Shopping for that dildo just got a little bit riskier.
A week ago, the Adult Warehouse left its quiet side-street location and moved onto Fourth Avenue.
It’s a busy street.
But owner Richard Rupert isn’t worried about bashful clientele.
“There are two entrances,” he said. And the side entrance has already proved popular.
“That’s not just because of discretion,” said Rupert.
“It’s easier — it has pull-in parking.”
Rupert sees about 50 customers a day, shopping for everything from penis lollipops, porn DVDs, titaroni pasta and all-natural honey body powder to vibrators, oro-simulators and rubber hands.
“We sell everything that enhances sexual experiences,” said Rupert’s girlfriend Teresa Tucker.
But it’s not all about sex.
Adult Warehouse also sells lingerie, stockings, boots and smoking paraphernalia, including bongs and pipes.
“We branched into smoking paraphernalia because some adults were shy about going to the other store,” said Rupert.
“We sell everything you need for smoking … tobacco.”
Lots of women come in for the lingerie, added Tucker.
They also come in for personal toys.
“We sell vibrators, vibrators and more vibrators,” she said.
The toys are near the back of the store, behind a discreet grey partition.
Dildos carved like totem poles — complete with rubber beavers — hang beside rubber vaginas and cock rings.
The most popular toy is the Pocket Rocket, said Tucker, pulling a small vibrator off the wall.
Adult Warehouse has sold 183 of them this year alone.
The larger, more natural-looking phalluses don’t vibrate enough, said Rupert, pointing out the Vibro Realistic — made of new, soft rubber.
“But vibrators are all about vibrating,” he said.
“And that little one goes like a rocket.”
Back in his office — which has a bed in it — Rupert was clear Adult Warehouse wasn’t a sex shop.
The bed is just a convenience.
Rupert has been working so hard to set up the new shop he ends up crashing there some nights.
“We’re up until 2 a.m., then back up at 6 a.m.,” he said.
“It’s an adult store,” he added.
“We don’t sell sex.”
Rupert has had tourists come in asking for escorts.
“We don’t do that,” he said.
Bondage supplies are another story.
“There’s a market everywhere for that kind of stuff,” said Tucker.
However, the whips are usually sold as novelty items or for costumes, said Rupert.
The shop is a popular stop for bachelor and bachelorette party favours, including penis piñatas, penis stir sticks and boobie hats.
But Rupert has also had some serious inquiries.
He’s had calls from health clinics asking questions about products for people allergic to latex.
“The girls know everything you need to know about rubber and latex and which lotions you can and can’t use,” he said.
Rupert also got a call once from a mother who wanted to buy a vibrator for her daughter, who was mentally challenged.
“This young woman had feelings too,” he said.
Rupert wasn’t always in the pleasure business.
More than 29 years ago, he saw an ad in the Vancouver Sun — the Carmacks Hotel was looking for a cook.
Rupert packed his bags and headed north.
After a year at the hotel, he started his own catering business and moved to Teslin.
Rupert opened a craft shop and continued catering for highway camps. Fourteen years later, he moved to Whitehorse.
He’s still catering, but that wasn’t enough.
“I started flipping through the Yellow Pages to see what wasn’t there,” he said.
That’s when he first thought about opening an adult store.
Six weeks later, he was in business.
That was 11 years ago, and Rupert has yet to hear a derogatory remark.
“People think it’s fabulous,” he said.
It’s fun going through the catalogues, looking for new stuff, added Tucker.
At the counter, the store manager, who’s been with Rupert for eight years, was setting out a colourful tray of edible penis bouquets.
“These are so cute,” she said.
The shop has a variety of products for all different interests, but Rupert was having trouble reaching a wider market.
Then, four years ago, he had the “best idea of his life.
“I had a ladies-only Super Bowl sale,” he said.
If one woman showed up, she got 10 per cent off everything in the store. If two came it was 20 per cent and so on.
“I had lineups out the door,” said Rupert.
“The idea was to show ladies this isn’t the little shop of horrors.”
The ladies left carrying armloads, he said.
After the event, which he now holds annually, Rupert’s sales jumped by 25 per cent.
At the new store, Tucker is also planning to start a Sunday evening private party for women.
“It would be like a Tupperware party,” she said.
“But with porn, toys, lingerie, lotions and stockings.”
The store would be closed and women who made arrangements could show up with their friends to check out different products, including the all-natural Kama Sutra line of lotions and gels.
Although he’s surrounded by sex toys, porn and risqué accessories, Rupert never gets bored of it.
“Porn’s not just porn anymore,” he said, pulling out a high-budget DVD called, Pirates.
Nude women, with eye-patches and swords posed beside a ship that looked like Captain Jack Sparrow’s.
“These have more storyline, with great costumes and computerized special effects,” he said.
The store also sells “real lesbian porn and classics,” added Rupert.
The new store is three-times bigger than the old one and rent is double.
But Rupert thinks it will be worth it, with more walk-in traffic, especially tourists in the summer.
“I’ve already seen new faces,” he said. “And the prices are competitive.”
Rupert has had customers come in with products they’d bought in Edmonton that were $20 less in his store.
“Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness hasn’t shopped at the Adult Warehouse,” he said. Pink Floyd’s, Money was playing in the background.
The store is set up so people can shop for lingerie, boots and stockings in the front, without seeing any of the sex toys.
“So a lady can come in and shop and see nothing unacceptable,” said Rupert. “Unless there were some jokes she didn’t like.”
The bigger store allows for more discretion, he said.
“Nothing sticks out in your face — that’s the idea.”