This June, you’ll see a lot of sex toy stores wishing you a happy Pride, and that’s wonderful, because Pride began as (and continues to be) a protest, but is also a celebration of queer sexuality in all of its forms! If you have a favorite store already that you want to support, well, you should do that, you know yourself and your budget and your favorite things.
That said, it frustrates me very much to see stores that are otherwise non-inclusive try to win over queer dollars because that’s the useful thing to do in June. Maybe there’s an element of “Oh yes, gays, I support gay rights, let me honor that with these rainbow dildos.” That’s nice and all, but today I’d like to highlight some of my favorite stores that are queer-friendly all year long, and who live by those ideals!
Here is a list (non-exhaustive) of some things that can indicate that a store is queer-friendly:
A store that divides its toys into “toys for men” and “toys for women” are not inclusive, because what they usually mean are “toys for penises & prostates” and “toys for vaginas & clits.” Plenty of men have vaginas, plenty of women have penises, nonbinary people can have a wild assortment of genitals, etc. They also tend to say “toys for couples” when they mean “toys compatible with PIV sex.” Any toy can be a toy for couples, if a couple is using it!
Queer creators, staff, etc.
This one can be harder to determine, since it’s not like most stores have a List of Staff with full identity on their front page. But there are some stores which are very emphatic in hiring and supporting queer people, which were started by queer people, and which try to work with queer people when possible. They also include and promote products created by indie queer creators, like the Cute Little Fuckers line or Funkit Toys.
Many queer-friendly stores contain gender-affirming items, separately from their pleasure items. Transness is not inherently sexual, and so things like packers aren’t sex toys in the traditional sense. But it is still nice to be able to purchase from a discreet company for a variety of reasons, and that the stores have thought about this shows that they’re conscious and conscientious.
Celebrate queerness and diversity year-round
Listen, it’s nice to have a pride display during June and all, but it’s really nice to see visibly queer and BIPOC models all the time, especially with a range of body types! When all the models are slim white cis women with long blond hair, it’s a little disheartening—am I one of the people they even want as customers? I mean, yes, in the sense that they want my money, but otherwise? If they think that “white skinny woman” represents all of their clientele, they are mistaken…or they’re self-selecting to the point where that’s true, I suppose. Also, using objectifying, racist descriptions to sell a dildo or stroker in certain color ranges? Absolutely not.
You would think that sex positivity would be required of a sex toy store, but it is not so! Many stores use a lot of furtive or sex-negative language. I’ve seen stores emphasizing their discretion in the sense of, “Your man will never know you bought a sex toy, it’s our little secret!” or who act like you’re unleashing some horrible beast by purchasing their shitty vibrator. To say nothing of the strap-on dildo I saw that presented pegging as some sort of weird…revenge that the hetero woman is taking on their hetero boyfriend for all the times that he…penetrated…her? I’m still not sure what was going on with that one, but it was bad.
I definitely have a few affiliates who are not as inclusive as I’d like, for various reasons—usually because they have unique toys that I can’t find anywhere else. But today, I’m emphasizing the toy stores that I love to shop at and promote, because they make me, a queer weirdo, feel comfortable and at home, and like a valued part of their customer base rather than just someone they might as well sell to I guess since I’m there anyway.
I should note that this post is not sponsored and none of these businesses even knew I was making this list. However, I’m using affiliate links for all of these, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through these links at no extra cost to you. If you would, for some reason, rather I did not earn any money from this, I guess you could just Google the stores yourself from my list. If you, for some other reason, want to make sure I get a commission, it may help to clear your cookies first before clicking. ♥
SheVibe’s tagline is “come for the toys, stay for the art,” and the art is the first sign that you’re someplace you want to be! Their brightly colored superhero-inspired art, both on the front page and throughout their site, is funny, and incredibly diverse without ever once expecting a pat on the back for it. In addition to sex toys, they have educational guides that cover a vast array of topics, often written by queer writers (including me, full disclosure), and they celebrate sex educators of all sorts with their Sex Ed Superhero trading cards.
Betty’s Toy Box
Betty’s Toy Box‘s mission statement is “Quality toys for every body” and they do mean every body. They don’t gender their products, and they even have a section for mobility aids and accessibility toys. Also, at the moment they have 10% off their pride collection, so it’s a good time to snag that rainbow dildo I reviewed last year.
Enby is run by three Black/trans enbies. Enby has tons of sex toys, but also has a huge selection of gender-affirming products at a huge array of price points. They’ve also been targeted by an unscrupulous company trying to sue them for the term “enby,” so supporting this company will also ensure that they can pay to defend themselves legally.
Also, if you use the code EARTHLING you can get 10% off.
Geeky Sex Toys
UPDATE 10/28/21: GST has closed their doors for the forseeable future.
Never gendered, always quirky and goofy, Geeky Sex Toys make sure sex is fun and funny and geeky, with toys based on nerdy things like Star Wars, D&D, Doctor Who, and more. This is also a good one for my international readers, because they’re Australia-based and have a flat global shipping fee. (Also I strongly recommend following the GST Twitter if nothing else.) I’ve reviewed two of their toys as well, the sadly discontinued Dildek and the Tard-Ass paddle.
Code EARTHLING will get you 5% off!
The name says it all. Spectrum Boutique is brightly-colored and celebratory, with an emphasis on inclusive sex education as well as selling toys for anyone regardless of gender. They also have an entire page dedicated to queer makers, so you can make sure to support LGBTQ+ creators.
This is absolutely not an exhaustive list! You may have some favorites that I didn’t mention, and some might even be affiliates; I might not have shopped there or spent much time exploring them, or they might have something about them that irks me at the moment that I don’t want to deal with, or I might have just forgotten them!
Anyway, have a safe, happy Pride!
This post was not sponsored but does contain many affiliate links.