I normally don’t post explicit about my “real” life on this blog, but my recent vacation includes some wonderful expressions of sexuality and personality that I wanted to reflect on.
As someone who lives in a small midwestern city, there’s not a lot of sex positivity to be found. Our sex stores are sleazy. I am not sure that you could ask about “body-safe” toys and get a helpful answer. You’re most definitely better off shopping online.
But one of my must-see stops in Seattle was Babeland, where I knew I would finally use gift cards that I’ve had nigh on a decade (and I did, on We-Vibe Touch). The Seattle location isn’t the flagship store, and it was smaller than expected. Still, it was a dream come true for a sex nerd and toy lover like myself (my Facebook check-in read “Dreams do come true!”). I also appreciated the vintage vibrators that had on display.
— Adriana (@adriana_r) September 4, 2018
A few blocks down the road sits a bondage shop (Doghouse Leathers) staffed by folks who clearly participate in the leather community. It was not only larger than Babeland but the largest storefront I’ve seen dedicated specifically to BDSM. The smell of leather was heavenly as it washed over me; although, nothing begged me to take it home. Alas.
Both of these stores sit in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s gay neighborhood (is gayborhood too cute here??). It boasted the occasional rainbow crosswalk, and drag queens crossed the street, bedazzled and bejeweled as if it were nothing to bat a perfectly-applied lash at. Capitol Hill was a safe place for anyone who might not be cis or straight, but it also provided a place for anyone to express their sexuality in a positive and inclusive place. It was far for home as I could be, and yet it was more welcoming than I could have imagined.
I could have stayed all day if the walking wasn’t killing my back and feet. I returned to the hostel (Aside: when I mentioned staying in a hostel, one of my friends assumed I meant brothel instead. Chuckles ensued.) with a new sex toy and a feeling as though I had come within inches of my tribe and shared in energy that is only available to me here when I sign on to Twitter. It may sound corny, but I recently discovered Oprah’s “A-ha moment,” which occurs when something resonates with you and your consciousness recognizes it (Oprah’s words, not mine).
I attempted to fill my time on vacation with more things that would strike that cord within myself, but the stars just didn’t aline. I would have loved to attend a burlesque show, go to a sex club, or learn something new at a BDSM class, but time was limited. After having visited a few stores (as well as all of the tourist hotspots, the planetarium, and the cemetery), I felt my energy waning. Perhaps it was for the best that I didn’t try to add anything more to my schedule.
There’s always next time, I suppose, when I am in Seattle. Or Chicago. Or Minneapolis. Or wherever I decide to travel. When a small town girl from the Midwest is able to step out of her comfort zone and into the arms of something bigger, welcoming and somehow familiar despite its exotic status, that can only be found in certain places.
Until then, there’s always here.
This post contains sponsored links. All opinions are my own.