Whenever I see photos from fellow bloggers with their magnificent toy collections prominently displayed, I get a little bit jealous. I would love to display my dildos in a spice rack, or arrange them openly in a door-mounted shoe organizer, but storage solutions like that don’t work for me. I keep my toys safely tucked away from the eyes of my kiddos. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very open with the kids about sex-related topics… but personal boundaries are important. I keep my sex toys hidden so no one mistakes them for dog toys or dresses them up in doll clothes or starts a full-on dildo melee. I keep them hidden so other parents bringing children over for a playdate don’t run away screaming.
It’s not only kids that can create storage concerns. Maybe you live with your well-meaning but conservative parents. Maybe you have a nosy roommate. There are plenty of living arrangements that can make keeping your toys strictly your business into a challenge.
The first step is getting toys safely delivered and into the house. To avoid issues, I rent a post office box. For about $55 per year, I am assured that packages are delivered to a secure location. Almost every online shop I’ve dealt with will happily deliver to a P.O. box. 1 No worries about the kids grabbing a box and shaking it, my husband inadvertently opening a sensitive package in front of the kids, the mail carrier mistakenly dropping my big fat dildo off at the neighbor’s house or some jerk stealing an expensive toy off the porch while I’m at work. When I have an order to bring home, I toss the package in the trunk and bring it in after the kids have gone to bed. They’re generally respectful of my things, but I prefer not to tempt fate. A P.O. box is equally effective for bypassing parental interrogation or roommate inquiries as long as you live near a post office or have transportation readily available. Just slip your package into a backpack or tote…no one will be the wiser when you carry it in.
Post office boxes also allow you to avoid another potential peril: the Return Address Google. Many websites advertise discreet shipping, then tell you exactly what perfectly bland name will appear on their label. If your mom, roommate or the neighbor who accepted your package gets curious and goes a-googling, it is possible that they will find themselves steered to the source of your package. While they won’t be able to tell exactly what’s in the box, having them know where it came from could be awkward.
For the rare cases when a vendor won’t deliver to your P.O. box, you do have some options available. Enrolling in UPS Choice gets you delivery notification 24 hours in advance (free) so you can plan to intercept the package. Or for $5, you can choose your delivery date. With Fed Ex, you can call to arrange pickup at a local Fed Ex facility. In a real pinch, you could have your package shipped to an understanding friend… but make sure to give them a heads up first.
Packaging and Other Evidence
Next is the business of unpacking. I make sure not to put any obviously penis-shaped clamshell packaging in the recycle bin without creatively mutilating it first. The best way to do this is by heating it up with a hair dryer and scrunching it into an innocuous ball.
Instruction manuals and receipts get filed away (this is easy for me, kids do not give any shits about paperwork type stuff), boxes not suitable for toy storage get broken down. Any boxes graphically declaring the nature of their contents get shredded or burned once I’ve tested the toy.
I have learned to carefully account for any included extras, like stickers, magnets, business cards, coupons or lube packets. Fun fact: small children are fascinated by lube packets. Toddlers will chew on them, especially if the lube inside is flavored. They don’t tell you these things in parenting books.
If the toy in question is a vibrator, discreet charging can be concern. I actually have a power strip plugged into the outlet by my bed, and place toys in my nightstand drawer so only the cord is visible. I usually charge things overnight and put them away in the morning, so I know the drawer won’t be opened by anyone but me. Using the drawer has the handy side effect of hiding any bright or blinking charging indicator lights. For added discretion, you could run your charger cord up over the back of a drawer rather than leaving it sticking out the front.
For toys with USB chargers, I have a USB to plug converter on hand. These are widely available, inexpensive and there are even models with multiple USB ports to charge multiple devices, like this. They work for toys with USB charging cords as well as those that plug directly into a USB port (like the Lelo Mia). You could also buy a cheap USB hub and run the cord up behind a desk drawer to hide any charging toys at your computer.
Many reside beneath a layer of off-season clothing in a large plastic bin in my closet. About a dozen smaller dildos and vibrators are in a locking metal cash box under my bed.
