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Shop Talk: New store creates a buzz

Original post made on Sep 13, 2013

While the attention of some Palo Altans has been diverted to more pressing issues, a new sex shop is quietly preparing to open in a few weeks in downtown Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, September 14, 2013, 11:15 AM

Comments (59)

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 14, 2013 at 8:22 am

What next!


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 14, 2013 at 10:54 am

Is there an age limit for access? If not, will it be very busy during PALY lunch hour and after school? This is inappropriate, out of place, and in very poor taste. What is T & C thinking? But then it's shown poor taste from the beginning. It is certainly going to downgrade the shopping center's reputation - down there with El Camino in neighboring cities.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 14, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hey Bob - read it again, I suggest. Where did you get T&C?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

I would rather have these folks in town than a gun store or liquor store or cigarette store.


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Posted by Hilarious
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

This is hilarious! A sex shop in upright Palo Alto. Come on, Palo Alto Online posters, bring on the NIMBY commentary. Its always good entertainment. Bob, don't worry, the 500 block of Ramona St. is not T and C.


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Posted by likor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hilarious
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm

References to guns and liquor stores as well as conspiracy theories about sex! Awesome and hilarious stuff Palo Alto citizens. You never disappoint me. Keep it coming.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Will Daryl and the rest of the weekly staff be sampling the products in this store and then providing reviews?


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Posted by Modest Mom
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

> "Palo Alto and its surrounding areas are the epicenter of the zip codes of our mail-order business. It's a very robust area on the Peninsula."

Yes, mail order business! You think they'll (we'll!) actually shop IN PERSON with the possibility that the parents of their (our!) kid's friends will see them (us!)?!


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I can see our city council members shopping there.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Some things that might sell like hotcakes in San Francisco might not do that well in Palo Alto. Palo Alto is not as wild, crazy, discreet or anonymous as SF. On the other hand, there might be just as much consumer demand? ;-)


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I can't be the only parent in PAlo Alto who would take issue with a store like this here. We love walking downtown for dinner with our three teens/ pre teens and it will not be a big deal to avoid a certain block. Although I understand why some people may think it's funny, it really isn't when you are a parent and so aware of how kids are bombarded with media etc. that trivializing sex.

Surely the owners of this property could have had a conscience and thought about the community as a whole, when they chose who to lease to.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Why do you take issue with the store?
Do you even know what they sell? Do you walk by the smoke shop on Emerson? Don't you think smoking. Is. A bigger issue. do you know that places also sells x rated magazines? Any problem with that?
Do you have any evidence thatbthe community, as a whole, objects or even cares about the store? Is the store doing anything illegal? Do you have a righ to tell the landlord to whom to lease to?


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Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

If anyone has walked by a Good Vibrations store, they would know that they are brightly-lit, non-descript from the outside, and have frosted window glass. If anything it's the lululemon or Apple Store of "personal health" boutiques. I'm sure it'll do well in Palo Alto, what with the yoga crowd and Stanford students.

Oh, and to the "resident" above, there really isn't anything "funny" or "trivializing" about a discreet shop intended for mature persons looking to pleasure themselves. This is no Bada Bing with neon lights outside.


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Posted by Kate B
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I agree that this will be a nice, comfortable, low key shop. And isn't it better than another nail salon or pizza place? It will create some local color. Looking forward to the opening.


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Posted by Mariana
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm

And why not? It sounds like entertainment for adults, and an education for soon-to-be adults.
I'm only afraid there wont be enough demand. We are uptight in Palo Alto, after all :)

Welcome to Palo Alto!


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Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

Meh! This type of business used to be nearer to the card rooms of Barron Park...


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Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

Just what Palo Alto needs - another silly addition to downtown. Why not add a massage parlor to go with it?


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Posted by nonplussed about GV
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:22 am

Good Vibrations is a very discreet " sex_positive" store that has helped many people over the yrs. The training for staff is extensive and they are very sensitive to the various degrees of "embarrassment" by potential customers. It is healthy sex education, people, that we need and Good Vibrations has provided that in the past. Most people are not able to talk to Anyone about this issue. Here is a way to see and ask questions to "anonymous " clerks.
Will people feel comfortable about walking in? It may take some time here in Palo Alto, but I'd say the alcohol and smoke shops are a far greater threat to all of us, regardless of age.


