Their Sex Lives in Your Hands

By on December 6, 2017

Selling sex toys comes with important responsibilities, so thinks Rose Crompton.

As a content writer for the erotic trade I’m often asked by people outside the industry, “what do you love most about it?”. My hand-on-heart answer: “being part of a community that helps people have better sex.”
As both a writer and a shopper of adult goods I know first-hand that there’s tons of great e-tailers with informative blogs. And there are amazing bricks and mortar stores with well-informed sales assistants. By-and-large, the info the adult retail industry is putting out there is awesome. But where there’s good, there’s also some bad.

I spend a lot of time reading content that adult retailers put out and visiting adult stores. Sadly, there are occasions when I feel more pain than pleasure when browsing blogs or listening to sales assistants. Example: the time I read a blog about gags. As part of the “kinky play” the blog suggested heightening anticipation by leaving your partner alone in the bedroom, restrained and gagged.

Hopefully you’ve spotted the issue here. If not, this philosophical thought may help: if there’s no one there to hear someone choking on a ball gag, because a kinky games gone wrong and their hands are tied up so they can’t remove it, are they really making a sound?

OK, I know this is an extreme example, but it highlights the responsibility that sits with adult retailers when it comes to providing safe and accurate customer advice.

UK company Lovehoney, totally get it. They put such weight behind offering the best customer service and advice around sex that they’ve recently teamed up with a local college to create an accredited Sexual Happiness qualification for their staff. It’s a clear demonstration of a company taking their responsibility to their customers so seriously, that they’re encouraging employees to want to be trained up properly on the products they’re selling and discover how they can help people have better sex.

They’re not the only company taking their responsibility seriously. As I said, there are heaps of adult retailers out there doing great things, but so often there’s more we could be doing. But, where can you go to get good information? Or who can you call on to be confident that your blog’s full of accurate advice that helps rather than hinders, your customers?

You don’t have to set up a qualification to make sure you, your staff and your online store are well-versed. There’s help a-plenty to tap in to.

Staff training on products
Many manufacturers offer staff training. They know their product(s) better than anyone and they want you to know their product and understand it so you’re in a better position to sell it to the right person. They can tell you who it’s been designed for, how it should be used safely, and more. Reach out to them and invite them to do a staff training session. Brands like Fun Factory and LELO are particularly awesome as they have heaps of literature and sales information specifically for retailers.

Invite an expert in
While knowing how products work is one thing, in our industry it also helps if there’s an understanding of why it might be used, and the situations it may be used in. This means being somewhat familiar with the lifestyles some of your customers like to lead.

If asked, “Why should I use a leather paddle, rather than a riding crop and how might this affect my partner?” and you can’t give an accurate answer, rather than BS-ing a customer fill your knowledge gap by asking someone that knows!

Why not invite a professional Dominatrix to talk to your staff about the products they so often sell to the BDSM scene? Or an openly trans-woman to discuss how they may use various toys or packer?
For online store managers, ask these experts to write for you? Work out a content budget and ask if they’ll write you a blog.

There’s also a plethora of sex toy bloggers. Read through some of their content and if you think they’ll be a good fit, get them to be your expert. Many of them take what they do very seriously and go to great lengths to ensure what they write is honest and accurate.

Sex and how each of us engages with it can be so beautifully varied. If you can go some way to understanding the how and the why, then the advice and product suggestions you’re able to offer to customers will be so much more worthwhile.

Blogs, books and trusted sites
Should you choose to do some self-learning, or want to write online content yourself and be the expert, then make sure the information you’re getting is accurate and reliable. Check out trusted manufacturer sites like LELO, or well-established blogs like, or
Offline, search between the pages of books written by sex experts and trained relationship therapists to broaden your knowledge.

Final thought…
I’m really proud to be part of the adult industry. It’s changed a lot, even in the short decade I’ve been a part of it; both the types of businesses that are putting their stamp on it, but also because of what customers expect. Crap sex toys and crap sex advice doesn’t cut it anymore (thank goodness!). We’re in a privileged position to help people enjoy sex to the maximum! The responsibility that sits with us as a result is one we should be proud to have.

Rose Crompton

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