Diary Of A Sex Toy Store Owner During The Valentine's Day Rush

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 16, 2016 4:12PM

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The storefront at Early to Bed, and (inset) store owner Searah Deysach (store photo via Yelp, portrait courtesy of Deysach)

Searah Deysach is the city of Chicago’s unofficial sex therapist. She has been selling sex toys, and answering Chicagoans’ most intimate questions, since she opened Andersonville's Early to Bed in 2001.

Chicagoist's official editorial stance is that Early to Bed is an excellent place to shop, and the store also gives Deysach and her team a unique view of the city’s dash to spice up its collective sex life for Valentine’s Day. (Business the week before the holiday is usually "very brisk," Deysach said.)

Here’s her and her co-workers’ account of the work-week leading up to the holiday. Deysach covered the weekdays; some of her staffers, who didn't want to be identified by name, covered the weekend.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Number of customers who mentioned Valentine’s Day: one that I heard. It’s still a little early in the shop for V-Day. No one thinks too far ahead for this holiday. But it was the penultimate day online for V-Day orders so we were SLAMMED packing up packages.
Best customer comment of the day: “My wife wants to tie me up and I am totally into it!”
Best-seller of the day: the Njoy Pure Wand, a super heavy stainless steel G-spot toy.
Highlight of the day: helping a dude in his sixties find just the right restraints to be tied up with.
Lowlight of the day: the five crank calls we got, including “Is this Taco Bell? and “Is this the dildo store?” We get so many crank calls!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9

Number of customers who mentioned Valentine’s Day: ZERO!
Number of sex store newbies: three or four. We had some you could tell for sure were newbies, as they laughed at everything in the store (but not in a rude way).
Best customer comment of the day: “Um, that is about 100 percent bigger than I was looking for.”
Best-seller of the day: vibrators! Looks like lots of folks are getting vibes for V-Day!
Most interesting item sold: lots of prostate toys. It's only interesting because we have noticed a pattern of men buying themselves butt toys on Tuesdays. I kid you not. Tuesdays are often dude days here.
Highlight of the day: getting Sliquid Sassy Lube back in stock! It is like Christmas for everyone’s holes!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Best way a customer mentioned Valentine’s Day today: “I need one of those candy heart plugs for my boyfriend’s ass.”
Best-seller of the day: stockings! Everyone wanted stockings today. And unlike yesterday, today was almost all women in the shop.
Most interesting item sold: anal beads for a theater company. Forgot to ask what play it was for but I bet it is a good one!
Highlight of the day: having someone tag us on Instagram with a long comment about how awesome we are. I may have cried a little.
Lamest crank call of the day: a clearly fake-accented twelve-year-old asking if we sold condoms. Crank caller pro tip: No one calls a sex shop to see if they sell condoms.

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A temporary display of restraints and more at Early to Bed (photo via Yelp)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11

Number of customers who mentioned Valentine’s Day: four or so.
Best Valentine’s Day mention of the day: “I hate Valentine’s Day so I need a vibrator.”
Best-seller of the day: vibrators!
Most interesting item sold: porn, actually. We carry some really awesome woman-made, high quality porn and I love seeing who buys it... who cares about quality and niceness in porn.
Highlight of the day: this cocktail I am drinking right now.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12

Best Valentine’s Day mention of the day: “I’m looking for something to help tone my girlfriend's vagina for Valentine’s Day.”
Number of sex store newbies: between two and four. One made a point of telling us this was her first time and she was nervous.
Best-seller of the day: vibrators.
Most interesting item sold: metal chastity cage for a penis. It’s not something a lot of people do to their bits.
Lamest crank call of the day: the same fucking kids asking if we can send then 12 butt plugs. Followed up by “Is this a Taco Bell?” I kind of lost it and called them back and yelled at them.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Number of customers who mentioned Valentine’s Day: six to eight.
Best way a customer mentioned Valentine’s Day today: A woman kept angrily muttering “No you can’t do that, it’s Valentine’s day” to her partner, who never said a word.
Number of sex store newbies: I think at least 10! We had a few groups of friends.
Best-seller of the day: lube!
Most interesting item sold: three of the naughty candy hearts, because the dude just ate them in the store. He really wanted some candy hearts.
Lamest crank call of the day: “I bought a cockring last week and it’s too small. Can I return it?”

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 (VALENTINE’S DAY!)

Number of customers who mentioned Valentine’s Day: an anemic four.
Number of sex store newbies: about 15. Definitely a lot of couples in Valentine’s Day shopping together.
Best-sellers of the day: lube and cockrings.
Most interesting item sold: a bottle of glow-in-the-dark bubble bath.
Lamest crank call of the day: It was actually a voicemail. Much as I don’t understand the appeal of prank calling, I understand prank voicemails even less. But this kid at least put more creativity into it than most. Mentioned nothing about sex, just ordered a pizza in the most innuendo-laden way possible. Something along the lines of, “Can I get a LLLLLLLLLLAAAAAARGE pizza, with LOTS of cheese SMOTHERED AAAAAAALL OOOOOOVER the MEAT…” I had other things to do, so I actually deleted it before hearing the whole thing.