July 22, 2014
DON'T MAKE ME GOOGLE A SEX QUESTION | Dr. Karen Rayne
Finding reliable, honest information about sex and sexuality has never been easier and never been harder.
The number of really good resources has grown exponentially in the past few decades, alongside an astounding number of extraordinarily poor resources. The Internet offers us both the best and the worst.
Google aims to provide top links to the most reliable resources, but their definition of reliable tends to be measured by “often updated”, “frequently visited”, and “longest lasting”. This isn’t a bad approach with most topics, but sexuality is not most topics. Nevertheless, Google is where most people look for a first pass at answering questions about things like safe sex, dildos, vibrators, anal or prostate play, G-spotting, strap-ons, bondage, and more.
But what comes up far too often?
Porn. Porn, porn, and more porn. For people looking for porn, that’s fantastic! But for people looking for information, that’s problematic.
What comes up other than porn?
Light information sites that may or may not be accurate, like Cosmopolitan.com, ask.com, etc. These sites do aim to support knowledge and information, but they lack specialization in sexuality, which impacts the depth, specificity, and knowledge base they are able to work from.
Adult retail stores - the very resource which is so often the best community for sexuality education on the ground (Black, 2012). Online adult retail outlets are becoming a solid source of information about a range of information, from condoms to vibrators, in the same way that brick-and-mortar stores have been for years. This is a fantastic evolution.
Adult retail stores have exactly the attributes that light information sites don’t: knowledge, information, specialization, and an invested interest in communities and individuals having healthy, fulfilling, solo and partnered sex lives. Helping people find their groove and their bliss is what adult retail thrives on and a substantial portion of what sexuality education is at its best. Finding an adult retail shop that prioritizes sexual health is a direct way to many answers.
Tantus is, of course, our favorite outlet for you to have these conversations because of their commitment to healthy and fulfilling sex lives, products that are green and healthy for the body, and sexual education. They also have previous experience as a retail-based sexual resource from President and Founder Metis Black.
Black did store trainings for 14 years teaching not only product benefits and brand, but also
“the mechanics of men and women’s sexual activities, what makes products safe and when they are not safe what can happen, and how to speak respectfully about sensitive issues such as anal play, BDSM, or gender orientation…I have never done a product training that did not bridge general sex education with sales training.” (Black 2012)
Like Black, a decent adult retail store will be invested in helping customers develop balanced sustainable sex lives using safe products and techniques – which mean better answers than a Google search.
There might even be a suitable store just down the street from you. There are high-quality, reliable resources for adult sexuality all over the world, often in the forms of small retail shops, sex educators, and even bloggers. Do your research and you will be able to find the right fit for your comfort and needs.
Black, M. (2012). Bridging Sex Education and Adult Retail. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 7(4), 480 – 482.
Dr. Karen Rayne has been working in education for the past two decades with an expertise in sexuality education. She has her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UT Austin and founded Unhushed (www.unhushed.net) in order to open conversations about sexuality in the home. Dr. Rayne works locally and nationally. She is passionate about providing comprehensive sexuality education to people of all ages and stages with sensitivity and a touch of humor.