Wow, what a great question.
Most of us are familiar with sex toy stores that are pretty seedy. They are dimly lit, primarily sell all types of pornography, are usually run by an older un-shaved dude who is possibly smoking a cigar, they might even have porn booths or live dancers in the back. To me, this is not exactly sex positive. There isn't a whole lot of education or information being passed around. There is, however, a lot of jizz moping.
I admit that I'm spoiled living close enough to San Francisco and being affiliated with Good Vibrations via their Off Site Sex Education program. In a nut shell, sex positive retail stores are the antithesis of the older genre of sex toy/porn stores. Sex positive retailers usually have a wide and open floor design. They are also well lit, and most of all, they are welcoming. Sales staff are trained in sex education and are there to help you find the product(s) you want. Not only are these stores primarily owned by women, but the floor staff is also female rich. You can take your time browsing and touching the demo toys and asking questions that will be answered in a very professional, non-judgmental way. The other thing you will see in sex positive retailers are a lot of couples. Yes, one or both may be initially embarrassed, but they will most likely leave the store with some amazing goodies and information and confidence so they can go home and give it a whirl.
Sex positive retailers are of the philosophy that pleasure is something that everyone has a right to, and that it shouldn't be shrouded in mystery, fear, or judgment.
Here is a list of some of the most popular sex positive retail stores:
- Good Vibrations
- The Pleasure Chest
- Early to Bed
- Pure Pleasure
- The Smitten Kitten
The list is not exhaustive. You might be surprised that there is a great little sex positive retailer close to your town. I would recommend that you yelp the phrase "sex toy store" and look into the stores that have the highest ratings. Of course, you can also purchase sex toys through online stores but, for some, being able to hold and see the toy before they make a purchase is really important.