So I went into a brick and mortar sex toy shop today...

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So I went into a brick and mortar sex toy shop today...

Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
...and I realized where all of the misconceptions about them come from.

This store was from the biggest chain in my city, and I don't live in a small town. The moment that I walked in, though, I felt like a creeper. It was dimly lit and dark, with one side all pink and the other full of hardcore bondage things. I told the lady working at the counter that I was looking for vibrators and dildos, and she led me to a corner with a small rack of them. The mark-up was incredible! All of the Lelo toys were over $250 (by which I mean the three they had - Mia (not 2), Liv, and smart wand), and all of the Jopens were over $300. I asked her what to get, and she handed me this jelly vibrator that I know I can buy for $10 - priced for 65! I then told her that I had heard jelly dildos were bad for health, and she told me that that was just a fad. The only dildos (or things resembling dildos) they had in stock were a couple Metal Worx toys. I asked about glass toys, and she told me to never get them since they break inside people all the time!

I'm quite shocked, really. I know that not all sex toy stores are like this, but I had thought that they were trying to break from the misconceptions and false information, not fall back into it! Had this been my first experience with sex toy shops (instead of the kind of nice one in my college town and Amazon/Edenfantasys after), I would have probably never thought of getting sex toys again.

Has anybody else had similar experiences with brick and mortar stores, or was I just very unlucky? Do you have one in your city that you just adore?
09/10/2013
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cmm cmm
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
...and I realized where all of the misconceptions about them come from.

This store was from the biggest chain in my city, and I don't live in a small town. The moment that I walked in, though, I felt like a creeper. It was dimly lit and ...
My local Adam and Eve isn't too terribly bad. Yes, the prices are a lot higher, but I always get a $5 off coupon every visit to keep me coming back. If I'm buying an expensive item or buying in bulk, I'll use EF, but if it's just a small simple thing my brick and mortar is fine. It's funny, because their liberator shapes are upwards of like $700, as if any smart consumer would pay that much.
09/10/2013
edeneve edeneve
the only sex "store" I've been in didn't have a taboo type of atmosphere. It was secluded to keep kids out inside another well known store.
09/10/2013
dv8 dv8
Good Vibrations has a warm, inviting, positive environment with well-informed staff and reasonable Brick-and-Mortar prices. I also like their various in-store events and Antique Vibrator Museum. The stores feel like they're meant primarily for women. Mr. S. Leather has a good store with its own events but is geared more towards the gay and fetish communities.
09/11/2013
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
...and I realized where all of the misconceptions about them come from.

This store was from the biggest chain in my city, and I don't live in a small town. The moment that I walked in, though, I felt like a creeper. It was dimly lit and ...
Most I have been to over the years were the dark/dingy you describe. However, we now have a pair of stores here in town, plus a third (different owner) and all are bright, large, "SuperStore" places, with friendly staff who welcome you at the door, and have a great shopping experience. They even have frequent buyer points, and sponsor local sports teams and events! The only issue is that their prices are all sky high compared to online shopping. I do see many couples shopping those stores though. No "creeper" effect.
09/11/2013
KyotoAngel KyotoAngel
I know what you mean, back in the town we lived in down in CT, there was literally one sex shop and it was one of those dodgy dimly lit joints.
Unfortunately, that's the only brick and mortar store I've been to.
Right before we moved though, they opened a new place the next town over...my mom went there once and said the toy selection (despite this being a huge store) was pretty much crap...apparently they carried 90% lingerie, about 90% of which was non-plus size mind you, and 10% other miscellaneous goods like porn and toys.

