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Chicago’s Best Sex Shop Is… In Andersonville!

You have heard all of us at the EdgeVilleBuzz gush about our love of the neighborhood’s local restaurants, parks, arts organizations, nonprofits, theaters, community centers and so much more. But now we have a more unique claim to fame that we can call our very own… We have Early to Bed, Chicago’s best sex toy store, according to The Chicago Reader! Having moved to their new location last year, Early to Bed resides at 5044 N Clark St and couldn’t be happier about calling Andersonville their home. Every year The Reader does their ‘Chicago Best of’ and this will be the fourth year in a row that Early to Bed has received this honor. This kinky locally owned boutique is more than just a place for massage oils and fun shaped apparatuses for your private parts. They provide a space for those who are looking to learn more about sex and themselves in a safe and supportive way.

early2bedWhat makes Early to Bed so special? Early to Bed is Chicago’s first women-owned, women-oriented, boi-friendly, queer and trans-positive sex shop that is welcoming of all genders, orientations and those with a sense of sexual curiosity. Everyone has a reason to go check out this store which has a number of available workshops, educational materials, literature, toys, and a friendly staff.

Owner and founder Searah originally opened the boutique in 2001 after having had repeated negative experiences in other sex toy stores. Hoping to find some toys and items in the traditional go-to sex stores, she found that most staff knew nothing about the products that they were selling. The environment wasn’t friendly and extremely hostile to anyone who didn’t identify as heterosexuals with a lust for porn. It became very apparent to Searah that Chicago was in desperate need of a different type of experience for consumers looking to explore and learn about sex. She decided to be the one to bring it to them!

Up until a year ago, Early to Bed was located in Edgewater along Sheridan. While the location served them well for many years, they were slightly off the beaten path. Searah wanted a location that would allow for more foot traffic, easier parking and a corridor in which there were other shops. At that time they were a special destination that people had to seek out. Since their move to Clark Street last year, there has been nothing but positive change. Customers come in every weekend for their fix. They stop by after brunch with friends or come to the many workshops.

Things have changed so drastically over the years, and Early to Bed has contributed to the movement of being sex positive and safe for anyone and everyone. “Culturally there has been a shift towards being more open to sex toys, and learning about personal pleasure. With things like Oprah endorsing vibrators and shows like Sex in the City being so popular,  it allows so many people (specifically women) to be more comfortable with the idea of being sexually curious. Popular culture has made it okay and safe, rather than creepy and shamed,” says Searah.

Andersonville has been Searah’s go-to neighborhood since high school. “Coming to work every day is a joy. This is a stable, happy and vibrant neighborhood. To be the shop that takes care of those few people who have such a challenging time talking about sex and sexuality gives me the biggest sense of pride and joy. It is the heartbeat for me and my business.”

Aside from toys, the shop offers several workshops, pleasure parties, classes, and much more. They are excited to host a few out-of-town guests this summer on topics such as menopause, bondage and more. Check out their website for details!


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