The opening of Northern Ireland's first sex shop in the early 1980s caused such a stir that officials considered reviewing 125-year-old obscenity laws.
The store opened in east Belfast in 1982, with pickets from Christian groups telling the owners of Mr Dirty Books they were unwelcome on the Castlereagh Road.
Newly released state papers reveal that privately, civil servants and officials were so shocked by its opening that they looked at updating the law on the sale of pornography, and enlisted legal advice.
A massive six-story development with an airport like lounge and heliport is being proposed at Walkers Court in the heart of Soho. The decision on this development is taking place at Westminster Council planning committee on
Tuesday 10 December .
A development of this kind will change the very character of the area, wreck the lively diverse community there and lead to the eviction of sex workers from walk-up flats. Residents and small independent business will be
Possibly connected to this development, 200 police raided and closed 20 flats in Soho on the evening of 4 December. Both the police and Westminster Council claim that the action was to save victims of trafficking. None of
the women we are in touch are trafficked and they feel strongly that this is being used as an excuse to target them. Women are now fighting to defend their rights to work in safety and support their families.
The raids, like the bedroom tax and benefit cap, are socially cleansing Soho for the super rich.
Please take action now:
Before Tuesday 10 December, write to the Head of the Planning Committee Robert Davis email@example.com with your objections.
Join us at the planning committee meeting on Tuesday 10 December 6.30pm at City Hall, 17th floor, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6PQ to demonstrate your objections.
Sign the petition to stop the eviction and prosecution of sex workers.
Cornwall Council has been forced to pay £2,000 in costs after losing a legal battle with a Truro sex shop.
Councillors tried to insist that Mrs Palm sex shop in Truro install an extensive CCTV coverage inside the store.
But shop bosses Nikki Hewett and Edward Braxton Reynolds successfully argued at Truro Magistrates court that the private nature of the products which they sell mean CCTV would be a violation of their customer's right to privacy.
At a Cornwall Council licencing committee meeting in October 2012 the pair's application to not have CCTV in their shop was rejected on the grounds that it was a standard condition, it would supposedly promote public safety and it would provide a
safeguard for the premises.
In a court paper explaining his decision, district judge, Nicholas Sanders, said:
The reason given by the committee for refusing the application not to impose CCTV on the applicant as a licencing condition was public safety.
Not only can I find no evidence to support this rational, I can find no evidence to support and other rational.
For unexplained reasons, the trade associations, The Law Society and Farriers Registration Council, are supporting a Supreme Court appeal against a High Court ruling that sex shop licence fees should be based on administration costs only.
Westminster Council have applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against a decision by High Court judges last May. The High Court came down on the side of sex shop traders who successfully claimed the council's massive fees used to fund
Trading Standards enforcement actions (unrelated to licence paying shops) was unlawful.
A film company has been shooting the latest instalment of a German TV franchise in an adult shop in Truro. Mrs Palm sex shop on Little Castle Street will be seen in a feature length TV adaptation of a romantic novel written by the Cornish born
author, Rosamunde Pilcher.
The scene will show a lead female character slipping in to the adult shop to buy a lingerie set and walking out carrying one of the shop's distinctive fuchsia pink bags.
Nice ' n' Naughty would like to respond to the comments made by Councillor Marshall at last night's successful sex establishment license renewal for our store, located at 27 High Street, Bangor. We are grateful to Councillor Marshall
for raising the concern that Nice ' n' Naughty stores could sell violent hardcore pornography that is demeaning to women since there is often confusion as to what types of material are available in licensed sex shops.
At each of our 12 licensed stores, we are carefully regulated and perhaps an object of greater scrutiny, than for example, an unlicensed premises who sell adult material. We are acutely aware of our responsibilities and staff are trained to
ensure only adults gain access to the premises. Any pornographic products found within each store can only be viewed by adults who choose to enter them. Once inside customers may purchase a variety of items ranging from massage oils and lingerie
on one end of the spectrum, to sex toys on the other. However I assume by Councillor Marshalls comments that she is referring to the extensive range of over 500 R18 certified DVDs available in store. Customers often use the word hardcore to
denote R18 classification.
