The other day, I went to a fetish shop. I had bought a flogger from them some time ago, and it had a flaw. I wanted them to repair or replace it, but hadn’t gotten around to going there to talk to them about it yet.
When I walked in, there was one other customer in the bright cheery shop, a small woman who seemed to be collecting a whole lot of items, laying them on the glass-top counter, then going to find some more. There was quite a stack.
I had a chat to the guy behind the counter who turned out to be the owner: he was lovely, friendly, understanding. He agreed the flogger was ‘broken’, and invited me to choose a replacement flogger from much more upmarket stock. Good customer service! Oh my. We chatted a bit and I said that since he was being so lovely to me, I would now have to find other things to buy. He laughed, said encouraging things, and off I went to browse.
I wandered about, was smacking myself with various implements to see how they felt, rifling through a bargain bin, touching things to feel texture, weight.
The woman was in earnest discussion with the owner. I glanced over at her. She was maybe 40-ish, small, wiry, she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, a cute hat.
She tentatively called to me. “Excuse me…”
I smiled quizzically, “Yes?”
She smiled shyly, “Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“I’m… um… looking at strap-ons. Do you have one? I’m wondering if you can help me…”
We chatted about strap-on harnesses, I told her about the two I have, what I liked and didn’t. I mentioned another that I want, but haven’t been able to justify buying. The owner obligingly looked it up online so that she could see it.
She was incredibly sweet and nervous, and I know she was intimidated by being in the store, that it took nerve to come in and talk about it, that this was all new to her. I wanted to be her new best friend.
As it was, I gave her as much information as I could, I advised her to join Fetlife to find local workshops and events and just to get information, and when she kept saying that she hadn’t a clue what she was doing, I reassured her that fucking about with it is part of the fun. She looked sceptical at that, but it’s so true.
She left with some $250 worth of goodies, and I thought, “Your partner is one lucky lucky boy.”
I loved seeing her there, I loved that she was exploring, I loved that she was asking questions, I loved that whatever it took for her to get up the nerve to do it, she found it. I left there skip-happy and hoping that because she had met the owner (a really lovely man) and me (a perfectly normal, friendly Domme) she felt a little more confident walking out than she had walking in.
As for me, I have new toys!!
So fantastic that you helped her out. I hope that they have a really great time. <3
Pardon my ignorance, but what do you call the one on the bottom? It looks nasty as hell, and I am immensely intrigued!
“I hope that they have a really great time. <3"
"...what do you call the one on the bottom? It looks nasty as hell..."
The bottom one is a small bullwhip. It is even more nasty because I haven't a clue how to use it! It will be quite a while before I aim it at anything other than inanimate objects.
Ah, thank you! I liked the look of it and yeah, mother*fuck* that does sound nasty! I love it!
“….I haven’t a clue how to use it!” Can’t believe that. But if u r still a rookie with single tails, it wouldn’t hurt to practice a bit first indeed. What inanimate objects will suffer first?
Yeah, I was was wondering what the loopy one at the top does as well.
It’s a carpet beater. I use it for beating carpets!
Or, alternatively, for beating the arse of a boy who happens to be in the way of the carpet beating. I mean, that’s just his own fault!
You could hang it on the wall above the TV, connect it with a small wire, and claim it is a digital antenna.
I want to hear more about the hat Ferns.
P.S. I bet mine is nicer!
Yes, yours is definitely nicer!!
Had you been there, I probably would have said, “Yeah, strange woman who I don’t know, your hat’s ‘okay’, but take a look at THAT! (then I would have pointed to your head) Now THAT’S a hat!!”
*laughs and laughs*
Thanks a million made my day!
I bet you made that woman’s day! :D I truely hope they had fun later that night. ;D
*smile* She made *my* day!! And I imagine they did!
That’s a smooth floor you’ve got there, Ferns!
*laugh* Great image! And yes… very smooth! The carpet is outside, ready for beating.
Those are some interesting objects. I bet a lot of fun will be had with them. The shop you went to does seem to be concerned with customer service, a rarity these days, I’d love to find a store like that in my area. I bet the young woman you chatted with is having the time of her life!
“The shop you went to does seem to be concerned with customer service”
Yes! I was most impressed.
I didn’t mention (since it wasn’t relevant to the story) that he was happy to chat about all his products, was very knowledgeable, tried on a couple of collars at my request (just to see how they fitted and looked on a man, of course), replaced a cheaper carpet beater (from the bargain bin) with better stock from the floor, and then gave me a discount!
*looks at the exemplary customer service*
Oh yeah, I’ll be going back there for sure!
“Your partner is one lucky boy.”
You didn’t mention in the story that she told you she had one. Did she say that?
It does sound like a nice environment, there. Often at those places no one makes eye contact. I suppose it’s a form of politeness, to assume others want to be left alone, but it comes across creepy. I’d rather the owner acknowledge me entering. I’m not saying it has to be a super friendly Walmart kind of greeting, just a head nod. What’s the big deal?
I actually use that as a hypothetical with new acquaintances. “What would you do if you walked into a porn shop and you saw me?”
If they shrug and answer, “come over and say hi,” we’re friends.
“You didn’t mention in the story that she told you she had one. Did she say that?”
She did, yes.
“Often at those places no one makes eye contact.”
Yes, I think it is politeness, and if there is shame in it, there is a real ‘skulking’ vibe.
“I’d rather the owner acknowledge me entering.”
Yes, I think they vary. Many here are light, cheerful, with friendly helpful staff. This one is not a sex shop (i.e. no porn, no standard sex toys), but a fetish-gear shop, so is a little different again.
“I actually use that as a hypothetical with new acquaintances. “What would you do if you walked into a porn shop and you saw me?””
*laugh* Great hypothetical.
I need to find a shop like this in England… I’m sure a thorough search through Soho would give up the goods but I’d love to know which would be best… *googles for a shop directory*
Oh, and – shop owners who allow for use of test subjects are the best. On the two occasions I bought handcuffs, one shop owner cuffed -me- (and gave my friend the key, that was mean xD), another classier shop that didn’t have them out on display encouraged me to test them out on my friend. (Same on, actually, he’s my cuff-buying buddy :P)
It’ll be odd when I go to a sex/fetish shop with my actual partner, I’m so at ease in those places now, but I don’t think he’s ever been xD
“…and – shop owners who allow for use of test subjects are the best.”
Yes! Sounds like you already found some good ones… well, at least for the friendly customer service part!
Eep! Bullwhip! Scary!
And the woman seems nice :D I’m sure you managed to encourage her a little. Did you exchange numbers or anything?
“Eep! Bullwhip! Scary!”
I know! So far I have only managed to hurt myself once, on the shin… yowtch!
“Did you exchange numbers or anything?”
No, we didn’t. I wanted to give her my Fetlife name, but by that time the owner had my full real name (because initially he was going to repair and send the faulty flogger) and I didn’t feel comfortable linking the two.