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Buying toys can be a daunting process, especially for a newbie. The first time I bought a toy (long before the convenience of online shopping, or my knowledge of Play Blue) was in a cramped little sex shop in Dublin. I was not very sex-positive at this point and deeply embarrassed to be there. Honestly, I just wanted to get my tiny bullet vibrator and get out with minimal fuss. Unfortunately, the staff member who was working there that day could not sense my discomfort at being the only young woman, alone in a cramped shop full of dildos. After much (very loud) discussion about ‘what I liked’ he handed me a massive, veiny 12 inch vibrating dildo ‘ just to have a feel of’. I just about died of embarrassment - much to the amusement to him and all the older guys who were browsing the shelves. I won’t say he was being creepy, but it didn’t feel like a very open or customer- friendly environment. It was a long time before I felt comfortable going into a sex shop again.

Not all sex shops are like that of course, but many are (if we’re honest). Maybe it’s something to do with our weird sex hang-ups here in Ireland, but so many sex shops tend to definitively fall into the ‘seedy’ category. You know exactly what I mean; small, with blacked out windows, and a clientele that falls firmly into the ‘old man wearing a rain mac’ category. It’s almost like the proprietors don’t feel like they have to go beyond the stereotypical because it is expected by so many people, and so many people feel uncomfortable going into sex shops because of this image. It’s like a snake eating it’s own tail!   

Surely we deserve better from our sex shops? Anyone should be able to go into a nicely decorated, well-lit store and purchase a sex toy from staff who are trained to help you make an informed decision, without making a big deal about what you’re purchasing. (Okay, maybe I am a bit bitter about my first sex toy shopping experience!)

Here at Play Blue, we try to provide exactly that. We are of course an online business, but in case you didn’t know, we have two brick-and- mortar stores too - one in Kilkenny City and one in Tallaght, Dublin. In our stores we carry the full range of toys we sell online - and our staff know their stuff. Most importantly we work hard to ensure that instore shopping is as painless as online shopping for our customers - no creepy dark corners, no sticky floors. Maybe if more proprietors followed our lead, sex shops wouldn’t have such negative connotations?

We do love a bit of smack talk here, but if you don’t believe us and you happen to be in the area why not pop in and have a look? We’d be thrilled to change your mind!