Sex & Gender

Spice Up Your Valentine's Day With Help From Caliente Adult Superstore in Hialeah

In the warehouse district along West Eighth Street in Hialeah sits a corner store covered in painted flames. Above it hangs a sign that reads "Open 24 hours. Caliente. Adult superstore." Even at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning in late January, there was a steady flow of customers — from those scurrying in and keeping their heads down, to those taking sluggish steps as they talked loudly on their cell phones.

Inside the store, rows and rows of DVDs are set up on the right-hand side, and to the left of the center counter is the fun stuff. Take a few steps and that's when you'll see them: walls covered from side to side with penises. In all shapes and sizes, too. There's a 17-inch rubber dildo (c'mon, ladies and gents, how can you even employ that?). "You'd be surprised, but people buy these and find a way to use them," says store manager Phil Verbruggen.

There's a negative stigma associated with adult stores, that they're just for creeps and pervs. Or maybe they are thought of for the occasional bachelorette party favor. But really, sex is a natural thing and there’s nothing wrong with adding a few toys to the mix. In fact, it might just be what you need to breathe life into your mundane routine.

Whereas some adult stores keep their dirty movies behind a curtain, Caliente has everything out in the open, totally unashamed. Walking through a barrier like a curtain adds to the idea that what you're about to do — browse porn IRL versus online — is something shameful that should be done in secret.

Verbruggen has been with Caliente for nearly ten years — the store itself has only been standing a little over a decade — so it’s safe to say he’s an expert when it comes to sex and bedroom toys. Watch our video as we navigate the superstore and get Verbruggen’s take on the best ways to spice up your love life this Valentine’s Day weekend (or any other day of the week for that matter). 
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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.