What Happens When You Attend An Interview To Work In A Sex Shop (it's probably not what you think)

sex shop interview, tweet,

My mate, Paula, is currently looking for a new job and she's willing to turn her hand to anything, as this tweet from Monday shows. I was intrigued, as were many others. But then I mentally slapped myself and wondered why I thought this way. In a day and age where we can talk quite openly about sex and equality in that area, why do the words "sex shop" still sound so lewd? So I asked Paula to share her sex shop interview with me once she'd attended.


sex shop interview, tweet,

I'll start by making it clear that I've only been in three sex shops in my life and this was the third. When I replied to the advert they made it clear what it was for. It stated in big capital letters that the position was as a retail representative in a sex shop. I suppose they didn't want time wasters - they wanted to lay it all on the table, so to speak. So I applied, like I apply for every available job as they arise.  I wasn't surprised to get called for interview, despite receiving no replies to any of the other jobs I'd applied for. If I ran a shop like that, I'd been looking for someone like me - an older woman, with kids. Ironically, someone who possibly would have no interest in their products.  I'd imagine they got a LOT of applications from young men who wouldn't mind getting paid to watch porn all day.

Going for the interview and the realistic possibility of working there brought up a lot of questions.  I asked my 17yr old son how he'd feel about it... what he would tell people when they asked where I worked.  He said he didn't care; he said he'd tell them to mind their own business.  This seemed wrong to me.  I didn't want to do a job that my son was ashamed of.  I'm not doing anything wrong, nothing illegal.  Like my current job, I'd be working in a shop, but of course it would be different.  A couple of weeks ago I was at an awards night with my husband - a work thing for him and, as I'm no shrinking violet, I chatted to quite a few people.  I had no problem telling them where I worked.  Would I feel the same if I worked in a sex shop? 

And so to the interview.  I've lived in this town for twelve years, but I'd never been inside these doors.  It felt weird walking through, all kitted in my interview get-up.  What I saw was exactly what I expected. 

There were two people, the lady who'd rung to arrange the interview and a man who introduced himself as the area manager. It was her who asked the questions, while he mostly looked on.  I do a lot of talking at interviews - I don't know if it's nerves or whether I'm just being my naturally, talkative self.  Either way, I felt that she was more nervous than me.  She asked all the bog-standard interview questions.  She never mentioned the words "sex" or "porn" and I had to consciously stop myself from doing the same.  This was more difficult than you'd imagine; just picture the scene:
  • I'm in the only chair in the shop, behind the counter
  • From where I'm sitting I can see rows and rows of dildos
  • There are colourful rings off all sizes, some with painful looking appendages
  • Several small screens played actual people having actual sex
And here I sat, being asked how I could motivate myself, what I could bring to the business, what I felt my strengths were.

She asked what I thought good customer service was.  I said it was mostly good product knowledge. Then had to admit that I didn't know what half of this stuff does. When she said that she'd tried everything in the shop, my response probably shouldn't have been, "You must be knackered!".

Then they asked if I'd like to have a look around and ask any questions I might have.  I declined on the questions as I'm sure they wouldn't have looked favourably on asking, "What does this do?" over and over again.  But I did have a good look around as I thought it looked good to.  Jesus, did you know they have fists? Fists as big as bloody toddlers??! (Editors Note: Yes, I did... *ahem*). And probably picking up a swan vibrator, explaining how I'd won one of these on Twitter by writing a poem probably complicated things.  

So after running out of fabricated questions and suppressing all my actual ones, they said they'd be in touch. I don't know how they think it went.  I don't know if I'd take it even if I did push all their buttons. But it will make an interesting story to tell over dinner some evening.


Find Paula on Twitter or Facebook or her blog 
(even though she's not written on it for ten months)