By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV
EDEN PRAIRIE (WCCO) — A Twin Cities nurse has hung up her scrubs to open an adult sex shop tailored to a woman’s wants and needs in the bedroom.
Tucked inside a typical Eden Prairie strip mall is a store unlike any other in the area.
“I opened the store for my girlfriends,” said Theresa Philbin, owner of Touch Boutique.
Like many adult shops, Touch Boutique is tailored to couples who’d like to spice things up in the bedroom, but that’s where the similarities end.
“I think sometimes what you need is a place to start,” Philbin said.
Philbin discovered a niche in an industry that generates $15 billion a year worldwide. She has also learned that while sex does sell, so does intimacy.
“I always say it’s an intimacy shop rather than an adult shop,” Philbin said.
When She opened the shop in February, she wanted a store that catered to women.
“Women tend to hopefully feel they’re somewhat classy, and I think going into an adult store take away from that a little,” said Lori Aylwin, who thinks an adult store for women is a good idea.
Before opening Touch Boutique, Philbin did her research. She looked at studies on what women want in the bedroom and also surveyed hundreds in her community. Her research showed her that she would need to keep certain items off the shelves. For instance, rhinestone bracelets would replace handcuffs, and she made sure that much of the merchandise had discreet packaging.
“At this store we don’t carry pornography,” Philbin said. “We don’t carry videos or DVDs.”
Relationship therapist Bernie Slutsky said not carrying pornography makes women feel more comfortable.
“It’s not making it so graphic and so important … so it feels, maybe, safer,” Slutsky said.
Most of Touch Boutique’s customer base comes from people who walk-in, not realizing it’s an adult store. By the time they leave, however, the majority have bought something, Philbin said.
“The responses we get consistently are: ‘It’s about time,’” she said.
More traditional adult shops said that the competition is not hurting their business.