Photo by James BunoanThere are gifts and then there are gifts. There is the thoughtful piece of jewelry and the sought-after sweater. And then there is the glass dildo, the custom-painted water pipe, the glow-in-the-dark condom; gifts that will be held and cherished for years to come—though, in the case of the condom, not so much. The holidays are a time for giving—or do you prefer to receive, baby? I bet you do, so we asked some of our favorite stores what they expect to be giving a lot of this season.
ROBIN, THE PLEASURE COMPANY, IRVINE"We do have prosthetic fists—we sell maybe two a year. We actually get them to display our bondage stuff, and every once in a while, some little old man will walk up and say, 'Hey . . .' I think at Christmas, just about anything goes. Our biggest-selling item is our glass dildos. Safe? They're all Pyrex glass—they've all been tempered so they won't chip or crack. You can put 'em in the dishwasher. And we have some that are less phallic-looking. They look more like pipes. They're handblown glass—they look more like sticks. They're slim with little balls on the end, blown from the inside out. For stocking stuffers, we've got vibrating pens, little vibrating lipsticks and, most famous of all, the Fukuoku—the little finger vibrator, which is easily concealable. I'm always gonna recommend gentlemen coming in looking for a fun toy get the Rabbit Habit vibrator or a Koi Fish—something that's gonna do all they wanna do. But for some guys who want something a little more romantic, I always say, 'Get crotchless panties, pasties and a feather.'" SEAN EVANS, HEADHUNTERS (HEAD SHOP), HUNTINGTON BEACH"Water pipes are always popular, any type. We have some really nice pipes. Some are four-feet high, some are just a foot. They come in all colors; you can just go crazy with colors or a lot of artwork. People ask me all the time, what would you want? Personally, I don't like a lot of colors. I think that's pretty much overkill. I like going with a darker color because the dark colors are going to hide the wear and tear. Other than that, we sell a lot of T-shirts with the typically stupid things on them, like 'STOP LOOKING AT MY TITS!'" TERRI KENNEDY, IPSO FACTO (GOTH/FETISH FASHION), FULLERTON"We do pretty well with gargoyle statues. And we always get kids coming in with the money grandma gave them for Christmas to get their steel-toed boots or their black patent-leather platform shoes. We've been getting a lot of requests for coffin-shaped purses. Oh, coffin shaped wallets are very hot right now." TOM CLARK, SICK DOGS TATTOOS, HUNTINGTON BEACH"We have gift certificates. I'd recommend getting them for around 100 to 120 bucks. It's usually boyfriends and girlfriends who like to get them for each other. They'll come in and get some kind of custom design or something tribal. Guys like bleeding hearts; girls will get something with a flower design. Actually, things are a little slower around Christmas. Our busy time is the beginning of summer. And the end of summer. Pretty much all of summer." ANNE SOROKA, CONDOM REVOLUTION, HUNTINGTON BEACH"We have the first FDA-approved glow-in-the-dark condom that actually protects. Before that, glow-in-the-dark condoms were just novelty items. Why someone would want a glow-in-the-dark condom, I'm not sure, because when you're using it, you're not going see it, but hey, if people want it, we got it. We also have the first climax-control condom. It comes with a desensitizing spray in it to help the man maintain erection. The last two weeks before Christmas, it is insane around here. You can't breathe. I work 12-hour shifts nonstop. It's crazy. I take a week off after each Christmas just to rest." DANIEL VAZQUEZ, DÉJÀ VU STRIP CLUB, WESTMINSTER"We open at 6 p.m. on Christmas, and that's usually a good day. A lot of people come in with their fathers or uncles or cousins. You know, it's the holidays, so they make it kind of a family thing."