By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 29, 2004 at 5:22 AM

{image1}Walk into The Tool Shed, 804 E. Center St., and you're just as likely to score duct tape as you are nipple clamps, but "porn shop" is one label that owner Molly Cassidy isn't willing to strap on.

"We have a lot of things that really don't relate to sex at all," says Cassidy, who co-owns the shop with Eilis O'Herlihy.

Indeed, the erotic boutique features a delicious mix of curios from cute to kinky to downright practical, without a shred of shame or seediness. It's similar to San Francisco's Good Vibrations and a handful of other woman-owned erotic shops popping up around the country.

"It isn't dark or scary here ... we wanted to create a healthy environment where sex and sexuality are out in the open," says Cassidy.

"Out in the open" is a recurring theme at The Shed. In the center of the shop stands a table topped with orbit-shaped massagers in many colors and circumferences, all of which are juiced up and ready for testing (on your hand, of course.)

Glass-blown gizmos, clothing, condoms, bubblegum, jewelry, handcuffs, books, nails, tool boxes, "boy butter," leather whips, lip balm and batteries are also among the shop's plethora of provocative products.

Best of all, there's humor: from the bowl of yummy candy next to the register to the tongue-and-cheek vintage sign reading, "Please remove rubbers and boots." Finally, someone remembered that shopping in an adult toy store, among other things, is funny.

Cassidy says she and O'Herlihy plan to have a grand opening party in February with food, drink, live music (if permitted) and an underwear air brusher.

"If the custom airbrushing on underwear is a hit, we may offer it regularly," says Cassidy.

Online shopping, monthly house calls from a local nurse to discuss safe sex, free tea and sweets, sex toy parties for men, women and couples, and more merchandise -- including solar-powered vibrators -- are also in the works.

"I got the idea (for the solar-powered vibrator) from a friend who is in the Peace Corps in Kenya," says Cassidy. "She said it's really working for her, so we thought, 'why not?'"

The Tool Shed's hours are Tuesday-Sunday, from noon to 7 p.m. Call (414) 562-9338 for more information.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.