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23 Secrets Sex Toy Shop Workers Want You To Know

We're not all nymphomaniacs.

Special thanks to the sex toy shop employees who provided intel and anecdotes for this post: Carly Klough, Ellie Bark, The Pleasure Chest employees Sarah Tomchesson, Koko, Victor Tobar, Chelsea Steiner, and Larkin Novak, and anonymous contributors.

1. First of all, sex toys can be for everyone, not just women/kinky people/queer people/whatever preconceived notion you have about sex toy users.

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We see people of all ages, genders, and sexualities, not to mention people who are looking for a wide range of pleasure products and kinks.

2. And there's no one type of person who works in a sex shop, either.

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We’re all ages, all sizes, all genders, all sexualities, and all experiences. Some of us are moms. Some of us are students. Some of us are kinky. Some of us are celibate. You get a wide range of people, but the best part is, we can be wholly ourselves, whatever that means to us.

3. No matter how random or wacky you think your kink or fetish is, we guarantee you that folks have requested it before.

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We hear, "Am I normal for wanting ___?” all the time, and as long as whatever you're doing or want to do is between two consenting adults or a solo activity, the answer is absolutely! There's nothing we haven't heard.

4. So if there's something new you want to try but don't know where to start, we can point you in the right direction.

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Whether that's buying your first vibrator or learning the ins and outs of fisting or getting the right equipment to start pegging or finding the best instructional DVD on BDSM. We're the experts.

5. Toys aren't one size fits all, so we probably don't have an answer to, "What is your best ____?"

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There's not ~one toy to rule them all~. Asking specific questions, like “What’s a good toy if I like internal penetration” versus “What’s your best vibrator?” will help us help you find the best fit.

6. That said, one product we like to recommend to everyone is lube.

Jennifer Lopez VEVO

And obviously, we can help you figure out what lube is best for your needs — since, like other pleasure products, there's a ton of variety.

7. We never want to make assumptions about your sexuality, gender, body, likes, dislikes, whatever. So to get the most out of your shopping experience, be prepared to share.

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We are experts on the products we sell and you are the expert on your body, so together, we can work together to find a product you'll really love.

8. We're not a bunch of nymphomaniacs and we don't have after-hour orgies together.

@wideeyesopenpalms / Via

YES, PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK THIS. That said, we can probably point you in the direction of local play parties and scenes if you're interested in that kind of thing.

9. People assume they can ask us and talk to us about anything, but we do have boundaries.

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Prying questions about our sex lives and sexual preferences are pretty commonplace, but are ultimately not appropriate (not to mention, not very helpful to you). Asking us about our favorite toys, what we use or have tried won't usually help you find something you enjoy. Our bodies aren't your bodies!

10. Unfortunately, we do sometimes deal with harassment and come-ons that use our job as an entry point.

Twitter: @BeerCellarExe

Telling you about sex toys in a professional setting does NOT mean you can be sleazy and tell us how you'd like to use them with us.

11. And sometimes people even try to drag us into their fantasies.

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For example, dominatrixes will come in with their submissives and pick out toys as part of a scene — which is okay until they try to bring us into it by bossing us around.

12. A lot of us are trained professionals, with degrees in gender and sexuality studies, who are pursuing careers in sex education and advocacy.

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And even if we're not pursuing that level of education, plenty of us are trained on-the-job to field in-depth or sexual health-related questions.

13. Buying sex toys online on places like Amazon can be a bit of a gamble, since you might wind up with a knock-off or used toy.

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Yep, we know they can be cheaper than buying through us and sometimes everything works out, but anywhere that uses third-party vendors instead of an established shop or store can lead to questionable results.

14. We get prank calls all the time — and sometimes, voicemails of people having (or hopefully faking) orgasms.

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Like people calling and asking us what our biggest dildo or butt plug is.

15. Most sex toy shops are safe and comfortable spaces that we work hard to keep clean and inviting.

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Just in case you're still thinking about sex toy shops as dingy spaces with peep show booths, novelty toys and porn, and harsh fluorescent lighting. Those places still exist, but you have options now.

16. Sex toys are really cool and high-tech now — so if you have a dream, it probably exists.

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Sex toys develop as quickly as iPhones, pretty much, so if you haven't shopped around in awhile, you should check out some new stuff on the market. There are app-controlled vibrators, virtual reality technology, WHATEVER.

17. A lot of shops have classes you can take advantage of.

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They cover pleasure-based sex education and give you tools to help discover what you do and don't like — since we're guessing that was never covered in your sex ed.

18. Don't worry — sex toys won't replace you or a partner.

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Some people worry that getting a sex toy will make it so they can't get off without one or that they'll get addicted, but for the most part, sex toys will only improve your sex life and aren't a stand-in for ~human connection~.

19. People try to return their used toys all the time.

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Return policies differ from store to store, but we've seen some pretty shameless attempts. FYI, a toy not giving you an orgasm is unfortunately not an acceptable reason to return it.

20. It's kiiind of insulting when people come in and treat the place like a big joke.

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Sex can totally be funny and we know a lot of customers couch their nerves/discomfort about coming into a shop for the first time by making jokes, but definitely try to be respectful.

21. It gets a little old hearing people say, "This is a gift!" or "This isn't for me!" over and over and over again.

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Whatever makes you most comfortable, obviously, but we wish people knew that we don't judge.

22. Honestly, our day-to-day lives are pretty similar to most other retail jobs.

Twitter: @RetailJobLife

We spend a lot of our time cleaning, stocking, and helping customers find what they're looking for, just like any other salesperson. It's easy to forget that we're dusting off dildos or carrying an armful of vibrators.

23. Overall, we just really want to help you get in touch with your sexuality and enjoy yourself.

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