Valentine's Day weekend is upon us, which means you might be thinking about how best to make the holiday sizzle for you and your sweetie.
Adult shops all around metro Phoenix have got you covered — on Valentine's Day and all year round — with everything you need to spice up your sex life and look good doing it.
Read on for a list of stores that help make life in the desert even hotter.
Castle, a 30-year-old local chain, has catered to generations of superfreaks, and while newer businesses may have more modern, appealing interiors, it's still the place to go when you want something beyond a basic selection of sex toys. Go to Castle for some shockingly large dildos (hey, we don't judge), some beyond-beginner BDSM gear, a big DVD selection, tons of kitschy stuff for bachelorette parties, and way more. Best For: Shoppers who value substance over style.
Looking to dip your toes into the intimidating world of adult shops? Fascinations, another local chain, provides the best experience for beginners. The stores stock trendy women's clothes and accessories as well as everything a newbie would want in a sex shop: a great lineup of classy (and not so classy) lingerie, plenty of massage oils and lubricants, a dazzling assortment of toys (we were intrigued by the Chakrubs chakra-themed crystal dildos), and a small but well-stocked BDSM section. Best For: Customers who are new to this whole sex shop thing.
Groove has three locations — Gilbert, Arcadia, and west Phoenix — meaning that you're probably not far from a store that blends upbeat music, bright interiors, and a comprehensive selection of R- and X-rated goodies. There's plenty of lingerie, condoms, lube, toys, BDSM gear, vibrators, and other supplies for a fun night in. They've even got sassy housewares, like throw pillows that read "We Had Sex Here." We like the interior of the East Thomas Road shop; it's decorated with street-style art by local painters. Best For: Shoppers who want to get what they want — and have fun.
The Hustler Hollywood store is the best of both worlds: It's got a bright, stylish interior, and an impressive lineup of the hardcore stuff (think floggers, anal toys, vibrators, male chastity devices, and other stuff we won't even mention). But if your tastes run a little less kinky, there's plenty for you here, too. We like the Hustler-branded lingerie and the comprehensive selection of oils and lubes (including the intriguingly named Fuck Water). Best For: People who want the perfect mix of classy and nasty.
Sensual Appeal Boutique650 East Camelback Road, #1
This blink-and-you'll-miss-it shop near Seventh Street and Camelback Road is small, but it's got a lot to offer. There's a selection of lingerie and hosiery, sexy shoes, wigs, bondage gear, magazines, and vibrators, but the store also sells DVD (pornographic and non), clothing, smoking supplies, body jewelry — even cold drinks, in case the merchandise gets you hot under the collar. Best For: Customers who want a little bit of everything.
Smokin' Lingerie1450 North Scottsdale Road, Tempe
This north Tempe mainstay has struggled during the pandemic, but the family-owned business is still serving the needs of local libertines as it has for more than 25 years. We like Smokin' Lingerie because it actually sells a lot more than just sex-shop merch. It's got a big DVD selection, some pretty intense BDSM accoutrements, toys, and lingerie, of course, but there's also a good selection of back issues of High Times, vape supplies, bongs, incense, body jewelry, decals, and more. The decor isn't much to look at, but the friendly service makes up for it. Best For: Shoppers who like sex and smoking.
XXXToyShop13831 West Glendale Avenue, Suite B, Glendale
It's quite a hike unless you already live out that way, but XXXToy Shop is a fun, welcoming retail destination no matter where you're coming from. It's not a large space, but it's got a little bit of everything a sex shop should have, from condoms and Cannalube to bras and butt plugs. The staff is extremely knowledgeable about the merchandise the store carries and great at putting customers at ease and sending them home happy. Best For: People who live in the far west Valley.