Haligonians get their kink on

No matter what you’re into, this Halifax sex shop has toys for you

The We-Vibe, designed by ex-Nortel telecommunications engineers Bruce and Melody Murison, is a hands-free vibrator shaped like a U or a C (depending on the angle) that has an external and internal motor, and allows for other things to be put inside the vagina.

“Fingers, penis, dildos, cucumbers, whatever you’re into,” says Venus Envy employee Heather Chamberlin.

The internal motor tucks under the public bone and presses against the fleshy bit that’s your urethral sponge, or G-spot.

“That’s part of the draw of this,” says Chamberlin. “It’s just an addition to potentially what people are already doing.”

One model even comes with a remote control that works from up to 30 feet away.

The handcuff selection at Venus Envy. (Photos: Julia Manoukian)
The handcuff selection at Venus Envy. (Photos: Julia Manoukian)

Although the product is marketed for heterosexual couples, Chamberlin points out it’s just a “great vibrator to use” for anybody with “whatever body parts they have.”

She can’t give an estimate of how many Venus Envy has sold, but, despite the lack of verifiable data, she thinks it’s the best-selling sex toy in North America.

The newest model, We-Vibe 4 Plus, has an app that can be used to control the vibrator’s inside and outside motors separately, and at different speeds, from anywhere in the world.

“It sounds totally wild, but people are pumped about it.

“For a portion of the population, it’s exactly what they’re looking for.”

Canadian company PinkCherry Adult Toys’ statistics for 2012 rank Halifax tenth on a list of Canada’s sexiest cities.

Rankings are based on the amount of sales revenue on the company’s Canadian website divided by the number of adults in the community, according to the Statistics Canada census tallies.

This year, Kentville, N.S., claimed the top spot, with its adult population spending more than three times the average, a press release said.

Because people are into different things, it’s difficult to pin down the store’s most “popular” sex toy, says Chamberlin.

That being said, she acknowledges some toys sell better than others.

“Do you like to put things inside yourself? Do you like vibration? Do you like bondage? Do you like kink? What parts do you have?” she asks.

At a retail price ranging from $119.95 to $189.95, We-Vibes are the crème de la crème of sex toys

Higher-grade sex toys are rechargeable and are equipped with medical-grade silicon, which prevents bacterial growth and makes them easy to clean.

Chamberlin mentions LELO and Fun Factory products are also popular high-end rechargeable vibrators with different speeds and intensities.

In terms of cheaper products, smaller dildos and vibrators are available in all shapes and sizes imaginable, priced from $15 to $30.

Also, cock rings, butt plugs, mini vibrators (“bullets”) and male masturbators, called Tenga eggs – an added texture to “slip and slide down the shaft” – are purchased more around Valentine’s Day, Chamberlin says.

Bondage is also a hit.

Cuffs and especially ball gags are big sellers.

For ball gags, there’s usually a leather strap or a vegan option that goes around a person’s head and silicon ball that fits in between the person’s teeth they can bite down on. The gags come in various sizes.

A “great piece of intro-level bondage gear” Chamberlin suggests is a blindfold.

Aside from being inexpensive ($10), they work to heighten the other senses.

“And if you’re the person who’s putting the blindfold on somebody else, you get to look like a pro. It doesn’t matter if you trip over the cat … you’re the pro in this situation ’cause the other person can’t see what you’re doing.”

Venus Envy’s large selection of erotica can also help people figure out what they find hot, says Chamberlin.

“We’re a little bit uptight and we assume sex toys are just for people who don’t have sex partners or don’t know what they’re doing, even when they do have a sex partner,” says Jacqueline Gahagan, health promotions professor at Dalhousie University.

Gahagan says sex toys are part of a healthy relationship that tries to maximize pleasure.

“It’s not about fetishizing sex toys – it’s about understanding your sexual pleasure with a partner.”

Venus Envy also carries an impressive selection of lube, condoms and offers workshops on sexual health.

Venus Envy employee Heather Chamberlin holds up the We-Vibe, the “crème de la crème of sex toys.”
Venus Envy employee Heather Chamberlin holds up the We-Vibe, the “crème de la crème of sex toys.”