August 20th, 2008

The third and final review in our series of sex toy shops beyond Babeland in New York City.

The entrance to Purple PassionPurple Passion
211 West 20th St.
212 807 0486
Mon, Tues, Wed: noon to 7:00 p.m.
Thurs and Fri: noon to 9:00 p.m.
Sat: noon to 8:00 p.m., Sun: noon to 6:00 p.m.
More pictures here

Unassuming from the street, Purple Passion tucks its kinkiness into the folds of Chelsea. Only the store’s two, mildly-restrained male mannequins–who hang out in the window–give away its sumptuous contents. Specializing in sadomasochism and bondage gear, Purple Passion, like the Pink Pussycat, is female managed. “There’s always at least one woman working,” says the manager, “so women feel comfortable asking questions.”

And of course the restraintsThough the merchandise may be more shocking than at the Pussycat, the staff is much more mellow. “That’s why a lot of customers come here,” the manager explains, not to be bothered. Still, beginners and bubbling BDSM enthusiasts are welcome at Purple Passion. Education is a big emphasis. Newbs are pointed toward educational books before they’re pointed toward floggers. The shop also hosts regular education workshops on topics like “safely punching your partner.”

The real thing that makes Purple Passion stand out: its selection. Need a latex mask? A gag shaped like a dog bone? What about an entire row of pleather maids’ uniforms? The array of cuffs and harnesses alone is enough to make a leather lover swoon. Add to that a laundry list of hard-to-find items–fetish videos, cross-dressing gear, plus size latex wear, cock rings, toys for electrical play—and you’ve got a veritable kinky goldmine. The more elaborate items can get expensive, but the mark-up on the average items is well worth the experience.

Everything including nurses outfitsWhy go to Purple Passion instead of Babeland? The “normal” sex toy selection is decent. Even if there aren’t samples out to poke and prod like there are a Babeland, at least there’s a manager who isn’t shy on the health info. But if you’re looking for the right item (usually one that’s black with silvery, potentially painful studs), the reason for going to Purple Passion is simple: Babeland doesn’t’ carry it. Babeland also doesn’t smell so deliciously like leather…

Selection: 9
Prices: 5
Helpfulness: 8
Health Info: 8
Skeeviness (lack thereof): 7

Overall rating: 8 out of 10

Tags: reviews, sex toys

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