Some stores say satisfaction guaranteed. This one means it.
Lovers is a one-stop shop for passion potions and lotions, toys and tools.
Lingerie is in the front and the back is a phallic wonderland.
What’s up with that?
This place is a joyride of what’s up with thats.
“Basically we have a little bit of everything for everyone,” said Amanda Chesser, manager of the Lovers store at 112 SE Everett Mall Way. “Whatever their fancy is, whatever they need, we’re here to help.”
Lovers is part of a chain of 47 retail stores that are also under the brand names of A Touch of Romance, ConRev and Christal’s. The corporation, based in Auburn, was founded by women in 1981. Chesser, 30, a married mother of three, said the company has good career opportunities. She has a staff of 11 at her south Everett store, which is hiring.
These stores aren’t little sex shops tucked behind dark curtains in a seedy alleyway. They have bright window front displays on main roads along with a rewards club, sales and days with themed discounts. Customers have to be 18 to enter.
I went on “Tantalizing Tuesday.” It was titillating.
I’ve driven by Lovers stores hundreds of times and rubbernecked to get a glimpse of who — and what — may be lurking behind those scantily yet artfully clad mannequins. What I discovered was … wow, how little I knew, even after 30 years of marriage. Or maybe because of 30 years of marriage.
Peppy music puts a spring to your step in the wide aisles and tempt you to pick up a tickling feather to play with as you shop. It’s hard not to smile here. And it’s OK to gawk or blush or laugh aloud at some of the products.
Sure, this is the place to come for bachelorette parties and white elephant gifts, but sex is as serious as it is fun.
“It touches on more than just sex,” Chesser said. “It’s a sexual wellness place for everyone. Men and women alike.”
Sexual wellness. That’s what it’s all about.
“We have doctors who send people to us to get certain products, whether it be lubricants or supplements to help them out,” she said.
At the festive bulk condom table, the deal is buy a dozen, get six free.
“Try something new” reads the sign on a display of baskets with sample-size gels, creams and lotions.
A wall of accessories has 50 shapes of whips, paddles and blindfolds. “When the ‘50 Shades’ movie came out, that created a whole new wave of customers for us,” Chesser said. “We expect this again with this next one that came out.”
Pasties come with tassels or peel-and-stick bling. “We have dancers as well as bikini baristas who shop here,” she said.
Apparel sizes are petite to plus-sized for women of all ages. There’s also lingerie for men.
Madison Jubie, 18, was shopping for a little something to wear on Valentine’s Day.
“A lot of people shy away from it because they think it’s really weird,” she said. “It’s not bad to get in touch with your feminine side. It’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Shopper Liz Rieck, 24, perused the colorful selection of electronic devices.
“It’s something I’ve never done, but he’s interested in the electricity,” she said.“When you have things like this, why let your bedroom get boring? There’s nothing worse than when you love your partner and then you go into the bedroom and your brain is going, ‘OK, he is going to do this, this, that and the other. And we’ve done this every single night for the last three months.’”
Wait. Sex every single night … for three months straight?
The stats on the internet are all over the board of how often people do it. So I asked the Herald’s “Family Talk” columnist Paul Schoenfeld, behavioral health director at The Everett Clinic.
“Unfortunately, studies that survey frequency of sex in adults are often hard to interpret,” he said. “Not surprisingly, younger adults report having more frequent sex than older adults.”
What about sexual wellness?
“Sex toys which can include many different products can help adults enjoy a healthy sexual life,” Schoenfeld said. “For example, as adults age, they may find that they have less sensation, which may make it difficult for them to achieve a climax. Vibrators can be helpful. Lotions can improve lubrication, which can sometimes be a problem for women, especially those that are post-menopausal. And some sex toys stimulate our imagination which can improve sexual desire.”
He summed it up this way: “The goal — to have a happy, healthy sexual life with a partner.”
Store workers make it easy to articulate your desires.
“Some guys will say, ‘There’s no way I want to talk to a guy,’ and some will say, ‘I only want to talk to a guy,’” said sales associate Dante Floyd, who has worked at Lovers for a year. “Some women will say, ‘I want a guy’s opinion.’”
Floyd talked matter-of-factly about the bells and whistles of the electronic toys as if he were selling TVs or cars. The products, which come with warranties and customer service hotlines, are geared to pleasure in astonishing ways. These things do more than vibrate. Way more.
When he sales-pitched the Womanizer Deluxe, a German-engineered $200 device, I could almost see famous blue-haired sex psychiatrist Dr. Ruth nodding approvingly.
I didn’t buy that, but I did do a little shopping while I was there. And maybe I’ll go back for more.
After all, I now have a Lovers rewards card that I carry proudly in my wallet, alongside my mundane grocery club cards. Maybe I’ll pull it out by “mistake” next time I’m at Safeway.
Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.