If you're trying to decide where to buy a vibrator there's good news and bad news. The good news is that buying a vibrator these days means having more product and sex shop choices than every before. The bad news is that all this choice can be difficult to navigate. You can buy vibrators in person, on line, or (less and less) from a print mail order catalog. You can shop with a company that matches your political beliefs -- the kind of store where everyone knows your name -- or you can shop in a store where no one will ever recognize you or remember you were there. Here are some tips on finding a good place to buy a vibrator, and how to avoid getting ripped off in the process.
Finding a Sex ShopIf you are reading this you are already on line, and only a few clicks away from thousands of on line adult sex toy stores. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Here is a detailed breakdown on finding a good sex shop.
If you want to start as broadly as possible you can just enter "sex toys" and the name of the city or town you live in into your favorite search engine. But the best way to find a sex shop is from a recommendation. We ask our friends to recommend restaurants, hair salons, and health care providers, but when was the last time you asked a friend where they bought their vibrator?
If you're not comfortable with that level of disclosure, but you spend time on line reading about sex, find out if your favorite sex columnist or blogger has a favorite sex store. I have two lists on About.com, one which is sex shop reviews from readers and industry insiders, and the other is a personal list of trusted and/or ground breaking sex shops. Of course both lists are subjective, and always growing and shrinking.
If you're using the yellow pages to look locally, sex toy stores can usually be found under the following categories in your phone directory:
- Video Tapes & DVDs-Rental & Sales
- Novelties - Retail
- Lingerie - Retail
Once you've found a store, do some research before you buy to avoid being overcharged or misinformed.
Compare PricesWhether you are going to buy a vibrator on line or in person, it's best to shop around on line first. Adult sex toy stores vary wildly in their pricing. For example, some stores charge $40 for a silver bullet vibrator, which you can buy in other stores for $12. While there are quality differences in vibrators, often the more expensive product is just marked up higher, and isn't actually better quality. Ask why one product is more expensive than another, and if they say it's better quality, ask what they mean by that.
Expect Service and SelectionI recommend contacting a store before you buy. If it's on line, then email them a question about one of their products. If in person, give the store a call and ask them a question. From this first interaction you should get a sense of the kind of customer service they offer. If they're rude, or you think they're just trying to sell you the most expensive vibrator in the store, don't give them the business. Any good adult sex toy store should also offer a reasonably wide selection of vibrators. If your store doesn't carry vibrators with Japanese motors, or vibrators made from a variety of sex toy materials, consider shopping somewhere else.
Buying a Vibrator from Non Sex BusinessesSex shops are probably the best places to buy a vibrator because, ideally, they have the most experience and product knowledge. But if you already know what you want, or if you aren't comfortable even going into the kinds of stores that cater to even the shyest vibrator customer, there are other places you can buy a vibrator:
- Many adult video stores have started carrying vibrators. Even though they may not offer very good customer service, if you want to avoid buying on line, this could be one of the few places you can find locally to buy a vibrator in person.
- Department stores almost always carry a few models of electric vibrators. They are usually in the small appliance section, and they are always packaged as personal massagers. You won't be able to find attachments for penetration at the department store, but you may find a top quality electric vibrator, and you can pick up a blender while you're there!
- In the UK and Canada some drug store chains have started carrying vibrators. There may be some drug stores in the U.S. that will start to carry them as well. Right now they are the line of Play vibrators made by the condom manufacturer Durex. Trojan has also announced that they will be coming out with a line of vibrators, and with any luck these will be available in drug stores as well.
- There are also thousands of women across North America who give in home sex toy parties. These companies can be hit and miss in terms of quality and customer service, but they do give you the chance to see everything in person, and they're usually fun to attend, as long as there isn't too much pressure to buy.