I AM trying out a full leather gimp mask, pair of leg-spreaders (on my wrists) and studded collar. As I peer out through the eyeholes, I wonder how I got into this. Work experience shouldn’t involve leg-spreaders.
Cassandra, manager of Adultshop.com, arrack St, Perth, helps me peel off the mask before my head sweats into the leather. I’m surrounded by confusing stuff you don’t ever see at Woolies. They have names like Beaver Wand; Hot Bully; Cyber Cock; Penguin (oh, the cruelty!); Senso-Lips; Big Tool; and Little Miss Lucy, the vibrating oral simulator.
The chance of my advising customers on the use and effectiveness of these items is low. I could screw up lives if I prescribed Hot Butty for their anal pleasure, when all they wanted was a quiet game of Nookii (the fun foreplay game).
Sensing my fear and ignorance, Cassandra gets me testing the electronic devices before putting them on the shelves. Plastic shafts, eggs and bullets revolve before my eyes, or vibrate out of my hand. This entertainment stops me having to make eye contact with customers who want to use these things for their real purpose. I Find it hard enough talking to girls about normal stuff.
The shop’s good central location and non-dodgy look means non-dodgy people come in — from tourists to giggling teenage girls. One couple look like they’re from a brochure for boating holidays. They are cosy and safe, and finish each other’s sentences — and buy a big expensive vibrator with added clitoral stimulator.
An Indian gentleman asks if we do photo developing, while his wife browses the naughty mags. Cassandra says yes. The nudie shots go away sealed; come back sealed. No-one ever sees them. They’re mostly just photos of the family, says the bloke. Maybe he’s just too shy to show the chemist his Christmas snaps.
At 5.30pm, near closing time, Cassandra tells me I’ve been “a great help”. This is a nice way of saying I stocked shelves and bought lunch. All day, she has talked reassuringly to nervous punters about lubrication and fake vaginas. She closed sales. Whereas I learnt a lot about silicone and the best in anal toys.
See this as a PDF: