As my most trusted source of sex advice, can you recommend a good sex shop in NYC? I’d prefer not to go to the weird-ass porno shops, as they’re frequented by scuzzy old men. As strange as it may sound, I need a “respectable” establishment, as I’ll be taking my Iowa girlfriend with me. I recall a column from a couple of months ago, and you recommended two. The only one I remember is Good Vibrations, but as it turns out, that’s the one in San Francisco. Is there a store you recommend in NYC? And if you absolutely need to have some sort of freaky question, what’s the best way to bring up the desire to be plugged in the ass by a girl with a dildo? I forget the name that your readers came up with for this activity, but I’d like to bring this up to my girl.

–Need Sex Shop Info and a Dildo Up My Ass

Savage Love readers voted overwhelmingly in favor of “pegging” as the term for a woman fucking a man in the ass with a strap-on dildo. (Examples of proper usage: “She likes to peg guys.” “So my girlfriend was pegging my brains out when suddenly my mom walked in!” “My boyfriend is such a sex pig. I totally pegged the shit out of him last night.”)

As for the sex-toy store I recommend in New York City, that would be Toys in Babeland, which just happens to be the sex-toy store in New York City that buys all those half-page ads next to my column in the Village Voice. Lest I be accused of taking payola from the women who own Toys in Babeland, let me state for the record that I’ve been recommending their stores in Seattle and New York for a lot longer than they’ve been advertising in the Voice. So I say this with a clear conscience: for all your sex-toy and pegging needs, visit Toys in Babeland, 94 Rivington Street, between Orchard and Ludlow, or shop on-line at Be sure to tell ’em Dan Savage sent ya–that way I get my 10 percent.

“He seems confident that his sweetie will receive the news well that his asshole is hungry for her love, so he’s miles ahead of a lot of hungry-assed guys who fear rejection,” said Claire, co-owner of Toys in Babeland–and Claire should know. In the ten years she’s been selling dildos, the lesbo-licious Claire has helped get more dildos into more straight men’s asses than she cares to think about. To break the pegging ice, Claire suggested that you buy your girlfriend a copy of Bend Over Boyfriend 2, a how-to video for women who want to fuck their boyfriends in their boyish butts. Bend Over Boyfriend 2 sells for $34.95 at Toys in Babeland, and 10 percent of that is $3.50, but that doesn’t have anything to do with why I’m also recommending it. (I can be bought, but not for three and a half bucks.) I’m recommending it because it’s a great educational video–the Nightline of how-to-fuck-your-boyfriend’s-ass videos.

Are there sex toys that a virgin can use? I will appreciate any help you can provide.

–Saving Myself

PS: I am female.

Claire told me she could recommend about 600 vibrators that are designed for use on the clitoris, not for penetration. (I urge you to buy all 600, as that would set me up for life!) Clit-stim vibrators would leave your hymen–and theoretically, at least, your virginity–intact. But what Claire really wanted was to crawl up on her soapbox and rant for a few minutes about the whole concept of virginity.

“Virginity is not real,” she told me. “Let’s take a moment to try to pin it down: Is virginity the state of not yet having been penetrated by a man? In that case, the most sexually experienced ‘thoroughbred’ lesbian (i.e., never been touched by a man) is a virgin. Is ‘virginity’ a state before sexual engagement or satisfaction? Then no vibrator on the market will do its job and preserve a woman’s virginity. Is it an intact hymen? Then you could take your virginity with your own hand. Some women are born without hymens; were they never virgins?”

Claire not only believes that virginity isn’t real, but she thinks the very idea of “virginity” oppresses women. “The concept of virginity does not belong in these brighter times,” she said, apparently unaware that there’s a Bush in the White House again. “Now women can find self-esteem and confidence through sexual expression, be it masturbation or sleeping with whomever we want, however we want to.”

Personally, I think Claire is full of it. I mean, I don’t think virginity is or isn’t being penetrated or getting off with someone else. I think being a “virgin” is subjective and personal, but I do think it’s real. Virginity is like pornography: we know it when we see it (or we know one when we are one). And if we can’t use the word “virginity” anymore, what word do we use to describe someone who hasn’t had sex yet, whatever that person thinks sex is? “We all get excited and exhilarated before the first time we have a sexual experience with another person,” conceded Claire. “That’s sweet, and I wouldn’t want to take that away from anyone. But there should be a different term for that.”

Any suggestions, people?

I am a 22-year-old straight male involved in a yearlong relationship. My girlfriend and I have always had a very active and satisfying sex life, and we try our best to think up new and fun things to do. After dabbling in handcuffs and anal beads, we’ve decided to take it to the next level: a strap-on dildo. What should we look for when buying a harness? I would think finding one that fits properly and holds the dildo firmly is of paramount concern. Also, we would definitely want a double-sided dildo so that she can be penetrated at the same time. Since I am wholly unfamiliar with anal sex, what size dildo should we get for me? –Fill Me Up

Back to straight boys who want to be butt-fucked–and thank God. I mean, it’s so much nicer to talk with Claire about something we agree on.

“He’s right about the harness: make sure it’s snug and the dildo is held firmly in place and it’s securely attached to his girlfriend’s body,” she said. “The easiest way to get both of you filled up is to buy two dildos, and that way each of you can pick the size you want inside you.” Your girlfriend’s harness can be modified to hold two dildos simultaneously, one on her side of the harness and the other on your side. For really mind-blowing double penetration, Claire recommends the Nexus ($86). “It’s a double-dildo design marvel that works splendidly in a harness,” she said. “The Nexus is one solid hunk of silicone, so with one end in her and the other in you, you get a real sense of connection. Touch a vibrator to that thing and you’ll each know in a hurry that it’s inside both of you.”

Confidential to Erica: I can’t imagine you meet many white boys with big lips working at a law firm, but if you’re having trouble choosing between the white boys you’re dating, and you’re into big lips, by all means go with the one with the biggest lips. You’re not being shallow, you’re being true to yourself.