It’s time to start prepping for August, also known as Anal Sex Month. More people than ever before are exploring anal pleasure, which means you have an excellent opportunity to get some cross-sells and upsells. Here are some ideas to make sure you’re maximizing the impact of your efforts.
Giving customers permission to try new ways to have sex is one of the most important things you can have your staff do. That’s especially true when we’re talking about sexual practices that many people feel shame or embarrassment around. When we’re talking about anal, there’s definitely a lot of discomfort. So it’s good to know that research shows that between 10-15 percent of women between the ages of 18-39 reported anal intercourse in the prior three months. Fewer women in older age groups reported it, though it’s definitely happening. Those numbers don’t include other kinds of anal play, such as sex toys, fingers, or rimming. That means that a lot of women and their partners are enjoying anal. Telling nervous customers that goes a long way towards helping them feel more confident about their desires, which means they’re more likely to purchase a butt plug.
Anal intercourse is a great way to do that, but it’s not the only one. Massaging around the outside during oral sex, wearing a butt plug during intercourse, or rimming (oral-anal play) are also anal sex.
Of course, there are lots of men who enjoy receiving anal pleasure and prostate stimulation, too. (Those aren’t the same thing, by the way. Some men like one; some like the other, and many enjoy both.) Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that it means you’re gay. Setting aside the fact that there’s nothing actually wrong with any sexual orientation, it can be helpful to tell folks that what kinds of things feel good to you is about your nerve endings. Who you want to have sex with is about your sexual orientation. Those two things aren’t connected, any more than what kinds of food you enjoy and whom you want to go out to dinner with are connected.
Once you’ve given permission to the customers who need it, there are a few facts that are useful to have on hand. First, nobody should be learning to have anal sex from watching porn. Sex in porn is like a cooking show; the chef simply has to say “have a cup of chopped onion” and like magic, there it is. There’s no mess and everything looks fabulous. Most porn performers warm up and apply lube, but it happens off-camera and a lot of people get themselves into trouble when they try to copy it. That gives you a great opportunity to suggest a how-to book or movie to help them make sure they know what they’re doing.
I’d also suggest making signs for the anal toy section so that even if you miss the chance to talk with a customer, they can still get the info. Feel free to use my cooking show analogy, especially if you cross-sell my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure.” <grin>
Another useful thing for your staff and customers to know: anal sex is any erotic anal contact. Anal intercourse is a great way to do that, but it’s not the only one. Massaging around the outside during oral sex, wearing a butt plug during intercourse, or rimming (oral-anal play) are also anal sex. I find that a more expansive definition of anal play gives customers the freedom to find their own comfort zones. And the more comfortable they are, the easier it is to suggest toys or other products to bring home.
It’s also good to know that anal play is much more fun when you’re already turned on. Arousal changes how we process sensation, and it makes penetration far easier, if that’s something you want to do. You can start off with oral sex, spanking, dirty talk, watching porn, erotic massage, or any other favorite sexual pleasure first. Another option is to try a slim dildo or butt plug before intercourse. So that little fact gives you a quick teachable moment that easily translates into a cross-sell.
Also, make sure to ask everyone who purchases an anal toy if they need a lubricant. You’d be amazed at how many people have no idea that lube will make anal play feel better. That’s a perfect cross-sell moment.
Lastly, be sure to promote the wonderful books and movies on anal play (and prostate pleasure, ahem,) in your anal toy section. Put some lube on a shelf nearby. Make some info signs to give them some tips and ideas for anal fun. Make it easy for customers to grab everything they need. You have a whole month to help people discover the erotic potential of the back door. Don’t miss this chance to get some sales out of it.
Charlie Glickman PhD is a sexuality speaker, trainer, writer, blogger and coach. He’s a certified somatic sex educator and has been working in this field for more than 20 years. Glickman is the co-author of “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners.” Find out more about him at www.charlieglickman.com.