Mom and Pop and Butt Plugs

Photo by James BunoanIrvine should be a hotbed for sex: lots of limo-rental agencies, lots of airport hotels, lots of dudes and ladies on "business trips," and plenty of OC Weeklys with escort ads at all the coffee shops. But somehow it's not—oh, God, it's not. Except for one airy, well-lit little boutique in a finely manicured office park just off Main Street, the Pleasure Co., Irvine's Ikea of sex. We talked to Robin, the very nice clerk who works there.

OC Weekly:So what does Irvine look for when it comes into a sex shop? Robin: If a couple comes in, and they're pretty conservative, I know what they want. They don't wanna watch anal all night long. They want something classy. And we have had some people bring in their young high school kids who are curious about sex—they'll buy 'em a toy or two. You mean like, "Now, Junior, this is what we call a 'butt plug'"?

Well, they go for the basics. Pocket Pussies, basic vibrators, lubricants.

What's a good starter pack if you're shopping for your kid?

If they're a woman, it depends if they want something hard or soft. If they want hard plastic, we usually sell them the smallest thing we can find. Something not too incriminating. If they want something soft, we have a large variety of latex things that vibrate.

Do you still get a lot of creeps?

Oh, sure. Had some guy come in, fumble around, buy a pair of crotchless panties and a swingers mag. Then he asked me out. Then he left and called back and wanted me to go on a date. Then he called back and apologized—this is like the fourth time—to let me know he was really a nice guy.

What do they expect?

Exactly. They'll buy cockrings and then ask me if I wanna go out.

Do they buy like extra-large ones to impress you?

All the time. They're like, "Do you have anything larger? I couldn't possibly fit into that." And I'm like, "Please, it stretches. Don't flatter yourself."

Is there anyone who comes in that's all classy and confident?

Quite a few. A lot of couples come in who've been coming here for years. We have a very large returning crowd.

You know, it's nice that even though the corner grocer and the corner hardware store are dying out, the corner porno store still cares.

We're a family-owned business. And we do believe we try to bring people in ways that don't involve lying and cheating. To add a little bit of extra happiness to couples' lives.

So the Pleasure Co. really believes in family values.

Definitely, definitely. We've been in Irvine 21 years, and that's what we are all about. We bring families together and keep marriages alive. I've had customers come in, tell me that when their husband went through a midlife crisis, we really helped them out.

I have to admit: I called you up expecting something seedy and titillating. And instead, I'm feeling . . . wholesome.

Yeah. I don't look at what we do as dirty. I see it as something normal.

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