Back in the early 2000s on Chicago’s north side, a small shop opened up named Early to Bed. It was founded so that people of all genders and orientations could have a safe welcoming place to shop. Something different from more “traditional” sex shops.
The Mission of Early to Bed
Early to Bed is committed to helping people of all genders and orientations explore their sexuality to the fullest. In our comfortable and safe environment, we provide quality sex toys and accessories as well as access to the most current information about sex and sexuality. It is our mission to spread the good word about positive sexuality to as many people as we can through our shop, website, blog and various outreach events. – From Early to Bed’s About Page
When I Found Them
For me, it wasn’t until 2006 that I first found Early 2 Bed. I had moved out of the suburbs to the north side of Chicago. Up until then, my exposure to adult stores was, basically the ‘adult’ section of Spencers.
Walking into the store, was eye-opening. The toys out on display so you can feel and touch them. Testers for lubrication so that you could feel it. Books and DVD’s that could be taken out like a library. Basking in the relaxing feel of the quiet store. The store’s owner Searah was behind the counter with her very pink hair. It was literal heaven to me as I walked around. For me, it was the first step in leading me to this point. To this day, I think the best way I have described it to others was; the Lush of sex shops.
My First Toys
That day I bought my first sex toys which happened to be part of a kit that Early to Bed sells even today. Their First Timer’s Kit. It came with a Silver Bullet vibe, slimline vibrator, and a stretchy Chubby Bunny Sleeve. As well as a 1oz bottle Slippery Stuff and three AA batteries. All wrapped up in this perfect sort of gauzy pink satchel, though today when you get it online it comes in a vinyl storage bag. It was affordable and absolutely perfect for me. They even sell a Delux Kit as well now.
I recommend the store to other friends. I went in a few times after, not to purchase but just to look around. Quietly page through the books I was still too shy to take out. Even when I moved away I was so happy to have their online shop. Other stores just never measured up to Early to Bed. While I do not have any of the toys I first bought, they still have my heart. Even after I moved away from Chicago I still talked about them. Almost wistfully at times because all of the places I moved never had a shop that matched up to them.
Today and Beyond
Early to Bed has been open for 17 years now, soon to be celebrating 20 years in 2021! I have watched the shop grow from afar. I love seeing them support local creators from Chicago selling their creations online and instore. Their site containing wonderful articles to help you find what you are looking for and how it is used. As well as some on relationships and gender. Early to Bed was my first love when it comes to toy shops. They are one of the first I suggest to locals and across the states.
(This Post was Sponsored by Early to Bed, in exchange for sponsoring my trip to the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. All words are my own.)