Career Change

The guy who works in the grocery store has a cut on his dick. Well, technically he has cracked skin, which happened while having drunken sex with his lady. So it’s more of a spontaneous paper cut, from what I understand, and it keeps opening up every time he pees or, er, uses it for anything. I know this because I have the kind of face that says, “Please tell me about the problems you are having with your genitals.” After a hushed conversation in the produce aisle about the difficulties encountered while having sex with a sore on your sword, I realized that I may never be smart enough to attain the required schooling for a career in a sex education, but I sure as hell could work in a sex shop.

For one thing, I love people, enough to where I can suspend the “ugh” factor when hearing about bumping uglies. I’m fairly compassionate, when I’m not busy judging hipsters or hatin’ on Palins, so I think I could also offer a sympathetic ear as well as desirous guidance. Truth be told, the idea of working for an improper emporium has been on my mind since the last time I went to the Disneyland of sex shops, Babeland, previously known as Toys In Babeland. The women-owned, women-run franchise is the destination for the bedroom adventurer. But I had never thought about what the perspective behind the counter was like until I went there with a friend who was looking to purchase her first vibrator.

While I helped my pal weigh the options, from single speed to multi-buzz, phallic-shaped to luxury ceramic models and high-voltage plug-ins, I felt like I was doing a service. I knew her life would be transformed from that night forward, and I wanted her to make an informed decision. At the end of our hour-long foray into the pluses and minuses of the battery operated devices, she chose a seven-speed, thumb-sized Pandora’s box called Lucky 7.

Working for a purveyor of fine sex toys can’t be as easy as thinking about humping all day. (If that were the case I would already own and run my own mackin’ market.) First of all, there’s the retail rigmarole of pricing, inventory, stocking, answering phones, filling online orders, and answering customers’ questions, of which there must be more than there are at Gap or Old Navy. For clerks at shops like Babeland, a lot of time is likely spent familiarizing themselves with the latest products (no, not like that) to make sure that they really know what they’re talking about when asked which lubes are water-based, or what a Fleshlight does. And retail is a tricky club. Like most jobs, it requires a fair amount of field experience to get hired. But you can’t get experience unless you get hired somewhere. This is what us schooled intellemolectuals refer to as a “catch-22.” I have only worked retail as a video store clerk during college and that included me mostly laying on the floor in the back of the store watching Indie films while doing homework. The only other resume gems theone time that I sold a pair of used boots to a friend of a friend. I’m not exactly retail’s finest.

But let’s say I could use my winning people skills, vagina savvy, and ability to pick up things pretty quick, how would I do as an employee at Babeland? With an average of 70 employees across its four stores, and around $7.8 million in sales, it’s safe to say that working for Babeland is pretty sweet. Think about it, in most jobs there’s an element of competition. Work for Tasti-D-Lite and there’s Passionberri. Work for Red Wing Shoes and there’s Doc Marten’s. Work for Babeland and there’s…the handheld “personal massager” sold at Rite Aid? Excluding San Francisco’s Good Vibrations, Babeland is in a class of its own, especially since it’s so female-friendly. So job security is probably pretty stable.

The stores themselves aren’t the least bit slimy, my two favorites being the cute and discreet Lower East Side location and the chic SoHo shop that features high-ceilings and flattering lighting. Besides, the SoHo one allows you to purchase butt plugs or restraints, all while being mere blocks away from kate spade and the Ed Hardy flagship store. Naughty. If I were to be serving the community with cunnilingus-simulators and nipple clamps, what better place to do it? I’m completely serious. I’d feel like I was serving the greater good of the neighborhood, and New York City as a whole.

Moreover, Babeland does more than just supply you with the goods for your goodies, it provides an educational environment as well. With classes like The Art of the Blowjob, His and Hers Handjobs, and Queer Tantra offered in their stores, taught by resident experts and special guests, it’s hard not to feel like Babeland is selling more than gadgets, gizmos, and grease, it’s supplying good sex, literally. Although I’m unsure whether or not it’s the Babeland floor staff who instructs strangers about strap-ons, or if the education coordinators like are in charge, working among such well-versed copulation champions could only benefit both my bedroom and my buisness billet. The only thing I wonder is if it’s possible to order a one-on-one lesson. What about private instruction? Some people have specific problems that they need some help with.

While I couldn’t find an exact dollar amount on what Babeland employees make, it wouldn’t matter. In truth, this is the kind of company I’d intern for, if sex shops had interns. But we can assume it’s around or above minimum wage ($7.25 an hour in New York State,) possibly plus a percentage of commission. Either way, to be paid to do what you love means that you never work a day in your life, and while I can’t actually be paid to have sex (illegal, and awkward for the boyfriend) working for a fornication corporation like Babeland could make the daily grind that much sweeter.


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