Episode 226: What It’s Like To Work In A Sex Shop

September 22, 2023 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 226: What It's Like To Work In A Sex Shop

It’s one thing to visit a sex shop, but it’s quite another to stand behind the counter! Working in one of these stores can be a very fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging due to the wide range of customers. A lot of the people walking through the door might be feeling embarrassed. Some might have a complicated relationship with their own sexuality. And others will be rude or immature. So what’s it actually like to work in a sex shop? In today’s show, we’re going to explore the good, bad, and ugly of it all.

I am joined once again by Fancy Feast, a Brooklyn-based burlesque performer, writer, and sex educator whose work has been profiled on NPR, Refinery29, and The Huffington Post. Her new book, Naked: On Sex, Work, and Other Burlesques, was the focus of the previous episode.

Some of the topics we explore include:

  • How is working in a sex shop like being an amateur sex therapist?
  • What kind of training and sex ed do these shops provide to employees?
  • What are some of the most fun and rewarding aspects of working at a sex shop?
  • How does a lack of sex ed contribute to poor customer behavior in these shops?
  • How can selling sex toys be a liberating experience, both for the seller and customer?
  • How did the arrival of 50 Shades of Grey change what it’s like to work in a sex shop?

To learn more, you can check out Fancy Feast’s website, and stay connected on Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you to our sponsors!

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Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.


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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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