The Best Sex Shops in Toronto
The best sex shops in Toronto debunk myths, quash stereotypes, and provide safe spaces to explore what turns us on and gets us off. They are community hubs for celebrating diverse sexuality and self-exploration. And maybe for a little help finding that elusive G-spot.
My first sex shop experience could have been pulled straight from the "Say Anything" column in (now out-of-print) YM magazine. Tragic and disastrous. That was 14 years ago, with a high school boyfriend, in the suburbs. Think wind-up penis toys, underwear-for-two and toxic neon dildos. I was hot-faced, stifling giggles and pretending to be over 18.
Now, purveyors of fine sex gadgets look a lot less like The IT Store and a lot more like independent bookshops or my GP's office. And I'm an "adult" now. Sex, in all of its weird and wonderful forms, is an art and a serious business in Toronto. The amazing folks staffing pleasure shops across the city are refreshingly candid, absolutely approachable and they love what they do. No kink is too kinky, no question too taboo.
I'd consider myself open-minded, sexually savvy and self-aware, but even I learned a thing or two. Or seventy-five.
Get intimate with our list of the best sex shops in the city, as chosen by readers of this site.
Currently, Come As You Are is the only worker-owned sex shop in the world. The world! It’s just another example of how the store is entrenched in community values. Gill, a 10-year employee and part-owner, is someone with whom I could discuss anything. She describes the business as “everyone’s sex shop” and the product mix is a reflection of the true vastness and diversity in sexuality. From educational literature to novelty toys to fetish gear, the selection at Come As You Are is as inclusive as it is fun. More »
This 11-year-old Annex hideaway blends discreetly into its residential surroundings. While the name may suggest female exclusivity, Good For Her opens its doors to everyone, regardless of gender, partner status and sexual orientation (except Sundays, when women and trans-only hours are in effect). Workshops, held upstairs, include “Kink 101”, “Giving Great Head”, and “Introduction to Porn by and for Women”. Many classes are available for private parties. More »
Late-night contraception crisis? No problem. Condom Shack’s hours are spontaneity-friendly, spilling light onto the sidewalk long after most of its Queen Street neighbours have closed shop. Don’t judge it by its name, though, or the candy-shoppe decor. True, the store stocks a plethora of Technicolour condoms in flavours like cola and grape, but the offerings go beyond latex. Toys, lubes and bondage gear round out the supporting cast. More »
Seduction may be a huge destination for bachelor party gags and Halloween shopping, but the massive 3-storey shop also stocks an impressive array of more serious goodies. Every sex toy, accessory and machine under the sun is likely to be found here, along with enough porn to circle the earth a few times. Amanda, an enthusiastic employee of 6 years, gives me a thorough tour. I finally understand the multiple uses of The Cone (a confusing vibrator), and I get the skinny on lube science. This is not high-school sex ed. This is actually useful. More »
While Priape’s roots are in sex goods specific to gay men, they have evolved in their 30-year history. Toronto’s location, a 20-year Church Street staple, carries a little something for everyone, and has increased its customer base to include women and straight men. Manager Ed Velasquez describes Priape as “one-stop shopping”. He’s not kidding. Along with beautiful Canadian-made fetish gear and sex-shop mainstays, the store also offers designer denim, men’s underwear and even watches. More »
A supporter of fetishism in Toronto, Northbound has been hosting parties in honour of fetish culture for 20 years. The 3,000 square foot Yonge Street store houses an endless selection of erotic leather apparel and playthings. BDSM isn’t really my thing, but yet I find myself coveting a zippered corset bodysuit. Ooh, and a leather snap-up bra! Has my “research” spurred repressed desires? Probably not. In any case, it’s obvious that there’s absolutely something for everyone here. Even for “nice” girls like me. More »
To call Red Tent Sisters a “sex shop” would be to do it a grave disservice. While the rear of the store is home to enough vibrators and porn to compete with the big guns on this list, the overarching themes are holistic sexuality and women’s issues. Products and workshops address topics such as reproductive health and talking to teens about sex. Co-owner Kim Sedgwick has a gift for putting patrons at ease with her kind and straight-shooting manner. With larger newly renovated digs, Kim, and sister Amy plan to offer a broader selection of safe and eco-friendly gadgets. More »