Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Toys R Us

Recently I was telling Ron about the hotel I would be staying at for an upcoming convention. The hotel is in an ideal location; close to a drug store, a wine shop, several fast food outlets, public transportation, and an excellent shopping district.

He listened, then grinned and asked me, "Is it close to a spanking place?"
"If you mean an adult store, then yes, there are two that are pretty close. Although I wouldn't be surprised if there's a place nearby that gives spankings too."
My plan on this trip is to visit a place that isn't your run of the mill adult toy store, with vibrators, lingerie, and chocolates shaped like genitalia. It's a place that has the word 'leather' in its name, and judging from their website, this is a real BDSM shop.
My reason for going is to look at their selection of leather paddles and such. I could order something on the internet, but I'd rather see and feel the items first. Feel probably isn't the best choice of word here; I'm not that brave. I want to touch and hold the implements before I choose.
So part of me is thinking, oh, I'll feel really out of place going there. What if everyone is dressed in fetish wear? Maybe I'd better forget about it.
But another part of me is saying, of course you have every right to shop there. It's a big city, nobody knows you, they get all sorts in there, you're just another tourist. And you want to buy what they have to sell.
I'll look upon it as a variation of buying Cuban cigars. If I happen to be near a tobacconist while in the big city, I usually stop in and get some for Ron. But it isn't as simple as walking in and taking a box off a shelf. I have to specifically ask for Cuban cigars. then I am taken to a back room or upstairs to make my selection. Not because there's anything illegal or shameful about cigars, President Clinton notwithstanding! It's just that they need to be kept in a carefully-controlled environment.
So I'll probably have to ask someone where the paddles and straps are kept, if I don't see any in plain sight. But that's okay. I know what I want.
I will made sure I'm wearing my leather jacket. You know, the one the shoemaker fixed. And I'll take a canvas bag to hide carry my purchases back to the hotel.


Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

Let me guess, you're going to Northbound Leather in Toronto. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

Hermione, I have been in an adult shop and the paddles were in plain sight so I doubt you will have to ask to see the leather paddles. I wouldn't know about over there but when I went into the shop the people who worked there weren't in fetish wear. They wore normal everyday clothes and I couldn't help think that they were so lucky to be working there to be watching all the customers' faces as they made their purchases! LOL!

Hermione said...

karl - Wrong. I'm going to Pedanti City!

pest - It would be quite interesting to watch the variety of responses from the customers: embarrassment, amusement, excitement!


Terpsichore said...

Have fun shopping! I am still too embarrassed to buy anything on the internet nonetheless go into a store in person... :-) Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hermione, I have just returned from a similar shopping trip and you are exactly right. I, too, was in the market for our first leather implement, other than a belt, and, not being too knowledgeable, I wanted to see it and feel it, before letting it get within a 100 foot radius of the person who might consider the only proper test that of applying it to my bottom. The great thing about adult stores that stock such items, all hanging neatly, is that no-one looks twice, even when a decidedly mature woman starts to pick things up and try them out - on my hands and thighs. Not a full test but enough to gauge the sting-thud likeliness. And now I hope I continue to feel the same love for my lovely new red leather slapper, after its initiation, and mine, this weekend. Good shopping in Pedanti City, I hope!
jo lee

Paul said...

Hermione, Lucky you, being able to shop like that.
When I married I don't think adult shops existed.
Anything that I couldn't make I bought from a school supplier or tack shop.
Still we managed.
Warm hugs,

PK said...

Even in the fairly small shop near us the spanking toys are in plain sight and plentful. But at the store we have I have not been too impressed with the quality. I have been happy with what we have ordered on line. We are going to be getting something from Leather Thorn soon. That stuff is good quality, just ask around.


Bonnie said...


Having tried it both ways, I have to say going in an adult store by yourself is a lot less embarrassing than going with a husband who finds it necessary to test every implement!

As for the people who work there, I suspect there's nothing you could do or say that would strike them as weird. I have to imagine they have truly seen it all.

Have fun and bring back something worth writing about!


dariachick said...

Hermione, good luck on your trip I hope Ron and you have a gr8 time :) ... oh and by the way no worries about being a bit intimidated going to a "real" bdsm shop... the first time Sir Trent took me I too was a bit intimidated but when we got there they were watching Shrek on the CCTV... after that i was like hey I fit RIGHT in;)

Dragon & Tiger said...

The way I see it, the people in those stores whether they are the workers or shoppers are there for the same reasons you are... well maybe not the exact reason but you know what I mean. I go to adult toy parties all the time (well I did till I moved over seas) and I'd ask a friend to come with me and it was almost always the same response... "I'd be too embarrassed!". What's to be embarrassed about? Everyone is there for the same reason you are. So I say, walk tall, walk proud and go into that shop and buy whatever your little "heart" desires... and then hide it in your jacket till you get back to the hotel. hehehe Happy shopping!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Hermione,

I really love that name btw. Anyway, I'm looking forward to a full report on this spanktastic shopping excursion :-)

Best wishes,
"The Cherry
Red Report"

x said...

I have gone shopping by myself and I have found the sales people very helpful and nice. I hope you have fun shopping! I always love to bring home something playful like a new spanking toy when I travel. :)
padme amidala

Michael said...

Hermione, have a safe and fun trip. I hope you get exactly what you want. Oh, you can buy Cuban cigars up there. Wish we could down here in the States. Stupid embargo.


Hermione said...

Terpsichore - It can be a little disconcerting when the name of the adult website shows up on your credit card statement.

jo lee - Most adult stores I visit have little or nothing along the lines of implements. I always wonder if it's because they are all sold out or only carry a token item.

Paul - Tack shops are wonderful places.

PK - The items on Leather Thorn's website do look lovely. I'll keep that in mind.

Bonnie - I'll consider myself lucky to be going solo then. And I have seen, on the Canadian TV show Kink, a wife having floggers tested on her bare bottom by a member of the sales staff, while her husband looked on. So I agree, they probably have seen it all.

dariachick - I'm sure the first time will be the hardest, but I'll probably fit in too.

D - I plan on shopping during the lunch break, so I'll have to struggle to keep my mind on the afternoon presentations.

Dave - I'll report back after we've tested whatever I bring home. Stay tuned.

padme amidala - I have also found staff very helpful when I've had questions. I'm sure it'll turn out to be a fun adventure.

Michael - Yes, they're available in some places, and very expensive. I personally don't see the attraction to cigars of any kind, but to each his own.


Unknown said...

Hermione, what Canadian TV show KINK? Maybe I should watch some TV. Can you give more details?
And I don't shop in the stores here in my hometown - but the feminist toy stores "Good for Her" on Harbord in TO had some nice Aslan leather samples available (although the one I wanted was out of stock) and Come as You Are - Queen St West TO also had some nice stuff. We researched on line before.
Too bad you are headed towards Pedanti City instead. and I wish I could have gotten to Northbound.
jo lee

Hermione said...

Jo - Unfortunately, Kink is not currently on. It seems to run from September to March. It is on the Showcase channel, on Friday nights. Each 13 part series deals with real people, living various kinky lifestyles, in a different large Canadian city.