A sex shop in the Fens, that once had a spirited battle with local nutter opposition, has not stood the test of time.
Kiss Kiss Lingerie at Guyhirn near Wisbech closed last month and the premises are up for sale.
Four years ago nutter councillor Phil Wait resigned his seat on Fenland District Council following planning approval. Councillor Robert Scrimshaw then won the seat in a by election, arguing at the time that it was not for councils to make moral
They can only act within the law. I can fully appreciate the concerns local residents have about the Guyhirn adult shop but I also realise in today's economic climate encouragement should be given to a new business venture.
I visited a shop called Angels of Walsall requesting High Definition (HD) videos only. I was told most DVD'S are HD. The fella in there pointed to whole racks of them and said they are all HD DVD's. Of course they weren't....
There was in fact one rack with some HD videos priced at £ 30 each, £ 70 for 3. Quite ridiculous when you consider what the private shops charge. So for me, Angels of Walsall
was deceptive about the nature of their products and overcharge by a mile and a half.
Private Shop: West Bromwich
On the other hand I also visited a Private shop in West Bromwich and received accurate information and good deals.
I took one disc back because the content was poor and even though I had time to have watched it, they took it back and I was allowed to swap it for another with no trade in charge made.
On another occasion I tuned down one of their free magazines while buying 3 videos for £ 50 and was told I could choose another HD DVD at no extra charge.....(4 for £ 50 that
day). Excellent service. I highly recommend the West Bromwich store.
I have also been offered, when they have them, Blu-ray's for the same price as 3 for £ 50 normal HD videos.
Private Shop: Hockley Hill, Birmingham
Strangely another Private shop at Hockley Hill, Birmingham refused to give any discount at all on three Blu-ray's, had I wanted to purchase them, (Of course I did not). The manager at West Bromwich (Who apparently manages all three shops in the
Birmingham area told me that was incorrect and that I could purchase 3 Blu-ray discs for the same price as HD DVD discs......
To sum up I was disappointed with the Angels of Walsall, but thus far been satisfied with the local Private shops.
Adult shops behind the curve on HD
I have recently been let down by some 'Shot in HD' videos being less than expected, quality wise. I returned one Blu-ray video called Party Girls, it was terrible beyond words.
Since then, I have had a DVD 'Shot in HD' labelled on both case and disc, but none of the scenes were in HD at all. It was even bad DVD quality both image and content. I Took it back but had to lose money this time on an exchange.
I am finding so called HD DVD is nothing near the HD one can now expect to see on a regular basis on TV. I pointed this out at a Private Shop and was told that Blu-ray has not taken off because it is too costly.
That may have been true a couple of years ago, but I now believe the adult shops are well behind the curve and need to up their game sooner rather than later.
I also recently acquired some 3D soft porn Blu-rays from a HMV store. very soft no crudity just simple strip type nudity. The 3D reality and quality was just fantastic to see. Even though it was only soft, it was beautifully filmed. Another area
in which adult shops are well and truly behind the times. Believe me I would rather buy one good HC 3D movie instead of say 10 HD DVD movies. The realty is brilliant. Yes and no headache from the wearing of glasses either.
As a footnote I woul like to point out I am viewing HD material on a 47" screen so pic quality needs to be good as flaws are easily spotted.
Thus far I have found films titles by Bluebird are indeed very good quality HD nearly as good as one should expect from bluray HD. Freeze the frame and you get a perfect clear picture and rightly so. Bluebird films even quote the HD bit
However films titles from Harmony Film s are unpredictable. Some scenes appear to be HD until you freeze a frame and then you are likely to see the digital jaggies on outlines. Sometimes you get some scenes that look good pic wise and
other scenes are bog standard DVD. That's not what one should get from genuine HD. Also no HD bit rate published from Harmony titles that I have found.
So buyers converting to HD beware all may not be what it seems on the label regardless of what video store you may shop at.......
A video on the Agent Provocateur website www.agentprovocateur.com for their Soiree line of lingerie featured a woman in a nightgown, alone in her home. She was shown answering the telephone twice, the first time she answered, no one spoke.
The second time there was the sound of someone laughing at the other end. The woman looked anxiously out of her window before several women, who were wearing revealing lingerie with stockings and long boots, appeared at the window and then inside
the house. The women were shown dragging the other woman through the house who then adopted a series of poses, some sexual, alone and with the other women. During the course of the video, the woman looked visibly distressed and several times the
position of her nightgown revealed her breasts. The group of women then appeared to attack the woman's body; she then she re-appeared wearing similar revealing lingerie to the group. Issue
The complainant objected that the ad was irresponsible as it appeared on a website that could be seen by children because it had no age restriction.
Agent Provocateur Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Agent Provocateur's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our
enquiries and we told them to do so in future.
The ad appeared in a section of Agent Provocateur's website relating to a specific line of lingerie and was not protected through age verification. Although we noted that the website was designed to appeal to adults rather than children through
its style, colour and graphics and it promoted products that were likely to be seen as niche within the wider lingerie market, we considered that it featured erotic and fetish type scenes which some viewers would not find suitable to be seen by
Because of the sexually graphic and at times distressing nature of the video and the potential for children to share a web-link relatively easily we concluded that it was unsuitable for display on an openly-accessible website where it might be
viewed by children.
The ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).
The ad must not appear again unless suitable precautions are taken to avoid it being seen by children.
