Hi Alice,

Lately, I was thinking about buying myself a vibrator. My only problem is fear of my parents finding it, and actually buying it. I'm scared to go buy one. There is a place nearby that I can go purchase one, but I'm too scared to actually go in the room to look. LOL! Sorry, I feel ridiculous asking this.

Dear Reader,

Your question isn't ridiculous at all; it's healthy to explore and expand one's sexuality. Plus, you’re not alone — walking into an adult toy store makes many folks a little nervous, especially if they’ve never been to one before! You've already taken the first step by considering a vibrator purchase. Next, take some time to think about what makes you uneasy about shopping vibrators at a store. Do you feel a little intimidated about making a decision among many available options? Maybe you anticipate having questions that you're too embarrassed to ask. In any case, it may help to know that these types of stores exist because people are interested in what they’re selling. Generally speaking, the salespeople are friendly and encourage questions — they want their customers to be satisfied. Doing a little homework and considering your desired features ahead of time can help you not only feel more confident in your search, but also increase your chances of being happy with your future purchase.

Researching the different types of vibrators before going to the store can help alleviate some of your anxiety. The easiest way to do this is to check out a few online adult toy stores (if you feel too uncomfortable or embarrassed to make a trip to a shop, this might be a better option for you; purchases made this way are often sent in discreet packaging). This way, you have a better idea of what to expect when you go to the store.

Once you have an idea of the types of vibrators that are available, you can narrow your choices to find one that will suit you. Purchasing a vibrator is similar to buying a new car. If you're getting a car, you may consider mileage, comfort, features, and color. Now, consider what features you might be into when buying a vibrator — here are some questions that could help you decide what kind of toy you want:

  • What do you want to stimulate?
  • Do you want to use it for insertion?
  • How strong do you want the vibrations?
  • What type of texture and shape do you want?
  • Do you have a favorite color in mind?
  • How much do you want to spend?

These question may help you narrow down the choices of what type of vibrator you want to purchase. Here are three additional questions you could think about:

Are noise levels a concern for you? If the walls are thin, or if you’re worried that your parents or roommate(s) might hear things that go buzz in the night, you might consider the volume of the toy. Try checking out product descriptions and customer reviews to help inform your decision. Using it while you are under the covers can also help muffle the buzz.

Is it discreet? The shape and size of some vibrators appear more discreet than others. For example, purchasing a vibrator advertised as a "personal massager" will be easier to explain if your parents or roommate(s) stumble on your electric or battery-operated friend. These vibrators often look like a wand and may come with several attachments that are great to use on "sore muscles," such as on your shoulders or back. Aside from buying them at adult toy stores, they may also be found at neighborhood drug or department stores.

Where to keep it? You mention your fear of your parents finding your vibrator. Is there a "secret" place in your room where you keep personal items, such as a journal or special cards and letters? A reverse psychology approach may work, too. Keeping it in a place where you store other things that aren't worth hiding might not draw attention.

Once you've done your research and have answered these questions you can get ready to go to the store and check out the merchandise. Walk in the store, with your head held high. You have every right to be proud — you’re taking control of your sexual pleasure! Go to the shelves with the vibrators, check out the selection, and pick up the ones that interest you. Feel the texture and shape with your hands. Turn them on and get a sense of the vibrations. This is a great way to check out the buzz factor and get an idea of how it might feel.

If your local shop doesn't have a website or a catalog, Good Vibrations is one sex-positive company in the United States that sells adult products. There's also Eve's Garden and Babeland.

Happy buzzing!

Alice!

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