I have a confession to make: I used to be a sex toy lady. I bundled up my demonstration sex toys and drove from house to house to educate women and couples about their sexuality and on how to bring some spice back into their sex lives. We always had a good time, and most of the people in attendance went away empowered to take charge of their own sexual satisfaction. I always encouraged attendees to ask me anything they wanted to, but I often had to simply anticipate what they might ask - and not just about the toys, but about me! Here are some questions I know many clients had on the tips of their tongues.
How do you get into selling sex toys?
I have a background in corporate training, and I used to teach data entry operators how to enter information quickly and accurately into computerized form fields. I learned early that I'm a good teacher and that I have a knack for talking to people. A friend of mine was in the business and she asked me to join. I was hesitant, but then she invited me to a party she was doing and I imagined all types of things I could do for my own demonstrations. My listening ear and teaching sensibilities went haywire. I was hooked!
Have you ever been embarrassed?
Yes, but not for the reasons you might think. The most embarrassing time I had while on the job was during a rather large party where the hostess had two small dogs who clearly knew they were the king and queen of their castle. As soon as I walked in the door, they sniffed me and my bags. Many of the beauty items I sold had pheromones in them, and King and Queen spent the entire night directly under me, trying to get amorous with my products - and my legs. The dogs darted between me and the guests all night long trying to figure out which pheromones were calling them the loudest, and which love call they would heed.
What sorts of people did you work with?
A lot of people assume that selling sex toys is like selling sex, but my job was actually less about sex than promoting intimacy in relationships. We had an entire line of beauty products and lubricants, not just sex toys, but no matter what customers were buying, I was always proud to help them in just about any way I could. Some of them were pregnant women seeking ways to maintain intimacy throughout difficult pregnancies, a time when many relationships can falter without straight sex. Others were older couples who were experiencing various medical conditions but still wanted to enjoy one another in sexual ways. The majority were couples who wanted to enjoy intimacy with their partners in more and different ways.
So, you've tried everything in the book in your own sex life, right?
Absolutely not. No one likes every single thing there is under the sun, and I’m true to form. Of course, I have my favorite items, which I continued to purchase and use after I left the business, but it would have taken me years to use every single thing offered by the company - even if I’d been so inclined.
How do you train to sell sex toys?
The company I worked for had specialized training for consultants, and allowed us to take courses toward obtaining certification as a sex educator. I completed a series of training classes that allowed me to become a consultant certified to educate cancer survivors on enhancing their sexuality after cancer treatment. I also had some college coursework in human sexuality. And, of course, I had some life experience in the way of relationships and intimacy. (Read more about the benefits of buying from an expert in Why I'm a Sex Shop Snob (and You Should Be Too.)
Did you like your job?
I absolutely loved empowering women to take charge of their own sex lives and relationships. I remember a time when women were discouraged from discussing these things. The result was an entire generation of women who had no idea that sex and intimacy could be pleasurable and good for them. By teaching these ladies how to become proactive in seeking their own intimate moments and improving their relationships, I feel I helped to contribute to loving relationships.
I also appreciated being able to provide a forum for couples to open up to one another about things they might want to experiment with, without the embarrassment of doing so in an open venue.
Did you ever think,'Wow, these people are really kinky!'?
Nope, different strokes for different folks. Everyone has their own varying tastes in everything from food to sex, and the world is better for all that diversity.
What's your sex life like?
This, I think, is what everyone wonders about "the sex toy lady," but are (for the most part) too polite to ask. Here's the truth: My sex life is just like that of any other working mom/wife. There are days when I’m too tired to even consider grown up play time, and others when I can hardly wait to get to my overstocked toolbox. Of course, access to all those great products gave me a bit of an advantage, but I've mostly relied on my training in relationships, along with a little dedication to building my own happily ever after.