Feminist Sex Shop Review: Sugar

So, you all know about my penchant for feminist sex shops. I’ve already written about my love for Babeland and Smitten Kitten, and you all shared your favorite stores around the country.
I’m so into these places that I’ve decided to try and visit as many of them as I can (anyone want to help me finance this?) and then review the stores for all of you. Call it a Feminist Sex Shop review if you will.

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Baltimore’s only feminist sex shop, Sugar. If their mission doesn’t make you want to shop there, maybe this review will. Living in Washington DC (as I do) this is the closest feminist sex shop that I know of. At least for now–plans to open one in DC are in the works! So I took a little day trip up to see what Sugar was all about.

I was lucky enough to pick the day of the neighborhood street festival, HampdenFest, to check the store out. Sugar is located in a really cool, trendy and kind of hipster neighborhood in Baltimore. Lots of cool restaurants, coffee shops and hip little stores. Plus 5 for location factor Sugar!
A little bit off the main drag (I actually had to walk up and down the street a few times before I found it) Sugar is around the corner of an apartment parking lot and down a few stairs. When you walk in there is a prominent 18 and over only sign, with a warning that they do check ID. This was a new thing for me, I’ve never seen those at other feminist sex shops I’ve been to. Luckily I did not get carded.
Sugar’s layout isn’t too different from the other shops I’ve checked, a small space with an island of dildos and vibrators front and center, a small book section, a condom/lube section, an island that could be called “back door play” and a tiny BDSM section.
The two staff people working were super friendly and knowledgeable. Without even asking, one of them came and offered their opinion about the wares I was perusing. I felt totally comfortable asking questions and discussing the pros and cons of the various products they sell.
Some positive (and different!) aspects about Sugar that I noticed. They sell binders, which are an item of clothing used by trans and gender non-conforming people to bind or flatten their breasts. This is the first place I have ever seen that sells these binders, which can usually only be purchased online. The staff were also super knowledgeable about them and even let customers try them on! They also have a great vibrator selection, a book of DVDs and a large lube collection. Oh, and the first Friday of every month they have a fabulous party at the store. Sex toys and booze? Sounds like heaven to me.
A few downsides to Sugar. The stock is more limited than other stores. Now, it’s only a year and a half old so that’s understandable. They also had a relatively limited offering of harnesses and very little gear for those interested in bondage, or other types of BDSM play (like handcuffs, or nipple clamps). Lastly they are still working on getting their online store up and running, so you have to go in to purchase your toys.
So in short, Sugar is definitely well worth a visit if you are in Charm City in the near future. And don’t forget to check out their fabulous classes and events!
Reviews to come: Good Vibrations and Aphrodite’s Toy Box

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