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Posted by Ninja
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

I wonder what toys they will be selling! Hope not those silly vibrators


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:26 am

So funny how many people are so uptight and prudish. Get over yourselves. It isn't your corner porno shop. It will definitely add some variety to our mix of downtown shops.
AND IF YOU DON"T LIKE IT - DON"T GO IN! How hard is that.
We always seem to have so many protesters of what is right and wrong. How about let people decide for themselves whether or not to patronize a business! Hmmm what a concept. People taking responsibility for themselves...something we should be teaching our kids.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

Highly amused by the discussion here.

Sex is something we all indulge in at some time or other. Those that are worried about our kids getting involved should remember that they see condoms and other sex aids in Walgreens and what about all the Viagra ads on tv. I doubt very much if this is going to harm them as much as the pot smoking around town and the porn in the smoke shop. And of course and as well as, dare I say it, the Swimsuit Issue of sports magazines.


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Posted by Midtown senior
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:43 am

Considering the the outside will be discreet I see only a tax and physical benefit. I'm not too worried about monitoring an age limit for minors' entry; however, I'd like to know if there's an age limit for seniors.


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Posted by Willy
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:43 am

This needs to be in Menlo Park on Santa Cruz Avenue. Or on El Camino next to the palm readers.


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Posted by Rosie
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

I can hardly wait for the sales figures in a year or two:-)


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Posted by Jenny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Yippee, anything to improve the sex lives of Palo Altans is welcome. This is great, it's certainly better than yet another Italian Restaurant!!


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Posted by hmmm...
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

We don't even have a good baby goods store anywhere near here.

Perhaps this will help...


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Posted by hmmm....
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

"AND IF YOU DON"T LIKE IT - DON"T GO IN! How hard is that."

Sorry. Just too funny to pass up reposting, given the topic...


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm

LMAO!! Good one.
I didn't even see it coming...oops there's another one!


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Posted by Ray Bacchetti
a resident of University South
on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

To Jenny, You can never have too many Italian restaurants!


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Posted by ISupportGV
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I support this store coming to Palo Alto. I won't even mind one bit if their employees take up all the parking in front of my house. I won't have to travel to SF, instead I will be able to walk or bike to browse and buy. It's about time!


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Posted by ROTFLMAO
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

While many of us are arguing over all the high-density buildings being built, this takes erections in Palo Alto to a whole other level.


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Posted by wowzers!
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm

"guns and booze are because of sex and unwanted children"

Wow.

Just, wow.


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Posted by just sayin'
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I am sure there will be demand from all those frustrated techie types who work and live here, in places where men outnumber women by an order of magnitude.


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Posted by Berry
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

PARKING, LEGAL MARIJUANA, ABORTION, PEOPLE SLEEPING IN CARS, CITY COUNCIL, BIG BUILDINGS, LOW INCOME HOUSING, TWERKING, SEX SHOPS, BULLYING. Did I miss anything?


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

@hmmmm said, "How hard is that."

That's what she said.

Great headline PW.

I predict the store will be incredibly successful. All these stay home moms have to do something all day. You can only volunteer so much and then you need some "me time."


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Posted by Relax
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I've been to the one in SF and its actually quite nice. This will make an excellent addition to downtown Palo Alto.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm

When the masses are seeking gold, there's profit in selling the tools.


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Posted by Sexy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I give the store a year. Rents are too high in PA to sustain a low brow store like this one. They will go the way of PA nail salons, yoga shops and hair salons. Out of business before you can blink. Palo Altans may order lots of sex toys online, but they won't want to be seen in a local sex shop.


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Posted by Not fooled
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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Posted by Not fooled
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I suspect the owners of the new sex shop are the ones writing most of the positive comments on this thread.


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Posted by Do not like it
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I walk to downtown with my kid very often. I don't like this store coming to our downtown period.


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Posted by Notan issue
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I walk to downtown with my kid very often. I don't like this store coming to our downtown period "

Some options for you:
Don't walk downtown
Find another street to walk on
Organize picketing outside the store
Complain to the city council
Buy the building and evict the tenant


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by ramona
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

This will certainly add to the vibrancy downtown!


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I have kids and I see no issue here. My Swedish friends are no doubt confused.


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Posted by income AND market
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

[Portion removed.] They are quite an operation, known nationally. They do a thriving mail order business off the web. They know who buys, and where they are.

PA has disposable income. What better way to dispose of it than on one of life's many great pleasures?

No income... ha! How many in PA overpay for food or wine?

