Dear PoPville – A Discreet Question

Dear PoPville,

A legitimate question–despite its titillating nature–for your readers. In several other cities where I’ve lived (Boston, MA and Madison, WI, to name two, but I’m also thinking of esteemed places like Good Vibrations in SF), I’ve enjoyed access to a tasteful, non-slimy, women-oriented adult, er, toy store. These establishments were staffed by knowledgeable, professional women, well-lit, and stocked a wide array or merchandise, from videos to clothing to toys and other goodies, while avoiding the seamy, leering and otherwise icky elements of your traditional sex toy shop that caters more to men or bachelorette parties in search of gag gifts. (I’m looking at you, Pleasure Place.)

Why is it that we don’t have one of these places in DC? Is it a zoning issue? And if my husband and I were to indulge our pipe dream of opening one, wouldn’t there be a market for it?

Have you checked out Secret Pleasures which opened up in Oct. ’09 at 1510 U Street, NW?

Ed. Note: I know this is a mature topic but please be respectful.

28 Comment

  • I guess the biggest question for me is, would you let me hang out there for hours playing board games and not buy anything? If so, I say open one.

  • Lotus Blooms in Old Town Alexandria. I have never felt slimy or uncomfortable in there. The staff is knowledgable and offers help if you look like you need it, but keeps their distance if you look like you don’t. It’s not a huge store but the management clearly puts some thought into what they do carry — I think I remember that it’s owned by a Nurse Practitioner, and she doesn’t allow anything with phalates (however you spell that) to be sold.

  • There used to be a place on M Street (I think) in Georgetown that would fit that description, but it could be long gone by now. I haven’t been there in years. Also, I would’ve recommended the Pleasure Place, but it’s closed, too.

  • I used to frequent Pleasure Place from time to time, but refused to continue going after they kept asking me to either buy something or take my board games and leave. I since have taken my board games to my friendly neighborhood bar. Now Pleasure Place is out of business, so there you go.

  • Only been in Secret Pleasures once but was generally impressed with their selection/variety/environment. I would recommend checking it out. Pleasure place was always pretty meh to me.

  • Actually the place in the picture is quite nice and fits your description. They have a limited stock but it’s definitely female-oriented and staffed by nice, non-creepy young women who can answer your questions without giggling or seeming judgmental.

  • claire

    I’d definitely be interested in stopping by a new place if it opened up! Seem to recall going to Secret Pleasures and finding the selection lacking. Would love a place with a good selection of reasonably priced higher end toys (Lelo, JimmyJane, etc) – right now, the internet is the best option…

  • The original (and much larger) Pleasure Place is still open on Wisconsin Ave (just south of M Street NW) in G’town. I haven’t been inside in a few years but I remember that it had quite a large inventory… Certainly worth checking out.

    • I was at the Pleasure Place in Georgetown recently. The selection was small, it was dimly lit and felt pretty seedy. I don’t think it’s the kind of place the writer is looking for.

  • Yes please open one. I know plenty of gays would love it too. Leather Rack isn’t everyone’s style.

  • Bethesda – Cordell Ave….is the place called Night Dreams? I can’t google it at work, but they are excellent there – great help, well lit, and it’s not icky. They have a big selection of all things, not just for a certain group of people. It’s near the metro and worth a trip if you’re looking.

    However, you also have to remember that a lot of the buying for such things happens online.

    • Yes, I’ve seen their ads in the paper. I’ve been meaning to go there for a long time, but I never manage to get there. It does seem to be better than Night Dreams, at least based on their ads.

  • A recent article in Jezebel prompted a number of comments by women in search of pleasure toys better suited to their anatomy. Washington women are active consumers and want purchase and choice support when they need it. An upscale store catering to Washington women would be great.

  • I wish I could be somebody’s sex toy! Wonder if free provision of such services is legal in DC….;-)

  • La Touche in Old Town Alexandria – not in Dc, but nearby, and it’s great. It’s bigger than lotus blooms, although it does have more edgy stuff (but that’s all in the basement, so it can easily be avoided if it makes you uncomfortable). Helpful staff and big selection. And if you and your husband open a classy store of this kind in DC, I’d totally go.

  • Seconded. But if you’re up for a drive in the region, check out Sugar in Baltimore. Woman-owned and operated but suited to a variety of needs, and a very clean and comfortable environment with knowledgeable staff. Jacq sometimes hosts parties in DC and brings down a fair amount of inventory for them, too.

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