Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic side in everyone. There is no better place in Brookline to find the gift of love for your significant other than at Good Vibrations. The Brookline sex-positive, adult toy shop, which opened over a decade ago, is discreetly located behind 308A Harvard Street. It not only offers sex toys, but also sexual education and advice from the staff.
“Everyone on staff is a trained sex educator,” said Kristen Cotter, Good Vibrations Brookline store manager. “All staff members go through rigorous training with our staff sexologist, and are required to read a dozen books on a wide variety of sexuality topics. We believe educated sales associates can provide the best, informed advice on products to our customers.”
The first Good Vibrations store opened in San Francisco in 1977 by Joani Blank, a feminist who wanted to create a safe space for women to explore their sexuality. At the time, most adult sex stores catered to men, and were located in seedy, red-light districts. Today Good Vibrations has eight stores and now also caters to both men and women. The Brookline store is the only one on the East Coast, while the other seven stores are located in the California Bay Area.
“Brookline is a very open and vibrant area, and we love being here,” Cotter said.
The Brookline store is full of tables and shelves with colorful toys, books on sexual health, and other resources accessible for customers to touch and explore. In the new digital age where customers can buy anything online, including sex toys, Cotter said that Good Vibrations stands out from online competitors because customers can actually look at and feel the products.
“Sexuality is very intimate and different for everyone,” she said. “It is all about exploring what you like. Modern vibes come in different shapes and sizes. Everything is out there for you to feel, which you can’t do online.”
The Brookline store has sales on a wide range of their products for Valentine’s Day, including vibrators for women, men and couples, all-in-one kits and body massagers.
The store also carries books in its Sexuality Library, which includes the store’s own book The Sex And Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex For Everyone.
Over the years Good Vibrations has become a reputable source on sexual health.
“Doctors regularly refer their patients to Good Vibrations,” Cotter said. “We can provide advice on many topics like menopause, erectile dysfunction and pelvic floor problems.”
The store will host a workshop with Emily Nagoski, the author of Come As You Are, on February 16 about women’s sexual functioning and health. Cotter said that a common misconception is that lubrication is only for older women, when, in fact, women of all ages can have problems with dryness. Cotter also recommended that sexual partners should put extra lubricant on lubricated condoms because usually the lubrication that comes on the condom isn’t enough for sexual activity.
As for first-time customers coming to Good Vibrations, Cotter recommended that they come into the store when they have time, and come prepared to discuss their sexual needs so they can make the best decisions. Also, no question is too embarrassing or private to ask the sales associates.
“Our goal is to meet people where they are at,” Cotter said. “We believe pleasure is everyone’s birthright.”
By Talia Whyte, Editorial Director