Ask An Educator: Selling Toys To Minors

6 Jun

If a minor were to enter your shop in hopes of purchasing a masturbation tool would you allow them to buy it?

perfect world In perfect world (our perfect world at least), everyone who was mature enough to be thinking about sex and self pleasure would be able to come to a sex positive shop and purchase a toy for themselves. Sadly, the laws in this country haven’t quite caught up to our vision.

age of consent mapEach state has a different law and a different age of consent – In Washington, DC, the age of consent is 16 but the legal age to be able to come into a sex shop is 18. However, unlike many other states, DC won’t allow a person under the age of 18 to come into the store EVEN if they are with a parent or guardian. This somewhat asinine law even includes infants! If we are caught allowing minors into the store, we can be fined or closed so we are forced to card folks if they look young. The only exception to this rule is if a parent or guardian contacts us about setting up a special appointment to bring a minor into the store – and it has to be while the store is closed to other customers. We are more than happy to accept these requests because we want a world where people grow up feeling confident in their sexuality and understand that sex isn’t something to be afraid or ashamed of. 

Now, there are many people under the age of 18 that, for many reason, can’t ask a parent or guardian to bring them in. In that case, my advise would be to call the store or go online to a trusted sex education source (such as Scarleteen) to get advice regarding what toy might be best for them and then buy it online and have it shipped.

Hopefully, one day, the laws will allow people of all ages to have access to healthful, positive sex education and products. But until then, learn the laws of the state or district that you live in and take advantage of whatever resources may be available to you – whether that be your local store or the internet!


If you would like to make an appointment for a minor under your care to come to the store for education, please call us at 202.664.1476 or email us at

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