Some couples enjoy a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day. Some couples go to the movies. A lot of couples, apparently, go shopping for sex toys.
Amid the aisles of flavored condoms, vibrating thongs and penis-shaped baking dishes, the employees of Cirilla’s adult entertainment store stood stressed and exhausted as they approached the end of their busiest season.
“We do about four times the normal business during the week of Valentine’s Day,” said Megan Hoehn, the Bloomington branch’s store manager.
In the past few days alone, she said they had sold hundreds of vibrators and at least 100 pieces of lingerie.
“Crotchless panties have been big this year,” employee Joanna Coke said. “I feel like I spent an entire morning hanging up panties.”
Many people assume working in a sex store would mean dealing with creepy or gross guys, Hoehn said. But that’s a misconception.
Hoehn said she sees every type of person in her store, from college freshmen basking in the freedoms of a parentless house to seasoned 70-year-olds keeping the romance alive.
Everybody has sex, Coke and Hoehn said. Their job is to help people do it better and safer.
“Sex is a basic function of human existence,” Hoehn said. “We’re all here because somebody had sex. If you’re not having it, you’re thinking about having it.”
This is Hoehn’s 10th Valentine’s Day working in the feather- and glitter-filled Cirilla’s.
“There are so many cute moments every day,” Hoehn said. “Guys will pull little laminated cards out of their wallet that says their girlfriend’s shoe size, dress size, bra size. It’s adorable.”
As the afternoon wore away, couples preparing for Valentine’s night considered the gizmos and gadgets.
“Just told your mom we’re here,” one man joked to his girlfriend, who gasped and let a toy clatter to the floor.
Though the employees are excited for the rush to be over, they’re happy to have helped couples enjoy the holiday.
“There’s a taboo against talking about it, but there shouldn’t be,” Coke said. “Sex is about the connectedness between people.”
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With their classes moved to Zoom, theater students adapt to their courses.
The cinema will also organize conversations with filmmakers or student film programs such as student film festivals.
Carney said the university will take a large financial hit.