Gettin’ It On

Entertaining, educational and extremely sex-­positive, Spot of Delight marks three years of ­putting an upscale twist on the sex shop

Photo: Spot of Delight manager, Jess Rueger

SPOT OF DELIGHT—a sex shop focusing on discreet, inclusive and body-safe sexual health and recreation—is not your typical sex shop, says store manager, Jess Rueger.

“It’s bright and inviting, open and warm, with a price-point that ensures that safe versions of sex toys are accessible to everyone,” she says. “Basically, our profit margins are designed to pay our staff and cover our overhead, and any extra profit we will spend on community education and to sponsor events.”

The store, which celebrated its third anniversary last month, is owned by a professional couple who choose to remain anonymous and are not actively involved in the day-to-day operation (“she has a background in medicine; he has a background in medical sales,” says Rueger), though both owners have an interest in promoting safe sexuality and community-building through Spot of Delight.

“We were recently at a sex toy trade show and we were trying to explain our business model to the big-box sex shops. They were fascinated and horrified at the same time” —Jess Rueger

With five staff, the Richmond Row shop is open noon to 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. daily, except Sunday when it closes at 6 p.m. “We’ll often have workshops on Sunday nights,” notes Rueger, saying they cover a wide range of topics, from female/male orgasm and queer sex education to erotic wax play, spanking, flogging and safe kink. “A lot of people have these Fifty Shades fantasies, but they can be very dangerous when you actually roll them out in the bedroom!”

The boutique-style store carries product lines you would expect to find in any sex shop—condoms, vibrators, lubes, lotions, lingerie, etc.—but only those that are body safe in terms of material and design. It also carries products you might not find in other local sex shops.

“We have an entire section dedicated to gender expression, including for people who are transitioning,” says Rueger. “We carry unique leather harnesses, handmade paddles and artisanal candles. Part of what we are trying to do is de-stigmatize and legitimize all healthy forms of sexuality and kink.”

While all ages come through the doors, a lot of customers are at one or the other end of the sexual experience continuum. “We see a lot of recent empty-nesters who are looking to reinvest in their relationship, and teens and students who are buying their first condoms,” Rueger observes. “We’ll often have a casual educational discussion with them—for example, that coconut oil will break down latex condoms—or answer questions if they haven’t had ‘the talk’ with their parents.”

According to Rueger, the store’s largest demographic are women and the LGBTQ community.

Rueger and her co-workers have backgrounds in ­education and community-building, and they approach their work from that perspective. “The owners have hired competent and dedicated staff, they trust us and they have empowered us to run the space collectively. We were recently at a sex toy trade show and we were trying to explain our business model to the big-box sex shops. They were fascinated and horrified at the same time.”  Kym Wolfe