In Australia sexuality is often seen as something to be ashamed of or it is used as a marketing tool to sell the latest high-tech razor. So when someone goes into an adult store they often don’t know how they should act. They stifle giggles and wave wobbly dildos about in mock sword fights to hide their confused cocktail of feelings. It’s cool. Take a deep breath and keep these tips in mind.
DON’T do these things:
DON’T shame a product in the store and yell “Oh my god who would want a butt plug like this?!” Honestly, the answer to your question is ‘someone’, because there is a market out there for every item in-store. Put the butt plug down and move on to the thing you’re looking for.
For the love of feminism DON’T try to hit on people! Adult store staff are propositioned all the time and they’re just trying to do their job. They don’t want you winking at them or offering them money for sexual favours. There are other avenues for you to fulfil these needs but an adult store is not one of them.
DON’T brag loudly about the size of your dick being the size of the giant dongs in-store. Save your penis-related enthusiasm for dirty talk with your lover.
On the topic of cock, DON’T take your dick out unless you’re allowed to. There are some stores which have cinemas, private movie booths or peep shows where it’s ok to get your tackle out. However, if you’re just browsing through the products in-store or you’re unsure if the place you’re in is a dick-out zone, keep it zipped up.
Porn videos and magazine covers use language for minority groups that may not be cool to say out loud to the people of that group. DON’T start saying transphobic and racist slurs to your friend who’s a trans woman of colour because you saw it in a porno. If you’re unsure, educate yourself on offensive language and talk to your pals in minority groups about what words they want you to use. And while you’re at it, why not critically look at your enjoyment of certain pornography and how it ties into existing oppressive social structures.
Definitely DO these things:
Ask sales staff questions about products. For example, do they have a particular model of vibrator, or which flogger would they recommend for low impact play? It’s likely that the staff know about many (if not most) of the rad products in-store and are happy to help you, even if you think the question might be too embarrassing or obscure. Trust me, they’ve probably heard questions before about butterfly-shaped vibrators or which dildos fit best in certain strap-ons.
DO ask staff before testing toys. Some stores have allocated test products, or a box of disposable gloves or tissues so you can take toys out of their boxes to test. (Touching sex toys with your bare hands can transfer bacteria, which is yucky.) There are usually change rooms to try strap-on harnesses, costumes and the like (in the interest of hygiene, please keep your underwear on).
DO act like you would in any other store. Pretend you’re at your favourite clothing store because when you look at it in context, an adult shop is just another store showing off cool things you can buy with your money.
Lastly, DO make sure you have ID with you. It will depend on store policies as to whether or not they ask you for identification but it’s always best to have some on you just in case.
Hopefully these etiquette tips will help you feel confident on your next erotic excursion. Happy shopping!