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Babeland: A Shop for Books, Candles, and Butt Plugs

Babeland, a sex toy brand with shops in NYC and Seattle, offers something for everyone—whether you’re on your first or fiftieth visit. Published: August 21, 2019

Shopping for a sex toy is just like shopping for a cellphone, according to Lisa Finn, brand manager of Babeland. You have to consider your unique wants and needs, and then sort through the available options to find the right match in terms of tech specs, construction, and aesthetics. “It's about finding what specifically works for each person,” she explains. There’s no “right” way to feel pleasure, and no one tool to get there.

Still, talking with a sales associate about a smartphone’s battery life and display resolution is a lot different from discussing a dildo’s girth and the lube to use it with. “It might not be something that you are comfortable sharing out loud to a stranger, because it's [about] an intimate experience,” says Finn. That’s why Babeland has a policy of “meeting people where they’re at,” which simply means that every staff member is trained to make people feel comfortable and safe enough to open up on their own terms. “If someone keeps on saying ‘private parts,’ I'm not going to push the word ‘clitoris’ in their face,” explains Finn.

Finn says the vast majority of her clientele have no idea where to begin. When working with someone who’s never owned a sex toy before, she follows a kind of verbal flow chart, asking questions like "Is this for you? Is this for you and a partner? Are you looking for something to use anally? Are you looking for something to use against a vulva or against a penis?" Once she has a notion of the kind of toy that could work, she guides the client through different sections of the store so they can respond to specific examples. “By walking somebody around the store, they have the opportunity to see something on the shelf and go, ‘Ooh, what's that?’” she says. “The great thing about sex toys is there is this moment of attraction to the products. We have open displays of everything, so you can turn it on, feel it in your hands, and get an idea of what it’s like.”

Finn has a few pointers for first-time sex toy buyers. “My pro tip is [to] masturbate before you come in,” says Finn. “Think about how you get there, what sort of mindset you are in.” She also encourages shoppers to go in ready to share as much as they feel comfortable sharing: “More so than ask us, tell us. This is a completely judgment-free zone.”

The brand’s matter-of-fact approach to sex suggests that, when it comes down to it, the activity isn’t all that special. “We're just here to give folks information,” says Finn. Pleasure is something that everyone can access—and whatever it takes you to get there, Babeland wants to help.

Curated By

Frances Thomas profile picture

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor

Lisa Finn

Sex Educator and the Brand Manager of Babeland
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