Helping hand for beginners | BOYZ Magazine, October 2019
We are under so much pressure as queer people to be sexually awoken and experienced. I know that’s fresh coming from me, but believe it or not, I feel it too. We are so commonly associated with sex that we are dehumanized and we have to face that this sexualisation (and sometimes fetishization) doesn’t just come from outside the community, as we are guilty of it from within our scenes. So much is just sex, sex, sex, and the pressure can be REAL. We are so much more than that. When it does come to it, it can be scary to admit that sometimes we aren’t as clued up and as confident as we wished. Sex can be amazing and it can totally contribute to a great evening and even a great attitude towards ourselves but it should still be done responsibly. It’s a little too often that I have people reaching out to me as they’ve met someone on a dating app or through social media that has a particular sexual interest or kink that they’re not clued up on and want to throw themselves into. And whilst there’s nothing wrong with pushing boundaries or a little sexual exploration, I am a big believer that ‘self-care’ should be at the centre of all sexual and kinky practices.
This is one of the reasons that we don’t jump into being a solely hardcore adult retailer at Clonezone. We do our best to cater to everyone, from a complete beginner right through to an experienced hardcore player with a clear sexual identity. I’m not blind to the sassy comments made about our entry-level fetish gear and beginners product ranges, but that’s a core part of our business. We want to be a one-stop-shop for people who are not only maintaining products for playtime but also for those who are completely new to it. There are lots of fabulous hardcore retailers out there whose entire business model is dedicated to experienced players, and I totally love and respect them, but that’s just not ‘Clonezone’. We are for absolutely everyone and doing our best to stay as inclusive as possible.
I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like in our stores, but when I do, I love interacting with our customers as it’s always just FUN. I recently launched my own website (TopherTaylor.co.uk) as I am so used to my personal DM’s and emails being full of questions and curiosities about sex and sexual practices, mostly entry-level, that I decided to develop a simple one-stop-shop for advice and articles (including a few BOYZ ones). It’s just my little way of being behind the till in the sex shop again, just in a more cyber-setting. If you ever have a question or a curiosity about sex or a sex toy, reach out. If you don’t want to do it to me, come to a Clonezone store and have a chat with one of our amazing staff members – we are here to guide you and help you find the right product(s) for you.