I know we paid about 20 dollars there for a toy I saw here on EF for 10.
Just going into places like that makes me feel dirty (and not in the fun way), so I much prefer shopping for things of a sensitive nature like that online.
09/11/2013
Lioncub Lioncub
I've only been in 2, none where I live and they were both creepy and dirty feeling. Won't go back again.
09/11/2013
G&L G&L
Yeah brick and mortar stores are way below par compared to eden.
09/11/2013
SecretKinksters SecretKinksters
We stopped going. The main reason we did go was to purchase DVD's, but the last time we went the movies were old and the pricing was ridiculous. Online is where we shop now for everything.
09/11/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
When I made this thread, I was hoping that everyone would be sharing stories about great stores and that my experience was unique, but it's such a shame that other people have experienced dark and creepy sex toy stores as well! I would love to support brick and mortar stores, but there's really no point if they make me feel worse. I really wish that we had a nice store, like a Good Vibrations branch. : ( At least the internet exists to make this need go away, though!
09/11/2013
Ansley Ansley
The nearest store is a combination porn shop and smoke shop (head shop for those over 30). The smoking paraphernalia far outweighs the selection of dildos and DVDs. I find the selection of guy/guy DVDs severely lacking and the toys are severely overpriced. I've only been in once or twice since I found Eden and it was on a whim. We were looking for new porn. Walked out with $70 worth of crap. Such is the way it goes.
09/12/2013
dv8 dv8
It's odd to discuss the competition but Babeland and Stockroom also have good brick-and-mortar stores. I haven't been there but Liberator's flagship store looks like fun.
09/12/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
@dv8: I felt that brick and mortar stores don't directly compete with EF since online shopping is just so different than in person shopping.

@Stormy: The one I went to also had pipes, even though they're not even a smoke shop! They had more pipes than toys, which I found annoying. To be honest the only non creepy brick and mortar store near me that isn't creepy (that I have found so far) is Brookstone, but I just feel awkward looking at the toys there because the personnel are always following people around and the Lelos are like at the front of the store haha. Their prices are higher than EFs though, so I'd still buy here.
09/12/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
@dv8: I felt that brick and mortar stores don't directly compete with EF since online shopping is just so different than in person shopping.

@Stormy: The one I went to also had pipes, even though they're not even a smoke shop! They had ...
Hell, the gas stations here sell glass pipes now. And the fact that Brookstone carries toys (I've seen them) just creeps me out.

Bad Stormy! Not very sex-positive of me, is it? But, I feel like Brookstone is for innovative entertainment, not innovative sex toys. Though sex can certainly be entertaining, though not the entirety of its purpose.

I did glance at the very meager selection of Lelo toys at this particular store and I was rather amused to see they were at least $70 higher than what we offer them for...they were also locked up behind glass and you couldn't play with them. The two they had on display for testing were the weakest toys in the line AND first gen. I kind of wanted to just stand in the store and pass out EF flyers all day. (I'm sure they'd kick me out but I did tell two of the girls working there about us.)
09/12/2013
cmm cmm
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Hell, the gas stations here sell glass pipes now. And the fact that Brookstone carries toys (I've seen them) just creeps me out.

Bad Stormy! Not very sex-positive of me, is it? But, I feel like Brookstone is for innovative entertainment, ...
I had no idea that Brookstone sold toys. It kind of makes sense though. Every time I see one in the mall I always have to go get my complimentary foot rub
09/12/2013
dv8 dv8
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
@dv8: I felt that brick and mortar stores don't directly compete with EF since online shopping is just so different than in person shopping.

@Stormy: The one I went to also had pipes, even though they're not even a smoke shop! They had ...
All the brick and mortar stores I mentioned also have online stores. Good Vibrations' shipments apparently are fulfilled by EdenFantasys.
09/13/2013
LaSchwartz LaSchwartz
I have gone into a few the first one i went to was just mainly porn and a few odds and ends and it was in a basement. I had just turned 18 so i had to go in. It was really creepy,so I never went back. But after that I moved across the country and found to more stores the first was like a whorehouse it was ok well lit and not creepy but the staff was not very welcoming. But now I have found a store called lovers The staff is very nice and knows what they are talking about, they also have nice selection of many things and have recently started a rewards card.
09/15/2013
Life's Little Secrets Life's Little Secrets
The brick and mortars in my town have very little selection but the prices aren't bad, unfortunately they give off a creeper vibe when you walk in, and the worst part was that the only people the staff was welcoming to was the people who came in to buy pipes! I did however, go into a Adult Video Megaplexxx in Austin and it didn't have the creepy vibe, the prices were a little bit better than my local stores and the staff was way more friendly. I do enjoy EF because of the diversity of the forums and the awesome prices.
09/16/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Hell, the gas stations here sell glass pipes now. And the fact that Brookstone carries toys (I've seen them) just creeps me out.

