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ALTON - Sam and Delilah in Alton has been renamed to Romantix, but the service, products and expertise are the same as what the Riverbend community has come to expect.

Located at 1320 East Broadway in Alton, the adult store will now use the corporate name Romantix, but its products and branding as “the softer side of sexual wellness” will stay consistent, explained Nikki. A representative with the store, Nikki noted that Romantix stands apart from other adult stores because it focuses on making customers comfortable and providing the safe space that guests need to explore their sexuality.

“We have the ability to talk about these things in a way that makes everyone comfortable, and that’s the most important part,” she explained.

People from ages 18 to 100 will come to Romantix to seek out products and recommendations from staff members. Employees undergo continued education training, so they know a lot about every product and can help people find what they are looking for.

Nikki noted that they often see customers who have received recommendations from friends but are not sure of their own preferences. Because the staff has the product knowledge, they are always happy to talk with customers about their options.

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“What we find is a lot of people don’t know what they like,” she said. “It’s our goal, with that product knowledge, to help inform and educate our guests on what they might even consider to like. And we’re not going to always get it right. Trial and error is a thing here.”

This is why Nikki is always pleased when a customer comes back, whether they were satisfied or if they’re still looking for the product that’s right for them. Equipped with more knowledge, she can help customers find what they need.

While they encourage open dialogue, Romantix also understands that it can be uncomfortable to talk about sexuality and sexual preferences. All of their employees are required to sign nondisclosure agreements. They hope this helps secure the safe space that Romantix hopes to foster in every store.

“If you came to my store, for example, and we sold you something, I’m legally bound,” Nikki noted. “I can’t even talk about that outside of that, because we want the customer to know that this is a sacred space, that you can feel free and comfortable to talk about whatever you need to without feelings of shame or taboo.”

This mindset — overcoming shame surrounding sexuality — led Nikki to start Riverbend Sexual Wellness, a Facebook group where she educates people about sexuality. The page has grown significantly in the past few months, leading Nikki to conduct a Sexual Wellness Workshop at Milton Schoolhouse. Scheduled for 2–4 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, 2024, the workshop will cover consent, sexual wellness and sexual aftercare. Nikki hopes it is the first of several similar workshops.

She noted that there are a lot of “misconceptions” about adult stores, but Romantix aims to invite customers in and appeal especially to women as a safe, clean destination for sexual exploration. Whether you stop by Romantix, add yourself to the Riverbend Sexual Wellness Facebook group or attend the Sexual Wellness Workshop on July 14, Nikki hopes that by having these conversations, people can increase their own wellness and satisfaction.

“We’ve just had that one class in high school where they taught us how to not get pregnant. We’ve never been taught how to enjoy sex,” she added. “Our sexual health goes line in line with our physical health, our mental health, our emotional health. Whenever we are able to identify what we like, whether we’re in a relationship or not, we’re then able to use that information to better our lives.”

For those struggling with mental health issues or in need of support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 988. Additionally, resources for sexual wellness and abuse prevention can be found through organizations such as RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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