Sex shop reveals myths, magic of business

Sarah Ehrlich

The road to better sex leads to a pink neon sign on College Ave.

a neon sign reading Doctor Johns
A neon sign welcomes patrons to one of the two sex stores in Fort Collins: Doctor John’s. Store manager Kat Martinez and her employees see all walks of life walk through the door daily. (Sarah Ehrlich | Collegian)

Perhaps you have walked by it, nervous to enter, or went inside to giggle at the risqué products with your friends, but Doctor John’s Lingerie and Adult Novelties is a store that is much more than the products they sell.


Kat Martinez, store manager, says the store is fitting and does well in an open-minded and lively city such as Fort Collins.

“It’s more than just selling dildos,” Martinez laughs. “We have people come in who have never orgasmed before, and you get to help them and get that satisfaction when someone leaves and you know they feel better about themselves.”

Stores like Doctor John’s encourage a sex-positive mentality, which includes education and open, healthy communication with yourself and your partner or partners. Before entering an establishment such as this, it is important to feel comfortable with yourself and the people you are with.

Working in a sex store comes with perks, but also a lot of misconceptions.

One misconception is that every sex store has an “arcade.” These “arcades” are in a number of sex stores, which is usually a theater in the back where you can enjoy adult films by yourself or with someone else.

Doctor John’s adult store sells a variety of toys and apparel, including lingerie of all shapes and sizes. (Maya | Collegian)

In the name of research, Martinez has visited sex stores with “arcades” and have been impressed by the ones that are clean, classy and have a welcoming environment. For obvious reasons, she suggests avoiding stores that are unhygienic or make you feel uncomfortable.

Another common misconception that Martinez and her employees experience is being called solicitors of sex. In addition to people judging the profession, Martinez has had her fair share of creepy encounters. Although Doctor John’s has a strict sexual harassment policy, creepy people still test it.

“When people hear that you work in a sex shop, they identify you with your job,” Martinez said. “Even then, this is still a great job. We get to help people find outfits and things that make them feel fucking amazing, and just boost their confidence.”

“Expressing sexuality is so important to the human experience. Having people know that sex is a two-sided thing, it’s not just a man getting off, or one person in charge of the other. It’s a fun thing, but an important foundation on relationships and who you are.”-Kat Martinez, store manager

To ensure a comfortable and educational space, Martinez likes her employees to read up on different sexual practices so they can properly help customers. The most common questions are about anal, lubricants and BDSM

woman in adult shop
Kat Martinez is the manager at Doctor John’s sex shop; she’s enjoyed her job for the past year and a half. “Being employed at a sex shop doesn’t mean we solicit sex,”she mentions when asked about adult store employee stereotypes, “I’m here to give advice and help out,” (Maya Shoup | Collegian)

The popularity of the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy has sparked interest in bondage, domination, submission and masochism, BDSM. However, the films have received backlash for portraying domestic abuse rather than a safe, consensual BDSM relationships.  


However, Martinez cringes at the films and does not recommend them as your teaching guide. Instead, visit a sex store and learn the right way. In addition to asking advice, it’s important to figure out your limits and pain thresholds so you can practice accordingly.

“Expressing sexuality is so important to the human experience,” Martinez said. “Having people know that sex is a two-sided thing, it’s not just a man getting off, or one person in charge of the other. It’s a fun thing, but an important foundation on relationships and who you are.”

More information can be found online or from a visit to Doctor John’s Lingerie and Adult Novelties.

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at and on Twitter @sarahehrlich96.