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Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why I love Babeland

Sex toy store Babeland is celebrating their 15th anniversary (in Seattle on Monday they'll have Dan Savage at their event, plus cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes!) and I've written this little tribute, which will be cross-posted on the Babeland blog.

I didn't buy my first vibrator from Babeland, because I don't think it
had opened in New York at that time, but I have bought my favorite and
most beloved ones there. I distinctly remember when the Babeland on
Rivington Street opened. I was just starting to explore my and New
York's sexuality, going to play parties, coming out as bisexual,
discovering that I liked things like spanking. I would go to Babeland
and look hungrily at all the shiny, pretty, sometimes intimidating and
exciting objects all around. Little did I know I would go on to do
readings and an erotic love letter workshop there.

The vibrator that really changed my life was a little pink clitoral
one, it may have been called the Honeybear, but I'm not sure. That
vibrator helped show me how to have an orgasm and what my clit was for
(yes, I was in my early twenties, in law school - I was a late
bloomer). I remember how excited I was, just to own it; to walk out of
the shop and have this special treasure tucked into my bag. And then I
got home and used it and wow! I went on to wear that one out, before
replacing it and then upgrading to the vibrator that is still my
mainstay, the Hitachi Magic Wand, which I now can't imagine ever
living without.

But what sticks out for me from those early days of Babeland shopping
to walking into the store today is the friendliness of the staff and
the environment. You know the people working there actually care about
sex and making it better, for everyone who walks in their door,
whether that's with a bottle of lube, a harness, nipple clamps, or a
vibrator (or two). Babeland is the kind of place anyone can walk in
and banish all those shameful, scary feelings about sex I think even
the most enlightened among us sometimes walk around with. It's a store
I've taken many friends to buy their first (or second, third, etc.)
vibrators, and where I go when I want to find new toys or just browse
and get ideas for erotica stories.

I can't imagine what New York would be like without Babeland as a
resource. I remember trying to buy porn at one of those shops on 6th
Avenue near West 4th Street, and being the only woman there, being
nervous and feeling out of place. That doesn't happen at Babeland.
Their bright, cheerful, colorful atmosphere comes armed with a staff
who can actually tell you about which vibrator would work best for
your specific needs, taking into consideration numerous factors. The
toys I've bought from Babeland, from paddles to vibrators to butt
plugs, rope, a gorgeous purple flogger, and more, are ones I treasure
and have put to good use.

Congratulations on your first 15 successful years; I can't wait to see
what Babeland cooks up in the next 15.

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