Tag Archives: information

What makes a good sex shop?

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Writer’s note: I had worked two years at an adult store on Staten Island as an intimacy specialist (sales), and as an educator. I’m going to use this as a base line as I go through my list of dos and don’ts  for a “sex shop”

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The good people at Maxiwand asked my opinion on what I believe are the components that make up a good sex shop, so here’s a brief list:

  1. It shouldn’t be called a ‘sex’ shop or have XXX emblazoned on the front of the building. Adult stores should be a place that’s not depicted as seedy and dirty, which are unfortunately now synonymous with those names.
  2. It shouldn’t be connected to another type of business. Customers in an adult store should feel comfortable in the knowledge that all the other customers in the store are in there looking for the same things, and not for rolling papers, bait, or ammunition.
  3. Sales people should be knowledgeable and approachable. If the store is not theme-oriented, then the workers there should be in comfortable (in some cases I’ve seen business casual) clothes, and should have ‘hands-on’ knowledge of many of the products and practical knowledge of everything else.
  4. Stores should host educational programs. You’d be surprised how many people have completely wrong information about sex and sex toys. Having a comfortable and safe location to learn is always a plus, and now the students have a familiar place to shop!
  5. Variety is a necessity. As much as we’d like for every customer to buy the top-of-the-line silicone toy, sometimes they just don’t have the funds to do so. The purchase of a jelly toy is not the be-all, end-all, as long as the customer is informed of the downsides of jelly toys (and why they should save up and treat themselves one day to a high-end toy). So a good shop should have toys of all different varieties and price points.
  6. Following the variety theme, there should be different products offered: gag gifts, candies, books, videos, lingerie, candles, oils, lube (of course), wigs, shoes, “branded” toys (like the 50 shades crap), bdsm gear, apparatuses, pasties, games, the annoying bachelorette party stuff… you never know what customers are looking for – sometimes the customers don’t even know themselves – and a good store will be prepared to help in any scenario.
  7. There is no need for a store to be open until crazy hours of the night (this is more for the employee side of things). There is no purchase at 2am that couldn’t be made the next day. Even the shops in the city that never sleeps (not the ‘burbs, the actual city) close around 10pm.
  8. Stores should be welcoming to all genders/sexual orientations, and should have a staff that represents such. This is more of a situation for at-home party companies than brick-and-mortar ones, but still…
  9. These are pretty straight forward: the place should be well-lit, clean, organized, have a well-lit and maintained store front/parking lot, and shouldn’t have any “curatined-off” areas. Those areas up the sleaze quota by quite a few points.
  10.  One last thing: there should be clean, well-maintained customer bathrooms. It may be some extra work/cost, but it’s rather disappointing for a customer to go to some place that’s a distance, and be told that the closest bathroom is in the Starbuck’s across the way (true story).

I haven’t traveled far to experience first hand the best shops around the USA, but by doing research and visiting local stores, I can recommend the following places:

The Pleasure Chest in Greenwich Village in NYC
SheBop  in Portland, OR
Babeland in SoHo, NYC
The Stockroom on Sunset Blvd, L.A.
Eve’s Garden West 57th St, NYC

Maxiwand recommends the following stores worldwide:
Toronto
Sydney
London

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Cumming Soon…

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(Yes, I did go there with the semantics)

There are a pile of things on my naughty desk waiting to be talked about, so I just want to give you a little preview of what’s to cum…

FunToys sent me their new Black Jack, which so far may give my favorite toy – their G Vibe – a run for her money…

MaxiWand contacted me about running an article pertaining to adult stores. They’ve done their research in other countries and would like my input on what are the things to look for in a good shop. I’ve been doing my research on that one…

I have a handful of books lined up to review; some kinky, some not.

Yes, I still have the collection of pornos to review. Do you know how tough it is to EVER complete just one of those assignments?

I am doing research on a Master/slave scenario that I hope to have more information on soon.

And then, of course, there is the biggie: RKO Con ’16!

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Packed with movies, shows, poker, donuts and tequila (the breakfast of champions), naughty bingo and a slew of panels, this has the potential to be an incredible event. The cast of RKO Army hosted the first RKOCon three years ago (you can see my review here: http://www.nthzine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Issue-23.pdf), which makes me very eager to experience this one!

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Grid by Shawn Hall

This is the schedule for the weekend. I’ll be up there on Thursday… and may get some sleep when I come home Sunday afternoon.

And then the reviews will begin!

