The Orion

The O-Face: Q&A with sex shop manager

Michael Karp

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The sex columnist gives an inside look at what it's like to work in a sex shop this week through a Q&A.Photo; credit: Kasey Judge

The Orion sat down with Rebekah Higgins, manager and six-year employee of Playtime 4 You, a local adult shop, for a humorous and insightful interview.

The Orion: How did you start working here?

Higgins: I was already working on my degree in psychology. So I was like, human sexuality is the perfect lead-in to that. This was the perfect segue.

The Orion: What would you say is the most popular item that you sell?

Higgins: Vasodilator pills. Cock pills. They basically make you last longer, make you bigger, more machismo. Vibrators, like a standard, basic vibrator, would be the number two item.

The Orion: What advice would you give to beginners who want to spice up their sex life with toys or other items?

Higgins: Communication is the heart of love. Before you go out and purchase anything, talk to your partner. Absolutely. Don’t just assume that they’re going to want to have anal play if you haven’t discussed it. Or that they want the Big Black Dildo 2000, you know?

The Orion: You don’t want to just bust anything out of the blue?

Higgins: It’s fun to surprise an intimate partner if you already have a rapport with them. But if you are just learning to kick it up for the first time — communication, because there is no way to know what somebody’s psychological titillations are unless you ask them.

The Orion: And what would you say might be the best way to start the communication?

Higgins: Straightforward is the best method, but you could always get to the point where you say, “Hey, let’s go down to the sex store and cruise the wares and see if there’s something that you might be interested in.”

I recommend the same thing with lingerie. Flip through a Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s catalog and tell each other what you like. Then both partners have an idea of what your partner finds visually aesthetically appealing.

Sex toys are kind of similar. People can look online, but it’s really hard to tell online how big something is, how soft it is, whether it’s something that works.

Really, it’s a hands-on experience. But do things together. Even reading the “50 Shades of Grey” book series together is a good insight as to how your partner is going to respond to certain things.

You guys can get on the Internet and look together or come on down to the sex store and ask somebody.

The Orion: Do you have any crazy or unusual stories of customers coming into your store?

Higgins: Oh goodness, yes. I’ve been working here for six years so I definitely have a few stories under my belt. I think the most fun part of the job though, is people coming in to play on the stripper pole. People come in, and we’re open until 11 p.m., so they come in three sheets to the wind and get back there and play.

And it’s never girls who pull out the craziest moves. It’s always men who are like, “I can flip upside down and straddle my legs.” The craziest stripper moves I have ever seen — always guys. It’s great.

So people are always saying, “You must have some crazy stories about weird folks.” Really, it’s not “weird folks.” It’s normal people in their Toyota Camry and their button-up. It’s never the people that you’re like, “Oh they’re going to be creepy.” Those are never the ones that are going to buy the creepy sex toys.

So reserve judgment, definitely, because you never know. I have difficulties working on Sundays because the church crowd finds me a little boisterous. Which is okay, you know. I’m just an extroverted creature.

But everybody likes orgasms, from all walks of life. It’s universal. We all came from it. It’s natural, it’s humanistic.

The Orion: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Higgins: Helping people. Really. Everybody comes in not knowing what they want, and most people walk out grinning from ear to ear. Knowing that somebody’s trying something for the first time or they’re doing something safely or I gave them in-depth details on how to have a squirting orgasm, because every woman can orgasm — every woman.

That excitement is the best part of my job. People leaving here going, “Yeah!”

The Orion: On the flip side, what would you say you don’t really like about your job? Or don’t enjoy as much?

Higgins: The least enjoyable part of the job would be getting inappropriately hit on. Also, people assume, because I work here, that I’m in some sort of business. I say “I’m sorry, I’ve got three degrees.” There’s a preconceived notion that I am liberal with my sexuality.

The Orion: Do you get people from all walks of life coming into Playtime 4 You or is it mainly people who are already experienced with sexual items?

Higgins: All walks of life. Absolutely all walks of life. Everybody likes orgasms. All age brackets, from people who need cock pumps and erection rings because they’re in their 80s and trying to keep it spicy to people who are buying their first vibrator or inquiring about their first masturbation sleeve.

Everybody. All religions. All races. Everything.

The Orion: Is there anything else that you want to say that you would like my readers to know?

Higgins: Touch yourself. Double-click your mouse. Explore yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you, and it’s best to be able to tell somebody, “This is how I like it,” than wait for somebody to find the magic button for you.

It’s like owning a Porsche and not knowing where the keys are. Maybe somebody else will find the keys in my house.

Michael Karp can be reached at [email protected] or @_MichaelKarp on Twitter.

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The O-Face: Q&A with sex shop manager