Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You To Always Wear a Clean Pair?

 

Sex.
Sex Toys.
I sell sex toys.
I sell sex toys in Sin City.
 
Sounds exciting, right?
Some days, not so much.  I've been working in the adult industry now for about ten years.  I work in what we like to call an erotic boutique....well, that was how it was described in the job ad I answered way back in 2000.  We tend to advertise more as a fetish boutique these days but erotic boutique would still apply.  After all, we try to bring all things erotic to our customers.  It just happens a large portion of what we carry fits in the fetish category as well.
When I started at the store I was a shy girl from Iowa who thought I was kinky.  I'd only been living and working in Las Vegas for seven months.  What do I mean by 'thought I was kinky'?  When I started at the store I thought being willing have anal sex meant I was kinky.
Yeah, I've since had my eyes completely opened on that score.  Actually, my eyes were kind of opened to that when I walked into the store for the first time on my second interview. How does one apply for and get a first interview without ever seeing the actual store they will be working in?  They get interviewed in the lobby, that's how.  

I was sent home from that first interview with a web address to check out.  After checking it out, I was to call back the next day and see where my application stood.  Of course, it wasn't just that I needed to see if they wanted to see me, but if I was willing to see them too.  After all, erotic boutique didn't even begin to cover what I was about to discover when I clicked enter on the landing page of the web site.
 
Obviously, the site didn't scare me off or I wouldn't be typing this today.  I was jonesing to work in retail again and this seemed like a fascinating adventure.  Mind you, the site didn't completely prepare me for what I was to see when I came in for my second interview, this time with the boss.  
Did you know they made dildos as large as those orange safety cones you see on streets to mark off road construction?  Well, at the time, I certainly didn't.  I have to say, for the first few months working there the size of those dildos strangely fascinated me.  I'd walk by the display with my eyes glued to them every time I had to go to the back offices or the break room.  My co-workers noticed and thought it was hilarious.  
Now, I've been in charge of ordering those dildos, have thoroughly handled those dildos, and to be honest, unless I'm joking around with customers, I don't even blink an eye anymore when someone is interested in one.  I might have if we'd had someone buy 'Super Peter' before he broke during re-merchandising one day.  That was the one the size of a safety cone.  Poor thing, his balls separated from his cock.  

I might have been a shy, not really kinky girl when I started working there but I certainly came out of my shell during the years since then.  Now, no one believes I was ever shy.  Ever. And as for the kinky, well, let's just say, I came into my own over the years.
I have always been blunt.  I have always been sexually curious.  And I am always interested in acquiring knowledge.
This job just allows me to express and explore those things without a lot of restraint.
That isn't to say that because I work in an adult store....no, I hate that description of the store, because it is so much more than that....  That isn't to say that because I work in a fetish boutique I am a slut or a whore or some kind of cheap Vegas floozy.  
That is my one major pet peeve actually.  We sell and market quality products.  If the store were just focused on the clothing, (then maybe) the attitudes one sometimes deals with because there are vibrators, dildos, restraints, etc would not be as much of an issue.  After all, in all retail there are some bad eggs who come in to shop.  But unfortunately because we do sell more than latex, leather and other fetishy clothing, and I bluntly ask questions about people's sex lives and desires, I do tend to get the more than occasional rude....well, you understand what I mean.
So, I want to start my blogging by offering some shopping etiquette for adult stores or fetish boutiques. 
  • Blunt=good. Vulgar=bad. 
Sharing personal information about your sex life may occur while trying to find that perfect toy, outfit, or whatever you came looking for.  It is how you share that information that can change the attitude of your salesperson instantly.  Being straightforward and honest is good.  Giving blow by blow details, not really necessary and not really respectful.  

Example: I am having trouble staying hard.  I want to be larger.  I enjoy prostate stimulation.  I want a good lubricant for anal sex.

All acceptable statements.

Not acceptable: My cock is 'this big', want to see it?  I like to lick pussy juice off my fingers after I fingerbang her. Or any other over descriptive explanation of your sex life or lack of one.
 
All way too much personal information.  TMI as they say.  
I have actually told a customer that I deserve the same respect they would give to a salesperson in Nieman Marcus. Just because I work in an adult store does not mean I am less than human or less deserving of respect.  
You want a helpful salesperson, be respectful.  Since we are discussing sex and body parts, imagine me as your doctor.  You'd not use crude disgusting language in telling your doctor you're having erection issues, would you?
Well, some people might.  But that is a whole other issue all together.
  • We are here to help you.  We don't bite.  Ask for help.  
I admit you might not always find super-knowledgeable sales staff in your average adult store, but you'd be surprised.  You won't know until you ask.  We sell things to enhance your sex life.  We won't be shocked or even offended if you ask us the difference between vibrators or what kind of lube works best for anal sex.  It's what we do for a living.  Use us as the resource we are, don't avoid us like we're going to call your great-aunt Polly and tell her you want to buy a cock ring.  
  • Don't molest the sales displays.  (Or the sales staff either, actually.)
Nothing screams creepy customer faster than someone who starts heavy petting the mannequins or going practically catatonic over a ball gag.  Relax.  If we start to hover over you and ask what you are looking for like we want to get rid of you or watching you like a potential shop lifter, well, you are probably creeping us out.  You are allowed to touch product if there is no signage asking you not to, but try not to molest it.  Giving a dildo a hand-job or humping the leg of a mannequin dressed in latex might get you thrown out of the store.  
  • If you're shopping for clothing, wear underwear! 
Especially if you plan to try on pants or shorts. It is quite disturbing to a salesperson helping someone try on an outfit, only to discover the customer has no undies on.  This goes for men as well as women. Besides, I don't know you well enough to want to see your genitals.  It definitely goes beyond most people's comfort zone.
I have no issue with your desire to go commando, but don't be offended if I ask if you are wearing any underwear when you pick up that jock strap or hot pants to try on.  If you don't buy it, think about the person who does try it on next and buys it.  
 
  • If you are shopping for clothing for someone who isn't with you, come prepared with sizes.  
Height and weight don't tell me anything about what size someone may need, especially when shopping for fetish wear.  A lot of it comes from outside the US and so does not always conform to our sizing charts. 
It is best to have the chest, waist, and hip measurements for whoever you are shopping for.  Not only will it make my job easier, but you will be more likely to find something that actually fits them.  Small, medium, and large help but keep in mind that sizes are kind of arbitrary.  A small from the UK is actually more like an X-Small in the US.  
  • Most of all, relax and have fun!  
After all, you're in an adult 'toy' store.  What is more fun than toys?  Big bonus to this type of 'toy' store: No Kids!  
These are some pretty universal suggestions for adult stores.  Las Vegas itself has some unique issues, but I'll tell you about those another time.
For now, I'll go back to the same thing I do every day:
Try to take over the world, one sex toy at a time.
Later!
Anna