I recently overheard the following conversation at Pleasure Place in Georgetown:
Girl [holding her boyfriend's hand and pointing to a vibrator with her other hand]: So…do you think that your sister would like that one?
Guy: I don't know. Maybe she'd like the big black one? That's huge!!! [They laugh.]
I normally don't interject myself into other people's conversations, but I made an exception to that rule on this occasion.
Me: Maybe you should get something smaller or find out what she likes first? [Point to the mini vibrators on the next wall.} Or, ask the salespeople for their opinions. They're very helpful here!
What I really wanted to say was, "Your SISTER?!? Why are you buying sex toys for your sister? Abort mission! Abort!!!"
Unless you know what your friend/relative/significant other likes, I don't recommend going sex toy shopping for him or her. Buying sex toys isn't like buying a popular DVD or a body lotion that smells nice. Sex toys are not generic gifts to purchase since they are by their nature personal. It's also worth remembering that people's comfort levels in talking about sex, testing their sexual boundaries or receiving sexual gifts vary.
Want to explore with your partner or encourage your significant other to try something new?
Talk with your partner first! Communicate about likes, dislikes and sexual goals. Then, go shopping for your significant other. Or, better yet, shop together — either online or at a store. Use the conversation and the shopping experience to grow closer as a couple.
Buying a gift for a friend?
Talk with your friend first! Make sure that you are getting your friend something that he or she would like and use. One of my friends takes her small bullet vibrators with her on vacation, and unfortunately she has a knack for leaving them in hotel nightstands. (Yes, in the drawer with the Bible…) I offered to go get her a new one since I'm in Georgetown so often.
When I arrived at Pleasure Place, I realized that there are bullets the size of my pinky and bullets the size of my thumb. I didn't want to chance getting her the wrong one (you don't mess with your girl's sex toys) so I picked up the phone and called her. She was happy, and I didn't have to worry about coming back to make an exchange!
Shopping for a bachelorette party? Sex toys or gag gifts can be fun. But, is there really a point in embarrassing the bride-to-be with a 10" plastic cock? I don't think so, but to each her own.
Looking for a gift for your relative? Stick with a book or a sweater! Seriously!