New frontiers

I tried to take some time off today. But the chair at the Wild Oat was stiff and my latte sour and, well, it was too hot for October 5. I’m no fan of Ottawa winter, but a little crisp fall air would be nice. I needed some air. So I walked. Right into a sex shop.

Venus Envy is on Lisgar Street, a one-way turn off Bank right downtown, just across from the Bible Shop. Seriously. The good folks at Venus Envy describe themselves online as an “educational erotic shop,” which is probably just another way of saying, “No, we don’t sell raunchy porn and our carpet doesn’t smell.” Not that I would know anything about that. The building was bright and open; it used to be a laundromat. Tonight I discovered that my sister-in-law was chased out of there (when it was just tumbling dryers and rinse cycles – not vibrators) for stuffing too many pairs of jeans into a front loader. Bad girl.

I entered self-consciously and tried to avoid eye-contact.

Now, readers who know me well know that I like a little playful fun, as long as it’s safe. And I mean the exploratory kind. With clothes on. Except that time in Damascus in the Hammam. Thank God that guy only used a loofah. What I mean is, a moment after I walked into Venus Envy, I knew that I had no reason to be uncomfortable. After all, why would the kindly staff be embarrassed to talk to me about stuff they were there to sell? So what if I still call vibrators “dildos” and am shocked at the sticker price of greaseless lube? To minimize the titilation factor, I decided to imagine pickles and egg plant and spicy sauce; not – well, you know. So when a perky female clerk came over to me, smiling, to see if she could help, I asked some questions. And it was kinda fun. Like a holiday.

It turns out that appearances in sex toys are deceiving. That sparkly latex ring with the star-like knobs all around it is more stretchy than it looks. It can go around and under. The bullet-like silver thingie attached with a little snap uses two tiny batteries and buzzes almost silently. Apparently that’s “for her.” Then those wand-like ones are bent like that to reach the male g-spot. So we talked about that. And how. And why. It all seemed like a lot of work compared to the selection of ribbed latex sleeves in the section just to the right. Those were pretty straight-forward, if you know what I mean and can excuse the pun. I think my new sex clerk friend cased me out in a sec, and figured that a 39-year-old guy that had not paid attention to the leather section or the firefighter calendars still had territory to explore.

She was right. And I’ll let you know how it goes. Maybe.

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