Crazy Shit I Saw Working in a Sex Shop

There’s a reason these places have names like “Bizarre Times.”

To be honest, I’ve always wondered how people end up working in sex shops.

How exactly does one qualify? How much effort does it take to sell a vibrator?

As it turns out, not much.

The owner happened to be an ex-dancer who’d taken the money she earned in the club and invested it into a successful business. Initially, she asked a few basic questions about my sales and retail experience. Her last inquiry was simply whether or not I was comfortable saying the word pussy.

I laughed a little.

“Pussy.”

C’mon, I’d been a server in a strip club where people ordered Dirty Pussy and Starfucker shots on a regular basis. No biggie.

You see, at the time landing freelance writing gigs were hit or miss, and the party district was right down the street from where I lived. Bars, strip clubs, karaoke night, you name it.

The sex shop was open until 2 AM on the weekends, so I saw the potential for easy money.

And there was.

Unfortunately, the nature of the business also brought in quite a few…interesting individuals.

Cops & Robbers

I definitely figured that at some point I’d bump into a few sketchy people, but I didn’t expect it to happen within the first week.

On a particularly busy Saturday night, I was running the floor with a co-worker who we’ll call Sandra for the sake of privacy.

Around 11 PM a tall, slender guy in his early to mid-20s walked through the entrance. He shuffled around for about half an hour, perusing various anal trinkets and dancer outfits. Then, he left without buying a single thing.

Had we been in a normal retail setting, that kind of behavior would have raised red flags.

In a sex shop though, patrons frequently stop in just to see what it’s all about. Sandra and I brushed him off as a curious first-timer and continued on with business as usual.

At about midnight a fatter, older, more suspicious man came in. He seemed like he knew his way around pretty well, but had a strange demeanor. Moving at a snail’s pace through the lingerie section, he’d continuously look up at us.

A call came in on the landline. A co-worker who happened to work in prison security saw the man shove several boxes of lingerie down his pants.

Sandra quickly walked over and kindly let him know that we do in fact, have cameras.

He promptly reached into his pants and removed the boxes tucked beneath his scrotum, then walked out.

By the time we were done cleaning up his attempted-theft, it was about 15 minutes after 1 AM…and by clean up, I mean we had to Lysol each box so that it didn’t reek of ball sweat.

But wait, there’s more!

A crackish looking woman entered the building about 40 minutes before closing. She was older, donning an uncombed black wig, a sheer tank top, and Daisy Duke cut-off shorts.

Ever seen that movie Crossroads with Britney Spears?

She sort of reminded me of the girl who ended up pregnant but fast-forward 30 years later and add a lot of drugs in between.

Immediately, she began destroying racks and pulling things off the shelf to “try on.” Upon entering the fitting room, we grabbed everything from her hands.

My coworker and I both knew something strange was in the works, but she wasn’t the only person in the store.

While Sandra went off to a backroom to retrieve shoes for a dancer, I continued to offer our lovely meth head guest a world-class customer experience by remaining within arm’s length of the fitting room.

Finally, Syringe Cindy was done pretending to fit in any of the outfits she’d picked out. I assisted her in bringing her things up to the register, rang her up, and gave her the total.

“Great, let me go get my card.”

Her casual walk toward the door turned into a sprint the moment the sensors set off a shrill “BEEP!”

Now, I can certainly tell you that I was not about to try and apprehend this person. I didn’t know who she was, what she was capable of, or what kind of weapons she may have had with her.

I was going to make sure that I got photos of her escape vehicle and the license plate, though.

“Sandra, she’s running!” I called out, only to find Sandra racing past me.

I started to pull out my camera and take snapshots of the vehicle, knowing that security had already called the police.

To my horror, Sandra had actually run-up to the driver side door and stuck her arm through the window as the vehicle accelerated.

After slowly dragging her a short distance, the driver released her arm from the window and quickly rolled it up, but my co-worker would not quit. She continued to punch the window as the vehicle sped away.

