This Is Your Cheatsheet to the Bay Area’s Best Sex Shop

The sex educator who runs the joint answers all your questions

By The Editors
March 19, 2019 9:00 am

Mark these words: “Nothing will get you laid faster than being considerate.”

Living in the Bay Area has its challenges, but one boon is access to Oakland’s Feelmore, the best little “adult entertainment store” west of the Mississippi (probably east as well). Whether you’re buying or just browsing, it’s a hoot, and one made easier with a little bit of intel from proprietor Nenna Joiner.

We recently asked her a lot of questions about what to know before you go, and she shared specifics.

NSFW ahead, mateys.

InsideHook: If a client wants to begin bringing toys into the bedroom but is hesitant to start, where do you generally suggest he look?
Nenna Joiner: If the bros are hesitant, reading this article written by your resident lesbian friend, Nenna Feelmore, is a good start! I deal daily in fears and hesitations. If you are afraid to buy a vibrator, make sure you at least start with lubricant. No matter how self-lubricated a woman gets, more is always good, especially if you are of substantial length or girth. And choose a vibrator that can be used on the outside but allows you to be useful in the moment, such as a Womanizer Liberty.

IH: Do your clients talk about their concerns with you? What are the most common ones?
NJ: Men are open about their concerns when they speak to strangers in strange places, like Feelmore. It’s liberating speaking to someone who must never share the identifiable details with the world. The concerns some men have are just basic insecurities … no biggie. They want to please their partner, but at its core, [these questions are] about feeling okay with themselves and finding a partner who can love them for them. Some won’t explicitly say, “Nenna, I’m tripping because I only have four inches, and I feel I’m not pleasing my lady.” Most often, it will sound like, “I don’t want to get her something too big [in terms of a dildo] because I don’t want her to forget about me” or “I don’t want her to replace me.” Ain’t shit you can do when someone is not feeling you! You can buy all the vibrators and sex pills you want — Feelmore is willing to take your money — but TBH, there are some things you can’t change. I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff, literally. Guys often come in looking for things to change the length, girth and duration. Pills help with erection bloodflow; creams or sprays will help keep the erection longer. Pumps force blood to your little friend. A cock ring will keep the blood flow in your pipe. That said: You can only buy so much to change your member … it’s ultimately about H-E-R. (Not the artist!) Coming into Feelmore with concerns means you give a shit — and that’s sexy as fuck. Nothing will get you laid faster than being considerate.

IH: How do you start talking about products versus mindset?
NJ: Walking into a sex shop like Feelmore — one that doesn’t have fogged windows and externally resembles a jewelry store — is a bit intimidating! Once inside, men are open to questions. It’s all good. We make it more of a “Dude, did you listen to her?” session than purchasing sex toys. Purchasing a sex toy isn’t just looking at the sale rack. Be intentional AF, because this the person you want to spend time with — anywhere from a few hours to the rest of your life. I just had a client visit who comes in annually, and I was able to recall his last three purchases, his partner and the last time they were here at Feelmore. It’s tricky, and I can’t even explain it! You must fuck with businesses that remember you.

IH: What sort of questions should men be asking their partners?
NJ: Ask and memorize:

  • Favorite colors?
  • Magazines she reads?
  • Podcasts she loves?
  • Favorite TV shows/Netflix?
  • Favorite vacation spot?
  • Favorite social media app?

Knowing the answers to those questions helps us to get to a better product. If they are a fan of T-Pain’s b- school, she might like the Crave Pocket Vibe. Cosmo magazine, she might like Lelo Sonas. Travels to faraway places, might need a battery-operated vibrator and silicone lube — ’cause y’all having hella Jacuzzi sex. If dudes come in and say, “She needs a vibrator!” we gotta narrow it down. Remember this is for her, so have enough money to make sure you aren’t compromising because of “what’s ain’t in your wallet.” Knowing the answers to a few basic questions about your partner will allow you go into any store and come out with bags she will get hella excited about. Be nosy — but don’t stalk!

Editor’s note: Feelmore’s now deliverable via Postmates — so if you’re not up for an in-person trip, you don’t need to cross the Bay. You’re welcome.

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