Minus the City – Good Vibrations

Erin Bergman & Kimmy Cunningham

While lying on the couch early on Sunday afternoon, we decided that instead of gossiping in our pajamas, we should probably do something productive. As Case Library was simply not going to cut it, we decided there only one alternative: “Adult World”. This establishment, located on 319 Oriskany Blvd in Yorkville past the Sangertown Mall, serves as one of the sole retailers of pornography, novelty items and sex toys in the area. Our journey to the store has been an idea we’ve thrown around over the past few weeks, and boy was it worth the drive.

Despite the fact that we write a sex column, neither of us had ever actually ventured into a real, live sex store. We’ll be the first to admit, we were skeptical when we arrived at the windowless warehouse with a sign on the slightly uninviting door that read, “STOP! You must be 18 to enter.” However, our fears immediately diminished when we stepped inside and were greeted by Jesse, the man at the counter who is a self-described, “lonely, sweetheart of a hippie.” We explained that we were doing research for a column, upon which he replied, “Hey, no judgments here.” After convincing him that we were in fact writing an article, Jesse offered to give us a detailed tour of the store. We obviously accepted.

Considering the only thing we knew about sex store merchandise was the infamous Debbie Does Dallas, we figured the porn section would be a great place to start. We saw your basic, Ass Good As It Gets, The Young and Breastless and Willy Wanker in her Chocolate Factory. However we were introduced to some less traditional titles such as, Chocolate Cum 2 and, our personal favorite, My Granny is a Tranny. The latter certainly raised our eyebrows, at which Jesse explained that transsexual porn is gaining popularity. “I can see how people might find it morally reprehensible,” he said, “but lesbian porn just gets boring.” It was at this point that we first noticed a lone, fifty-year-old man shuffle to a mysterious room behind a curtain. As we stared at Jesse in complete confusion, he explained that customers can view two minutes of a movie for one dollar in one of the back rooms. “It smells like ass in there,” he explained, “thank God I don’t have to clean it.” Needless to say, we skipped this portion of the tour.

Moving from a boy’s favorite pastime to a girl’s best friend, we traveled to the land, or more literally, the wall of vibrators and dildos. Jesse began by correcting the common misconception that vibrators and dildos are one and the same. The word vibrator only refers to a massager and does not necessarily imply insertion. The vibrating dildos, however, are designed for penetration. These items of sexual paraphernalia range in price, size and accessory. As a general rule, Jesse informed us that, “the more moving parts, the more expensive.” We saw prices anywhere from $10 to over $100. As for size, they ranged from “the pocket rocket” (the vibrating massager the size of your pinky) to a three-foot-long, double-ended dildo.

But the toy section definitely did not end with dildos. Other stimulators included “The Humdinger” (when placed at the base of the penis, this nifty little gadget arouses the clitoris during intercourse), “The Swinging Pendulum” (Two holes. ‘Nough said) and, perhaps the most involved, “Asian Butterfly” (which includes a vibrating clitoral teaser, a ribbed vagina snuggler, an anal tickler and, how could they forget the soft, wide, adjustable straps).

A slightly darker side of the toy section consisted of your basic handcuffs, nipple-clamps, an Indiana Jones whip and, perhaps the most inventive, “Diamond Ball Gag”. This facial harness is designed to secure a diamond (made of plastic, this is New Hartford, not Laguna Beach) in the mouth using an attached leather strap. Don’t worry, asphyxiation can only occur if you vomit, or maybe if you bite too hard and swallow the ball. We hit each other with the leather crops, decided that was all the bondage we could handle and, consequently, moved on.

While most of the toys we’ve mentioned are intended for foreplay, we were sheltered from the world of fore-foreplay. Such playful items include games titled, “Between the Sheets” (an actual set of probably-less-than-500-count linens) and “Cajones” (fine print: An adult strategy game that takes balls). In addition to these brainteasers, there is also an extensive fashion section. If you’re in the market for full body fishnet suits, crotchless panties or edible undies (all of which are available in “Queen Size”), this is your place. Boys: if you’re looking to dress like Borat for Halloween this year, don’t worry, there are several man thong unitards on the bottom shelf.

Our final stop on “Tour d’Adult World” was your not-so-basic party gags and novelty items. We’re talking Mr. Dickhead (Mr. Potatohead with an, um, kink), phallic cake pans, both Ron Jeremy and “that guy who screwed you over, albeit not well” sized condoms and who could forget, Elexia (the “Orgasm Stimulant” that contains “horny goat weed”).

Thus ended our Adult World adventure. Yes, we learned about a wide array of sex toys and pornographic puns on movie titles, but more importantly, we received exposure to a subject commonly perceived as taboo. We thought that our trip to the sex store, for lack of a better term, nailed the aim of our column on the head. Sex is an integral part of our, in a “big picture” sense, daily lives and it should be discussed as such. So think outside the box, grab a friend and take a road trip. You can always tell Jesse that we sent you.