I finally pay a visit to the best shop in East Texas for ...  

PillsburyCodeBoy 61M
479 posts
9/19/2005 7:14 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

I finally pay a visit to the best shop in East Texas for ...

... sex toys?!

There are certain words I never thought I'd use together. "East Texas" and "shop for sex toys" would be pretty high on that list.

Saturday I went to Tyler, Texas (pop. 84,000) to attend a work-related meeting. I hadn't been to Tyler in several months, and I decided it was time to hunt down Openminds Adult Video & Novelty Superstore, which I'd heard about for years (most recently in jungandhorney's blog) but never visited.

I find the name of the store (it really is written as all one word) incredibly ironic. In this part of East Texas, someone with an open mind is an Episcopalian who goes to church just once a week, on Sunday morning. People who visit adult video and novelty superstores are bomb-throwing radicals. Either that or they missed their turn-off for San Francisco and stayed. Or both.

It's not easy to find. It's in an industrial park, tucked well away from anyone who might be offended by it. I'm sure that's not an accident. Tyler doesn't seem like the kind of place that would appreciate adult video and novelty superstores out in the open (although it's Las Vegas compared to the town where I live). There's not even a flashing neon sign, which is something I always associate with such places.

But I found it, so I know it's real. That's a relief. I was beginning to think it was the stuff of myth, like unicorns and East Texas vegetarians.

Almost as soon as I stepped in the front door, I learned that they have a second store. It's new and supposed to be twice the size of this one. It's also on the interstate. That makes it closer to where I live. I'll remember that for future reference.

I had to buy a lifetime membership for one dollar. Yes, you read that right. I think a lifetime membership to anything that costs only one dollar must be some kind of bargain. I know people who couldn't care less about visiting an adult video and novelty superstore who would nevertheless jump at the chance to sign up for a lifetime membership for only one dollar. I resisted giving them a call to meet me, though.

So what's this place like? Well, if you've been to one, you pretty much know. It was fairly typical of the ones I've seen. Big section of DVDs in some kind of nominally organized fashion. Honestly, one good librarian could whip this place into shape in no time.

Did I say whips? Aisle five. This isn't the most extensive place to get your bondage gear, but at least they have a basic selection.

Big section of toys and novelties. I can't say the prices were as good as I've seen online, but the selection is respectable. Besides, looking at this stuff in person is a kick, and I never expected to get an opportunity like this so close to home.

So that's what a "rabbit" looks like. Fascinating. There are more rabbits here than at a 4-H Club meeting.

No viewing rooms that I could see. I'm sure from what I've heard about what goes on in those that even that would be a bit much for the good Baptist burghers of Tyler. (Could that be why the interstate store is twice as big? Hmmm. Deserves further investigation.)

Way too many gag gifts. Does anyone ever buy this stuff? Apparently not, judging by the amount of dust on everything. I'll bet I end up seeing some of it again, though, when I turn 50 next year.

The verdict? I was impressed overall. I was perhaps most impressed by the fact that the place not only exists but is flourishing enough to open a second store. Bravo to the proprietors for keeping the place going in what can't be the most hospitable environment.

Did I buy anything? The weekend before payday? Are you kidding? But I'll be back.

rm_beaujelais 60F

9/19/2005 10:49 am


Wasn't there a Starbucks anywhere in sight?

Next time you go back, visit the Apache Drive-In and be sure you take a date!

PillsburyCodeBoy 61M

9/19/2005 12:21 pm

Hey, beaujelais, are you trying to get me lost? It took me long enough to find Openminds! As for the Apache, I'm still thinking that one might be a myth. Actually, I feel that way anytime I hear about a drive-in theatre that someone says is still open.

Did you know Tyler has two Starbucks now? And that's not counting the one in Barnes & Noble! That impressed me almost as much as Openminds. You have to go as far as Rockwall to find another town in our area with that many Starbucks.

"Tyler: Your East Texas Source for Sex Toys and Starbucks." If the Tyler CVB wants to use that as their new tourism slogan, they can call me and we'll work something out. I'm easy.

rm_beaujelais 60F

9/19/2005 3:57 pm

You got the "easy" part, all right ... The Apache Theater is a XXX-rated drive in theater and you better bet that it's way more than a myth. Would I lie to you? Would I?

rm_pootle47 60F

9/19/2005 4:24 pm

I got taken around the sex shops in Soho, London, for my birthday in April by a gentleman friend. It was supposed to be the warm up to a sex party at a club he belonged to, followed by I know not what, but out hotel room had two double beds. I got bought a present.

The stock was clean, not dusty, very interesting, well lit and about as big a turn on as a walk around Sainsburys on a slow night. I kept making mental notes of the web addresses for future ordering with a different partner.

The party is another tale.

PillsburyCodeBoy 61M

9/20/2005 6:53 am

All right, beaujelais. I believe you. It's real. I've researched it. I believe it exists. Now I just have to find it.

If you get me lost
in the piney woods, I'll come
back and kick your butt.

PillsburyCodeBoy 61M

9/20/2005 7:09 am

Anglophile that I am, pootle, I had to refresh my memory on what kind of store Sainsbury's is. So I went to their website. Now I can't stop reading! They certainly do seem comprehensive. I'll bet if you looked hard enough, you'd even find a sex toy section. If not, you could go back to the veggie section and use your imagination.

Happy belated birthday.

rm_pootle47 60F

9/20/2005 2:29 pm

We have a saying, a bit of Cockney rhyming slang for you. We say "He's got more rabbit than Sainsbury's", meaning he talks a lot.

Rabbit and Pork - Talk.
Sainsbury's because it's a supermarket.

You don't have to be Cockney to use rhyming slang these days, I'm sure even Texans are allowed to be Cockney geezers. You need to say it like you're chewing a brick, best London accent. Baffle your mates Sweetie.

I walk, glassy eyed with boredom, around my local Sainsbury's every other day. I buy my condoms and KY in with the weekly shop. The only sex toy I've ever seen there is that new ring thing from Durex. But their veg is fresh and firm.

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