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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Exploring new Lifestyles

Published: September 22, 2006
Section: Opinions

When I was younger our family used to go out to dinner at The Chateau restaurant in Waltham on Saturday nights. As we drove down Moody Street on our way, I always took note of the oddly named Lifestyles store. I never really understood what they sold in that store, nevermind why all I could see through the front window was a staircase going down below ground. Every week it perplexed me, but I am sure my wonderment was long gone by the time I bit into The Chateaus delicious manicotti.

Well, I have a confession to make: I now know what goes on down there in Lifestyles on Moody. I think I must have put two and two together at some point during one of those manicotti excursions, but now I know from experience. Im not really sure if a lot of students have actually been inside the store, mainly because it probably isnt the type of activity one broadcasts publicly. Well, there goes that. Yes, Ill admit it. I actually went in.

Why did I decide to indulge my curiosity? I could say it was purely research driven, but that wouldnt be true. It wasnt really a joke, either. As Brandeis students, we are lucky enough to have our very own local sex shop, and it is important for us to patronize local businesses. Nah, I just figured that I shouldnt go through four years of college without frequenting a trashy porn store. So thats what I did.

Were all college students, right? Were known far and wide to live indulgent lives full of excessive drinking, nonstop partying and of course, tons of crazy sex. Of course that model is a bit superlative, but sex is definitely a good thing, and while the first two elements of that profile might not be so healthy, I am a proponent of the last.

So I figured why not have some fun and give Lifestyles a try?

Of course Ill try to convince you that I wasnt looking to buy when I went in. (Whether or not that held true will remain the personal knowledge of myself and my partner in sleazy crime.) I am sure the salespeople at stores like Lifestyles are quite accustomed to giggling, empty-handed customers. But having visited, I must say that my ten minutes inside were probably more satisfying than what I would have gotten from the hot pink, travel-sized vibrator.

Lifestyles is an even baser establishment than I imagined. The floor consists of nothing more than steely, polished concrete and the walls are stark white with a few cracks running down them, as I recall. The setting is decidedly bare and somehow coveys the feeling that you are doing something very naughty by merely existing within it. The first sight I was greeted with upon entry was an eerie looking mannequin dressed in something like a swashbuckling wench outfit. The walls are lined with all types of accessories, available in neon, glow in the dark, edible, and monster-sized. There is every type of toy, contraption, condom, magazine and movie both imaginable and unimaginable. The creepy lengths of the store extend far back, allowing for DVD and magazine libraries that would surely account for even the most obscure fetishes. The store reeks of indecency, and had I gotten much closer to the guy behind the counter, he may have reeked too. It didnt help that we were the only two people there.

That being said, if you want a good laugh and an entertaining experience, go to Lifestyles. I am definitely not recommending the store as a highly qualified and knowledgeable purveyor of sex paraphernalia. It is just a hell of a funny place. I am sure there are many high class adult establishments out there, but Lifestyles personifies the idea of the dirty, tawdry porn shop. Sometimes it can be fun to visit a place that defines stereotypes. At the very least, it fulfilled my curiosity, as well as my desire to check one of those must-have college experiences off my To-Do List. At most, it opened my eyes to the vast landscape of sex toys. Sure, it might be a little raunchy, but dont knock it till you try it. Plus, they give Brandeis students a 10% discount, so bring your ID. Who knows? Your sex life may thank me.