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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Kid in a candy store

Do you ever have an urge to do something or go somewhere so much it’s all you think about? It’s a feeling many people have and it can consume your entire being until you’re satisfied. I have this feeling sometimes, but it’s usually when I want that new pair of jeans or boots. But this time it was different.

Here’s the story:

I was house sitting in Los Angeles two summers ago. My friend and I were watching the Oxygen channel on a Sunday night (I don’t usually do this). The TV program, “Talk Sex with Sue Johanson,” was on and we just couldn’t change the channel. We’re big Sue fans!

If you don’t know who Johanson is, I’ll give you a brief bio. She’s Canadian, in her late 70s, a sex therapist, author, public speaker and of course, a talk show host. She gives great advice from how to give fellatio the right way to dealing with fetishes. Johanson even has her own line of sex toys. Oh, and she’s hilarious! You should check her out on YouTube.

Anyway, watching Johanson’s show and the sex toy infomercial – I never knew they sold throat-numbing spray! – that followed, I was inspired to go to a sex shop.

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up going after watching. But as time went on, the thought never really left my head.

Then – finally – it happened.

Two years after watching Johanson and being fascinated with her knowledge, my wonderful friend and I got into the car and headed for Sacramento, finding our way to a place called G-spot. I parked the car, put money in the meter and walked with a slight hesitation up to the door. There weren’t any windows, and I couldn’t see through the door. (I guess that’s normal for these kinds of places?)

We walked in and I was pleasantly surprised. The store was bright and cheery. It felt like I was in a gift shop, until I looked a little closer. There were penis-shaped baking pans and birthday cards with half-naked men on them – great for a bachelorette party. There were all sorts of sex games and massage oils lining the shelves. There was even a diagram of the female body pointing out the erogenous zones – this would be great for guys to study!

We walked a little further into the store to find the saleswoman standing behind the register. She was very welcoming and offered us any assistance we needed. We told her we were just looking around, but I think she knew we were first timers. Maybe it was the giggles and dropped jaws that gave it away.

We made it to the back of the store, which I would equate with a sex fiend’s heaven. The walls were lined with all kinds of toys for all different needs. There were glittered ones, pink ones, ones that looked like jackrabbits, ones that didn’t vibrate and even pocket-sized ones. There were waterproof ones, virtually silent ones, ones that looked like the real thing, and ones that didn’t.

It took me a minute to take it all in, but after browsing the goods, I asked the woman for some help. She was extremely knowledgeable about all of the products, and even let me see a few of them in action – well, not quite in action.

I consulted with my friend after spending quite a while learning about the many different toys. It was a hard choice, but I’ll let you use your imagination to decide if I ended up making a purchase or not. I can’t give all my secrets away.

The experience was liberating. I’d like to thank my friend for accompanying me. She was great moral support. I suppose the moral of the story is if you want to do something or go somewhere, just do it. Even if it’s two years later.

ERICA BETNUN wants to be friends with Sue Johanson. Does anyone know how she can make this happen? She can be reached at elbetnun@ucdavis.edu.


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