Image by Jason Min
Searah Deysach is the founder and owner of Chicago’s first women-owned sex store, Early to Bed. She is a strong advocate for comprehensive sex education, and she sings the praises of masturbation wherever she goes. Which, incidentally, includes a slew of Midwestern colleges, where she lectures about sex and the adult novel industry. Echo sat down with her to get the scoop on the most innovative toys out there.
What would you say are some of your best sellers?
Vibrators are the bread and butter of this industry, and my store as well. So we certainly sell a lot of vibrators. People are really interested these days in rechargeable vibrators. Rabbit style vibrators are always going to be a hit because again you get simultaneous stimulation. And [laughs] there’s no way to underestimate the power of the Hitachi Magic Wand, which is still probably one of our best selling toys ever. And then we have a lot of people who like a cute little vibe! I mean, we sell a lot of like, under $20, adorable, little plastic battery operated vibrators. Which I think are great for intro level people, great for gifts, great for people who just want to experiment before making an investment in something that might last a lot longer or won’t be as cute.
Do you have products that cater specifically to queer, gay and trans people and couples?
Sure! In the sense that we have, you know, double dildos that are great if both people have vaginas, and we have toys that are great for playing with multiple body parts. There’s so much variation in the gender and sexual orientation spectrum, that there’s no real separation for us, which is why we get specific with people about what body parts they have and what body parts they want to use a product on. So we don’t have “oh, this is our queer section” or whatever, but we certainly focus a lot of our energy on toys that can be used by people besides cisgender, heterosexual couples.
If someone is looking to get into anal sex or anal play for the first time, what do you recommend they begin with?
Something small, for sure. And always something, regardless of their experience level, with a slanted base. If the person who’s looking for it has a prostate, then we have some great entry level toys that angle and can really hit someone’s prostate easily. If someone doesn’t have a prostate, then we have a lot of more traditionally shaped butt plugs and things that vibrate for the butt, which is also really good for beginners because it can help relax the sphincter and make the play more fun. And we don’t talk about butt toys without talking about lube too because it’s a really essential part of butt play.
What are your recommendations for venturing into bondage?
We’re usually catering more towards an intro level client, so we have soft cuffs, we have some leather stuff. We have things you can hit people with that are not too mean, and some mean things. And oh, blindfolds for sure. There’s so much you can do with just turning off one person’s senses. I think that’s like the best $6 you can spend on a sex toy sometimes. So it depends on what someone is looking for. Definitely light restraints. Ticklers, feathers, you know, a little bit of restraining, a blindfold, and a feather can create a lot of new and interesting sensations without being too scary.