What is sex positivity?
We believe there are an infinite number of definitions for sex positivity. For us, being sex positive is the revolutionary concept that sexual behavior and pleasure is fundamentally healthy and good! Sex positivity is about breaking the shame surrounding sex and sexuality and uplifting what is ultimately a natural human act. Sex impacts our lives in so many different ways, and this variety is represented not only within each of us throughout our lives as we grow, but also throughout the diversity of people in our society. (Top)
What is body-safe?
Most sex toys and products are sold as “novelty items” and therefore are not strictly regulated by the FDA like many other body products you use. Many lubes, edible body paints, and massage oils have harmful chemicals in them such as cetyl alcohol, glycerin, harsh petrochemicals, and parabens which can contribute to tissue dryness, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, excess estrogen levels, as well as more serious health complications. Sex toys are often created with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), latex, and jelly rubber. These materials are porous and cannot be disinfected effectively. These products have also been shown to contain phthalates which are linked to endocrine disruption, hormone changes, and birth defects.
At Lotus Blooms, our sex educators do the work for you. We carefully review every item in our store to find the most pleasurable items made with the healthiest materials and ingredients--that’s our body-safe philosophy. When you shop at Lotus Blooms, all you have to think about is what you want to try next! (Top)
What do you mean by sex education?
It's rare that someone learned everything they needed to know about sex before they started having it--it’s ok, we’re all in the same boat! Our educators not only believe in sex positivity and body-safe products, but we also actively seek out the education and the information to make it a reality. Each staff member has had their own unique journey--some include bachelors, masters, doctorate degrees and certificates; some have nonprofit and advocacy experience; and others bring personal experience and self-exploration. All new hires are interviewed and trained through a rigorous process to ensure they are fully capable of helping you and answering any questions you have! (Top)
Are you LGBTQIA-friendly?
Absolutely! Many of our sex educators are members of or work closely with communities across the spectrum of sexual identification and all of us strive to stay current in the knowledge, language, and issues we need to be aware of in order to help everyone who visits us to feel comfortable, safe, and understood. (Top)
Are you friendly to so-called "alternative" lifestyles like BDSM and polyamory?
Very much so. Our workshops and products address a wide variety of lifestyles, including our Bound Boutique line that offers top-quality products for BDSM enthusiasts. Our staff includes educators from many different lifestyles and who stay actively involved with local lifestyle communities. In addition, our sex educators regularly attend conferences like CatalystCon or the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in order to connect with experts across the sexual spectrum and stay up to date with legal, social, and cultural issues that affect us all, not just those in the "mainstream". (Top)
Are you body-positive?
Yes! Our motto is "Pleasure for every body" and we stand by that. We stock a wide range of apparel sizes directly in our stores, including plus sizes. We also strive to keep learning how our products can be used safely and pleasurably on bodies of many different needs, abilities, and sensitivities so that we can help all our guests get the greatest enjoyment out of their purchases. (Top)
Do you sell poppers?
“Poppers” are an inhalant which is used by some during sexual experiences. The main ingredient is alkyl nitrate which is used in many heart medications. Prescriptions, however are regulated by the government for purity and your doctor to ensure you do not have a negative interaction (for example, Viagra and alkyl nitrate combined can be fatal). Poppers sold online or in some stores have additives that can cause irreparable damage to the brain and nervous system. They also compromise judgment and can have a numbing effect which is not safe for pleasurable sex--listen to your body and what it loves! If you are interested in items that facilitate anal sex, we highly recommend gel formula lubricants and/or anal plugs. In short, no, we do not sell nor advocate using poppers. (Top)
Do you sell numbing creams, gels, or sprays?
Many guests ask for numbing agents. Usually this is because something during sex is painful or not pleasing for someone. To be clear, you have the right to refuse to do something you don’t want to do/already did/are in the middle of doing. Sex is only fun when everyone wants to be there and involved! Pain allows your body to communicate when something goes wrong; numbing agents prevent it from doing this. Numbing agents can also have harsh and irritating ingredients that are not body-safe (e.g. they can cause infections). So, no, we do not sell nor advocate using numbing agents. (Top)
Do you sell penis enhancement pills or creams?
Fast anatomy lesson--the shaft of the penis is made of three chambers of erectile tissue which engorge with blood when aroused. Having said that, no testosterone supplements, weight lifting or stretching, or pumps will produce lasting effects, if any. Another cool anatomy tip--most nerve endings are towards the outside of the body. The bulk of nerve endings in the vagina, for example, are in the outer third. In addition, the vagina is 3-4 inches long when it's not aroused. Confidence is sexy and so much more effective in producing pleasure than penis supplements! We don’t sell penis enhancement pills because they do not work and we want you to love and appreciate your body. (Top)
Do you sell vaginal dilators?
We are proud to say that we do now! It took us time to find high-quality, body-safe dilators that would be affordable for you and available to us, but we finally found them. See our Sinclair Select Deluxe Silicone Dilator Set! For resources relating to vaginal dilators, please contact us. (Top)
Do you sell men’s lingerie?
We welcome every body to try on any of our lingerie or corsets. In terms of having more masculine lingerie, we are working on it! We are looking for quality lingerie for a reasonable price that will wholesale to us. If you find any (or are that supplier), please contact us! (Top)
Do you have custom corsets?
At this time we do not offer custom corsetry, but it is something we are considering for the future. We do work very closely with Bound Boutique to control the corset manufacturing process ensuring that we offer a wide range of variety of styles and shapes and many sizes. We are confident that we can get you nestled into the perfect corset. (Top)
Help! I can't find a product I really want.
Ask the educators at either of our stores for help. In some cases, we may be able to place a special order for you. If we're unable to get it, we may be able to help you find it or to find a similar product in our stock that meets your needs. We also welcome your suggestions for products you'd like to purchase from us, and we'll gladly make note of your contact information to let you know if we begin stocking it. Of course, every new product needs to meet our strict standards for body safety and sex positivity, and sometimes the products we want to stock don't exist yet in the quality we seek, but we always want to know what our guests want to buy! (Top)
Do you accept returns?
We want every guest to feel comfortable and confident that they are the only person who has owned their piece. It also goes against our body-safe ideals to accept used intimate items. While we do not accept returns, we will work with you to take advantage of warranties and troubleshoot with you if a product seems to have issues when brand new. (Top)
I bought a ticket to a workshop but I can't make it. What should I do?
Call the store where the workshop will be taking place (for Alexandria, it's 703.535.8225 and for DC, it's 202.836.4474) and ask for the store manager, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can usually transfer your registration to another workshop while space is available. (Top)
Where are you located?
We have a beautiful boutique at 1017 King Street in the heart of charming Old Town Alexandria, VA. For hours, parking, and map, see our Locations page. (Top)
What are your hours?
We are open Mon-Thu from 12 noon to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 10 PM; and Sunday from 12 noon to 7 PM. We have workshops from 7-9 PM nearly every Sunday in the store, which includes a little private shopping time after the workshop. (Top)
Can I have a private event at your store?
Yes, you can-- or we can bring the party to you! Please see our Private Party page for information on booking a party package at your venue or in the store for your next event. (Top)
There's a workshop I'd like to take, or that I hope you'll offer again. What can I do?
Please swing by Contact Us
to get in touch. We'd love to know what workshops we've offered that really grabbed your interest, and as we consider workshops to book in the future, it's very helpful to know what topics and presenters our guests are looking for. (Top)