Bad Stormy! Not very sex-positive of me, is it? But, I feel like Brookstone is for innovative entertainment, ...
Really? At my local one they weren't too overpriced (like, they were MSRP) and you could hold them, turn them on, and stuff. It is actually quite nice - it convinced me to get a Mona 2 to try out.


@LaSchwartz: I'm so glad that, in the end, you found a great brick and mortar store! I'm surprised you kept looking though!


@dv8: True, but most stores in this thread don't.


@Secrets: I loved the store I went to in Austin. I was only there once, but I'd definitely go again if I was still there.
09/18/2013
Oriental husband and wife Oriental husband and wife
We have been to Good Vibrations in SF years ago. Everybody there was nice, helpful and friendly. When we entered we felt creepy but workers changed that for us. I understand it is employee owned.
Buying online though is so much better. Reading reviews do help a lot also. We do think however most the reviews are aimed towards the good side to make sales.
09/19/2013
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
...and I realized where all of the misconceptions about them come from.

This store was from the biggest chain in my city, and I don't live in a small town. The moment that I walked in, though, I felt like a creeper. It was dimly lit and ...
~Snort...I have well over 20 glass toys of all thicknesses and none of them could I break with my muscles...and I kegel with the best of them! Break all the time...LOL

I almost never go into brick and mortar stores unless I recognize the name from online purchasing. I have not run into a knowledgeable clerk yet in the kind of stores we have in this area...but hope springs eternal, ya know?
09/20/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
Quote:
Originally posted by Airen Wolf
~Snort...I have well over 20 glass toys of all thicknesses and none of them could I break with my muscles...and I kegel with the best of them! Break all the time...LOL

I almost never go into brick and mortar stores unless I recognize the name ...
I know, right? I have quite a few glass toys and highly doubt that I could ever break any of them while using them. Sure, if they fell off of my bed they might break (but even so, it's happened with two so far and neither has been damaged) but inside? It was horrible.

I don't blame you. I think this is the last chance I'm giving them. Though, when I'm in SF in December, I'll probably visit some of the nice shops over there.
09/20/2013
peachmarie peachmarie
wow that is disconcerting. That lady is seriously misinformed. I have also visited two different brick and mortar sex stores before I started buying things online and wow, I agree with the mark up, it's never anything you couldn't easily find online so I can't believe they charge so much. Now online is the only place I will buy from.
10/05/2013
RonLee RonLee
Sincerely Yours, N that is certainly a good example of why we should be informed consumers. On that topic, I quite appreciate EF for educating me on so many aspects of adult toys.
10/06/2013
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by Sincerely Yours, N
...and I realized where all of the misconceptions about them come from.

This store was from the biggest chain in my city, and I don't live in a small town. The moment that I walked in, though, I felt like a creeper. It was dimly lit and ...
Yikes. We have three major nice brick and mortar stores in town. None of the negative stuff you encountered, except price. Yes, they are way, way more expensive then buying online. Thus, much as I want local business to thrive, I cannot justify paying three times more for something local, when it's the same item I can get online for so much less.
10/06/2013
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by RonLee
Sincerely Yours, N that is certainly a good example of why we should be informed consumers. On that topic, I quite appreciate EF for educating me on so many aspects of adult toys.
Not just EF, but all the readers and writers here who contribute reviews and blogs. It IS highly educational and valuable.
10/06/2013
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by Oriental husband and wife
We have been to Good Vibrations in SF years ago. Everybody there was nice, helpful and friendly. When we entered we felt creepy but workers changed that for us. I understand it is employee owned.
Buying online though is so much better. Reading ...
There are some pretty honestly "not good" reviews on items here. I trust the EF reviewers, for the most part. They have proven to be very accurate for me.
10/06/2013
Total posts: 27
Unique posters: 16