I began working in a sex toy store four years ago, and I've learned so much in my time here – more than I ever thought possible. Sure, I can tell the difference between a butt plug, a plug tail, and a butt jewel in my sleep, but there are some really vital things I've discovered that go far beyond just what toys we sell.
When I began my journey into the adult toy world, I knew very little about things like vibrators and dildos. While I've always been a sex positive person, I've learned that sex is so much more important than we ever give it credit for. And for so many different reasons. Sex — solo, with a loved one, or even with a few friends — is a powerful connector. It can heal you, boost your confidence, and is an amazing way to celebrate yourself and others.
Here are some of the most important things I've found to be true in my time working at a desk piled with sex toys.
1. Orgasms Don't Come Easily to Everyone
According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, nearly 37 percent of women required clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and only 18 percent of women can climax during penetrative sex. That study was one of the largest studies on women's pleasure available, and other smaller studies have found the same. An analysis from Psychology Today of over 30 studies performed over the past 80 years found that only 25 percent of women are consistently climaxing during vaginal penetrative sex.
I hear this a lot from my customers. Women think they're broken because they love their partners but still can't orgasm. But few heterosexual women know that the penis isn't really designed to make you orgasm easily. I feel proud to be able to steer them toward a toy that stimulates the clitoris like the Satisfyer Pro 2.0 — a device that has had women contact me crying with happiness!
There are so many toys designed for people with vaginas to be used during penetration that will absolutely get you to where you need to be. Nobody is broken — sometimes you just need a little help. And that help has a rechargeable cable!
2. Sex Toys Are For Everybody
Some of my customers are in their 80s, while others are younger and buying their very first toy. There's no one type of person who should have a sexy toy — they truly are for everybody. From little bullet vibes to to clitoral stimulators to butt plugs to strap-ons – I've seen joy sparked from them all. Hearing from couples who have been able to reinvigourate their sex lives after children and save their marriage is a favourite part of my day. Providing information to an elderly couple who are struggling with erectile dysfunction reminds me how important a healthy sex life is – and how easy it can be to revive with the right support. I encourage and support and champion all of my customers, because we all deserve it.
3. Sex Toys Are Stunning (and Come in All Shapes and Sizes)
The days of only being able to buy weird veiny dildos or cucumber novelty vibrators are over. You can now buy beautiful hand-blown glass toys that look like works of art. Toys that are discrete with gorgeous rose gold coating or real leather and metal. And there's just so much to choose from! You can buy a saddle style non-penetrative toy designed to stimulate your whole vulva, or an award-winning couples' massager that pleasures you both.
When my boss Nicola opened Adulttoymegastore in 2009, it started small. We now have more than 12,000 products across well over 100 brands and we source our products from New Zealand, Australia, America, the UK, and Asia. There really is something for everyone.
4. Sex Toys Can Help with Health Problems
I'm not a doctor, but I know what to prescribe if you're struggling with a weak pelvic floor after pregnancy and labour. We sell weighted kegel balls to many women working on getting their strength back. We also sell amazing products for women recovering from cancer, such as our dilator sets. We stock so many thoughtfully designed products aimed at improving the lives of women and taking care of their sexual health. The remote breast massager by Inspire increases blood circulation, which in turn can help with pain. It fits comfortably in your bra and Inspire donates a portion of our proceeds to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a non-profit organisation supporting women affected by breast cancer. We sell sleeves to help men with erectile dysfunction and prostate health vibrators. We also, of course, sell external and internal condoms for men and women for safe sex.
5. We All Deserve to Have Happy and Healthy Sex Lives
I've learned that there's absolutely no shame in seeking pleasure and wanting to give pleasure. Having a happy and healthy sex life is so crucial and everybody deserves it. Being able to make yourself or your partner climax is a wonderful thing, and loving and respecting your body and theirs is a precious gift. It's empowering to learn what you like and don't like and to learn to listen to your body and what it needs.
I think I have the best job in the world. And it's not just for the freebies!