Local sex shop owner offers tips

Start slow with sex toys; focus on safety, consent, pleasure



The best way to learn about your sexuality? Have sex and try new toys for yourself and your partner.

SAM SCHMITKE, Evergreen reporter

There’s a lot you can learn from the owner of a local sex shop. Katherine Sprague, owner of Safari Pearl and Eclectica, said she knows how to make sex fun and safe.

Sprague said that around 40 percent of her customers are couples; the rest is an even split between men and women.

“Of course, our most bought item is lube,” Sprague said. “We have all kinds of lube. There is water-based, which helps with toys, hypoallergenic and organic lube as well.”

Sprague said she doesn’t recommend using oil-based lube or anything with sugar around your vaginal area, because it can cause yeast infections.

People show two types of uncomfortable — “the grab everything and laugh type” — and the ones that shut down, she said.

“If you need help, just ask and we are willing to help with anything. We don’t judge or comment.”

Sprague said Eclectica is here to help satisfy your sexual needs, especially for this Valentine’s Day weekend.

“If you are single, we definitely recommend going out and having some coffee or dinner with your friends,” Sprague said. “Then you can come back and use your vibrator or something. But you should probably get some form of human interaction, it’ll help you find someone too.”

The best beginner item for those just starting their sex toy journey that Sprague recommended is a g-spot speed vibrator. However, results will depend on preference on what someone would want to use or experience.

For men, Sprague said she has male masturbator sleeves and a virtual-reality mask for virtual pornography. The sleeves go on the arm and contain a sensor. 

“Then you put on the virtual-reality mask and watch your porn,” Sprague said. “It’s like you are right there.”

There are also items meant for partners who are in a long-distance relationship and are seeking a way to add sensuality to their bedroom routine, without being in the bedroom together. 

“It’s called We-Vibe,” Sprague said. “You connect your vibrating sex toy to the app on your phone, and then your partner syncs with you and they have all the control on the settings.”

She said she wants everyone to feel confident and comfortable with what they are doing. Confidence helps keep the mood in play.

“Make sure you communicate, keep an open mind, and use the item alone first,” Sprague said. “If you need batteries, make sure that they are in and you know what to do. Everyone feels uncomfortable on their first encounters, it’s normal to feel awkward.”

Sprague also talked about anal play. She said though people have a strong opinion on experimenting in this area, everyone can enjoy it because everyone has the right parts for it. She added that being into anal play as a man doesn’t make them gay automatically. 

“Anal play is not dirty, there isn’t any more diseases than the ones you already have,” Sprague said. “If you are scared about that still, you can put a condom on the toy. Just be safe with everything that you do.”

Sprague said if you were to get into anal play, use lube and lots of it. She also said to make sure that the toy has an end ring to keep it from getting stuck. She said if your partner doesn’t want to try anal, anyone can engage in it by themselves.

Everything should start with safety when it comes to toys and sex, Sprague said. Eclectica has dilators for people that have a tight cervix, are dealing with chemo or are transsexual.

“Dilators are made of prosthetic material and safe,” she said. “They help people that need to have their cervix stretched and we always want people to feel confident and healthy.”

Sprague said for the more casual experimenter, Eclectica has an abundance of sex gifts for your partner.

“My favorite gift is our x-rated candy hearts,” Sprague said. “They taste better than chalk and they have sayings on them like ‘fu-k me.’ ”

Eclectica is located at 660 W Pullman Rd. They’re open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m.