Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Our man about town Jared Hatch checks out the new Tulip store location—which is right across the street from its old location.
Over the weekend we paid a visit to the brand spankin’ new location for Tulip Toy Gallery, the adult toy, sex toy, and non-novelty store in Lakeview. Delayed a few days beyond their original moving and opening date of the 25th, it had an unofficial first day on Saturday, and a full day of sex enthusiasts on Sunday.
Though the new storefront is just across the street to a space about the same size as Tulip's previous location, and the move only took one day, this space is similar in size but not in layout and functionality—so goes the popular tongue in cheek saying “? it’s not the size of the boat, rather the motion of the ocean.” With more windows open to the street, the corner facade shows off the location's boutique-y feel.
“We don’t need to hide behind a window display,” says Jesse, one of the sales guys and a queer-friendly and sex-positive educator, "because people should have nothing to hide. We really just try to promote openness and understanding about all facets of sexuality.”
Inside, the freshly varnished staircase leads down to a lustrous span of wooden flooring, which, may we point out, is a huge improvement from the creaky Sweeney-Todd floor boards in the buildings and sex shops across the street. Increased shelving space, and all of the windows assist this sex shop to a bright and airy level of erotic boutique concept. According to Jesse, Tulip strives to be a “class act” and in most customers’ opinions achieves very well an atmosphere that is comfortable for women to ask questions, converse, and shop.
Last Wednesday, when we realized the opening of the new space would be delayed, we sauntered over to the original Tulip space to start chatting up community builder and sexuality educator, Joey, who also hosts the popular monthly “Perv Nights." Joey was packing the display plugs and vibes into moving boxes and talking with a friend sitting on the leather button tufted couch who had his arm wrapped around a gallon of water-based lube. The two young men were sharing stories about making sure you’re using a base, and the pros and cons of silicone lube for men and women. “We’re breaking through walls and encouraging people to be open about what they feel comfortable with,” Joey says. He goes even deeper into the conversation (right past moving the location of the store) with topics of sexual roles people can relate to, marriage, governmental, and societal roles. But we digress. If you want to explore roles, you can call Tulip for next week’s free education only (no nudity) meet up. Joey, with the help of Nina, a clean-shaven firecracker of a dominatrix from Tulip’s Wicker Park Store, will explore the topic of objectification. ie: analyzing your subconscious by acting out as objects including but not limited to coat racks, chairs, ashtrays, towels, urinals, pillows, etc.
Also in the new Lakeview storefront, Tulip is stocking a few more titles in their library and carrying Lelo’s snow pea, black pepper, lily, and bergamot soy massage candles, lubricants. New for Valentine’s Day is the Insignia line of waterproof rechargeable personal massagers made the highest quality firm compound medical grade platinum cured silicone. On the front table, from the KamaSutra Brand, Tulip is showing the new all-in-one Eurostick mini vibe with a built in roll-on chamber containing intensifying gel. Joey says, when in doubt, spend a night fantasizing or go for KamaSutra’s Cupid’s Collection and Chocolate Dreams gift sets, which accompany perfectly a glitzy heart shaped riding crop.
· Tulip [Official Site]