexy prop to share with your partner, an adult superstore will have it
Although brick and mortar adult sex shop are gaining popularity, the biggest ones are found online. They have the advantage of much lower overhead and employee costs, meaning they can often beat “real” store prices. It is possible to view online reviews and chat with customer service representatives online, too, and the customer can take as much time as they like browsing, comparing, and asking questions. It is also more discreet. Not everyone wants to be seen going into or leaving an adult toy store, especially if they live in a more conservative area.
Make a trip to your local erotic toy store, or check them out online. There are so many products available nowadays that there is something for anyone and everyone, no matter how mundane or outrageous their tastes and desires.