Your Shame-Free Guide to the Best Philly Sex Shops
1. Condom Kingdom
437 South Street, Queen Village.
If Disneyland went X-rated, it’d be something like this South Street stalwart, which mixes bachelorette-party kitsch (penis-shaped candy) with fetish gear (nipple clamps) in a cartoonish space that looks like a cross between a kinky cave and an ancient castle, with stone walls, ponds, and a condom-bedecked tree. Corny? A tad. Fun? Absolutely. Go here for: A user-friendly, accessible playground for entry-level enthusiasts.
2. Pleasure Chest
2039 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse.
It’s everything you’d want in a Rittenhouse sex shop: well-established (in business since 1974), discreet (all buys come in a nondescript black bag), and, most importantly, located below street level, so you can shop for lingerie, vibrators, lubes and lotions without worrying that your neighbors/boss/rabbi will see you get your kink on through the store windows. Go here for: Toys. They have more than a hundred different models, from classic vibrators to the We-Vibe Sync, a $200 couple’s massager that can be controlled via an app from anywhere in the world.
3. Kink Shoppe
126 Market Street, Old City.
Located in a former art gallery, this boutique eschews penis straws and other hokey miscellany for high-end kink and fetish paraphernalia: crops, masks, custom rope bondage (they offer workshops to teach you how to use the latter), plus lubes, toys and books. Go here for: Custom sex and “dungeon” furniture (like suspension rigs, swings and spanking benches), all designed and built in-house.
4. The Velvet Lily
1204 Chestnut Street, Midtown Village.
The lingerie is gorgeous and deliciously racy, the dildos and vibrators are displayed like art, and the staff is incredibly well-informed, so even fledgling fetishists can shop with ease. Tip: The truly sex-shop-skittish can book a private shopping appointment. (There’s a $250 down payment, which goes toward the private-shopping minimum of $700.) Go here for: A female-centric shopping experience (all staffers are women, as are most customers) that skews more mainstream than mega-kink.
5. Passional Boutique/Sexplatorium
317 South Street, Queen Village.
They take sex very seriously here (it’s way more naughty than novelty), with an X-rated selection that spans two floors. Floor one (Passional) is “fashion,” albeit the decidedly NSFW kind: latex, leather, lingerie. Head upstairs for the Sexplatorium, a tightly edited selection of toys and BDSM and fetish gear. Go here for: Custom corsets, which fit so well you’ll want to wear them outside the bedroom, and Passion 101, the Sexplatorium’s roster of weekly sex-ed classes that range from BDSM for beginners to an intro course on pegging. (Google it.)