By skinstealer

You head out to the bar, instantly hit with noise- it's even more crowded than earlier, but as you take a seat at the bar itself, you feel yourself relaxing. Another bean bear comes up to you, wiping down a cup. Their nametag says "KATIE", and their voice is...extremely peppy.

KATIE: Oh, you look new!
POLKA DOT: I keep hearing.
KATIE: What can I getcha today?
POLKA DOT: Uh...Laurie said I could get a free meal today, up to twenty dollars.
POLKA DOT: Is this the right place for it?
KATIE: You betcha!
KATIE: Here-

They hand you a menu, and you are instantly overwhelmed with options. You don't know what half of these dishes are, but they all look really good...

But you'll play it safe. Besides, you're curious.

POLKA DOT: I'll take the pasta of the day. Extra slime.
KATIE: Good pick, the orders we just put out got rave reviews!

You can't help but smirk a little bit at that, puffing out your chest.

POLKA DOT: Let's hope mine's just as good, then.
POLKA DOT: I'll...get some lemonade with it.
KATIE: Done deal!

They take your order to the chef's window, and you take in the scene around you. It's...something, alright. Toys sit together on floor cushions, some with limbs tangled over each other, while some kind of electronic toy sings on stage- their voice smooth yet distorted. A knitted doll near you is busy with some slime soup, stopping their spoon right before it touched their face to avoid stains. Sure enough, it disappears, just like that. You're still getting the hang of this stuff, but it definitely feels like you've been over the basics of eating before...

Your mind gets a bit cloudy as you think over Vine's words...mentioning the Store. It hit something in you when she said that, some moment of recognition- but you're not sure what to make of it yet. Part of you wants to never hear about it and you just can't place why, but your curiosity on what bearing it has on your memories is very much winning out. 

Maybe it could help you in your quest to find out who the fuck hurt you, something you are still entirely dead set on, even if you still don't know how you were hurt, why, when...

As you get lost in thought, your pasta is placed in front of you- you can't help but feel a bit smug as the dish doesn't look as sparkly and wild as your own handiwork did, but it's a lot cleaner presentation wise, with glitter placed on top for some extra pizzazz. Vine must not have trusted you with that yet, and as you take a bite you realize why- it adds a hell of a zing, and you get the feeling that if you had dumped even a bit too much on, it'd totally overwhelm the dish.

You feel like usually, being treated like a novice would have pissed you off, but you like Vine...and you weren't exactly keen on poisoning someone on your first day of work ever. You shrug it off and power through the dish, relieved that once you're done eating, you actually feel full, something wonderful and far, far worth the work alone. 

KATIE: You've still got a good bit of credit on the house, you know!
KATIE: Can I interest you in a dessert?
POLKA DOT: Nah, I'm stuffed...but thanks.
KATIE: It's no problem at all, come back again soon- and thank you for helping out in the kitchen!
POLKA DOT: How'd you know about that?
KATIE: Oh, Vine mentioned it when I popped my head in. 
KATIE: Isn't she a treat? 
POLKA DOT: Yeah...she's pretty cool.

Katie gives you a warm look as you get off of your stool, reaching for the key in your pocket and holding it tight as you walk towards the sign labelled "GUEST LODGING". 

The halls seem to go on forever as you walk along, and you feel frustration start to bubble up- something tells you that this is just how travel works in this world, only able to find things when god knows what wants you too. It'd fit with everything you know about food, anyway...

But your number finally pops up, and the door unlocks with a simple turn of your key.

Your key fob starts counting down as you step through, something you try not to get too anxious about. You had to have under two hours until you met up with Vine again, and that would still leave you plenty of time to rest. Probably.

The room itself is like the rest of the establishment- covered in red velvet and wood, but the carpeted floor is enough to make you kick off your heels and enjoy, practically wiggling your toes into the soft surface. The lighting is warm and inviting, and there's a large, single bed available towards the center of the room. Inspection of the two other doors reveals a small closet and a bathroom, complete with a shower and sink. It's nice, and you feel even more like your work was worth it.

You flop onto the bed and get down to business...time to read that pamphlet and get up to speed on whatever the hell this "sex" thing is that everybody's so crazy about.


There's a picture of two toys linking arms and leaning close to each other, looking happily out at the reader. 

"Welcome to a new world- you're fresh out of the Store and probably face to face with strange feelings as you enter the world of mature adults. If not, no worries- this still serves as a guide for anyone, not just those who find themselves face to face with sexual attraction."

Weird start, but alright. You don't know if you've ever felt this whole...sexual attraction thing yourself, but you definitely felt weird seeing toys laying all over each other back in the bar.

"Now that you're considered fully mature and ready for the world at large, you may have felt strange, often warm feelings when interacting with others- potentially with a want to be close to them. This may also come with feelings of discomfort- and that's just as normal, but something to keep in mind when you make decisions for yourself. Physical attraction for toys involves a desire for closeness, and is incredibly common with our kind- but when it involves a need for excitement and release, we can consider that sexual. Researchers have found that sexual attraction is typically found in beings that reproduce, but seeing as we toys can't do's just for fun, pleasure, and intimacy!"

Okay, so...the feelings you felt before might not have been it, but it's definitely...related? Probably?

You keep reading.

"Sexual arousal manifests differently in everyone, but can often be described as feeling warm, along with feelings of tension (that might not be unpleasant!) and excitement. If you feel uncomfortable along with these feelings- evaluate thoroughly whether engaging with sex, either by yourself or with other people, is a good idea. Satisfaction from arousal can be done through many things, and it differs just as much from person to person- the most common form of sexual activity is more intense cuddling and affection. You do not need genitalia at all to derive pleasure from these kind of activities, but some people choose to get some modified on- you can find some examples of common mods later in the pamphlet. However, this kind of physical contact isn't necessary for satisfaction. Everyone has different interests, and some toys may develop what's called "kinks" and "fetishes" for acts beyond this. It can be anything, but please try to avoid things that would permanently harm others, violate consent- and make sure to engage with it safely! You can read more about about different kinds of kinks later in the pamphlet."

Permanently harm...others? Wait, as in some people liked getting hurt? That's what gets people off sometimes? Okay, now you're starting to feel a bit weirded out and flustered, but you guess that you'll just have to read more on that later.

"While being intimate with someone doesn't inherently mean you want to be with them in a relationship, it can come with its emotional vulnerabilities. Showing someone affection can always be an emotional gamble even in a nonsexual context, so it's best to take it slow and gauge how you're feeling before doing anything. Sex isn't necessary for getting close to anyone, and is something you should only engage with if all parties are feeling comfortable and up for it. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do!"

There is...a lot left. As you flip through, you can see sections on "sex work", "techniques", "dangers and precautions", "kinks", "anatomy", and "gear and toys- not the people kind".

At least they're thorough?

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