At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves in one of those “after dark” shops with the neon lights. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; after all, there’s something in an adult bookstore for everyone, right? But no matter when or where you stumble into one, odds are you’ll encounter at least one of these nine types who frequent such establishments. Some are harmless, casual shoppers like yourself; others are a little too into “the scene,” if you get my drift.
This is the gimp-esque guy or gal parading the aisles in full S&M gear. They’ll either discuss their sexual escapades openly in order to elicit an awkward reaction, or just sidle up to you and make casual conversation. “Some weather we’re having, huh?” or “Why can’t Jennifer Aniston just settle down with a nice guy?” are always popular topics. Avoid direct contact with the leather and latex; for all of their brazen confidence in choice of attire, keeping it laundered isn’t exactly a top priority.
The Covert Dominatrix
Prim and proper, she always maintains a professional but friendly composure, if coming across as slightly bitchy. You’d never know it from looking at her or working in close proximity to her, but once she’s in her element, she’s a freak. A leather corset, stiletto heels, whips, ball gags—the works. She’ll likely be in and out of the shop as a quick as possible, so sightings are rare; just look for a poised woman wearing sunglasses, shopping briskly, and sizing up potential submissives.
The Kid Who Just Turned 18
Definitely not hard to miss, this birthday boy will have “rookie” written all over him. Wide-eyed, stammering and in some cases sweating up a storm, he can’t believe the “options” now available to him, but won’t want to come across as being completely clueless. Ultimately, he’ll depart the establishment with little more than the Kim Kardashian/Ray J DVD (or something along the lines of “Slammin’ Granny in the Fanny” to crack up his still-underage pals).
The Guy Who Buys Blow-up Animals
If you don’t frequent adult bookstores, you probably have an image in your head of what the typical customer looks like … yes, that stereotype is alive and well, and yes, he buys the weirdest shit imaginable. The unkempt, greasy, outta-shape pervo prefers the farm varieties of blow-up animals, and can often be heard lamenting the fate of that dude who got arrested for banging the same horse twice.
The Kinky Swingers
AKA The creepy married couple who leech onto first-timers in the shop, hoping to trade partners or get some kind of nightmarish orgy going. They’re obviously not employees, but they still trail you from aisle to aisle, being way too friendly, asking if you have any questions about the merchandise, if you’re married, if you like to work out, if you and your wife like to work out, or if you’ve ever considered entering “an experimental phase.” Don’t even bother being polite to this two-headed beast; they’ll just take it as a sign that there might be a smidgen of interest on your end.
The Obsessive Collector
Worse than a comic book geek, this particular brand of dork proudly owns every film ever made by a variety of porn stars. Just look for the guy in the vintage Vivid Video T-shirt who clearly has no place else to go. God help you if he catches you eyeballing the Traci Lords section (pun intended); he’ll initiate an incredibly one-sided conversation about how he has overseas bootlegs of the films she made when she was 15. Constantly laments how adult films have become “too mainstream.” Beware: He has the ability to corner unsuspecting patrons around the anal beads section.
The Tired Businessman
Generally a slightly older, disheveled gent; all he wants to do is grab a couple of magazines before heading home to a nagging wife, screaming kids and/or ungrateful teens, and put in little “private bathroom time” before hitting the sack (or maybe while hitting it). If he’s had a particularly bad day – say, he hit “reply all” accidentally on an email and had a chat with HR after referring to Mark in Sales as a “world-class shit-steamer” – he may even pick up a DVD. Something reliable, like a Jenna Jameson greatest hit, for when the family’s off at his mother-in-law’s for the weekend.
The Bachelorette Party
A gaggle of females who are noisy, most likely drunk, and prone to picking up anything that’s remotely penis-shaped while laughing uproariously at it. Oftentimes this is accompanied by conversations on how the groom-to-be measures up. All they’re likely to buy are penis water guns or ice trays, anyway. If you see a hot party member, don’t let her see you; try and overhear what bar they’re heading to next, then wait a half-hour for any attempted hook-up.
The Cashier With a Piercing Fetish
She’s worked at the shop for a few years, and nothing surprises her anymore, having seen all varieties of customers, crazies and cops. With a sense of detachment from the proceedings, she’s just there for the job, and certainly has no sense of perkiness like a kid on their very first shift at Hardee’s. Don’t even think about trying to ask her out; she won’t socialize with the clientele. You’ll have better luck chatting her up at the tattoo parlor down the street on pay day.
Ps. Support a struggling genius boy wonder artist by buying his highly collectible NFTs.