This is an unparalleled boudoir for Bettie Page fetishists and wannabes, filled with pin-up inspired lingerie from the '30s to '60s. The voluptuous mannequins are draped in silk, satin and lace; you'll find no itchy polyester or garish rhinestones here. Though the bulk of the merchandise consists of peek-a-boo bras, panties and vintage slips, you'll find all manner of alluring extras, including tassels, garters, corsets, lace thigh-highs, girdles and feathered toys. The sizing flatters women of all sizes, from A- to G-cups. Forget Spanx: Bettie packs the largest array of vintage shapewear in the city, from waist-cinchers (for faking that hourglass figure) to girdles. In addition to dead-stock vintage attire, the shop also carries pin-up inspired styles from contemporary brands like Mary Green, What Katie Did, and Felina & Jezebel. If you fall for the Dita Von Teese aesthetic, check out Dollhouse Bettie's sister store down the block, Bettie Page, where you'll find retro frocks to complement your new underthings.
Most major cities have a district of sex shops. But San Francisco is the only one that also boasts a Moorish revival-style castle devoted to BDSM pornos. (Flags mounted atop the imposing structure symbolize leather pride and gay pride.) In this sexually liberated city, local zine Sex & Design hosts regular events, and lube can be purchased by the gallon Costco-style, so it’s not surprising that the sex shops are more inviting than illicit. SF chain Good Vibrations has locations in four San Francisco neighborhoods—including Downtown and the Mission—all featuring toys and fetish gear against a modernist backdrop of white walls and blond wood. The erotic emporiums interspersed with Castro Street’s gay bars cater to gay men, and their open-door policies and close proximity make for easy comparison-shopping. Whether your preferred degree of kink is whips and chains or Dita Von Teese-style bullet bras, there's something for every fetish in San Francisco.