A sex shop is a shop that sells products such as sex toys, pornography, erotic lingerie, erotic books, and safer sex products such as condoms and dental dams. The euphemisms “Adult Video Store” and “Adult Book Store” are commonly used to refer to sex shops that sell or rent pornographic videos, books, and magazines. However, a lot of adult films are not rated when released to video or DVD.
In most jurisdictions, sex shops are regulated by law, with access not permitted to minors, in most countries/states, the age depending on local law. In case of doubt, on entering a sex shop, one may have to present a valid ID. Some states/countries don’t tolerate sex shops at all, e.g. many Islamic states.
In some jurisdictions that permit it, they may also show pornographic movies in private booths, or have private striptease or peep shows.
In Japan, the sex shops contain hentai magazines, adult videos and DVDs, plus video games rated “Z” by the CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organization). In Japan “hentai” has a strong negative connotation, and is commonly used to mean “sexually perverted”. The term is used as slang for sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly Japanese anime, manga and computer games.
Near borders of countries with different laws regarding sex shops, shops on the more liberal side tend to be popular with customers from the other side, especially if importing the purchased materials by customers to their own country, and possessing them, is legal or tolerated.
In the United States, a series of Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s (based on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) generally legalized sex shops, while still allowing states and local jurisdictions to limit them through zoning(a term used in urban planning for a system of land-use regulation in various parts of the world). Into the 1980s, nearly all American sex shops were oriented to an almost entirely male clientele. Many included booths for viewing pornographic film loops (later videos), and nearly all were designed so that their customers could not be seen from the street: they lacked windows, and the doors often involved an L-shaped turn so that people on the street could not see in.
While that type of store continues to exist, since the end of the 1970s there has been an evolution in the industry. Two new types of stores arose in that period, both of them often (though not always, especially not in more socially conservative communities) more open to the street and more welcoming to women than the older stores.
On the one hand, there are stores resembling the UK’s Ann Summers, tending toward “softer” product lines. On the other hand, there are stores that evolved specifically out of a sex-positive culture, such as San Francisco’s Good Vibrations and Xandria or Seattle’s Toys In Babeland, which has expanded to several other cities. The latter class of stores tends to be very consciously community-oriented businesses, sponsoring lecture series and being actively involved in sex-related health issues, etc. They also often carry toys that are manufactured on a craft basis rather than mass manufactured.
Good Vibrations is a sex toy business based in San Francisco and originally founded in 1977 by sex therapist and educator Joani Blank a graduate of Oberlin College, University of Hawaii and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Good Vibrations operates three retail stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, and another in Brookline, MA, a mail-order business, a website and three publishing companies: Down There Press, Passion Press and Sexpositive Productions. The company’s official name is Open Enterprises, Inc.
Initially established with the goal of being a sex-positive and woman-centered alternative to the “adult” bookstores of the time, Good Vibrations offered sex information and education and featured erotica and books about sexual health and pleasure. A notable part of the store was the display of antique vibrators, which became a tourist draw — known as “the antique vibrator museum.”
The business grew beyond books to encompass products such as sex toys and erotic videos. Good Vibrations began to offer seminars and workshops on sex and sexual health.
Xandria is one of the largest distributors of sex toys and adult videos, books and novelty items in the United States. It began as a catalog of sexual aids for people with disabilities at a time when the disability rights movement was in its infancy. Xandria was also one of the first companies to sell sex-related items online.
The 1990s also saw the birth of the sex “superstores,” some of them with over 10,000 square feet in area.
Basically, in a sex shop you can find anything you can think of when trying to spice your sex life. Trust me; the people from this industry have thought about everything when they started this business. In a sex shop you can find dildos, massage oils, cock rings, candles, harnesses, books and videos about sex, and many other interesting things. The interesting thing about sex shops is that they offer many products which are alike yet so different. You can choose from vibrators shaped as a lipstick or as pens, simple cock rings or double cock rings, and a lot more.
So what are dildos?
A dildo is a sex toy, often explicitly phallic in appearance, intended for bodily interaction during masturbation or sexual intercourse. Dildos come in various sizes and can be used anally or vaginally, but there is some disagreement about just what precisely defines a dildo.
A cock ring or cockring is a ring that is placed around a man’s penis, usually at the base, primarily to slow the leakage of blood from the erect penile tissue, thus maintaining erection for longer. Cock rings can be worn around just the penis or penis and scrotum, or just the scrotum alone, though this is usually designated as a testicle cuff. Rings can be made of a variety of different materials; most commonly leather, rubber, or silicone, though nylon and metal are also used either as the main component or part of the closure.
A man may wear a cock ring because he has erectile dysfunction (ED) or otherwise wants to prolong erection, as a sex toy because he likes the particular sensation of tightness and extreme engorgement that wearing one provides, or as jewelry, simply for the appearance.
Vibrators are devices used for massage or sexual pleasure.
There are an enormous range of vibrators but most of them fall into several broad categories: clitorial, dildo-shaped, vibrators for the G-spot, egg-shaped vibrators, cylinder-shaped vibrators, anal vibrators, vibrating cockring, dual area vibrators, triple area vibrators…and many others.
So, if you feel that your sex acts are every time the same, if you feel the need to change something in your sex life, do not feel ashamed to visit a sex shop. You can go there with your partner and choose together some devices that might help you improve your sex life.
You must not think that these sex shops are designed just for porn stars…they have been created to suit the needs of normal persons such as yourself.
If you feel that you need a change in your life, do not hesitate. Visit a sex shop, even if you do this just out of curiosity. You might find a lot of interesting ideas and why not, you might feel the need to improvise during your next sex act.
From dildos to sex books, sex shops have it all…why not go for yourself and see?