Sexcapades: Atlanta’s sex shops — Where to go for some added flavor to your love life

Check out three local sex shops in the area to make your Valentine’s Day special. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

Most students have heard the tale of the birds and the bees or even the biblical myth of Adam and Eve, both of which are told to teach us about how we got here in the first place: sex.

Sex comes in many fun forms, and the sex shops in Atlanta are the first place to start if you want to spice up your sex life.

Atlanta has had a sexualized past underlying the rich culture it holds, such as the legendary Clermont Lounge — a strip club and hotel established in 1965. 

Famous strip clubs such as Magic City or Follies that have been cosigned by Atlanta-bred rapper Future and others are a part of the adult entertainment culture for which Atlanta is so well known.

This focus on the adult entertainment industry in Atlanta has resulted in sex shops opening around the city to bring the sex appeal from the strip club to your living room.

Many know of the sex store Starships, but there are plenty of local sex stores located in northeast Atlanta only 20 minutes from campus.

Here are three local sex shops students can visit to please their special someone this Valentine’s Day.

1. Barking Leather, 1510 Piedmont Ave. 

Barking Leather is a specialty shop partnered and owned by Ray Stew, although he prefers to refer to it as a fetish store. 

I wouldn’t call this a sex shop. It is more of a ‘fetish store,’ which sells leather fantasy clothing,” Stew said. 

Stew opened Barking Leather as a way to buy leather because he said it is very hard to purchase quality leather online.

“You never know what you are getting,” Stew said.

According to their website, Barking Leather specializes in handmade adult leather clothing, including their own brand.

In efforts at making Barking Leather a one-stop fetish store, they do sell sex toys in addition to their leather apparel.

“We also have all sorts of novelty items as well, such as floggers, whips, nipple play, cock rings, restraints and much, much more, so be sure to check it out,” their website states.

According to Stew, their leather harnesses are Barking Leather’s all-time best sellers.

Their clientele consists mostly of gay men, but overall their customers are very diverse and wide-ranging. 

“Because we are a fantasy store, people come in during [Valentine’s Day] to experience new things,” Stew said.

Customers must be 18 years or older to enter, allowing freshmen to meet the minimum requirement.

Though Barking Leather has yet to have any student employees, Stew has seen college students come through his store.

“I don’t agree with students engaging in sexual behavior work, but I do not have a problem with students working in this type of atmosphere,” Stew said.

Barking Leather currently does not offer student discounts but this is something that could possibly change in the future. 

2. Stardust, 3007 Buford Highway

According to Kareem Clark, a manager at Stardust, this sex shop has been open for about seven years. 

There is a very strict age limit of 18 years or older with a valid identification card at Stardust as they do check IDs at the door.

Similar to Barking Leather, the customer traffic at Stardust also increases around the holiday season but in the form of groups.

“A lot of couples come in around the holiday time to get new things as far as new toys … or to try new things that we also have,” Clark said. “[Sometimes,] if they buy a toy, they can get a small bag that comes with a few samples along the way.”

Outside of their selection of sex toys, they also have a variety of lubricants, condoms, massage oils and shoes, but what many people go to Stardust for is their unique selection of lingerie.

“I would say that my best sellers would be my lingerie,” Clark said. “We deal with a lot of strippers in Atlanta as well.”

According to Clark, Stardust specializes in lingerie and has almost 50 different styles.

“Most shops around here, they have some lingerie, but we cater to a lot of sizes, from regular size to plus size,” Clark said.

He said that he chose to work in Stardust after moving here from New York and has been working there for almost a year. After throwing his own play parties and becoming familiar with the adult entertainment industry, he found Stardust was a good fit.

Stardust does hire students based upon their availability and class schedule, and welcomes everyone, provided, of course, that they meet the age requirement.

Clark is all for students engaging in sex work in the adult entertainment industry; he believes there is a lot that people can learn about themselves, protecting themselves sexually and finding fun in knowledge about sex in general.

“You will find out about a lot of stuff you never knew was out there that can help you with any type of sex life,” Clark said.

3. Tokyo Valentino, 1739 Chesire Bridge Rd. NE

Tokyo Valentino is one of six franchise locations since the company was established in 1955. 

According to their website, they have the largest selection of adult-related toys, products, lingerie, bondage gear and smoke shoppe selection in the Southeast.

“Sex should be fun and that’s what we try to make it,” their website states. “We have every possible toy imaginable with a lingerie section including everything from couple’s intimate wear to dancer costumes for girls and guys.”

The store located on Cheshire Bridge Road specializes in a variety of things. 

This location comes equipped with 20 video booths, shower, locker and massage rooms, open and private play rooms, as well as private bedrooms.

Tokyo Valentino is also open 24 hours.

The booths are always crowded but peak times are Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., and from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.,”  the website states. “The location is open 24/7 with the exception of Tuesday morning when we close for 8 hours to thoroughly clean and repair.”