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Halloween at the Museum of Sex

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Before I begin, let me remind you of my background:

* I owned and co-ran a gaming company that held events for 10 – 500 people.
* I was guest director for local gaming convention, where I organized programming for the entire  weekend for a few thousand people.
* I was Director of Education for Snug Harbor Cultural Center,  where I created programming year round, including a month-long  Halloween event that catered to 5,000 guests.
* I’m an intimacy specialist who has run workshops, events, parties  and lectures both at conventions and in the private sector for over a decade.
* I worked for Nitecap Megastore, a rather large adult store on  Staten Island, where I was a sex educator, ran workshops, and  helped run parties and events.
* I’ve also worked for several other non-profits, organizing their  Walks, Jambories, and Galas.

So I think it’s safe to say that I have some background in event planning.
***
One day, I get this e-mail:

Halloween Bacchanalia 2015
Mingle with the Gods for a sexy evening of drunken revelry!
One Year Lease Theater Company and the Museum of Sex are  teaming up to bring you an unforgettable Halloween Bash!

Saturday, October 31st
9:00 pm – 1:00am

FEATURING:
Prizes for the Best Costumes
Cocktails by Spring 44 (Complimentary from 9 to 10:30)
Light fare by Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room
Special Performances Including Cherry Pitz
Live Music by Kotorino
High-End Raffle Packages
VIP access to Museum of Sex Exhibitions
Tricks, Treats, and Much, Much More!

SPECIAL VIP PACKAGES:
$40 – Mingle with the Gods (General Admission)

$65 – Soar with Aphrodite Includes all of the Mingle with the Gods benefits plus:
Admission to the “Jump for Joy” Bouncy Castle
Museum of Sex Signature Elixir
Scandalous Party Favors

$125 – Indulge with Dionysus (All-Access VIP)
Includes all of the Soar with Aphrodite benefits plus:
VIP-only Burlesque Performance
VIP-only Martini Bar
Designated Servers to Cater to Your Every Whim
More Sinful Party Favors and Decadent Treats
Exclusive Admission to Spotlight on the Permanent Collection
Reserved Seating Area

Sounded interesting… but of course I had a couple of questions.

I received a response from one of their PR people:

Will there be someplace to check our coats?
-yes there is a customer paid coat check

Will VIP pass guests be getting a “goodie bag” at entry or departure?
-yes, before departure

Is there a schedule of events for the night?
-yes there is a band playing with set times, burlesque dancer two  times during evening, and 2 set times for raffle ticket giveaways.
Is the martini bar and signature cocktails part of the VIP entry or are they cash bars?
-yes the signature cocktail and martini bar is part of VIP PACKAGE. There is also a cash bar.
***
kotorino – 9:30/11:30 sets
Raffle drawing at 12:30
Melissa Roth 9-12
General admission signature cocktails 9-10:30
Cherry Pitz – VIP performance (around 11)
pop up performances throughout the museum the rest of the night.
***
Sounded really good, right? I was all excited and giddy and couldn’t  stop telling people about it. I bought an “Indulge with Dionysus”  ticket, and I was raring to go.

What a disappointment.

Let’s review what they said was offered compared to what was  actually offered.

Prizes for the Best Costumes: Nope, didn’t happen. At least, even  though we were there until 12:45, no announcement was made, no  competition happened, and my friend Craig, who was wearing this

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wasn’t told about it at all. Because obviously he wouldn’t be interested in that.

Cocktails by Spring 44 (Complimentary from 9 to 10:30): Was never  offered any free cocktails from 9-10:30. I was offered cider; I don’t know  if that was the ‘cocktail’, but in the real world, it’s not.

Light fare by Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room: The ‘fare’ was OK. Fried  mushrooms (or olives, I’m not sure which), cold cuts, fruit. Problem was, it was situated in the far corner of the hot, crowded basement area by the  bar. So, basically it was inaccessible.

Special Performances Including Cherry Pitz: No idea which band they were. No announcements were  made at all. In fact, there was no program, no printed timetable or map or anything to let anyone  know what was  going on.

Live Music by Kotorino: Again, I don’t know who they were, but then the VIPs didn’t seem to get  told when anything was going on or where  anyone was located.

High-End Raffle Packages: They were OK, and cost $5 a ticket or 5 for $20. I wasn’t really blown away with them. I thought they would be more… I dunno… sexual. Not massages and dinners and  eyebrow shaping.

