Love, Actually

While I was in San Francisco recently I made the grave mistake of wandering into a sex-shop called Frenchy’s, which was neither French nor particularly woman-friendly. Within 15 seconds I realized that I was the only female in the shop with an actual pulse. I felt like a small woodland creature leered at by a pack of mangy wolves. I hightailed it out, feeling super yucky and homesick.

That being said, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work in an adult store. And by “adult,” I mean a place that sells dirty magazines, porn and strap-ons. Is it a dangerous job? Would I have to keep a loaded shotgun behind the counter to ward off creeps in trench coats? What would I wear? Are stilettos mandatory uniform?

Last week I found out by spending an afternoon working at The Love Shack in Kihei (yes, they advertise with us). To say the least, I was both stoked and apprehensive.

I’ve been in The Love Shack tons of times and have always felt comfortable around the knowledgeable sales staff and The Queen of Love herself, shop owner Lila Sherman (I’m something of a sex-toy aficionado). But I was a little stressed because I wasn’t sure what the clientele would be like. I am a pervert magnet and the last thing I wanted to do was subject myself to a large pool of them.

I was wrong to be worried. In fact, it’s wrong to call The Love Shack a sex-store. It’s more like a candy-shop for grownups. After spending the day there–shadowing Lila, pricing products, entering customers into a Valentine’s Day drawing, hanging lingerie, putting labels on lube, pimping the benefits of ben wa balls and giving my input on what makes a good vibrator great, I realized a few things that surprised me…

Lila is a G-MILF

“G” standing for Grandma. Before spending time with her, I found it hard to believe that someone from that generation could be so open-minded about sex and love. I’ve often “sterilized” people in that age bracket in my mind, which is ridiculous. She is absolutely amazing and knows everything—and I mean everything—about sex. “Therapists send couples to me,” she said. After spending time with her, I felt ready to tackle a gagillion new positions, erotic massage techniques and even try my hand at the Jitterbug, a dance that she introduced me to behind the counter.

People are kinkier than they look

Can’t stress this one enough. I’ve always fancied myself open-minded and explorative when it comes to activities that take place between the sheets, but also tended to think that I was kind of a freak. Not so. I rang up so many “normal” looking couples–Dockers and polo shirts–that came in and bought some items I haven’t even tried yet. Some were tourists, some were on lunch breaks, but all seemed comfortable with both their sexuality and larger than life, veiny, cyber-flesh dildos.

A longer marriage equals better sex

I know that this isn’t always true, but I’m trying to think positive. Of the many couples that came in, the oldest ones seemed the happiest. Of course, my hands got clammy when they walked in the door. I wanted to cover their eyes and apologize profusely for all the shop’s graphic nudity before ushering them outside. Again, I misjudged. They wandered the store, occasionally holding hands, whispering to each other and chuckling. They weren’t embarrassed in the slightest. They left with a toy, fresh batteries, large bottle of lube and infectious grins on their faces. The future is looking bright, my friends.

Age means nothing

At one point an 82-year-old gentleman came in. I would have never matched him and anything sex-related in a million years. He and Lila reminisced about World War II and the music of their younger years. “While Viagra is great, I wish there was something for the ladies,” he lamented as he bought a birthday card that said, “For your Birthday I bought you a 14-inch vibrator” (in the inside it said in squiggly type, “but I misplaced it somewhere”).

Later a super saucy-looking woman who appeared to be in her 30’s walked in. I figured that she knew her way around all things sex. She bought a vibrator but blanched at the mere thought of cock rings. Who knew?

The Love Shack, 1913 S. Kihei Road, 875-0303. MTW