Whether you have a full arsenal of anal beads in your closet, or you’re looking for your first vibrator, the friendly neighborhood sex shop makes for an excellent and enlightening Friday afternoon or an easy Valentine’s Day gift before the weekend.
While you can find nearly anything on the Internet and the hardware store can take you a long way, there’s a huge benefit to actually stepping into a sex shop. There are a variety of playthings you may not have considered before laying eyes on them, and there’s the added benefit of people behind a counter happy to suggest and explain more ways to accessories your fun. Most importantly, you can actually see the toy you are about to buy, size things up, and feel testers. Local sex shops are much cheaper than the shipping-included online version.
So, here are my top favorites within driving distance from Oberlin, Ohio.
1 . Ambiance
Caters to those looking for a discreet and upscale experience with a focus on ladies and couples. If the idea of going to a sex shop for the first time seems scary, intimidating, overwhelming or embarrassing (and we all start somewhere), Ambiance is the place to go. With a wide selection of lingerie, seasonal sexy costumes and displays of sex toys, lubricants, gifts and fun accessories like basic bondage gear, Ambiance is easily the most tasteful adult store around. Their “certified romantic consultants” have always been extremely helpful in the most tactful and discreet way possible. The downside is that Ambiance is a little more expensive. If you are looking for exclusively trustworthy products and a clean higher end environment, they are worth the investment. When my mom came into town with questions, we went to Ambiance, for a non-awkward shopping trip.
Between I-480 and Lorain Road
4745 Great Northern Blvd., North Olmsted
2.Leather and Lace (our closest and cheapest)
Walking through the reinforced bulletproof door of Leather and Lace is not for the timid first-time buyer. With its seedy “over 18” sign and middle of nowhere location, it fulfills all stereotypes of the janky sex shop catering to a trench coat-wearing crowd. That said, Leather and Lace is also one of the cheapest establishments around. With the occasional find like the five-dollar leather studded bra or the sequined American Flag pasties, they’ve got you covered. L&L carries a small selection of toys, novelties, lingerie, and a decent collection of DVDs. While it’s by no means my go-to boutique, their service is friendly and helpful, making this a fun stop for that sketch feel on your way home from Taco Bell.
46319 Telegraph Rd, South Amherst
(Take 58 north to 113 and turn left)
3. Adult Mart
I have a deep-seated love for Adult Mart. With a wide array of sex toys, sparkling platform stripper shoes up to size w10, and an ample and up-to-date DVD selection, AM offers everything you hope for in a sex shop. This would be my personal recommendation for anyone looking for a new toy or first time set of anal beads. They have the best toy, lube, and pornography selection around, without being overwhelming. AM also carries accessories from gentle massage candles to leather whips. The AM in Amherst is closer to Oberlin and slightly more upscale than the Brook Park store, and Amherst’s AM also has a better selection of lingerie. AM and Rocky’s (also owned by AM) in Brook Park offer the better video selection, and the Brook Park AM has the best discount porn bin.
Bonus: If you are already by the airport, Brook Park’s AM is across the street from Cap’n Taco, “the top gun of Mexican food,” and next door to one of Cleveland’s few 18 and over strip clubs. Can you think of a better skeezy date night?
49150 Cooper Foster Park Rd
Amherst, OH 44001
(Take 58 north past T-Bell, turn left, and drive for one metric forever through woods and Ohio-type what-nots)
16700 Brookpark Road
Cleveland, OH 44135
(Take the airport exit for Brook Park Rd., pass the airport, go under the highway, and AM is on your left)
In what looks like a former fast food drive through, Cirilla’s is a personal favorite. They have the best selection of sexy things to wear, from lingerie to PVC to pasties. Cirilla’s also carries the widest selection of fetish products and an ample array of DVDs, toys, and random novelties. Cirilla’s is generally less expensive than other stores. My girlfriend and I decided that we would give each other Cirilla’s gift cards for Christmas and ended up going half and half on a shining new striper pole on an excellent recommendation from a very knowledgeable Cirilla’s employee.
661 Midway Blvd.
Elyria, OH 44035
WARNING—Just because a toy or product is at a reputable-looking store does not necessarily mean that it is safe. Know what you’re buying, and know that lower quality plastics can leach toxins and all of that scary stuff. Also, having learned through one of the more painful experiences in my life, that little bottle on the sale shelf is not necessarily the key to fun natural enhancement, but instead can make putting icy hot on your most personal bits seem like a good idea.