It’s a question that came up the other day in a conversation … that took a bit of an unusual twist for me. A friend asked an opinion when trying to select a toy and my suggestion was to get all of them if she couldn’t decide. The horror on her face at the implication she may like or want more than an individual toy sent my brain spinning and now we are both sitting in shock looking like a couple of owls. I couldn’t picture it, a life with just one toy … I can’t even picture it now writing this. I glazed over and thought of the scene in Pleasantville when everything goes from black-and-white to color, this must be like what her life was like before she bought her first toy, and then after.
Her perspective was that purchasing a toy was about picking one single item. Her vision or shopping cart never shifted from singularity to duplicity at any moment. (We agreed that lubricant is the equivalent to a gas and car relationship and removed from the equation.) The suggestion at adding on a complementary item, or other possible items of interest to her and her partner was almost a transgression. While funny, it was also a stark reminder at how comfortable we may become in our own shopping decisions, we forget what a challenge they may be to others.
If you think about it, getting asked to quantify your “toy box” most likely doesn’t come up very often, if ever, in most conversations. When it does, it’s usually from a Marie Kondo perspective. If it hasn’t brought you joy lately, it must go. There isn’t a lot of excess room to store things in a bedroom, and if you are storing toys in a plastic tub somewhere else in the house. Let. Them. Go. I like to think of this as some form of intimate progress. While brief, we’ve quasi addressed the above question from an organizational/logistics point of view.
Looking at the question from another frame of reference, what is your personal preference? You like palm vibes? I’m guessing whatever sector of adult you are in whether it be retail, distribution or manufacturing, you’ve got a few to choose from. You know what you like right? I like vanilla ice cream but that doesn’t mean I only get vanilla ice cream from one source. Our industry family isn’t shy about sharing personal favorites, from their personal perspective. I love it — healthy dialogue about things that excite and inspire us from our work lives that affect our personal lives. Call it going after what you want; I like to look at it as attaining adult pleasure products that add bodily happiness and comfort to our lives.
Somewhere in between is what I’ll call the toy box. A beloved collection of personal favorites, a few new things you are waiting to sample or try, and a rando or two that you aren’t ready to commit to staying or going. Thoughts? Let it go, if you must think about it — there is something else out there waiting for you. Do you have to have all the new items from your favorite manufacturer? Do you hold out for favorite colors? Need more bumps, buzzes, thuds, vibes? Decided everything must match? It goes back to the toy box question, how many of what is in our toy box?
The twist? When the question of quantity becomes an issue. When that number is unintentionally used as a morality gauge for judgement.
If you think back to your initial experience of buying or receiving your first toy, there are some leaps between thinking about buying a pleasure product and the actual purchase of the product. We all hope customers are planning on — or open to — the purchase of multiple items. The dynamic changes when the customer has made a big personal decision to purchase a toy, and building the sale takes a complex turn. It’s easy to overlook and can be easy to forget, often the first hurdle is making the decision to allow yourself to participate in self-pleasure. It isn’t a matter of getting to a store or finding a private place to surf the web, the feat is in removing self-doubt and self-guilt.
Our retailers in the adult industry face such a unique set of circumstances with each customer that walks through the door. Pulse check — are we doing our job on the manufacturing and distribution side to equip stores and sales associates with the tools and support they need to navigate the sales floor? We spend so much energy and time on developing new ideas and promotions and plans —when was the last time you just stopped and thought about what was important in the beginning? Making an incredible and important difference in people’s lives. When did we take a minute and stop trying to sell and genuinely think about the sale?
My final advice in the end? Pretty much the same as it started, buy them all. Some say to never put all your eggs in one basket, I say never put all your vibes in one box.