Adapting Sales Approaches in an Evolving Gender Landscape
Gone are the days when assuming someone’s gender was considered the norm. The evolving acceptance of diverse genders and preferences has paved the way for a more inclusive approach. This shift brings both simplicity and complexities when incorporating sexual health and wellness products into your business.
Navigating this terrain can be tricky, especially for staff members who are new to selling intimate products. The first and most crucial rule is to never make assumptions. Do not assume that a person presenting as male owns a penis. Do not assume that someone who appears feminine identifies as such. And do not assume that someone who embodies an androgynous aesthetic identifies with a specific gender. This is where the terms “non-binary” and “non-gender-conforming” shine, as they defy the notion of fitting into predefined categories. People tend to pigeonhole others to maintain their own comfort, but when someone challenges traditional gender perceptions, it’s important to avoid using inaccurate gender labels.
An easy way to ensure your customers’ comfort is by asking what pronouns they prefer at the start of your conversation. This practice applies whether they are purchasing intimacy products or smoking accessories. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Not every customer who walks in would appreciate having their gender questioned. To each their own. The key is applying your best judgement in each situation.
This is the moment to honor your customers’ preferences and avoid guiding them towards any particular products unless they seek guidance. When it comes to recommending products, you can offer the same level of customer service as you do when helping them decide between sativa and indica or between smoking and vaping. Some individuals may openly ask questions about sex toys and seek recommendations based on their desires, while others may quietly make their choices without staff input. They may also navigate to the section of the store that aligns with their interests, similar to how they approach your cannabis offerings. Whether it’s a cock ring or a bud, a sucking device or a flower, a penetration toy or edibles, the idea is to let them decide what brings them pleasure.
Let’s take Buck Angel, a proud trans man with a unique perspective, as an example. Buck, who co-founded the sex toy company Demon Kat, challenges gender assumptions. Despite presenting as male, assuming he would prefer cock rings, strokers, or anal toys solely based on appearances would be inaccurate. None of us can accurately predict what he or any other customer would enjoy for pleasurable experiences in your store.
So, just as you sell cannabis products with consideration and respect, apply the same guidelines when selling sex toys. Avoid assumptions about your customers’ preferences, how they like to engage, and whether they are exploring solo or with a partner. Let their choices and needs guide your recommendations, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.