Is that a 12-inch double-ended vibrating dildo, or are you just happy to see me?

So I was at the Adult Merchandise Mart today, a quaint little business establishment that sits unassumingly (as unassuming as it can get with great big neon lights!) on McKnight Road – the road near where I live. I travel down this road almost every day and I’ve wanted to have a look in there for a while, since I’ve never been into an “adult store” before (this is true…really). Also, there are none that I know of, back in the homeland – so I thought this would also be an interesting “educational” experience (It was purely a scholastic endeavor… really!). And besides, I got the green light from the missus (REALLY!) – so why not?!

As I entered the Adult Mart, I was blown away (not likethat!). You normally assume an adult store to be dark, dank and fishy-smelling. You also expect to stumble (not willingly, of course) onto a customer enjoying himself in dark, dank and fishy-smelling corners. Worst of all, you fear you would not only stumble but actually slip on fishy-smelling “remnants” of a customer having enjoyed himself. Finally, you usually expect customers to be creepy-looking patrons with long, leather trench coats, playing… uh, “pocket billiards.”

Not so with the “#1 Voted Best Adult Store in Pittsburgh” (I swear, they had an award plaque) Adult Merchandise Mart! The Adult Mart was brightly lit within – presumably so you can see and, therefore, dodge slippery stains on the floor. The bright white lights also created a healthy ambience for unabashed sexuality – “Yes, I am reaching for that Big Black Men In Back – They’re big, they’re black and they take it in the back, volume 4 gay porn. What of it?” And of course, bright white lights also allowed potential customers to inspect every inch of veined, lifelike, vibrating… uh, pseudo-male appendage.

The Adult Mart was also frequented by women… not just creepy-looking men (By the way, creepy-looking women are no more sexually attractive than creepy-looking men, trust me on this!). There were women of all ages and races there, nonchalantly looking through paraphernalia like gargantuan dildos as easily as they would pick cucumbers (uh…) at a grocery supermarket.

However, what really impressed me was the length and breadth of the merchandise available there. There were pornographic videos, DVDs and magazines. And then there were the toys…

I am honestly and truly amazed at the technology available for perversion sexual frivolity! For example, there were these sex dolls, and not the mere blow-up variety, mind you. Simple blow up dolls were for your grandpa, boy (Gagh. Baaaad mental image)! Sex dolls of the new millennium come equipped with “realistic, intensity-controllable, vibrating” orifices for every pleasure, coated in the latest “state of the art” human-flesh-mimicking latex, and all for the low, low price of $250. So, why blow $250 on a new iPod when a $250 Ultra Real-life, “Big Boobie” Sex Kitten doll can blow you?

Of course, there were also rather disturbing toys – like this rubber ducky I saw. It essentially is a rubber ducky (you know, the kind that floats in your bath tub), but with an added twist: it vibrates. It’s hailed as a “water-proof massager suitable for use in the shower or the bathtub.” So what does it do? Well, I’ll leave you ladies to figure that out. Anyway, it came in two colors – there was the classic yellow (“No dear, that’s mommy’s rubber ducky!”) and… black, with the inescapable tagline, “Once you go black, you won’t go back.”

And of course, a visit to the Adult Mart would not be complete without the mandatory “bump into a friend and thus making the situation awkward” situation. There I was at the check out counter with my purchases (“Will the talking penis key chain be all tonight, sir?”) when in walks an old college acquaintance. Not only was he an old acquaintance from our Christian college, he was the son of a worship pastor in one of the bigger churches in the city of Pittsburgh. And to further exacerbate the awkwardness, we haven’t seen each other in a while and, since we still recognized each other, it would be rude not to at least say “Hi.” So:

Me: “Hey! AT!” (Calling someone by their real name in an adult store, I realized in retrospect, should be considered a bad, bad social faux pas!)

AT: “Yeah, hey! How are you doin?”

Me: “It’s been a while there. So, you live around here?” (Seriously, what the hell do you say to other people in an adult store?!)

AT: “Uh, no. I live in Penn Hills. You still up in Beaver Falls?”

Me: “No. Just live up the road from McKnight.” (Shite! Easily construed as: “Near enough to visit this place regularly… to support the local economy, of course.”)

AT: “Cool.”

Me: “Yeah… great.”

Me: “Well, have fun…” (I mean… shite! Shite! SHITE! WHAT THE HELL CAN YOU SAY!?)

We wordlessly proceeded our separate ways in the store.

Anyhow, I browsed through more toys and continued to be amazed at the all the shapes and sizes, colors, scents and flavors, available to the discerning sexual adventurer. I marveled at balls, beads, pumps, dolls, swings, aids, enhancers, whips, costumes, lingerie, do-it-yourself-toys and even do-yourself-toys. I was in awe with all manner of lubricants, massage oils, aphrodisiacs and even candy (phallus-shaped lollipops anyone?) available.

Eventually, however, I did settle for a couple of items and took them to the check out counter. “So you’re really going to get that…?” said the discretion-impaired clerk, smiling.

I paid for them and left with my brown paper bag (for customer discretion, of course). And so I returned to the world of fully clothed people and unexposed genitalia (sigh!) – a little more enlightened, a little more educated, and with a little something-something for The Wife and I to enjoy.

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