VIP access to Museum of Sex Exhibitions: One exhibition. We weren’t allowed any higher than the  first floor of the exhibits. The other floors  were corded off.

Admission to the “Jump for Joy” Bouncy Castle: That sounds like a lot of fun, right? The pictures of the bouncy house that I’ve seen showed four or five people having a grand old time with the blown up boobies. Not a  bad plan. We get there and are told that only two people are allowed at  a time in it. Since Craig was dressed as he was… I was by myself in the  bouncy house. Woo. Hoo.

20151031_214936 (640x360)Museum of Sex Signature Elixir: Never saw hide nor hair of that. No  one was walking around serving it or telling people with VIP wrist bands  that it was being served somewhere.

Scandalous Party Favors: Only received one, which we had to run  around the museum to find. It was a Karma Sutra lube, which has a  whopping retail value of $7.99, but which I’m sure the MoS received  gratis. We were told there was also chocolate body paint (when I told the woman we never received  it, she told us it was really nice. She didn’t go  get it for us or anything, and we were too tired and annoyed to go once  again in search of another inexpensive ($8.99) item) That was it.

VIP-only Burlesque Performance: When I see “Burlesque Performance”I think of shows like those  that the White Elephant Burlesque Society and RKO Army do. This was one woman, who was quite lovely, who danced  downstairs in the main area in pasties and a G-string, and then upstairs,  at the VIP performance, put her clothes on and took them off to reveal  pasties and a G-string. The performance was all of three minutes long.  And that was the VIP Burlesque Performance.

VIP-only Martini Bar: I can’t say much about that except that way too  much alcohol was used in the drink, making the taste rather horrible, and it was set up in a really awkward location in  the “VIP area”.

Designated Servers to Cater to Your Every Whim: Not true. Two  ladies later in the evening were walking around the VIP area with trays  that had the same stuff as downstairs on it, along with chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate bars. That was it. One of Craig’s “whims” was to have a coke. He was told he had to go down to the basement to get  that.

More Sinful Party Favors and Decadent Treats: Nope.

Exclusive Admission to Spotlight on the Permanent Collection: I still have no idea what that means. Were they talking about the room we  were all standing in from time to time? We were never given a map of the event or what was what.

Reserved Seating Area: This is the biggest farce of them all. Why?  THERE WERE NO RESERVED SEATS. Anywhere. Not a seat to be had  unless you squeezed your VIP butt into the “common area” downstairs  and forced yourself onto a couch with five drunken college kids. Of  course, that wouldn’t be “reserved” anything. The only seating I was able  to get was outside on a window ledge.

Will there be someplace to check our coats? Yes there is a customer paid coat check: This was  true.

Will VIP pass guests be getting a “goodie bag” at entry or departure? Yes, before departure: No  goodie bag, not during departure. And not  without the feeling of having to pull teeth to get the little that we got.

Is there a schedule of events for the night? Yes there is a band  playing with set times, burlesque dancer two times during evening,  and 2 set times for raffle ticket give aways: Too bad no announcements were made for any of these events.

Is the martini bar and signature cocktails part of the VIP entry or are they cash bars? Yes the signature cocktail and martini bar is part of VIP PACKAGE. There is also a cash bar: I already spoke of this.

kotorino – 9:30/11:30 sets: I guess this was accurate. No  announcements were made about who we were listening to.
Raffle drawing at 12:30: Inaccurate. We were there until 12:45 and nothing happened. No  announcements were made about when it was  actually going to happen.
Melissa Roth 9-12: I’m assuming she was the burlesque dancer…?
General admission signature cocktails 9-10:30: Reviewed above.
Cherry Pitz – VIP performance (around 11): Never saw them, was  never told a performance was going on, no announcements were made.
pop up performances throughout the museum the rest of the night: None that I saw.

Needless to say, the evening was rather a disappointment. Calling  this event a bacchanal was seriously inaccurate. Now I’m sure  someone that doesn’t have the professional background that I have may have seen little to nothing  wrong with this event, but to me, this was a poorly organized, over-priced for what was offered,  unduly  hyped event.

I think from now on I’ll leave the tourist traps to the tourists and  spend my future Halloweens watching movies and eating candy  corn.

My Rating:

63d4f6b8e223a5ac00588b1da4ddaf9c

I don’t think I need to explain why.

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Stop! Hammer Vape!

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(For those of you wondering why this review is on my blog, go here.)