Ha! So silly a thought!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by ISupportGV
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:24 am

If you can't explain what Good Vibrations is (age-appropriately) to your age-appropriate children, you have bigger issues than a Good Vibrations opening in downtown PA. Good Vibrations is NOT a low-brow sex shop. It doesn't sell sleazy magazines, there are no coin-operated porn watching booths, and it's not the kind of place where bachelorettes would by a penis shaped party cake.

It is a tasteful, sex positive, solo- or relationship-fun celebrating, women (esp)-supporting retail experience. And no, I don't work there but I am a long-time, happy customer.

I've been to Good Vibrations for book readings by feminist authors. I've been there to buy condoms that were compatible with my sensitive skin. I've been there to browse and I always learn something new whenever I go, which isn't often since they are in SF. For this reason I'm delighted that they will be opening a location closer. Clearly they have not made this decision lightly. Market research apparently indicates that there is a larger enough customer base here to support this business. And I totally believe it.

Please separate the notion of being sex positive from being slutty. Palo Alto isn't going to be overrun with "loose women" because of Good Vibrations. In my mind, Palo Alto will be overrun with happy women and their partners (if they have them). Maybe being satisfied by new vibrator at Good Vibes will take the place of being satisfied by a frozen yogurt at Fraiche. ;)

And keep an open mind about what kind of store this will be. I would much rather have Good Vibes here than have yet another startup take up retail space in downtown.


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Posted by JimmyJoe
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

Nobody has sex in Palo Alto. Won't be a popular store.


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Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Thank you, friends and neighbors, for a mostly really funny group of responses. Ramona, love the pun. As for this store, you either like it or forget about it, kind of like the dancing shows on TV! I just hope that their store sign is something <not> tacky or bright. All we have left of Palo Alto are the memories, you know. ;)

Speaking of those memories, I still remember the lo-ball card rooms and the stories from my grandfather about how they offered a few more services (Yes, in good old Palo Alto) back in the 1930's out in Mayfield and even speak easy entertainment before that in Barron Park. Not to mention how we were warned by parents in the 1960's to stay away from downtown for all of the drug addicts walking around…or even the motley crew (whom we loved, actually) that frequented the 8-lane Indian Bowl in the evenings. That's how I learned fine skills of bowling and 8-ball! I cannot omit the questionable (actually, no questions – it was obvious) massage parlor over on Cambridge in the 1970's across from the old Campus Barbers…

So, you see - Palo Alto has a far more embarrassing history than a store with the word "Vibrations" in its name. If you thought the biggest trouble was tossing soap in the California Ave. fountain or egging on Halloween, ask around! Cheers.


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Posted by even more
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

@Berry: You forgot High Speed Rail and Arillaga.


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Posted by Colt
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Oh noooooes, not a sex store! Heavens, wouldn't want anyone ever learning about sex and how to enjoy it, would we? As an alum of the University of Michigan, I am quite a fan of Ann Arbor's Safe Sex Store, also known as S3. It's downtown, accessible to all, and it's fantastic. You go in and you can get ACTUAL INFORMATION, rather than uncomfortable euphemisms and such. Need a condom? Confused about some aspect of sex? Friendly, knowledgeable staff will help you out! Without--and I know this may be difficult for some to understand--WITHOUT shaming you over having sex. Sex is normal. Sex is part of life. It shouldn't be some forbidden mystery. All the people against the store: How, exactly, do you think you came to exist? Do you perhaps recall how your children came into being? Yeah, it was sex.

People, get over it. When you stop acting like sex is the Big Bad, instead of a normal part of life, maybe you won't have such ... issues. Who CARES if high school kids go in? They might actually (gasp! NO!) LEARN SOMETHING USEFUL about sex and sexuality. I for one welcome this store to downtown Palo Alto and hope it thrives for years to come.


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Posted by This is good
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Lighten up, people. This is a legitimate business that has been around for a long time. It's a brand new retailer for Palo Alto and we should cheerfully welcome it.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm





No sales=no profit=gone !


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Marlo
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

awwww... I missed her post before they removed it 9 hours ago! Dang it.

I feel so frustrated, why, I could just, well, ummmm, you know... guess I'll have to find a way to relieve the stress. Somehow.

yo Sharon - what is the average life of a locally owned retail store on that block? Wanna make a bet about GV lasting longer than that? The stakes, you ask? The product of your choice. Oh, good question - mine?

One of those expensive custom made, glass ones, that can be soaked in warm water first, thereby simulating the warmth provided, well, you know...

Yum. Meltdown time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by too quick
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Wow. I missed one also, just an hour ago.

I figure they are really funny play on words, or something about the dogs at Baume.

I say GV lasts longer than Baume does.


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