By Jordan Yeager
Winter is universally known as the best time of year to get your freak on. Ever heard of cuffing season? When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing more tempting than finding someone you vibe with and locking yourselves away until temperatures once again rise to the double digits. A community staple since 1995, Womyn’s Ware is well-versed in spicing up the love lives of those both single and in committed relationships. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there’s no better time to expand your mind (and your toybox). Owner Lesley McHale took the time to woo us with some knowledge from behind the scenes of her coveted East Van sex shop.
What does your core client base look like?
The best way to describe our core client base is all ages, genders, and orientations. Predominantly, folks who are aligned with our business values: celebrating sex and desire to parallel sexual health with sexual pleasure.
Do you have regulars?
Our store has been open since 1995 and we have customers who have been shopping with us since day one. We have regular local shoppers and shoppers who travel from a distance a few times a year to pick up their staples and to pick up the latest and greatest.
How does your clientele change around Valentine’s Day? Are there more couples coming in together? More single people wanting to explore self-love?
Our clientele doesn’t necessarily change around Valentine’s Day, but we do sometimes see a spike in first time and slightly shy shoppers. We see a good combination of both [couples and single people]. Some folks who haven’t used toys before use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to introduce toys into their sexy time play.
At which times throughout the year do you really see a spike in the sex toy market? Any slow seasons?
Our store experiences a lot of volume for most of the year. Christmas, New Year’s celebrations, Valentine’s Day, and tourists in the summer are when we see spikes in business.
Based on your observations, are there fetish trends? Or have people always kinda been into the same things?
We find that many folks are becoming more open to either learning more, or exploring the opportunity to experience fetish play.
What’s the most approachable toy for a beginner to the sex toy game?
When a person who is new to sex toys comes into the store, we like to provide a safe opportunity for each person to tell us about their expectations of what they would like to experience. Consequently, a first time buyer may choose anything from something that has an abstract appearance and does not have the “look” of a sex toy, to a rechargeable, submersible, blue tooth enabled multi-purpose toy. That’s the amazing thing about people: given the opportunity, they will often allow themselves to explore what it is they truly desire.
Helping people come to the realization that they can feel empowered sexually is an amazing way to spend the day! Ann and I have the best job in the world!!
Womyn’s Ware is located at 896 Commercial Drive.