Once upon a time, smoking was sexy.  Seeing stars like James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Clark Gable talking around a cigarette between their lips or punctuating their words with a cloud of smoke was exotic and sensual.

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Clark Gable & Joan Crawford smoking in the 1934 film Chained.

But then there’s the whole downside to smoking, which I really don’t need to go into.

Now there’s vaping.

I’m going to try to explain this without sounding like a sales pitch. Vaping is basically taking liquid nicotine (mine actually has no nicotine in it, so it’s propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine), soaking cotton with it, and turning on coils in the vape to turn the liquid into vapor. That’s what you then inhale.

Many people use it to stop smoking, since the liquid nicotine is set up as a step-down system. They start with a higher level of nicotine – 24g, for example – and then work their way down to eventually 0g.

I use it because I like the flavors. It keeps the munchies at bay, to inhale chocolate chip mint flavored vapor without all the calories of ice cream (mmmmmm, ice cream…)

So, one of my review focuses will be nicotine flavors. It’s amazing how many different companies are now out there.

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My collection of vape flavors.

I’m going to be testing out vape flavors on my Hammer mechanical mod.

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I don’t have much to say about the mod. I liked the shape and heft of it, I saw it on line, I bought it. The build (the set up of the wires in the chamber) was done by Stephen Pappalardo, manager of General Vape (2001 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island). It’s been a while since I had it done, so I should go back and pretty please him into doing it again for me…

So keep an eye out for my first flavor review…

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Changes to this Blog…

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Don’t worry! The changes aren’t limiting the wonder that is my blog!

In fact, the changes will expand my Naughty Thoughts at least 3-fold.

I decided that I’m not just going to review toys+ here.

Believe it or not, using toys+ for blogging-sake tends to take some of the fun out of the… well, fun.

But, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop reviewing completely!

I’m going to expand what I review!

Books!

Movies!

Recipes!

Vape flavors!

Whatever else strikes my fancy!

As well as toys+!

I have two books lined up – one already ready for review – as well as a library full of books and a bunch of e-books, over 20 vape flavors from various companies (vapes in my world have surpassed the sexy of the cigarette), hundreds of recipes, some movies (probably older ones rather than new) and, of course, lots of toys and lube and adult movies and gear and lingerie.

Yes, this is still KT Pinto’s Naughty Thoughts. Trust me, naughty thoughts still go on in this wicked head of mine, and I never said the things I would review would be completely vanilla. More like chocolate chip mint, possibly rocky road…

You can also catch some of my naughtiness on KT Pinto’s Naughty Thoughts on Facebook and on Fetlife.

My rating system isn’t going to change, in case you were worried.

And I give this idea of changing the focus of the blog a

Card 10-2 (200x300)  out of Card 10 (216x300)

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Quick Update

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Changes, they are a-coming!

Actually, they are here!

I no longer work at the adult store. I had to suck it up and be a grown up and get a gig with benefits. So I had to leave Neverland for something more *cringe* vanilla.

But, not to fear! Not only do I still have my professional connections with Tantus, Pipedream, Baci, and others, but the owners of the megastore and I have been talking about them sponsoring me and my blog, which includes keeping my discount and receiving free toys+ to review.

I’ll keep you posted about that!

More reviews to come!

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System Jo Prize Bag

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Every once in a while, we at the store are given a challenge: sell the most X, win a prize from the company.

Last month, the X was items from the System JO line of products.

And I won first prize:

20150130_115038-1 In that bag is $250 worth of JO and DONA by JO products.

I haven’t opened it yet – I’m waiting for the boy to come over this weekend so we can do it together – but there was a note in the bag that let me know what was inside (click on the picture to see it clearer).

20150131_033408I will over the next few months be reviewing the items in the bag on this blog. Oh, the things I do for my fans!

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Free BDSM Workshop

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On Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 I will be running a free workshop at Nitecap Megastore called “Welcome to the Dungeon”.

I will be going over the basics of fetish-play and the world of BDSM, as well as some of the basic dos and don’ts of the fetish community.

There will be dungeon tools and accessories, there will be gift bags (for the first 10 students), there will be Q&A, there will be pictures (of me, at least, and anyone who would like to be in them!), there will be demonstrations and there will be lots of fun.

The workshop starts at 9pm at Nitecap Megastore, 690 Gulf Ave. Staten Island, NY 10312. Just come in and say you’re there for the workshop. You must be over 18, so make sure you have your ID!

NCP

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