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What to expect when you visit a sex shop

A wide angle shot of the interior of Aphrodisia Boutique

Never visited a store like Aphrodisia before? We know going into an adult store can be daunting. Perhaps you’ve driven by our store or heard about us online and are curious, but have been too embarrassed to actually come through the door. If so, don’t worry - you are not alone. Many of us are raised to believe that sex is shameful, dirty and something that should be hidden away and never discussed in polite company. The fact that you’re even reading this guide is a great first step in tackling some of those negative feelings. 

In this guide, we hope to ease any anxiety you may be feeling about visiting our store. It contains information and tips that can help you make the most of your visit and have a good experience with us. We’ll cover:

  • The benefits of visiting our store in person

  • Common concerns about visiting a sex shop - and why you don’t have to worry

  • What sort of products will I see in a sex shop?

  • Tips to get the most out of your visit

We hope this guide helps you feel not only less anxious, but excited and empowered to visit a store like ours!

Benefits of Visiting a Sex Shop In Person

You might be wondering why you should even bother to come in store, since you can buy literally anything and everything online these days. Well, here are the reasons it’s worth making a store visit:

You can see and touch all the products

At Aphrodisia, we have testers out for all of our sex toys (and most of our other products!). This means you can pick them up, see what they feel like, how they vibrate, how heavy they are, what the texture is like, and so on. This is super important for finding a toy that will work for you! Getting to see the products like this means you’re much less likely to accidentally buy a toy that’s the wrong size, or doesn’t vibrate strongly enough, for example.

You can ask the knowledgeable staff questions and they can help you find your ideal product

The sheer variety of sex toy products available can be overwhelming - especially if you’ve never bought one before. How do you know what style of toy will work for you? Vibrating or non-vibrating? Rumbly vibrations or buzzy vibrations? What type of material should your toy have? That’s where the experienced staff in a store like Aphrodisia can help. We can ask you questions to help you narrow down your choices and highlight options we think you’ll like. We are always happy to answer any questions you have about our products. You won’t get that sort of service from a big-box online retailer!

You know you are getting the real deal

If you buy from some big-box online stores, there is a chance you’ll get a counterfeit toy, or the toy simply won’t be made with body-safe materials such as silicone even if the listing claims that it is (see our guide to body safe sex toys for more information). If you buy from a reputable store like Aphrodisia, you can be assured that you are getting the product (and material) you actually want. 

You can go home and use your toys right away

Once you’ve picked out a toy, it’s natural to be excited about using it. And if you shop in store, you can take it home and use it right away! No waiting days for shipping. Get that instant gratification!

Common concerns about visiting a sex shop - and why you don’t have to worry

Aren't sex shops kind of icky and creepy?

Not Aphrodisia! Some stores can feel unwelcoming, especially ones that sell porn or other products that commodify or objectify certain types of bodies. If you've been in a sex shop that felt unwelcoming, unsafe or just plain creepy, you'll know what we mean. 

We want our customers to feel good when they visit our store, so we work hard to create a safe, welcoming and fun atmosphere for everyone - especially for sex toy newbies.

Is there something wrong with people who use sex toys or lube?

Not at all! Using sex toys or personal lubricants is not an indicator that there is anything wrong with you, your partner or your sex life. Sex toys can add an element of play and exploration to our sex lives, which can increase our pleasure and help us learn more about ourselves and our partners. And there's no shame in needing a toy to help you orgasm or lube to help keep things wet if that's what it takes - our bodies are all built differently, and we all deserve pleasure.

Will the staff judge me for what I buy or look at?

No - they shouldn’t anyway! If you are feeling judged at a sex shop, it’s time to find a better one to visit. 

At Aphrodisia, we know that people want and need to feel accepted and valid in their desires. We don’t judge, and at this point nothing surprises us! Whatever question you want to ask us, we’ve probably heard it before and it’s probably a lot less weird than you think it is. Plus we take confidentiality very seriously and will not share the details of our conversation with anyone else.

What sort of products will I see in a sex shop?

The amount of products in a sex shop can be overwhelming, so we’ve broken down the main categories of things you’ll see here (and provided links to our online store where you can see examples and read more about those product types, if you’re not sure what they all mean):

  • Silicone

  • Glass

  • Wood

  • Metal

  • Clitoral

  • G spot

  • Dual/Rabbit style

  • Wands

  • Bullets

  • Panty vibes

  • Unpowered plugs

  • Vibrating plugs

  • Anal training kits

  • Manual strokers

  • Vibrating strokers

  • Unpowered cockrings

  • Vibrating cock rings


  • Personal lubricants

  • Arousal oils

  • Massage oils

  • Impact toys (paddles, floggers, crops)

  • Restraints (rope, handcuffs, etc.)

  • Sensation toys (finger claws, nipple clamps, feather ticklers etc.)

Lingerie on shelves and on a mannequin in Aphrodisia

  • Books

  • Stickers & pins

  • Art prints

  • Sexy/romantic games and gifts

Tips to get the most out of your visit

Bring a trusted friend

Bring someone who’s excited to shop with you, and who won’t judge you for what you buy. Shopping in a sex store with a friend can be a super fun bonding experience!

Don’t judge other shoppers or make them feel uncomfortable

Other shoppers may be feeling just as nervous as you, and everyone deserves to feel safe and welcome. Be mindful of respecting the privacy and emotional safety of other shoppers, and don’t judge them for what they are buying or looking at. This also means not disparaging the products themselves - saying something like ‘ugh, who would ever use THAT?!’ can feel very shaming to others in earshot if it is a product they are interested in.

Have a budget in mind

Yes, sex toys can be expensive. Many stores will have options for a variety of budgets, however. But it’s important to bear in mind why some toys are pricier - often, it’s because of higher build quality, the use of more luxurious and body-safe materials, stronger vibrations, or extra features such as being waterproof, rechargeable or having more vibration patterns or modes. Keep in mind that if you want a higher quality toy that will last longer, you may have to spend more.

You can take a look at our online store to get a feel for the kinds of toys available at different price points.

Take your time

There’s a lot to see in our store, and it’s worth taking the time you need to find a product that’s right for you. You can always come back another time or order online later if you need to mull things over before you make your choice.

Ask the staff questions

That’s what we’re here for! We really want you to go home with something that will make you happy, and we will never judge you for anything you ask us. Also - please ask the staff if you aren’t sure how to interact with a product or turn it on - we can help! We know it’s not always obvious.

Start simple

If this is your first time and you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with something more straightforward. For example, if you know you like clitoral stimulation, get a small vibrator intended for external use, rather than some fancy dual-vibe-and-buttplug-combo. Once you have a feel for what you like, you can branch out to try new things and get a little more adventurous!

We hope our guide made you feel more confident about making your first visit to a sex shop! If you want to learn more about our products and how you can get started with them, check our some of our other guides below:

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