WORKING IN A PORN SHOP…

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For you younger readers I’m about to blow your minds. Did you know that there was a time when if you wanted to watch porn you couldn’t just type in whatever perverted fantasy you had in mind into Google and then soon be viewing a video of it for free? No, back in my day, not only did you have to pay for porn, you had to actually leave your home to go get it!

And that includes if you wanted any kind of sex toy. Like, f you wanted, for example, a 12″ vibrator in the shape of a Black penis, or a glow-in-the-dark butt-plug, there was no ordering it online and then waiting for it to be delivered to your home in a discreet brown box. No, you had to go to a store and pick one out and walk up to the counter to give an actual person the money for it.

'Firstly Madame, the Green Grocer is across the road and secondly that should explain why your 'bananas' are vibrating...!'

And I know this, because for about 8 months I was one of those people behind the counter. That’s right, when I was 19 I worked in an adult video store. It was my very first real job, as in getting an official paycheck (before that I worked for a cousin doing janitorial and yard work with him which he paid me in cash for), and it was…interesting. I learned a lot about humanity and about myself.

First, I learned to perfect the art of a straight-face. You can’t look surprised or disgusted or, really, show any emotion at all while ringing up a customer’s purchases or answering their questions. You have to just act like you’re in any regular store, like a grocery store or department store, and they’re buying a gallon of milk or new pair of socks.

Valentines Day.

Thankfully, I didn’t work in one of those stores that had a peep-show room. No, you just had to buy your video or whatever and get out. We were primarily a video and magazine store. We had a newsstand inside the store full of adult magazines and a couple of spinner racks with adult books on it, in addition to the shelves with the videos. We also sold some sex toys but it wasn’t much. Some vibrators, dildos, condoms, creams, stuff like that. But I have to say that before I started working there, I thought I knew about porn, but even I was surprised at what was out there.

There would be magazines dedicated to featuring nude pregnant women. Women with hairy vaginas and armpits. Or women who were completely shaved (vaginas, armpits and heads). Women with tattoos, women who were smoking cigarettes, and just about any other little fetish you could imagine. If you named it, there was a magazine for it. Before the phrase “MILF” had entered the public lexicon, there were magazines featuring naked older women, like OVER 40, OVER 50, and 50+. And those were some of our best-sellers every month. And it was mostly younger men (in their 20’s) buying them. The older men would be buying the BARELY LEGAL magazines, with the girls who were advertised as “Just turned 18!” in them. That also seemed a little odd to me how that worked out, but I guess it’s a taboo of wanting someone who is “different” than you? So younger men fantasized about older women while older men fantasized about younger women.

roz-chast-an-adult-sex-store-called-the-purple-pussycat-has-a-sign-in-the-window-for-new-yorker-cartoon

I think the biggest shock to me was the prevalence and popularity of incest porn. I knew before about the infamous Taboo film series from the early 80’s, with Kay Parker and Honey Wilder playing women who had sex with their own sons. But we used to sell a bunch of these little digests with names like Family Affairs, Family Confessions, & Family Touch, which were collections of letters that were supposedly written by real people, like Penthouse Forum, except about having sex with various relatives. Every combination: mother/son, father/daughter, brother/sister, aunt/nephew, uncle/niece, cousins, even grandparents and grandchildren. Of course in these “letters” the sex was always consensual and everyone was always of-age. The kids would always be at least 18, even if still going to high school at the time the alleged events took place. And we could barely keep new issues on the stands when they came in. Go figure.

Hidden Identity.

Another surprise was who bought this stuff, and that’s the other thing I learned while working there: not to be prejudiced. As in, you cannot pre-judge someone based on appearance. During my time I saw very few people who would fit your stereotypical image of a “pervert” or freak. Most of the customers just looked like regular average guys off the street (and it was mostly guys, which I’ll get to in a second). It’s not like it was men in trench-coats and sunglasses, or a bunch of fat bald guys who looked like they could never get laid in real life, it was just average-looking guys like the type you see at your job, or your next door neighbor. A guy could be buying the freakiest stuff, be it incest books or she-male bondage videos, but looks like a librarian. Also don’t think you can tell someone’s sexuality, I often saw “straight-looking” men buying gay porn and “gay-looking” men buying straight porn. You just never know.

And yes, our clientele was mostly men, a good 90% I’d say. When women came in they were either with a man or another woman, it was very rare for a woman to come in by herself. Of the men it was probably 60% White, 30% Black, 10% “other”. The other being Hispanics or Middle Eastern men. I don’t think I ever actually saw an Asian dude come in (although porn videos and magazines featuring Asian women were very popular). That may just be due to the demographics of the particular neighborhood that the store was in. A few other things I noticed: the vast majority of interracial porn featuring Black men with White women was bought by White men. Black guys liked all-Black porn. Porn featuring White men with Black women was pretty evenly split between White and Black guys, but significantly lower than Black male/White female porn. And, as I said, everyone liked the porn featuring Asian women. Men who bought gay porn would also often buy straight gangbang porn (1 woman with 4 or more men).

'Never mind dual processors, 128 MB ram, vista professional, and 200MHZ...How much porn can I put on it?'

I never really had many problems while working there. Most costumers were reasonable and polite. Every once and a while you’d get that person who’s trying to return a vibrator after it’s been opened (uh, NO RETURNS), but mostly it was just folks coming in, browsing the racks, picking their stuff, and leaving.

Eventually I got a job at another local video rental store, a mainstream store, although it did have a porn section. I actually had a lot more trouble with rude and annoying customers there. And the boss was a jerk whom I hated. I worked there for about a year before getting a job as a shipper at one company, working there for five years, which then lead to my current job, also as a shipper. Neither the porn or mainstream video store is still in existence today.

  4 comments for “WORKING IN A PORN SHOP…

  1. August 30, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    That was rather interesting…at least you learned something about people.

    Like

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