At The Mood, just a hop and skip away from the famous Condom Kingdom, the employees are advocates of safe sex and are eager to use all of the store’s toys.
It’s a place for anyone who wants to try something new with a partner (or partners). The Mood’s products are marked by high quality and variety – they offer everything from throat-desensitizing gel to celebrity porn to edible underwear.
Right now, since most customers are looking to buy something special for Valentine’s Day, assistant manager Catherine Anderson said that a piece of lingerie called the Red Heart Mesh Deep-V Teddy is currently the store’s most popular item. Another hit is the Love Liquor, which sells for just $4.99 and can be used for erotic massages.
The Mood sells items for hetero- and homosexual couples and singles. For couples, they offer a vibrating penis ring that will enhance sexual intercourse. Anderson recommends the Ring of Xtasy ($14) and The Big O ($18). The Mood’s chocolate body pens are also generally a hit among customers – they allow one to write on his or her lover and then lick off the letters.
Singles can try the small-but-powerful Silver Bullet vibrator, currently on sale for $3 because the makers are trying to attract people who are looking for something less expensive than the average vibrator. Many porn films are also on sale for $2.99 or four for $10.
“We have a lot of things that are inexpensive right now because we’re buying things the companies are no longer making, so you can get some nice deals on some nice toys,” Anderson said.
525 South St.
Known widely for its smorgasbord of sexy Halloween costumes, Erogenous Zone also sells nine-inch heels, lingerie, porn and toys. It’s a store with a sense of fun – they even sell penis-shaped lollipops in different flavors.
“South Street has it,” manager Sherry Sawhney said.
Singles and couples can make Valentine’s Day fun with E-Zone’s new back area, full of games and toys. Sawhney said the most popular of these is an adult version of Candyland called “Let’s F—,” which sells for $10. During the course of the game, the players slowly strip down to nothing and follow sexual cues from the board.
While Valentine’s Day is lucrative for The Mood, Halloween is the real moneymaking holiday for Erogenous Zone. They sell some of their Halloween items – such as stockings and heels – year-round at the store. Their overall best seller is a six-inch stiletto shoe known as the 609 Julia, which comes in black, red or white. For men with a thing for heels, they sell up to a size 14.
704 S. Fifth St.
Got a kinky whip fetish? Love to wear dominatrix gear? Passional’s two stores will fulfill all of your fantasy needs. Customers can purchase leather corsets and boots at Passional, then walk a block to Passional Toys and buy handcuffs and collars to add some excitement to Valentine’s Day sex.
Owner Kali Morgan knows her business. Ask her what’s hot for Valentine’s Day and she’ll tell you – it’s toys. But the toys Passional sells are much different than those sold at the sex shops on South Street. Passional specializes in items for those interested in BD/SM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadism). Their dominatrix outfits and selection of whips are popular.
Passional also offers workshops on every sex act imaginable. Patrons can learn Intermediate Bondage with Veronica Bound, a professional dominatrix, or about the elusive g-spot in one of the “101” classes. These workshops cost $35 a person and $60 for couples that can “prove they’re a couple.” Class sizes are small – usually around eight people – to keep things intimate.
Customers who are looking for something different and have tried everything “mainstream” should turn to Passional – their items are unique, high quality and come with a 90-day guarantee.
“We have a large selection of stuff that is guaranteed to serve your needs – and to last longer than 20 minutes,” Morgan said.
510 South St.
While the outdoor sign reads “Lady Lord,” the store is known as Lady Love. The same people who run Erogenous Zone also own Lady Love, so many of the products overlap.
And while they don’t carry toys or lubricants, they do have many products for exotic dancers. On the second floor, dresses and S&M clothing for both leather lovers and gentlemen’s club employees cover the racks.
Manager Margaret Refile said that crotch-less and butt-less clothing is popular during the Valentine’s Day season, and that mostly men purchase these items. Usually, though, Lady Love appeals more to women. They offer shoes up to size 15, but the majority of clothing and toys sold are geared toward meeting women’s needs and making women feel sexy.
Refile suggested that people who are single on Valentine’s Day buy themselves lingerie and wine and watch a good movie.
Sara Gamble can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.