Lalani & Jake: When You’re In the Business of Butt Plugs
Ever wondered what the owners of a sex shop are like? Meet Jake and Lalani. They’ve owned For the Love of It for 14 years, and they’ve been a couple for even longer. They discuss their introduction to sex products, everything they’ve had to learn about the industry, and how customer interactions continue to spice up their lives. At the end of the day, though, they treat their store like any other mom-and-pop shop — they just also sell dildos.
Keep up with Lalani and Jake’s adventures on TikTok at @lpscorpio.
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Jake & Lalani
I imagine there’s some preconceived notions out there, I don’t know, what couple that owns a sex toy? What are the what are they like? What do they do, what’s it’s not like we wake up in the morning and get out of bed and fling the dildos off the bed and it was skittering across the floor as we go into the bathroom and shoved the vibrators off the counter, we tried to brush our teeth, and there’s remnants of the sex party from last night all across the house, when really, we are probably kind of a boring couple when it comes to the outside of the office.
It’s just a regular store. We just also sell dildos. Hi, I am Lalani. And my pronouns are she/her.
I’m Jake and my pronouns are he/his.
We’ve been together for 26 years.
And we’re the owners of for the love of it, and you’re listening to GOOD SEX. Probably not the most exciting story in the world. But I guess it is a little bit classic romantic because we met in high school, we are into a small schools were aware of each other previously before starting to interact. And we did flirts. And it seemed like things might progress. And I usually tell the story to everyone who anyone will listen, that I did try to date her and I called twice and left two voicemails that she claimed she never heard.
I never received them.
Sure, sir. So I went off to college, and she was a year younger than I was. And somehow she got a hold of my number from a friend, a mutual friend.
And Jake was always a great dancer. And I knew that there were dance clubs that you could go to when you were 18. And so I wanted his number. So that I would see if he would take me to a dance club.
The rest they say is history.
And if you had asked us 15 years ago, or told us rather that we would own a sex store, we would have laughed at you. Because that was not on our radar at all. But we made a move back to our hometown. And one night we were in search of a movie and new products and realize that the valley here where we live did not have a store, per se, there was one it was just not well regarded and did not have a great selection. And we sort of joked that we should open a store because we’d always had a lot of business ideas and well, about I don’t know eight months later we were in business so..
So see […] I suppose we saw an opportunity. And it seemed like a fun thing to get involved with. And we blundered our way on into it. And we’re still here. So fantastic.
So how has owning a sex store changed your overall view of pleasure?
That’s a good one. Definitely. Because just like you said before, we were joking earlier about asking us 15 years ago, if we’d only be owning a sex store, and I would have laughed, and I at the time, I thought that we were kind of sexually progressive. Just in our own social group. Now we rented movies and had, oh, I think maybe one or two toys and really had no business owning them, probably because we weren’t really well versed on what to do with them. And we were sexually active. But I wanted to find a CEO as somewhat progressive, but I had no idea apparently. So once the store opened and we started looking at all these products and we started bringing them all in and it just set off a chain reaction of oh, this exists this exist. And we can we can use these Oh, wow. And it really opened my eyes to the world of sexual accessories and what’s available out there, too. As they say spice up your relationship. And I had no idea so many different variations existed. And really what I think the more interesting part for me besides just the accessories is opening my eyes a bit more just to sexual health and awareness and a mental state that I didn’t really think much about prior to it and conversations that we weren’t having prior to owning it. Yeah, talking about what sex means in a relationship or what sex means to an individual and what is even just sex as an act and all kinds of interesting philosophical questions I really hadn’t pondered much as, prior to being an owner of a store and helping other people look at products and their sexuality in new and interesting ways that hopefully they haven’t thought of either. And yeah, exactly. So by far, that was the most enlightening for me, I guess. I thought our relationship was one way I thought we were kind of hip kind of cool, kind of, oh, we’re sexy, we’re fun. And then we open the store. And I’m like, we were not as sexy as I thought. We’re not. That’s all a matter of perspective, of course. But it definitely was just an eye opener for what is out there. And I don’t know if you’ve experienced it in the same way. I’m guessing you have.
I would say that’s true. I would say I; I think we just we had a passion. I know, I came from a background that wasn’t really taught anything. But most of us aren’t taught anything really about sex, not sex for pleasure. And my conversations weren’t good as they came from my parents about it. And I definitely wanted to make a difference in an impact with other people. It’s funny to think back about opening the store. But I we saw it in one view. And then yeah, since opening the store went, wow, there is so much more to this, like, this is so cool. And there’s so much out there. And yeah, definitely just I agree with you the realization of all the different components and conversations like, okay, we need to, we need to educate ourselves a little bit more, so we can do this better,
But in an extremely positive way, in my opinion, because it’s opened my eyes to taking our own relationship in new directions. What’s your favorite memory of a sale in the shop?
It’s all super rewarding. And it’s great to ask that question because it’s easier to get bogged down in the people that come in and are negative. But there have been so many people over the years that have thanked, you know, me have thanked you thanked our staff, even for existing as a business, existing in our valley, which tends to tilt a little bit more conservative or so everyone believes it’s eye opening to realize that even amongst that belief that everyone enjoys sex, and everyone really wants to have a healthy and positive sex life and that a lot of people are open to the idea of using products and some of the best customers and experiences over the years, I think have been a much older clientele that finally comes in, you know, later in their life, and they they’ve not really had good sexual experiences with their partner. And then we help them find, you know, a few products and then they thank us like, wow, this has just opened my eyes and now we’re communicating and we’re just having great sex. And it’s all because of you and that’s super rewarding and just keeps me going, you know, day after day and wanting to learn more and help more people and reach out further and it’s super fulfilling.