Frequently used items are in my nightstand drawer in a Liberator Tallulah storage bag. The keys to the Tallulah and security box go quietly unnoticed under my alarm clock.
My general suggestions for toy storage are as follows:
- Look beyond items marketed for sex toys – There are pretty toy cases, satin drawstring bags, storage pillows and even stuffed animals made to hide sex toys. I avoid most of these like the plague. Shiny, pink and/or glittery toy cases would stick out like a sore thumb at my house. If you have kids, items like stuffed toys and fancy pillows are attention magnets. Parents may also notice lumps in these items if they come in to tidy up.
- Exceptions to Rule #1 – The two items I store toys in that were actually intended for that purpose are my Liberator Tallulah storage bag and my Pleasure Purse. The Tallulah bag has a finicky zipper that is kind of annoying, but it securely holds a few small to average size toys. The Pleasure Purse is a gorgeous leather bag containing a magical portal to another dimension… that’s the only way to explain how much it holds.It has been compared to the TARDIS, a Bag of Holding or Mary Poppins’ suitcase. Aside from being great for storage, it’s perfect for road trips and I can’t recommend it enough. I have also read good reviews of the Sneaky Sack, and I’m seriously considering grabbing one as the size of my collection increases.
- Boring is your friend – Putting toys into a plain looking file box, a bin of clothing or the pockets of a rarely used purse or suitcase can be remarkably effective. Old computer component boxes are also fabulous for not attracting attention. Boring works on parents and roommates as well as children, unless they are particularly inclined to snoop. Just make sure to remember where you hide your stash so you don’t inadvertently reveal your toys when packing for a trip, digging for tax documents or swapping out clothes between seasons.
- Location, location, location – If you’re hiding toys from small children, putting them on a high shelf or in a bag on a high hook might be all you need to do. Remember that kids and parents alike tend to nose around under beds. Underwear and sock drawers have a history of being used to hide secrets, so I avoid those as well.
- Lock it up – If you’re really concerned about security, locks are the best option. They can make accessing your toys slightly inconvenient, but sometimes peace of mind is worth it. Keep in mind that not all locks are created equal. The lock on my Tallulah storage bag takes a generic key and could probably be picked easily. The metal cash box and the padlock on my toolbox are far more solid. If you elect to use a lock (especially a heavy duty one), keep careful track of your keys. I also recommend spending the extra buck or two for a quality padlock as opposed to a crappy generic one. Why, you ask? Because sometimes, cheap locks jam and you have to remove them from your toy box with a hacksaw. This makes for a great story now, but at the time it was incredibly frustrating.
- Don’t rely on the “discreet” look of a sex toy alone – Remember that kids love lipstick, rubber duckies and all cute, colorful plastic objects. Leave them lying around, and you’ll soon be asked why this thing buzzes. Likewise, roommates and parents may question an adult’s sudden need for a rubber duckie or (heaven forbid) a teddy bear.
It’s Not Just the Toys…
You may be a perfect ninja about sex toy acquisition and storage, but it could all be for naught if you miss these little details.
- If you like to indulge in a bit of porn with your toys, remember to clear your browser history. If you’re watching a DVD, double check that you removed it from the player.
- Choose your online porn with care. I recommend supporting your favorite porn producers/performers by paying to enjoy their work. This is not only the right thing to do, it greatly reduces your risk of acquiring computer viruses and malware.
- Discreet lube storage can be as simple as peeling the label off of the bottle. You can also transfer it to another bottle or pump dispenser. I don’t bother with that most of the time, but I do put lube in plain, travel-size bottles when I need to pack it in my carry on bag.
- When you’re done enjoying your toys, put away your accessories too. I can’t begin to count how many times I have come home to find a bottle of lube at the computer and the mouse in a left-handed position. A ninja, my husband is not.
If you’ve got tips to share, I’m always looking for creative new storage solutions for my expanding collection. I also encourage you to comment with your cautionary tales of toy storage gone hilariously wrong so we all know what not to try!