Miranda Does Los Angeles

Y’all know all about my penchant for porn shops, so when I went to Los Angeles to visit my high school BFF we went sex toy shopping. We did other stuff too – great restaurants, Venice Beach, the Burbank farmers market, non-sex shopping in The Grove – but sex toy shopping was high on our must-list. After all, this friend and I bought each other black lace garter belts for our eighteenth birthdays. We felt so wicked!

I consulted Eden Bradley, another LA native/erotic romance author/BDSM practitioner/helpful person to see where we should go to get the most bang for our time. Here’s what she said: “I have two recommendations. First is The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. Amazing selection, especially if you want to see the kink supplies, but also an excellent selection of vibrators, lube, etc. The second is the Hustler store in Hollywood, where I’ve done a lot of In the Flesh readings. They also have a nice li’l cafe with yummy baked goodies and a really nice book selection. Both places are clean, have nice folks working there. Oh-and the Hustler store has an awesome selection of stripper shoes. :)”

Sounded good to me.

I love to go to sex shops with people who don’t usually frequent them. I’m afraid I’ve reached a point where I’ve tried a bunch of things and haves drawers full of inventive accoutrements. I don’t really NEED another vibrator when my favorite works so well. (Although I was rather smitten with a bumpy on one end, swirly on the other glass dildo…) But I can say to a friend, “Oh, I love this! Try this! Ever used one of these before?” Shop with me if you don’t want to go home empty handed! I am shameless about soliciting opinions from salespeople too. I’ve made more than one impulse purchase because it came highly recommended by a sex shop girl. In fact, the Come Again series was born in a sex shop in Toronto. My BFF walked out of The Pleasure Chest with the biggest bag they had. She let me hold it for this photo.

For the girls and the girls and the boys and the boys!

I will admit I bought a toy simply because it was called “Bottoms Up” and it looked well-made. I also couldn’t resist the sweetest-looking pink thong whip, although I have since discovered it isn’t as sweet as it looks…

My friend got the Lelo Ina vibrator, which is why they gave her the big bag. Worth every penny, she says. Reviewed in O Magazine, even. She sure can pick ’em! Her bag was crammed full of other stuff, too. I made her buy a single-use, sure to be a winner cock ring in honor of SoloPlay. She also bought a lube called Sliquid. She’s got sensitive parts, so if you do too, this might be the lube for you! It’s organic!

Another favorite moment from the trip – my henna tattoo. I covet tattoos, although I don’t have one myself yet. I’m old enough not to regret it, so it’s only a matter of time. What to get? Where to put it? When I know, I’m totally getting ink.

And a tan!

It was a marvelous trip – with unique souvenirs. My husband was really happy to see me, and my friend’s husband thinks I am a very good influence. I bet both of them will be willing to let us swan off to a swanky hotel for a weekend again in the future…

Almost the entire length of the continental US separates me from this friend of my heart. We met when we were fifteen, more than half our lives ago. She has been through every heartbreak with me. She was my first reader, the first one to believe I would publish my stories. We’ve stayed close despite the distance, the children, the husbands and our other great friends. I cried on the Flyaway bus to the airport. Before this visit, the last time I stood in her house was a decade ago. It won’t be another decade before we get the chance to spend unhurried time together. Life is too short. We will find time, make money, prioritize. Taking time away from my everyday reality brought things into focus for me and I want to keep that clarity now that I’m back home. So far, so good…

How about you? Is there something big that you are denying yourself that will bring clarity, value or positivity to your life? A trip with a friend, like me? Another degree? A job change? A baby? Can you make it happen? How?

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