Picking one is really challenging, especially after doing business for 14 years. But no matter who the person is, no matter what their gender or what their orientation and whatnot, finding out that somebody wants to better their lives sexually, and you can participate in that is incredibly rewarding when they realize they can talk about it with you when they realize they can share some of the most intimate details they haven’t shared probably with some of their closest friends and family. They can ask you and they can make this huge part of their life even more interesting, more rewarding and more fulfilling. And that is always been probably one of the best memories of any particular sales we’ve had.
So over the years, how have customers purchases influenced your sexual interests or have any, you know, customer?
I suppose you could say that when you see a lot of purchasing behavior starting to happen in certain categories or with a certain product in particular, you think, oh, a lot of people really like that, maybe we would like that. Because I’m, you are well aware, I’m down for whatever as they would say, you’re involved and it’s sexual, so I’m on board. So if I started seeing people buying particular products, and I look at them, I’m like, I think they want to try it. Why not us? Someone very why not person and as people purchase stuff, and they put it in front of me and I look at it and I start thinking about its application and its use it’s easy for me to just make that second step towards let’s bring it into our own bedroom and try it out. Maybe it’ll be fun. Maybe it won’t. But why not? Let’s give it a shot. And I guess even as progressive as we say, we think we are as much as our mentality is about. We’re definitely thinking about sex and new and you know, in positive way, no matter how we talking about it, it’s there’s still pieces of our I think our personalities that are very rooted in how we’re raised or in the environment we’re in and the social environments we’re in to have that little voice deep down inside that still wants to speak up and say, is this normal? Are you sure? When people wouldn’t be impressed when they heard about that they think you’re weird or something. So it’s hard sometimes to suppress those. And I suppose where you look around and start Oh, no, it is normal. It is normal. It is normal people do that. And even for us, even for us, no matter how hard we try, it’s hard to shake those social hang ups. So perhaps that could be one factor as well, that I’m not even aware of. But it’s happening.
Yeah, that’s why I was curious, like, if I know that you definitely are the why not, between the two of us. And I was just curious if there was anything that you know, you kind of sit on the fence about, and it is hard to get past social pressures at times. And then you’re like, yeah, what the heck, why not?
If you could choose just one product from our store to gift me. What would it be? And why?
Okay, that is a really tough question. Oh, my goodness. Okay. Because you are such a why not person, and we have a lot of things. It’s hard to pick a, what would be a product? I think I probably would choose to gift you a harness that I would use on you, that probably would, would be the product that I would use. I think that’s because we’ve had conversations about that we’ve dabbled in that area previously. And I tend to be the more reserved of the two of us and the one that likes to be less in control. But I know that you also enjoy having me take control. And I think that, that is probably the area that I would feel that you would find to be the most exciting of things and probably unexpected.
I guess, I was trying to my mind what, trying to predict her response and honestly, I missed the mark on that one.
Well, what would it be that you would gift me then?
Yes, yes. The curved, heavy stainless steel, non-vibrating wand for vaginal penetration and you could use it for anal as well. But it just got the perfect curvature and style and smoothness and just feel sexy even for quote unquote G spots stimulation. So it just seems like an interesting one to try out. It’s again, I find just the heft in your field in your hand is pretty awesome. So I thought, hey, why not?
Okay. Yeah. Yeah, we’ve dabbled around and other G Spot specific, you know, glass toys and things like that. But yeah, we there’s a haft in the middle to it that.
The storied reputation. I want to see if it can live up to that, which I feel like it could.
So what would you say, is our best practice than for keeping things spicy in the bedroom?
For us keeping things spicy in the bedroom? I think is what I would advise anybody else. And I’m not for sure, saying that we do it perfectly either. Everybody has their own challenges when it comes to communication. And that’s the key. I think communication is what keeps things spicy. And that communication, for sure has to be open, honest, non-judgmental. I think if any of those components fall to the wayside, you’re not having good communication. And I think that’s where it all starts. And we’ve had people come into this report that have talked about having very big challenges in their relationship, communicating about sex and their needs and wants with their partner and somebody in the relationship is not being open, honest and non-judgmental. We’ve told them you don’t need to buy anything. When you buy something here is because things are good is because you’re looking for variety. And you want to make things spicy, but where it starts before you even open that door, is talking to your partner.
Yeah, absolutely. I don’t think we have anything in the store that will fix a relationship. That’s never been our recommendation, like no sex toys, don’t fix your relationship. They just enhance what’s already good and fun and just are something different.
Yeah. And I think from that’s where things start to be spicy is when people come together. And again, this can be an individual, it could be people, partners, or multiple that that. What is it I want out of my sex life? What can you do? And we do together to fulfill our goals. And then start having fun with it. And there’s absolutely zero reason why not to try things if you’re just open to doing it. And you can talk about it with your partner. Even utilizing a yes no maybe list that we talked about so much to define where you’re definitely a hard-nosed rat, but what you’d be open and giving a try.
Yes, definitely. I think we need to add to that. Yes, no, maybe less the priorities. Apparently this is a conversation that we need to have with one another.
Therapy session now?
Suddenly realized, well, we’ve not defined that right well. Thank you for listening to GOOD SEX.
Thank you for listening to GOOD SEX.
GOOD SEX is a Lemonada Media Original. The show was produced by Kegan Zema and Dani Matias our supervising producer is Xorje Olivares. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Music is by Dan Molad and APM music. If you like GOOD SEX, please rate and review us. Listen and follow for new episodes each week, wherever you’re listening right now. And if you want more good sex, subscribe to Lemonada Premium for some quickies additional conversations between our guests only on Apple podcasts.