Most Intelligent Sex Shop - 2001
If you're in the market for a dildo or a Vegas-inspired vinyl harness, spare yourself the sleaze of North Beach's Broadway and head straight to Good Vibrations in the Mission District. The brainchild of Joani Blank (owner of Down There Press, a publishing company), the shop was opened in 1977 to educate women about sex, while providing a comfortable alternative to conventional "adult" shops. Twenty-four years later, Good Vibrations has branched into a worker-owned cooperative with a second store in Berkeley, a mail-order catalog, and an informative Web site. These days, you'll find curious women and men who come to the store to scope out -- and potentially try out -- what may be the best array of sex toys in the country. Good Vibrations also houses hundreds of books, videos, and magazines for whatever your sexual inquiry, or forte, may be. The shop has an especially well-informed sales staff, who are given a reading list and attend seminars such as "Male Anatomy, Cock and Ball" twice a month. We spoke with Tasha, who offhandedly dispensed information on dildo cleaning, video picks, and the do's and don'ts of anal sex: "While the vagina lubricates itself and stops with the cervix, the anus goes on and up, and without proper lubricant the tissue will perforate. Of course special care is needed." No sexual topic is too taboo for discussion here. The business is run on the premise that access to sexual information promotes good health and happiness. Best sellers include the Fukuoku 9000 battery vibrator ($20), which fits right on your finger, and the Terra Firma leather harness ($48). Good Vibrations' After Hours Events, including the "Erotica Project Reading" (free) and "How to Strip for Your Lover" ($25), are also extremely popular, so be sure to book in advance.