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ADULTS ONLY: THE FAMOUS GUIDE TO SEX SHOPPING
Jesse Sousana's family has owned and operated WILDCAT ENTERPRISES for 25 years. The parking lot at this conspicuous blue and gold building on Fresno and G Street is rarely empty. Serving a mostly male, blue-collar clientele, Wildcat has been steadily expanding its selection and slashing prices since Sousana, 28, took over the family business two years ago.
Wildcat has the largest and lowest priced selection of adult DVDs and videos in Fresno. "I get every new release, including the amateur stuff you see on the Internet. Everybody seems to love that stuff," Sousana explains.
The racks and racks of DVDs substantiate his claims. Every genre imaginable is represented: from amateur to anime, Sousana is serious about meeting his clients' needs. He gets all the latest hard-to-find she-male releases, has a wide selection of swinger magazines (that include info on the scene in Fresno), offers a liberal rental policy (no credit card necessary), and even hosts an old fashioned, tangible message board. One poster announces, "I want to be tickled."
Wildcat's DVDs are by far the cheapest in town. A current Valentine's Day sale offers 3 adult DVDs for $20. Bring a receipt for any DVD purchased Monday through Friday back the following weekend and get 50% off your next DVD purchase.
Sousana is a third generation porn man. He tells me stories about going to Hong Kong with his grandfather when he was seven years old. For being good while his grandfather conducted business, he got to pick out whatever toys he wanted from a Chinese factory. He also tells me how his grandfather was the first to offer adult movies by the minute in a video arcade.
The booths at Wildcat don't have doors, and there is, thankfully, a "keep it in your pants" policy.
"I try to make everyone feel comfortable," he says. "I try to always have at least one female working and one Spanish speaker."
The store carries the one-of-a-kind designs of Wildcat employee Cha Cha, who makes many of the outfits Fresno strippers wear.
Wildcat has a large selection of toys for men and women, and Sousana will steer you to the right device for your needs at the lowest price. On popular items like the Impulse Slimline Rabbit, Wildcat undercuts the competition by $10.
Sousana is increasingly catering to couples, women, and the gay community. A hot item for couples is the Mini Magic vibrating cock ring.
"Any couple I show it to, it's sold," says Sousana. The Mini Magic is priced at $12.99. But what's the best cock ring out there?
"The blue rubber band that comes on broccoli- I'm not kidding."
The DVD selection at Wildcat
But perhaps you're new to the sex shop thing and aren't quite ready for such variety. G, GIFTS & GALLERY is good place for beginners. Opened in December, the Tower District spot is the third in a chain of accessible, female-friendly stores. The purple box on Van Ness just south of Olive carries lots of PG-rated gift items, such as cards, massage oils, Tom of Finland toile boxers, and rainbow gay pride trinkets. It also has G-rated purses, plush animals, and home décor items. Customers are welcomed by pumping dance music and video displays.
The goodies you're really after are in the back. There is a tiny gay section, but mostly the toys are geared towards straight women. The staff will explain to you they carry the latest models, and their selection, while somewhat limited, covers most of the basics. The windowless back room has an overstuffed banquet on which to lounge while you examine the selection. G's DVD and video section is tiny, but it has a decent selection of instructional books, mostly for couples. If you're looking to purchase your first ever "pocket rocket," this is the place.
Oceans of lotion at A U Neek Boo Teek
For a raunchier female-friendly experience, A U NEEK BOO TEEK delivers. More of a stripper-wear clearinghouse than sex shop, the "Boo Teek" features a huge selection of lingerie, body stockings, sexy footwear, and sportswear. It carries the Playboy and Hustler lines of active wear ("Sexy Bitch" tank top anyone?), while stocking its men's section with such clever items as an elephant head g-string (the true "Spirit of Nosey" goes in the trunk). Platform shoes are a bestseller, and run anywhere from $60 on up. A large selection of Valentine's lingerie one-ups Victoria's sectret.
The store also carries purses and other accessories. An ocean of lotion awaits, from serious anal lube to flavored massage oils. The naughty back room has a great selection of bachelorette party gifts- penis pencil toppers, "Dick-Tac-Toe" game, adult coloring books, edible undies, and penis-shaped cake pans of all sizes. A cake mold big enough for a real party will set you back $19.95. In honor of the World Ag Expo, we can only assume, A U Neek Boo Teek carried a corn-shaped vibrator (with pleasure ribbed corn kernels!) The Hustler brand vibrator goes for the standard $18.95, while the Wascally Wabbit model goes for $39.95. A U Neek Boo Teek is located on Blackstone just south of Gettysburg.
Suzie's is located on Blackstone just north of Olive
If you're ready to graduate to a bona fide "sex shop", try SUZIE'S on Blackstone just north of Olive. Truly the Wal-Mart of Fresno sex shops, Suzie's is door-to-door porn under florescent retail lights. This is the real deal: avoid the "rear entrance" if you'd rather not see the pay-by-the-minute video booths (they have doors to give clients their, uhm, privacy). In addition to a huge video and DVD selection (sales and rentals), Suzie's has the largest selection of toys in Fresno. One wall is divided into sections: Dongs, Vibrators, and Dolls. Suzie's stocks every device you can imagine, and a few you can't. When we visited the all-female staff was very attentive and approachable, and was happy to answer questions. Some of Suzie's biggest sellers this year have been the vibrating cock ring, which retails for $59.95, and the Impulse Slimline Rabbit, which is an investment at $89.95.
While the majority of the clientele are men, women should feel comfortable in the store, especially if they bring a friend. The crown jewel of Suzie's merchandise is the "Make Your Own Dildo" kit. For $99.99, you can buy a bucket that includes all the plaster and rubber to mold and construct a dildo from your favorite member. If ever there was a way to feed your man's ego, this is it.