1. I CAN SURVIVE AS A WRITER! HURRAH!
2. Damn, I'm broke and need another part time job to supplement my dream job.
As I explained to a friend today, while getting distracted and chatting over Skype, I am both nervous and excited about winging it on a writers wage. She explained that I need to become a Writing Shitting Machine. By this, I/we mean to be able to shit out a lot of writing and get quicker. Definitely need to speed up how long I take to write a feature, but that's a topic for another time. I used to work a lot like that when I was writing/editing Harlot. I just need to re-engage and channel that slightly scared, extremely stressed, always on a frickin' deadline feeling.
Anyway, this post was going to be a bit about what it's like to work in a sex shop. Honestly. Not surprisingly, when I tell people what I do, it's always the part time sex shop work that gets the biggest reaction. Also not surprisingly, people have a lot of questions about what it's like, so I thought I would try to answer some of the most common and popular questions I got asked over the last 18 months here, in a Q&A stylie feature. Enjoy...
Amazing blog site, Straight Out Of Crompton caught up with Rose Crompton, a part time sales assistant in an adult store that's racier than Ann Summers, to discover what all the buzz is about?
Interview and additional words by Rose Crompton
How on earth did you end up working in a sex shop?
I forced my way in. Not in a creepy kind of way, but after my job at Scarlet folded and I walked away from Harlot the element I enjoyed most was the sex writing. So, to keep my finger on the pulse - urgh cliché!- I dropped my CV off at a sex shop and pestered the manager until he gave me some hours.
Do you get to try all of the toys?
Well Rose, this is a question I get asked a lot and the simple answer is no, not all of them. Geez, I'd be exhausted if I did because there are literally hundreds!
But you get a discount?
Oh yeah! I was lucky enough to get a staff discount when I wanted to buy something. It's good because the more you try and use - that's right, I use sex toys me being the modern woman I am - then the more knowledgeable you become about the products, so the better advice you can give to the customer. Sex toys are very intimate things and can cost hundreds of pounds. In the same way you'd expect a camera shop assistant or beauty counter person to be the expert in their field, so do sex shop sales assistants. It's not that different really and when you think about it like that, it kind of takes the fun out of it. Sorry.
Ok, ok, so what's the best sex toy?
Hard to say, because sex toys are such intimate items. What works for one person, might not work for another. If I had to be pushed to say something, for women get the Rocks Off RO-80mm. Guys, try a Fleshlight, or Tenga Egg, or simply apply lube. To everything.
Do your parents know?
Yes. And all their friends. And most of my family. They're cool with it and often the ones with the most questions (randy devils!).
Does your boyfriend mind?
I get a discount, what do you think..?
Bet there are loads of weird creepy, pervy guys that come in though?
No, not at all. I mean obviously there's the occasional odd ball, but we're in London so it's to be expected. If by pervy guys you mean the blokes that come in to buy porn or mags then definitely not. Often, these turn out to be the quietest, most polite customers we have.
So, what kinds of customers do you get?
All sorts, like literally anyone and everyone. Thankfully there's a lot less stigma attached to walking into a sex shop these days. Some of the most memorable (and lovely) customers I've helped out include a 60+ woman, on holiday from Brazil looking to buy her first vibrator; a post-op trans woman looking for something small; a lesbian couple in need of a firmer dildo (lucky we stock glass) and an endless number of men wanting to "surprise" their partner's with something luxurious and top of the range. Seriously, there is no 'normal' or stereotype you can attribute to what a sex shop shopper is anymore. That makes me happy.
Do people have sex in the shop?
Hell no! If they try (only happened once) then they get escorted out. We sell the sexy stuff, but the sexy stuff ain't allowed to happen until you're home!
Aren't you embarrassed talking to people about that 'stuff'?
No, not at all. Sex is fun and there's lots to learn and most of us revel in the pleasures it offers us. Nothing to be embarrassed about and most of us do it.
Well, that's about it. This was just supposed to be a bit of fun, but I'm more than happy to answer [serious] questions about working in an adult store and sex toys. Leave a comment on the blog, or get me on twitter @RoseC_Leic -x-