On March 28th, Living Beyond Breast Cancer will host a free Community Meeting addressing the complex issues of sex and intimacy after diagnosis. Today Randi Rentz continues her story–providing insight and humor on the subject–in this second installment from a chapter in her forthcoming book, Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds! Please note, this blog has a very mature theme and may not be suitable to all audiences.
Before I drive into the city to check out the store, I put my white Jackie O. sunglasses on my face, my diamond studs and a big floppy yellow hat on my head. I intend to keep everything anchored on my head while I’m inside the sex store. Is there any other way to be discreet about this kind of thing? I drive downtown and can’t believe I’m doing this. I park the car and tell myself that it’s no big deal; a lot of people do this. I’ll pretend that I’m shopping for a bachelorette party. I can tell the clerk that I’m the maid of honor in a wedding and I have to plan a party, right?
I walk in and have to go down a flight of narrow dark carpeted steps. The walls appear to be painted a shady color, a deep indigo with black speckles. Maybe the flecks are dirt. The ceiling is very low and I have to hunch over as I walk down each step. I hear people conversing, but am not tuned into what they are discussing. I feel like I’m headed into a dungeon and don’t know if the gate will be closed and locked once I enter.
A twenty- something girl with long, black, sleek hair, colorful tattoos, and piercings barely smiles at me and says in a lethargic manner, “May I help you?” Her teeth appear to be extra pearly white due to her deep plum lipstick which is dated.
“Yes. I’ve had chemotherapy and radiation and haven’t had sex in a very long time. The estrogen is being sucked out of me and I think my vagina is shriveling up. I need something to help me get back in the game. Do you have any suggestions?” Did I just tell her the truth? What happened to my made up story about a bachelorette party? This girl probably thinks I’m a whack job.
“We have lots of toys that you can use. Come with me,” said tattoo girl.
We come to the end of the aisle and I glance to my right only to see the “Tease and Please” section. Tattoo girl tells me that’s the section for edible lotions, powders, and creams. I wonder if they are high in calories.
Tattoo girl took me into a back room labeled, “Bedroom Accessories” and showed me two shelves of d—d-s and vibrators. “The latex d—d-s are our biggest seller. We also have silicone and glass d—d-s. She continued to speak about the vibrators, but I didn’t hear a word she was saying. My mind was screaming obscenities. Geez! Glass? Wouldn’t that be unsafe? I might as well use kryptonite or a firecracker.
I read names that remind me of the wigs I tried on. I see The Conga, The Hummer, and the Deluxe Wall Banger. My eyes are wide and I’m really trying to act cool, but I don’t think it’s working. Tattoo girl and I walk a few feet into the “Bedroom Accessories” aisle and I read animal name stimulators like the Wet Wabbit which is waterproof, The Kangaroo, Dolphin Delight, Slumber Bunny and The Flipper. I peruse the second shelf and find smaller d—d-s and vibrators like The Little Kiss, Sugar Spoon, and My Little Secret.
“Do you have a latex allergy and have you ever used lubricants?” Tattoo girl asks me as she is eyeing me up and down.
“No, I’m latex free.” I’m so nervous. Did I answer her question correctly?
“Did you know that you can’t use silicone lubricant with silicone? I don’t recommend lubricants with glycerin because they can cause yeast infections. I got a horrible yeast infection and couldn’t get rid of it for weeks,” Tattoo girl says with a massive smile.
I should have a note pad with me writing all of this information down. All of this is so new to me. I can’t risk getting a yeast infection. Not after everything that I’ve been through the past several months.
“There are so many to choose from,” I said as I was trying to act composed. “Is there a certain size that is a best seller?” Oh no! I feel a long-drawn-out hot flash coming on!
How am I supposed to pick the one for me? I keep in mind what my friend said about starting small. Do I start small with an animal name or should I choose the sexy fire engine name stimulator? I like animals and am a supporter of PETA, but I want to make my body feel as if it is on fire. I need to start small. I pick the My Little Secret purple vibrator and wonder what I should do with it when I’m finished. Do I put it in the Recycle Bin? Maybe I’ll keep it around for awhile.
I looked at tattoo girl and said, “I’ll take this one. Have you ever used this one?”
“That’s a good one for beginners.” Tattoo girl smirked and didn’t answer my question. I’m such a geek. I guess she isn’t a beginner.
To learn more about the unabridged chapter or to read additional excepts from her book, Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds!, you can visit her website. If you are in the Philadelphia area, please join us for our free Community Meeting on sex and intimacy at the Loews Hotel. You can find additional resources on our website, including our Understanding Guides. LBBC is currently taking pre-orders for “Intimacy and Sexuality” the newest title in its expanding “Understanding Breast Cancer” series.