Go-Go Harder, Misty Meaner, Ferro and Other Nightlife Stars on Their First Sex Toys at Pleasure Chest Anniversary
(Ferro, Crimson Kitty, Go-Go Harder, Stormy Leather, Misty Meaner at The Stonewall Inn)
It’s hard to believe that The Pleasure Chest has been selling New Yorkers lube, dildos, vibrators and butt plugs for 40 years. But the West Village shop is more than just a perv palace; it’s a place to get reliable, sensible information about sexuality in a queer-friendly, feminist environment. Despite the ever-present Sex and the City tourists, it’s still one of the best places to get a sex toy in the city. And this past Sunday night, a who’s-who of sex-positive queers were on hand at the Stonewall Inn to celebrate the gay-owned store’s 40th anniversary with a special burlesque review hosted and curated by boylesque star Go-Go Harder. So in honor of Pleasure Chest’s popular products, we chatted with some of the evening’s guests to get the story of their first sex toys.
“The first sex toy I ever bought as an adult—like not as a novelty from the mall—was when I was visiting a friend in San Francisco. It was very baby-gender-queer-first-harness. It was very, like, coming of age! It was realness! It was like, I’ve got my dick now! It was like that moment. I’ve spent many years as a shopgirl in sex toy stores and they’re important places.” —Glenn Marla, performer, veteran sex shop employee.
“It was called The Red Bullet. It was my first vibrator, toy, anything ever. I went with my friend. She was like, ‘You don’t have a vibrator? Oh my god!’ She was like ‘This is my favorite one!’ And I’ve been hooked ever since. I still have it, although I don’t use it anymore. It’s retired, but I have it for memories.” —Kristin, winner of the party’s dirty paper doll contest.
“I’ve only bought one sex toy, and I’m really upset about that! I’m a top, so unless I’m buying one of those $800 bottoms, I’m really not into it. But now I have a $20 gift certificate to The Pleasure Chest and I will be going to buy a dildo. A warm-up dildo for my boyfriend. It’s gonna be a warm-up dildo. Something to get him nice and ready for the action.” —Misty Meaner, drag performer.
“The first thing I ever bought from The Pleasure Chest was actually this really crappy cherry flavored lube the me and my first boyfriend used to use. We didn’t know any better, we just grabbed something. And then I started working for the store and I learned everything, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is actually the worst lube you could possibly use for what we were doing!’ So, yeah. It was cherry-flavored lubricant that went in my butt. The last toy I was given…Fun Factory sent me some butt plugs to review for my website, TheInqueery.com.” —Brandon Bartling, manager of The Pleasure Chest.
“The first and only sex toy I ever bought was for a performance. It was a clear butt plug with a horsetail. But I never really used it. I tried to, but it kept falling out. It needed a harness.” —Ferro, go-go boy, burlesque performer.
“I was 18-years-old, and it was this double-ended, gigantic pink jelly dildo. And I took it home and I tried it out, and it was so big, and it hurt so much that I thought, ‘If this is what anal sex is like, I’m totally fucked in every sense!’ But luckily I adjusted to it and now it just slips in.” —Go-Go Harder, emcee, boylesque star.