Queering Your Sex

Back to school with The Pleasure Chest, the only sex industry store to host free weekly sex education workshops.

At the Pleasure Chest we often say that your sexiest body part is your mind. It’s even printed on our class flyers every month along with a list of free workshops we offer at four of our five locations in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. You can have all the new toys and goodies in your tool box, but if you don’t know how to use them, chances are you aren’t getting the most out of them.

We didn’t start out selling sex toys though. Fun Fact: Founded in 1971, The Pleasure Chest was originally a waterbed retailer. Waterbeds were crammed into a 47” wide and 12’ long storefront in the West Village, with some mood-lighting and a few cock rings, handcuffs and French ticklers thrown in for inspiration and décor. When it became clear the waterbed sales were sinking and the toys were flying off the shelves, we switched gears and have since grown to become one of the largest retailers of sex toys in the US.

While the mainstreaming of the embrace of sexuality has taken sex toys out of the shadows, we still aim to create a carefully crafted balance of putting people at ease.

At our founding, Pleasure Chest challenged convention by refusing to block out the store windows with XXX, which was standard for sex industry retailers at the time. From the start, our bold embrace of sexuality, particularly alternative sexualities, as a healthy part of life has garnered loyal fans such as Joan Jett, who has been quoted saying she bought her leather ringed belt from the Pleasure Chest’s Los Angeles store in the 70s, which she later gifted to Sid Vicious.

While the evolution of the sex positive movement and eventual mainstreaming of the embrace of sexuality has taken sex toys out of the shadows, we still aim to create a carefully crafted balance of putting people at ease and pushing some past their comfort zone. Upon entering our stores you may encounter a life-sized, black silicone fist in view of beginner butt plugs barely the size of a finger—the fist suggestively placed as if to say “someday you may be coming back for me.” Our mission to meet every customer wherever they are on their sexual journey is illustrated in our approach to sex education and our commitment to offer the same diversity in our programming as in our product selection and clientele.

The Pleasure Chest is the only sex industry store to host free weekly sex education workshops nationwide and we firmly believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pursue sexual fulfillment. By offering free pleasure-based education and keeping it accessible and inclusive, we are staying true to our mission: to help you have the best sex of your life.  Since we launched our Pleasure Ed program in 2009, we have presented classes every week ranging from Butt Sex Basics, Blowjobs & Beyond, and Advanced Anal, to Japanese Rope Bondage, Talk Dirty to Me, and Queering Your Sex which have been attended by tens of thousands of participants. As the sexual landscape evolves and sex toys start popping up on every lifestyle blog and pharmacy website, one thing will remain true as it has for nearly five decades; Pleasure Chest will continue to embrace sexuality in all its forms and will never stop spreading the pleasure gospel. 

Now get your ass to class!