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Reader support is essential to Gothamist and funds all the reporting we do. Your donations help to keep our community informed. Donate to Gothamist today. New York's former sex shop hub, Times Square, has long since become the kind of place where there's a public outcry over an ad for a porn websitebut the city's not de-sexed just yet.
Here are our favorite sex shops in the city; as always, leave yours in the comments. SHAG : This high-end Williamsburg shop, run by Samantha Bard and Ashley Montgomery-Pulido, focuses on the ladies, boasting female-friendly wares like tittie pasties, lube, aphrodisiac pops, oral sex lip gloss, and pocket rockets.
The goods here are so elegantly curated they could double as art, with bespoke handmade marble dildos, greeting cards, and deer lingerie included in the inventory, plus staffers host regular workshops covering everything from bondage to burlesque dancing. Note that Shag is slightly pricey, so perhaps save a spree here for a special occasion. Shag is located at Roebling Street between North 5th and 6th Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklynweloveshag.
BABELAND : Babeland is a great spot for nervous sex shop first-timers—their super-clean, brightly-lit stores eschew any seediness you might find elsewhere, and appliances like dildos, cock-rings, vibrators and strap ons are organized in such a clinical fashion you won't get the least bit giggly while asking a salesperson for recs and cleaning tips.
All three locations also offer classes on everything from anal sex to blowjobs, and you can even score free gear at their sporadic trivia nights. Chaps, belts, pants, straightjackets, shorts, harnesses, power units, caps, teddy bears, dog collars, and the like are all on tap here, and they're known for their custom work should you prefer your gear tailor-made. Though pieces here are a bit expensive, the quality is excellent, hence The Leather Man's rep as this city's go-to spot for leather goods.
Still, this chainlet's been kicking around since the s, establishing itself as the gold standard in sex shops, with its hefty collection of sex toys of all shapes and sizes.
Knowledgeable staff members, fun gift items, and kinky classes add to the UES and West Village shops' repertoire, plus it doesn't hurt that both stores are downright pretty. Try not to develop an orgasm addiction like Charlotte did.
Women's sexuality was still rather taboo then, and according to her obituary in the TimesWilliams was inspired to open her own store after she attempted to purchase a vibrator at a department store and the clerk humiliated her. Eve's Garden may have actually been the country's first women-centric sex shop, tasked with de-stigmatizing sex boutiques and lady-friendly pleasure toys. It's still one of the city's top spots for swanky sex stuff, selling high-end vibrators, bondage gear, massage oils, lubricants, DVDs, and the like.
They also give out free wine on Thursday nights for folks who prefer to liquor up before shopping.
Now, the store sells sexy outfits, candy underwear, sex toys and novelty items, and wares here are blessedly a bit cheaper than what you might find at Babeland or Shag. Staff here is super chill, they also offer workshops for both the kink-curious and well-versed, and though some items are expensive you can still find affordable gear if you take time to dig. Purple Passion is located at West 20th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Chelseapurplepassion.
PLEASE : A friend described this relatively new South Slope spot as, "tasteful, bourgeois, woke, as you'd expect from a Park Slope sex shop," and indeed, it's a top pick for folks seeking a sex-positive shopping experience. Please sells the usual vibrators and cock-rings, but also glass dildos, educational body books for tweens! As a bonus, the staff and owner, Sid, are as lovely and welcoming as the decor. The shop, which caters primarily to gay boasts a ificant collection of lingerie and toys, plus thousands of DVDs you can enjoy in a private booth in the back of the store but you'll have to enjoy them alone— there's no sex allowed in there.
Rainbow Station is located at 8th Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets in Chelsearainbowstation. This massive megastore is the self-proclaimed "largest sex shop in New York," and though its television commercials are the stuff of legend, they do actually carry a solid collection of toys, lingerie, outfits, and other gear. Prices here are fair, and if you can't make it to the Bronx, you're in luck—they've got outposts in a of suburban areas, plus a new Harlem store opened earlier this year.
Romantic Depot is located at Provost Avenue in the Bronxromanticdepot. There's also a new outpost at Broadway in Harlem What A Gyrl Wants is small but discreet, and staff members are happy to offer tips and recommendations. Wares include the usual sex toys and novelty items, but at lower price points than what you might find at ritzier spots. Help fund the local coverage you rely on. Back the extra reporting you need during this global pandemic.
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The 11 Best Sex Shops In NYC