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Online sex catalogues: privacy, selection, and return policies

When the time comes to choose a last-minute Valentineís Day gift for your significant other, where do you turn? Or, if you have sworn off the idea of ever again having a romantic partner, how do you find some self-satisfaction? Online sex-shops offer answers to both of these problems.

The benefits of buying sexual paraphernalia online are extremely obvious -- the main one being that no longer must you face the risk of running into your mother, priest, or significant other as you emerge from the bowels of the seedy store at the edge of town known primarily for its neon XXX sign.

Most major online stores offer extremely comprehensive privacy policies so that you can enjoy your stress-free shopping in the comfort of your own home, and not have to fear discovery from your father, boss, or political constituents.

But as a first-time user, what does one look for in a privacy policy? The most desirable policy is one offered by mypleasure.com, which ships its products in standard USPS boxes. Should you use a credit card for a purchase, there is no need to fear that this rather interesting moniker should appear, as the purchase will be attributed to the innocuous Sawhorse Enterprises Inc. Most stores offer overnight delivery as an option, so that the customer need not wait long for their package.

With the wide selections offered by many major companies, however, one can easily become completely overwhelmed at the sheer mass of items. Go looking for a simple vibrator and one is suddenly presented with at least 60 different varieties in five separate categories. To relieve some pressure from the buyer, most large companies make mention of their top selling items, and websites like goodvibes.com offer customer reviews, much like the book-reviews found at Amazon.com.

Should further help be needed, websites like xandria.com have sections devoted to answering customer questions ranging from product ingredients (i.e., the pros and cons of silicone) to how-to questions that would normally be raised in a high school health class.

Price is a competitive field, but all major companies offer such a range of items that something can be found for any budget. Whether you want a simple and traditional dildo for $12, or the remote-controlled version for $64, all of these are available. Should the item prove defective in any way, companies such as too-timid.com guarantee satisfaction, and will accept all returns.

The importance of comparative shopping, however, cannot be emphasized enough. Sure, divine-interventions.com might be the home of the hand-molded Baby Jesus Dildo, but this sacrilicious treat will cost $60 and be delivered at your house in a marked box three to six weeks after you placed your order. Worse yet, should you suddenly realize that masturbating with the infant son of God isnít your cup of tea after all, there are no returns.

So, this Valentineís Day, shop early, shop often, and shop around.

~ February 11, 2002
republished from "The Tartan" ~ Carnegie Mellon University

~ Robyn's Archives