Who was driving the getaway car?

Our dear friends, Mr. Sweaty Sack and Mr. I’m Just Looking, of course. They made sure to nearly clip me on the way out of the parking lot.

Needless to say, the cops showed up and were kind enough to remain outside while we closed shop for the evening. I felt that we’d both learned a valuable lesson that night.

If you go up against a car full of crackheads, you’re gonna lose.

Roxanne, You Don’t Have to Put on the Red Light

Not all of our guests were curious couples, exotic dancers, or thieving addicts. The presence of prostitution was a common theme in our store, and they were often our best-paying customers.

When pimps came in with three or four girls who looked as if they’d just graduated from high school, my gut turned.

How did they end up in this life?

Did they want to be here?

Are they being forced?

The thing is, pimps aren’t like what you see in the movies. They’re not outwardly macho or abrasive. Pimps are able to do what they do and get away with it because of how they present themselves, and their girls, in public settings.

I remember a man who’d come in frequently with the same group of young women. Each time I met him, he was polite, friendly, and quite charming. He’d give each girl a spending limit and 20 minutes to quickly pick out something that they liked.

One of the young ladies had gone over her limit by about 50 dollars, and the pimp was visibly pissed. He pulled out the extra wad of cash, slammed it down on the counter, and stormed out.

The girls stood there for a moment, nervously joking about their “caretaker’s” sudden shift from kind to furious. After finishing the purchase and collecting their change and a receipt, they slowly retreated out the door.

I’m almost certain that she spent the rest of her evening turning tricks to work off her debt.

By far, this is what I hated the most about my job.

I Don’t Like the Drugs, But the Drugs Like Me

By now you’ve probably made the assumption that this particular sex shop wasn’t exactly located in the best part of town…and you’d be correct. It hadn’t always been that way, but a hurricane flooded the northern part of the city about two years prior to my employment. The heavy water pushed all of the homeless down south where we were located and brought a slew of drug problems with it.

One beautiful Sunday morning, a gentleman walked in shortly after we’d opened. Right off the bat, I knew he’d taken something. He was dirty, dripping sweat, behaving strangely, his eyes were wild and glossed over.

After making it halfway through the store, I noticed that his gait was off, and he appeared to be hallucinating. I asked him to leave as politely, and firmly as I could.

It was a bright, sunny Sunday, and I wasn’t in the mood to clean up after some creepy fuck…or get robbed by one.

To my surprise, he was actually coherent enough to apologize for spilling the water (because that was my main concern, right?) and stepped outside.

Then, he sat down against the doors, unzipped his pants, and proceeded to masturbate right there in front of the entrance.

Once again, my co-worker called the cops. But, I suppose he’d finished by the time they showed up because he was already gone.

The Kids Are Not Alright

I’m just going to be honest here, bringing your children into a place that sells anal beads and electric penises is just really fucking weird. I’m no saint…I mean, clearly; I was making two percent commission on top of minimum wage in a hanky-panky store.

However, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than watching a three-year-old ask their mother to purchase one of the rainbow dick-pops we have displayed at the checkout counter.

The real kicker is that dad was front and center. Yeah, instead of taking little Joey to the Taco Bell across the street to munch on cinnamon twists, he thought it’d be better to hang out with mom while she tried on G-strings nipple tassles.

It gets better from there.

As they’re matching up shoes and outfits, a slender, greying man with glasses marched through the door…with a gun on his hip.

“You stole my fucking car!”

“No I didn’t man! What are you talking about?”

“Yes you did! Give me the keys!”

The father quickly handed over the keys to the vehicle. The man with the took off with the car, and the baby seat that they’d left in the back.

According to the father, he’d rented the car from the other man, and there was some miscommunication about how long he planned on keeping the vehicle for.

How that warranted a near-shooting incident inside of a retail store with a child present, I do not know.

Introverted animal lover and financial enthusiast. https://medium.com/the-millenial-investor

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