In fact the video is now presented on the website with the warning:
Caution. Video contains sexy and provocative footage (not recommended for under 18).
Strange that the ASA seemed to have changed their minds about the same video since they last investigated it in March of this year.
In August 2012 ASA noted:
Because of the sexually graphic and at times distressing nature of the video...
In March 2012 ASA noted:
We also considered the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress.
ASA's Assessment from March 2012 read:
The ASA noted the online video appeared in the context of the website of a luxury lingerie retailer. We acknowledged some viewers might find some of the scenes distasteful but considered the highly stylised nature and clearly fictional content
of the video meant it was unlikely to be interpreted by most viewers in the way the complainant suggested. We considered the ads did not demean women and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to visitors to the Agent Provocateur
website. We also considered the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress without justifiable reason. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
You'd think that the censors would try and maintain a bit of consistency about their work. There seems little point in having censors if their decisions are arbitrary.
Update: Advert censors admit being 'distressed', not because the advert is 'distressing', but because Reg Bailey told them to be 'distressed'
An ASA spokesman said it did not investigate the online advert's inappropriateness for children during the original investigation because it can't tack on its own challenges . [Although it often does!]
The spokesman added that the decision was influenced by the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of childhood because it is now taking a tougher line on concerns about advertising and children .
An interesting newsletter from a law firm discussed legal issues arising Leeds City Council considering the lap dancing licences for the 7 clubs in the area.
First of all it noted that an existing licence is consider in law as a protected possession in human rights law:
It has been accepted that a licence is classed as a possession capable of protection under Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This clearly states that a person has a right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions and the case of Tre Traktorer Aktiebolag v Sweden (1989) 13 EHRR classifies a licence as something capable of protection.
Not something that can councils can take away on a moralist or feminist whim.
Secondly there are European requirements imported into UK law that impose standard conditions on councils when considering licence applications:
The Provision of Services Regulations [S.I. 2009/2999]. Regulation 24(1) imposes three important tests highlighting that any refusal must be:
Surely this would allow failed applicants to ask a court 'exactly how necessary was it for a council to refuse a license for a venue 200m away from a school where the operating hours don't overlap?'
The law firm noted that all 7 clubs in Leeds got their licences despite a high level of opposition from MPs, councillors and Object.
Gosschalks Solicitors in Hull city centre acted for successful claimants in a case that saw Westminster City Council come under scrutiny after it was revealed it had been charging too much for granting and renewing licences to trade to
operators of sex shops in its area.
Stephen Dillon, partner at Gosschalks Solicitors said:
Since December 28, 2009, Westminster had been illegally charging licensees, through their annual fee, for costs incurred by Westminster Council taking action against unlicensed sex shops. As a result, the lawful licensed sex shops were being
charged far too much in their licensing fee to trade.
The case has also now created more work for Gosschalks. Dillon said there will be about 40 other local authorities to investigate and reminded people who are required to have a local authority licence to trade to consider whether they have been,
or are being, overcharged. Dillon suggested that licensees could take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to find out more details on how councils have arrived at their licence fees.
Gosschalks will now be making requests to other local authorities. Dillon said: We will be asking how the figures have been calculated. It may be that they are legitimate but until we ask, we won't know.
Since the ruling in May, Westminster City Council asked for permission to appeal but it was rejected.
At this year's prestigious ETO Industry Awards, held at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday 24th June, Adult shop Nice n Naughty Brighton won the coverted Best Individual Store 2012. The award was accepted by Director Trish Murray and Brighton
store manager Philip Price. The award was narrowed down to a short list of five across the UK, and voted for by the individuals with in the UK adult industry.
It is a privilege to receive this award from our peers, and is a testament to the team at the Brighton store commented Philip and I would like to thank all the people who voted for the Brighton store. The trophy will take pride of
place Brighton Nice'n'Naughty have recently celebrated its third birthday, and the award is the cherry on the cake for 2012.
Nice'n'Naughty have 14 stores across the UK, with the support and guidance of Directors Simon Prescott and Trish Murray, has grown to become the Premier Adult Chain in the UK and Europe, collecting multiple industry awards.
The feminist writer and 'academic' Marina Warner believes the unexpectedly wide appeal of this explicit fiction could be a sign of how difficult people now find it to feel aroused in an era when sex and nudity have become so commonplace:
There has been a general unveiling of the body in our culture and there is a connection between prohibition and arousal. It is in some way linked to our feelings about the sacred and the profane.
I definitely don't want to go back to censorship,... BUT. ..I don't think the answer is to reach for extremes either.
The runaway success of Fifty Shades of Grey , the graphically sexual novel that has sold more than a million copies, has led to a boom in sex toys and erotic literature.
Ann Summers is just one of the stores reporting that sales of blindfolds, whips and handcuffs have soared, reflecting the strong sadism and masochism theme running through the book. Sales of jiggle balls, for example, have risen by 200%.
Fiona Davis, a director of Ann Summers, said the consumer effect of the book was similar to that of Sex and the City , which popularised designer shoes and vibrators.
She said that the book has sold out in many stores and that sales of other erotic literature have risen by 130%.
At Simply Pleasure, one of the Soho's most well-known erotic bookshops, employees said that the curiosity generated by the book was introducing a new generation of women to sex shops and sex toys. People realise that it's not seedy and sordid,
which has always been the problem for the sex shop industry, said store manager Jane.