|Don't be shy or embarrassed when it comes to shopping for some fun, sexy products, or asking the sales staff for what you're after (Shutterstock)
Valentines Day is definitely the most delightful shopping day of the year. Whips, vibrators, erotica--oh, my! Some sex store newbies might not know where to begin, but we got a primer from Gill Lamon, co-owner of Toronto's legendary co-op sex store Come As You Are on how to make the most of your bawdy buying spree. Happy shopping--and we mean happy!
It's not what you think"Ž
The words "sex store" can conjure up trench-coated pervs or 25-cent peep shows, but these days, there are plenty of sex-positive and feminist sex stores that are a lot more shopper-friendly for individuals and couples of all kinds. "I think that folks often view sex shops as highly sexualized environments, but these days, most sex-positive sex shops are quite comfortable environments and the staff have great boundaries," Lamon says. "A good sex shop these days is really more about sex education than sleazily shilling sex toys."
You're no weirder than anyone else.
Don't be shy or embarrassed when it comes to shopping for some fun, sexy products, or asking the sales staff for what you're after; be proud that you care about your sexual health! "It sounds trite, but there really are no stupid or embarrassing questions when it comes to sex--we've heard it all (and then some!), and if you're asking a genuine question, you're not going to freak us out," says Lamon.
If you want to arm yourself with a little knowledge before going in, do some research online for toys you might be interested in trying ("Hey! I saw that in a movie once!") or trailers for DVDs you might want to rent. Lamon suggests that, if you've had a sex toy or product before, it is good to think about what you did and didn't like about it, because it helps staff guide you toward a toy or product you might like.
The first time
Still not sure where to start? Every couple has their own comfort level around sex toys and products, according to Lamon, but there are plenty of non-intimidating things to try this Valentine's Day. "If you're just looking to dip your toe in the world of sex exploration, check out some of the great couples erotica, sex educational and couples DVDs, and the Lelo line of luxury vibrators. Lubricant and massage oils and candles are also great starting points."
Different strokes for different folks
If you want to try out a toy together but aren't sure where to start, opt for a model with different settings, according to Lamon. This way, you can see what you (and your partner) do and don't like, whether it's vibration or speed, and change the settings for something you do dig. You can also rent a few different DVDs, pick up a lube sampler, or choose the handcuffs with the optional fuzzy cover.