Friday, April 10, 2009

Easy Otis Interview #4: LAURA STUART from The TOOL SHED

WE ARE BACK! Easy Otis Interview #4, live and direct. We are talking with none other than the amazing LAURA STUART, owner of THE TOOL SHED and writer for the weekly column SEXPRESS in Milwaukee's Village Voice, The Shepherd Express.

Just in time for Earth Month, The Tool Shed is hosting Greening Your Sex Life Saturday, April 11, 2 pm workshop!

How cool is that! Green On and Read On friends!! Not only with you have what-to-do for Earth Month and this weekend, but check out what Laura declares for read read.....

OTIS: Aside from the Tool Shed, what (and where) are your favorite erotique boutiques?

LAURA: My three favorite erotic boutiques are the Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis, Early To Bed in Chicago, and Self Serve in Albuquerque. Like the Tool Shed, they are all owned by one or two women entrepreneurs who wanted to provide a sex-positive, feminist space to both shop for toys and learn about sexuality. We also all offer non-toxic, high quality products. The ladies who own these stores are the ones that I call if I'm thinking about carrying something new, or if I have a practical question about the business side of things, and they were incredibly helpful to me when I was just starting to manage the Tool Shed. They're my peeps!

OTIS: Is Milwaukee sexy?

LAURA: I think so. I've had nothing but positive responses to my SEXpress column in the Shepherd Express ( and to the new, larger Tool Shed location on the East Side. Milwaukee people seem thrilled that there are new venues to discuss sex openly. I think some cities, like New York, that people often think are sexy can be kind of jaded or have a "seen-it-all" attitude. Milwaukeeans are still excited about stuff, and to me being enthusiastic and unpretentious is sexy.

OTIS: You know we always have a hair questions so.....drawing from your vast knowledge of the inner and outer workings of sexual behavior and psychology, is there a hair fetish? That seems like it could be a bit messy…..

LAURA: There's a fetish for everything and anything that you can think of. This question totally makes me think of the "Freaky Fred" episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog -- in my opinion Fred clearly had a hair fetish! You and Carly have to see this episode if you haven't already -- freaky barbers with hair fetishes. Lots of people eroticize hair, especially long hair, which many cultures associate with sexual power or sexual availability -- think of the whole Samson and Delilah ordeal, or the fact that some Orthodox Jewish or Muslim women cover their hair or shave their heads because this is considered in their religious traditions to demonstrate modesty or humility. People also often have really pronounced preferences for how they like their pubic hair or their partner's to look -- totally bare v. Brazilian v. full bush. Of course, you can get groomed however you like at the Establishment.

OTIS: More and more, we are finding AWARNESS days for anything and everything but from a strictly celebratory standpoint, Is there some National or World Sex Holiday that we should all know about? Valentines Day is just too cliché and PG-13 for us.

LAURA: Yes. May is National Masturbation Month, which started in 1995 after Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was fired for suggesting that masturbation might actually be healthy for people. Lots of sexy stores and organizations around the country celebrate National Masturbation Month, and some people even have masturbate-a-thons and collect pledges for each hour that they spend masturbating! The Tool Shed will be doing something special, so join our mailing list ( or our Facebook group (search for "The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique") and stay tuned.

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