Before we can sell an adult DVD, it is subject to classification by the British Board of Film Sensors (BBFC), much in the same way as any movie. DVDs classified as R ( restricted) 18 may only be supplied in licensed sex shops and supplied to
adults of not less than 18 years of age. The category is primarily for explicit works of consensual sex or strong fetish material involving adults. During the classification process, the BBFC state that certain types of material are not
acceptable and films containing such material will fail classification. Included in prohibited material is anything that indicates withdrawal of consent, or any infliction of pain or acts that may cause lasting physical harm. At the more extreme
end the classification prohibits penetration by an object associated with violence or likely to cause harm. On this basis, it would be impossible for us to supply an R18 DVD that was in any way violent, since it would not pass the stringent
classification of the BBFC. We are unsure what shops or products Councillor Marshall may have previously encountered or when, but the classification laws are quite explicit on this point. Nice ' n' Naughty would however be delighted to
invite her to our premises in order to allay any concerns.
In terms of being demeaning, the BBFC is equally as clear, stating that any humiliation or abuse which does not form part of clearly consenting role play is not acceptable. They go on to say that strong physical or verbal abuse, even if
consensual, is unlikely to be accepted. As such the content of the certified R18 titles sold by Nice ' n' Naughty, is neither violent nor demeaning and would strongly refute the allegation.
But of course there is the wider point that some may feel any sexual activity portrayed in a DVD is demeaning to women. I do understand and empathize with this view. However it is not born out of fact. Over 60% of customers visiting our stores
are women who clearly do not feel demeaned by our products. Similarly almost 30% of adult DVDs sold in store are purchased by women. Clearly many women have no objection to R18 media.
There is also the issue of social responsibility, in that Nice ' n' Naughty attempts to control who may purchase the material in store. This is a considerable improvement on the position taken by the leading internet providers, whose
search engines in the main allow unrestricted access to a variety of hard core material, some of which may never have been classified. Hence whilst it is easy to tarnish the role of a licensed sex shop, it at least offers a regulated alternative
to the plethora of downloadable pornographic material.
Nice ' n' Naughty would urge Councillor Marshall to visit our store and gain a closer understanding of the challenges we face and the control we exercise.
A policy that effectively bans sexual entertainment venues and sex cinemas in the town of Central Bedfordshire has been adopted by the council's Licensing Committee.
An initial telephone survey of 1,123 residents resulted in 63% of respondents saying they did not believe licences for sexual entertainment venues should be granted in their local area. More specifically, the results revealed that at least 80% of
respondents were opposed to sex entertainment venues operating in the vicinity of religious buildings, schools, residential areas and places frequented by children and families. A public consultation on the draft policy showed similar opinions
about the locality of sex establishments.
The new policy bans sex establishments (sexual entertainment venues and sex cinemas only, not sex shops) within 500m of the more or less everywhere:
Schools, nurseries or any other premises substantially used by or for children under 18 years of age Areas frequented by children and families, eg. tourist attractions Residential areas Parks or other recreational areas used by or for children
under 1 years of age Areas frequented by vulnerable adults, eg. care homes Areas associated with family leisure and retail Community buildings Churches or other places of religious worship
It is with great sadness we have announced the closure of the Nice 'n' Naughty Aberystwyth store after nearly a decade of trading from 22 Piers Street.
We would like to thank all our customers that have supported us over the years and hope to see them soon at one of our stores across the UK or on our website.
Nice 'n' Naughty Aberystwyth store was one of 13 stores across the UK, opening in 2004 with a flourish of activity and a steady flow of intrigued customers from far and wide. The large student population created a regular customer base as Nice
'n' Naughty offered a range of fancy dress costumes alongside the huge selection of adult toys, DVDs, Magazines and Lingerie.
However, over the past 3 years we have seen a dramatic decline in regular customers due to the tough economic times we are all living in today. Although there is always a busy period when the students arrive in October each year it is not enough
to sustain the business throughout the whole year and as the students leave we have found the longer summer months with a lack of tourist visitors to the store increasingly difficult.
Nice 'n' Naughty continue to trade from stores in Brighton, Bristol, Bangor, Bolton, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southport, Warrington, Wigan and the website which offers online shopping.