Sex shop showdown
Sex shops are no longer just places you visit to prepare for your friend’s bridal showers.
More and more men and women are becoming open to adventurous explorations behind closed doors (alone or with a partner) with the aid of intimate toys and accessories.
“Naku ma’am, sold out agad ’yan pagdating pa lang,” one sales associate told us, pointing to a pricey vibrator from the American brand Lelo.
Inquirer Super went on a tour of sex shops in Manila and discovered that pleasure could be had at all price points, and you can get your fancy tickled any way you like.
THE HOT SPOT: PLEASURE PLACE
Locations: Katipunan, Boracay, Tomas Morato, Jupiter Avenue and Metrowalk
Store hours: 1 p.m. to midnight
The digits: 0917-8805866
Oh yes: Pleasure Place has five branches, making it easy for you to get your fix. Their mostly female sales associates are friendly and knowledgeable about their products. They answer questions gamely, even demonstrating some of the toys. They can actually give you their expert opinion on why you should go for a certain product over another.
When we asked one lady which vibrator she would recommend, she replied with a quick, “Magkano ’yung budget?”
They also know when to give you space in case you feel like browsing on your own.
The Pleasure Place has been known to throw in some freebies with pricier purchases and is known to give cash discounts.
Oh no: While they have a lot of branches, not all stores have the same selection, so it would be wise if you called ahead if you already know what you want.
Bestsellers: The sub-2000 vibrators, including the bullets that go for just P880, are their top-sellers. For those who want to spend a little more, a lot prefer the rechargeable silicon models that don’t require you to stock up on batteries.
THE HOT SPOT: PLEASURE SHOP
Locations: Boni Avenue and Timog Avenue
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The digits: 2341981, 3741532
Oh yes: We went to the Boni Avenue branch and the place was brightly lit and easy to find. Pleasure Shop has diversified by also selling beauty products like a vibrating face cleanser (Clarisonic), makeup, nail polish and more. You can snap up a real lipstick and a vibrator that looks like a lipstick (we saw one for P1,200) in one shop.
Oh no: Most of the merchandise are locked up in glass cases, making it difficult to browse on your own. The sales associate we spoke to was not very knowledgeable about the products. We requested to see the cheapest and most expensive toys, and asked her to recommend products, but she seemed unsure, dashing back to the cash register several times to ask the other employees what they thought. Maybe it was her first day on the job.
Bestsellers: Just like at the Pleasure Place, the bullet vibrators are a big hit here. We’re not surprised—they’re affordable and don’t look daunting to newbies.
THE HOT SPOT: LOVE CORNER
Location: 3/F, Sir William’s Hotel, 39 Timog Ave. Quezon City
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The digits: 0915-7553555
Oh yes: The first thing we spotted in Love Corner was something we didn’t find in other shops: realistic silicone sex dolls. Nina-E is the more expensive model, we were told—the Japanese-looking doll costs P197,000. Kayla, a little smaller, is slightly cheaper at P179,000. For those unwilling to shell out that much cash, they also have just torsos and body parts—we spotted some that cost between P11,000 to over P25,000.
Unlike the other stores we visited, the shop has mostly male associates. But if you think that would make shopping awkward, you’re wrong. The associate we spoke to was very helpful, well-informed and very matter-of-fact.
When we compared prices, we realized that Love Corner’s was the lowest. They had bullet vibrators that cost just P400. Even their Lelo vibes are priced lower than the ones we saw at the other stores. And they have an ongoing sale—10 percent off all items (20 percent off some) until Feb. 14.
Oh no: You have to walk into the hotel lobby and take the stairs or elevator to find Love Corner, but it’s really worth the effort. Many of the products are also behind glass cases but the sales associates are quick to open them and offer to demonstrate how they work.
Bestsellers: The Lelo vibrators (there are many different models) and the Fun Factory toys from Germany.
Your first time in a sex shop? Here are some tips:
Don’t be shy. Remember that you are not the first person to walk into a sex shop. And if you’re still not convinced, just take a look at any of their Facebook pages to see the reviews.
If you want your trip to be quick, research online first. Just like there are plenty of beauty bloggers, there are blogs and sites dedicated to reviewing sex toys, too. The stores also have web sites for you to see what they have in stock and some of them even allow you to order online so all you have to do is pick up from the store.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. These sales associates have heard it all.
And if you really don’t want to walk into the shop itself, you can order online.
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