August 6th, 2008

Back in August of 2007, when I was working in-office at The Village Voice, I wrote a number of reviews of local sex shops in a series I called “Beyond Babeland.” Needless to say, those reviews never made it up on the Voice site (which is getting a new, exciting influx of staff in the next few weeks, so woot). Still, if you live near these locations and like things that go buzz in the night, give this three-part series a read:

Your colorful, sparkly rabbitsNew York City’s selective sex toy shoppers know that nothing tops Toys in Babeland. With one location in Soho and another on the Lower East Side, Babeland has a great selection, a welcoming atmosphere, and a whole lot of know-how. Sex toys of all shapes and sizes—from dildos to harnesses to butt plugs—are displayed proudly, cleanly, out of their boxes and standing tall in all their brightly-colored glory. Like it’s faux-rival, the California-based Good Vibrations, Babeland is women-owned and women-oriented, and it’s changing the way we see sex toys: from sleazy to chic.

But for better or worse, not all the sex shops in New York can be Babeland—and toy shoppers deserve selection. Sure, there may be plenty of places to buy sex toys online, but a toy isn’t necessarily something you want to purchase site-unseen. (“Wow, nine inches looked a lot shorter on the website!”) Plus, there’s something awkwardly charming about a visit to a sex toy shop that a few clicks of the mouse just can’t replace.

Condoms aisle, cnady aisleSo what is out there beyond Babeland? We’ve all passed the seedy, hokey, or otherwise seemingly sub-par shops that dot our city. But what are they really like? Which are gems and which are, well, creepy? Where can we get the best deals, and where should we remember never again to ask for tips on pegging our boyfriends? This girl shopper thinks it’s time to suck it up, avoid eye contact with the blow up doll that invariably guards the front doors, and head in to NYC’s other sex shops…

The Pleasure Chest
156 7th Ave South
212 242 2158
www.thepleasurechest.com
Every day, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
See photos of The Pleasure Chest

Blink while you stroll through the West Village, and you might miss The Pleasure Chest. On the street, their display windows fool passersby with perfume bottles and flowers. Make it inside, and you’ll find a wall of sex-related greeting cards. Take a few more steps, and you’ll be surrounded by sensual massage oils, lubes, and a candy shop of condoms. Only a few aisles in will you spot something vaguely resembling a penis. The actual toys line the very back wall, and are (apparently) only for the brave of heart.

Somebody needs to clean these sleeves -- badDespite it’s hand-holding, we-know-sex-toys-are-scary layout, The Pleasure Chest actually has a great selection. It’s toys vibrators and dildos alone could entertain a small army. An entire center island is dedicated to rabbits—vibrating dildos with two heads and a swirling inner core of “pearls.” There are also plenty of toys for boys, though the sleeves on display have seen better days. You might not want to put your fingers in there, let alone your…

Still, one of the best things about The Pleasure Chest is how much there is to touch. Every toy is available out of its box to expect at your leisure. The cute boys who work the register may seem quiet, but they’re ready with lots of helpful tips for anyone who appears lost or spends just a little too long enjoying that vibration. They also don’t skimp on the health info—though it’s hard not to get the feeling that’s part of the sales pitch for their more expensive, latex products.

Maybe it’s the publicity the shop has gotten from Sex and the City, but the clientele seems to be mostly female. Still, that doesn’t justify the floral arrangements in the window, or the meager selection of BDSM items, or the bouquet of mainstream porn. The environment is admittedly cozy for beginner’s though—and the choices are enough to keep even the more jaded sex-toy old-timer, well, pleasured.

Selection: 8
Prices: 7
Helpfulness: 7
Health Info: 6
Skeeviness (lack thereof): 9

Overall rating: 7 out of 10

Tags: my articles, reviews, sex toys

4 Responses to “Sex Shop Review: The Pleasure Chest”

  1. Monika Says:

    I invite you to visit my lesbian blog! My blog has a wide range of products for you to explore and try out. You will find here dildos that will perfectly meet preferences and tastes specially for lesbians. Starting with accessories for lesbian couples, foreplay and oral sessions, lesbian parties or ordinary rainy nights…. Everything for lesbians!

  2. Danielle Mitchell Says:

    Thanks for sharing useful information.Nice and good explanation.

  3. Tammie Says:

    Hi Bonnie,

    Your articles are great! Can I have the honored inviting you to do a product write up for my soon-to-launch mobile application that is sex-related?
    Please do not hesitate to email me if you are interested in the product write up, I’ll let you know the details by then.
    I’ll be waiting for your response. Thank you very much!

    Regards,
    Tammie

  4. wow money Says:

    It is better for youTo make your first move aTipToThe World of Warcraft armory when you begin playingThis popular game atThe moment

Leave a Reply



Heroine Sheik is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries Made Available in RSS.

Log in