My second ‘friend-kind-of-date’ date, with Australian Bob, was all of the above.
And then I met him at his house and we got into his car for our adventure and he took me to the sex shop, Leather Masters, and it all got weirder and more self-conscious. For me. Australian Bob was having a grand ol' time.
Oddly enough, I had actually been in this shop year before to pick up large dildo props for the show Lysistrata. That time, I only had time to run in and pick up the stuff that someone had ordered and pre-paid for. I had been too busy and too embarrassed to look around. Unlike now. On my ‘friend-kind-of-date’ date, with Australian Bob. At the sex shop.
Now, I don't wear makeup most days. If I bother, it's a bit of eye shadow and mascara. As this was a ‘friend-kind-of-date’ date, I had not only bothered to wear eye makeup, and my best ‘New York Actor’ black outfit, but I'd also put in contacts. And contacts meant no shield against all that was to come. I could not look over the tops of my glasses and make the world a blur. Contacts meant I was seeing everything clear as day. It was a literal eye-opener. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude. Growing up all my friends came to me for advice and, while most of the time I didn't actually have all the answers, I’d read a lot of stuff and could fake my way through a really good R-rated Dear Abby response. But Dear Abby was not going to help me here.
The shop was split into two sections. As you walk in, the leathers were straight ahead, a mostly claustrophobic mixture of biker gear and sexy time gear. To the right was the sex shop and all it's sexy time toys. We wandered around for a bit looking at all the shop had to offer. There were toys for each and every orifice. Some I could figure out. Some I had no clue as to what they or where they might possibly go. But me being me, and this being a possible date, I said nothing. I asked no questions. I just wandered about, dressed in my finest black on black, trying to look like nothing was shocking me, like I was a cool as a cucumber as my face grew hot enough to light a fire.
I did not know that there were such things as a um… pardon my vulgarity but it is really called this… I did not know that a thing like an f-ing machine existed. I stood staring at it for quite a while, in freaky awe at its obvious simplicity and total practical crudeness until Australian Bob steered me to the glass box counter where the expensive toys lived.
AUSTRALIAN BOB: “I want to buy you your first vibrator. Every girl should have one.”
ME: Um... Okay...
I said, trying to be as cool as possible while my inside voice was screaming “WHAT IN THE HELL IS HAPPENING???” My goal became walking out of here with my dignity intact and no hysterical laughter escaping my tightly pressed together lips.
The Pimply-Faced Teen behind the counter was busy helping some gentleman who was claiming his mini vibrator was defective. Australian Bob pointed out the various options while we waited. Did I want the bear with the fish in its mouth or the rabbit with the twirling ears? Did I like the big one with pulsing pearls or one with multi speeds and a G-spot vibrator or all of the above? I couldn’t stop the giggling in my head, the situation was so unreal. I was suddenly 11years old and back in 5th grade when we had to talk about penises and breasts with a straight face.
And the faces – all of the vibrators had little Japanese girl faces on the top of their penis part. Australian Bob informed me that most of the toys were made in Japan and that a law was passed at some point that craftsmen were not allowed to create sex toys that resembled male genitalia. The craftsmen got around this by carving a smiley girls face onto the end of each 'toy'. I nodded, trying to look serious and interested and pretend that looking at a smiley face on the end of the large purple vibrator on a 'friend-kind-of-date' was not making my inner self hide her head under a pillow and start screaming, “THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING TO ME!”
Pimply-Faced Teen finished telling gentlemen that his vibrator was not defective but was, in fact, in need of a new battery and slithered over to serve us. Australian Bob told him what we were looking for. I just stood there, blushing, trying to not look like I was swimming in shark-infested smiley-faced penis waters. Pimply-Faced Teen explained all the various options for vibrators, in great detail. I didn't hear a thing he said over the prepubescent giggling in my head. And then Pimply-Faced Teen turned to me and asked -
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: Ma’am, what is the size of your hood?
Pause. My eyebrows raised, I smiled and said -
ME: Um… I’m sorry? I don’t know what that is.
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: Oh. Well, the hood is the fold of skin that protects your clit. It helps to know the size so that we can pick the right vibrator for you. If you have a deep hood, you'll want a different stimulator than if you have a shallow hood.
I swallowed air, choked a little and the little me inside burst out into manic hysterical laughter.
I said, nodding my head and looking serious, like I knew what he had just said and was considering my answer.
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: So? What size hood do you have?”
The little me inside jumped up and ran off screaming as I stuttered out the sentence –
ME: Oh. Um… I don’t know.
And then Pimply-Faced Teen - who did not even look like he was old enough to have sex let a lot be working behind the counter of sex shop actually said to me -
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: We have a dressing room with a mirror in the back if you’d like to check.
AND THEN HE HANDED ME A MIRROR!!!
And scene. Part three tomorrow. I'm off to cool my face with a bucket of ice.