My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
Ephemeral Architecture Jul 29, 2015 Artist Philip M Soucy presents his first solo exhibition featuring new works in mixed media and oils as well as ceramic and installation pieces. 101 other events on Wednesday, July 29
City Councilmembers pen letters to SANDAG, Caltrans
Arts & Culture feature
Scalped in a freak accident, the glass artist isn’t letting fear crush her creativity
Arts & Culture feature
From SuicideGirls and Walking Dead haunted houses to superhero art shows and Nerdist carnivals, there’s plenty to do without a pass.
Top-notch Shakespeare at the Old Globe Theatre
All Things Tech
Legacy businesses, like MLB, can’t harness control forever


Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
Home / Articles / Special Issues / Sex Issue /  Pleasures & Treasures reaches climax
. . . .
Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012

Pleasures & Treasures reaches climax

San Diego sex shop owner says business has never been better

By Kinsee Morlan
billfreyersandiegopleaures&treasures Bill Freyer says he's added almost 2,000 new products to the expanded adult-toy room.
- Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Buying your butt plug privately online and having it shipped in a nondescript box right to your front door has its appeal. But Bill Freyer, cofounder of North Park’s Pleasures & Treasures, likens shopping online for adult toys to shopping online for shoes.

“You don’t know what the fit’s going to be if you buy them online,” Freyer says. “Especially toys, lingerie—you need to see it, feel it and find out if it’s right for you.”

Last year’s Cyber Monday marked the biggest online shopping day on record, according to digital-marketing-intelligence firm ComScore, but Freyer says the online sex-shop market hasn’t had much of an impact on his brick-and-mortar business, which he’s been running with his partner, Tim Melodick, for five-and-a-half years.

In fact, Freyer says, despite the rise in online shopping and the overall economic malaise, the sex-shop business has never been better. In June, Freyer and Melodick moved their shop from a cute, 1,000 square-foot cottage on University Avenue to a spacious, 5,000-square-foot storefront down the road at 2525 University Ave.

“This is the big showroom here,” Freyer says, showing off the new digs. “We actually have a women’s department up here in the front corner now, and we didn’t have room for that before.”

The adult-toy room is so big now that they’ve added almost 2,000 new products— more vibrators, more bachelorette-party favors, more lube, more dildos, a large supply of leather goods and massage oils and more. Upstairs on the mezzanine level, Freyer and Melodick have launched a new art gallery where they show local artists’ risqué work.

“But we do focus more on the erotic art—not x-rated but erotic,” Freyer says, walking through an exhibition of Béla dornon’s photos. “A lot of people don’t understand the difference between that, but there is a difference.”

Alongside the gallery, Freyer and Melodick have reserved half of the upstairs space for community meetings and workshops. Since moving into the new building, they’ve hosted a free workshop every month. On Feb. 21, they’ll be teaching folks all about “electrical play."

And, still, there’s room left for a boot-blacking station; the owners have been renting out the mezzanine gallery and workshop space for special events, and sometimes they bring in a shoeshine to polish people’s shoes and boots as a sort of party favor.

“We have a lot of people who are in the leather community who wear boots all the time,” Freyer explains.

The secret to running a successful sex shop, Freyer says, is maintaining a clean, well-lit, sleaze-free atmosphere (no video booths); making sure the staff is well-versed in every gizmo and gadget; providing great customer service; and helping people relax amid the topic of sex.

“There’s no reason to be embarrassed about sex—period,” Freyer says. “But there are a lot of people who don’t know how to talk about sex or ask the right question. I know how to coax it out of them.”

Follow Kinsee on Facebook, Twitter or shoot her an email.