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Adult Store Dilemma
Something about Tristen’s description of her lingerie shopping process reminded me of the scene in Boogie Nights when Dirk Diggler gives that awards ceremony speech about how the industry can make better films and how “they can help, they really can.” I understand where Tristen is coming from with her sincere desire to find some lingerie to wear during sexy times with her “hubby,” and I respect her openness to discussing it — to a point. Sure, some people use lingerie, or movies, or toys, to help stimulate arousal in the bedroom, but this thread (and adults shops) are about much more than that. Like Dirk Diggler, she’s simplifying something that’s actually not so simple.
First, why discuss this subject on Facebook? Tristen’s remarks have that casual, “So what? WE’RE MARRIED!” vibe to them, as if to say, “Listen, lingerie store proprietors, there are adults in this world who are trying to get busy and who, God forbid, also have children. I know that may come as a surprise, but sometimes when two consenting and married adults have sex they make babies. And there is nothing wrong with us taking them out shopping. They’re too young to understand what anything is! Stop harboring a hypocritical bias against families who use lingerie in the bedroom and need to try on items together in stores! This is a totally normal thing to do, and we don’t give a F if we have to leave our strollers outside. Just let us in and let us shop!”
There’s a subtle condescension to her comments, like she was made to feel “dirty” in an adult store when she can’t possibly be “dirty” because she’s married with children. She’s just a woman who enjoys pleasing her husband! She wants to wear lingerie that he likes and it is VERY IMPORTANT that she try things on with him present because *hello*, she’s wearing this stuff for him.
Aside from that feeling that I’m picking up, and aside from the fact that this was posted on Facebook (granted, in a measured, articulate way), I’m still kind of blown away (no pun intended) that parents think it’s normal to bring their kids into stores called “Lovers” or “Resurrection” or “Edible Panties Emporium” to do serious “try stuff on” shopping. I’m all for kids growing up with a mature understanding of sexual behavior, and I understand that these children are super young, but we all know that adult shops cater to more than just “married couples with very particular husbands who really like the color red and just the right amount of lace and skin showing.” People are a little freakier than that. They like anal beads. Dildos. Porn. Vibrators. Items that resemble household appliances that make no sense to people who don’t enjoy fucking farm animals. And unless you’re in a store that ONLY sells lingerie (otherwise known as Victoria’s Secret and stripper supply stores), then that stuff is going to be available and on display. And there might also be a creepy guy hanging out by the “Facials” DVD section. And another guy with a questionably ragged Fu Manchu mustache. And a girl who may or may not have a cutting fetish.
That said, there are plenty of “upscale adult boutiques” that absolutely love draining (no pun intended) hipster parents of cash, and they are not strict about bringing kids to the store. Here in Brooklyn, one shop actually has a kids play area set up so people can “selectively” shop in peace while their children play with stuffed animals shaped like butt plugs. (Just kidding. They’re shaped like octopi, and they’re just butt plug cozies.) It’s all about where you go. And I guess to conclude my insanely long thought on this subject, I just want to say that while I’m not judgmental of the idea of shopping for these things with kids in tow, some people don’t necessarily want to buy a Jaguar Harness + Purple Leo Combo or an Icicles Swirl Dildo while a baby looks on or a toddler has a meltdown over fruit snacks. And that makes sense to me. I’m not sure why it doesn’t make sense to Tristen, but there is a reason some adult shops don’t want kids in their store, and it’s all about what’s good for the business.
In other words, just buy online if you truly can’t leave your kids with a sitter for an hour. Take a risk. And maybe tell your “hubby” to appreciate what you’re wearing regardless of whether it’s his “preferred style.” Is he a dude about to get laid or is he André Leon Talley?
(submitted by Anonymous)