August 13th, 2008

For an intro to the Beyond Babeland series, check out last week’s review.

Pink Pussycat Boutique
167 W 4th St.
212 243 0077
Sunday through Thursday: 12:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M.
Friday and Saturday, 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M.

Anyone who hasn’t ventured beyond Babeland will be surprised at the number of sex shops that line West 4th Street. Mixed among glass paraphernalia shops (read: bong shops) and vendors selling Rastafarian hats, these stores are hardly subtle. Their windows are lined florescent lights and dildos.

The Pink Pussycat Boutique, with its bright pink paint job and loving-time glow, has been selling sex toys in the West Village for three decades. Though it sparkles from the outside, the inside is looking shabby. The manager on duty—happy to help—promises she’ll soon be giving the shop a make-over. In the meantime, she’s busy doling out no-nonsense advice to the customers who quietly roam the shop, whispering and pointing.

Pink Pussycat isn’t female owned, but it’s female managed, and most of its clientele is female, too. Management has great recommends for timid beginners (“Try something clitoral; it’s less intimidating at first. Then again, it’s your clit, not mine!”), but there are very few sample toys to inspect out of their boxes—and even fewer to inspect without having to ask. There’s also zero information on safe vs. potentially unsafe toy materials. When asked, “Doesn’t jelly rubber give off toxins?” the previously no-nonsense manager says only, “Those studies haven’t proved anything.” Lame, especially since most beginners probably don’t even know there’s a potential health risk.

While the BDSM selection is low, the porn is uninspiring, and the large joke section screams “bachelorette party” (what in the world is appealing about candy shaped like enormous penises?), Pink Pussycat does have a wide range of vibrators and inexpensive dildos. The high end stuff—like the infamous Hitachi magic wand or the rabbits—still price above Babeland, but since there are so many sex shops on one street, it’s definitely possible to stroll West 4th and compare prices.

Selection: 5
Prices: 6
Helpfulness: 7
Health Info: 3
Skeevines (lack thereof): 5

Overall rating: 5 out of 10

Tags: reviews, sex toys

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