Quite fascinatingly, a friend of a friend related to me today the four types of reactions she has observed from her male customers while working as a cashier in a convenience store which has, amongst its wares, a few shelves of pornography. The young lady in question, as it happens, worked at a store abutting a train station in Vancouver. Experiences may vary, naturally, by geography.

Firstly, there are those too shy to proceed -- the ones who come in with the notion of buying a skin mag, but upon realizing that the counter worker is a female, freeze momentarily and abandon the plan. They then either make haste for the exit, or pretend to have come in for something else altogether, a soda or a bag of chips, which they buy sheepishly, still wriggling in the discomfort of the very thought of being judged for what they'd really come there for.

Secondly, there are those who exhibit some trepidation, but then go ahead and make the purchase, though with obvious discomfort in so doing. They place their selected magazine on the counter as discreetly as possible and look nervously about, avoiding eye contact with the cashier and seeming to slough off a great weight as they finally exit the store.

Thirdly, there are those who show no sign whatsoever of caring about the situation -- this being the most common reaction. They walk up to the counter, put down their purchase as if it were a soda or a bag of chips, pay, and go. Sometimes, my cashier acquaintance relates, she gets the sense that this is because the purchaser thinks nothing special of making the purchase (since there is in the light of logical analysis nothing wrong with purchasing pornography), but other times she gets the eerie sense that they simply think that a convenience store clerk of any sex is somehow subhuman. They may as well be buying the magazine from a dog or a robot for all they care about the opinion of the person ringing up the same.

And fourthly, there are those who are positively proud to be buying pornography from a lass, and who use the occasion as an opportunity to flash a wide grin, raise an eyebrow, possibly even proposition her. Which is how this friend of a friend met the friend of whom she is a friend in the first place.

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