You either want to swallow the bile rising in your throat, pay for the rubbers and move on, or dress down the cashier on the spot.
It doesn't have to be that way. Over the past plus years sex shops and adult toy stores have not only become increasingly commonplace, but proudly so. The best ones sell products in a way that encourages positive sexual health and relationships, instead of hiding them behind the peep shows and glory holes of yesteryear. In the best adult toy stores, you can make purchases as well-informed as going to Whole Foods and deciding on what type of kale to buy for dinner. The Chicagoist staff has chosen six shops guaranteed to spice up your sex life with a simple visit.
If you have your favorite shop, please leave it in the comments. An array of harnesses hang on the back wall alongside various restraints.
Early to Bed's harness selection includes vegan options and a wide range of sizing, including numerous plus size options. And when I need advice on a new toy, a new move to try out or just general sex questions, the place that always steers me in the right direction is Early to Bed. Besides a kickass, friendly staff that can answer all your questions about sex seriously, all of them , they also offer the aforementioned workshops, with topics ranging from bondage to erotic writing to sex for survivors.
The store has a wide and carefully curated selection of all types of toys, literature and movies, plus size friendly stockings and strap-ons, packers and binders and plenty of awesome lubes and condoms. The store also has reviews from staff and customers. I volunteered and was part of one of their customer condom review groups and they really do make sure to get honest feedback on all their products. Early to Bed truly cares about making sure their customers have the happiest and healthiest sex lives possible.
You can also shop their store online as well. They coyly prompt you to taste-test the fruit-flavored lube, get handsy with the dildos, and answer all your questions about vibrator strength and speed. All products are also free of phthalates, and browsing alone when funds are running low still makes for a stimulating afternoon.
The Pleasure Chest This national chain was a pioneer in bringing sex toys and marital aids out of the seedy, stained shadows and into the spotlight of a boutique setting, while simultaneously promoting positive sexual health for couples, regardless or orientation. The Chicago store, opened in , caters to any twist, kink or proclivity including BDSM, sexual health products, DVDs and books, and kits guaranteed to safely enhance even the most staid sex lives.
Mephisto Leathers This Rogers Park shop is an epicenter for leather fetishists. Mephisto sells off the rack, but can also custom make pretty much anything for you, if you wish. Tulip Toy Gallery With a relaxed boutique atmosphere, an all gender and sexuality friendly setting and two locations, Tulip has built a friendly and inviting sex positive business here in Chicago. Their set up lets you not only browse their selection but pick it up and examine it yourself, which is a must if you are buying items that might eventually enter your body.
They stock some of the premier manufactures in the industry, include the popular Lelo brand some of the most stylish and beautiful minimalist sex toy designs around , the highly functional and wonderful quality Fun Factory and Tenga, one of the best brands for innovative toys for men. Besides toys they also have a nice stock of books and movies and some of the most darling lingerie, including gorgeous pasties and retro high waisted underwear. Tulip also offers sex positive workshops along with their wide variety of products.
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