Awkward Sex Shop Questions

By on September 18, 2017

There are certain questions you only get asked when working in a sex shop.

I loved working as a sales assistant in a London adult store. Meeting interesting people; chatting about sex all day; offering useful, educational advice that would make a difference to peoples sex lives or relationships… They were certainly perks to the job. But it had its quirks too.

While most customer questions about sex toys were pretty standard — How many settings does this vibrator have? Will this cock ring feel comfortable when I put it on? What’s a good first-time toy for me and my partner to try? — there were some customers that loved to throw a curveball. When working in a sex shop, there are questions you’re bound to be asked that are just, well. Awkward. They take you completely by surprise and there’s no easy way to answer them. Like the time a chap asked me, “Do you think my mum will like this vibrator?” Or the time a customer said: “I’ve got a vibrating love egg stuck up my bum. Can you help me get it out?”

I’m sure every profession has its own set of awkward questions. Queries that come out of the blue but have to be answered in a professional manner. Or questions that get asked a lot, but no matter how many times you’re faced with them you never feel like you’ve given quite the right answer. If you’ve ever worked in a sex shop, then the chances are the following awkward customer questions will sound very familiar.

Can I stick this up my arse?
If there’s one thing I learnt from working in an adult shop, it’s that people love sticking things up their bum. Expect this question whether you’re in the anal toy section or not. And it’s the bluntness that takes you aback, because what they really want is for you to explain how they should stick it up their arse and why it’s good for bum fun. Such a loaded question. Until they ask the follow up…

Have you ever stuck this up your arse?
Naturally, because they love sticking things up their rear end, they assume you do too. Cue awkward conversation about how you dislike anal, but then try to justify why the butt plug they’re holding is the best one for them.

Will this make her want to have sex with me?
Correct me if you’ve had a difference experience, but it’s usually guys that ask this question. And they’re usually buying herbal libido enhancers. Not only must you have the “you can’t make someone have sex with you if they don’t want to” convo, but breaking the news to him that he’s not God’s gift to women is never an easy truth to present.

Do you want to see my boobs/penis/scrotum to get an idea of size?
After a few times of being asked this, I finally did find the right answer. Appropriate response: “It’s flattering that you wish to expose yourself to me in public, in the middle of a shop where there are other members of the general public (an arrest-able offence the last time I checked), but really its fine. Let’s just stick to estimates on size and take it from there.” Smile when you say it so as not to burn anyone’s self-esteem and it gives the impression that in other circumstances you’d totally love to see their genitals. Everyone’s a winner.

What’s the biggest dildo you have?
This question is usually preceded with the statement, “I want to buy my wife a gift.” Which is a worry. I wish there was an educational video we could hit play on, explaining to these folks why bigger isn’t always better. That maybe talking to your wife first about what she finds pleasurable might be a more appropriate way to surprise her.

Have you tried all these sex toys?
I hate this question the most, because, a) I don’t really feel like oversharing the contents of my toy box with just anyone and b) if I say “yes” the customer will conclude that all you do on your day off is wank, or if I say “no” there is the inevitable, “well how do you know this one is good?” question. It’s the sex shop sale assistant’s double jeopardy. Lying to the customer, telling them I’d tried it when I hadn’t, wasn’t my style, so I never did find the perfect answer.

Where can I get used knickers?
I’m yet to encounter a second-hand lingerie and sex toy shop, so interesting that some customers thought we might stock racks of worn undies. As much as I hated to lose a sale, it’s off to eBay for you.

Rose Crompton

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