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UK Sex Shop News


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20th December

    Naughtier Sundays ...


at Nice 'n' Naughty in Aberystwyth

From Nice 'n' Naughty

Nice 'n' Naughty attended a licensing hearing yesterday and been granted permission from Ceredigion County Council to open their Aberystwyth shop, 22 Pier St, on Sunday 24th, & Sunday 31st January and Sunday 11th February (just before Valentines Day) on opening hours 10a.m. to 4pm.

Hopefully a more permanent flexibility about Sunday opening can be obtained in future.

Nice 'n' Naughty will be celebrating by offering 20% discount to all Melon Farmers readers who visit the stores on any of these 3 days!


6th December

    R18s for Rent


First video store to get sex shop licence

Thanks to Bod on Melon Farmers Forum

The UK`s first mainstream video store as just been granted a sex shop licence to rent R18 titles however one condition of the license is that they do not stock any sex toys, the store Movie Express is located in Borden, Hampshire


28th November

    Taboo Not Taboo in Evesham

From Evesham Journal

The second sex shop on Evesham's Port Street has been granted a licence.

Applicant Tony Tozer, of Leigh, who already owns an adult shop in Kidderminster, submitted an application to Wych-avon District Council for a licence to sell hardcore adult material from Port Street.

Tozer did not require planning permission to open up as the premises were originally used as a betting shop, which falls under the same category under planning law.

However, a licence to sell the hardcore material was needed and now that has been granted, district council officers will be able to monitor the shop, called Taboo.

Graham Simms, leader of the licensing sub-committee, said: The licence was granted on the grounds that it no more effects Port Street than the other adult shop which is almost directly opposite.


20th November
updated to
1st December

    Nice 'n' Naughtier in Bangor


Nice 'n' Naughty are celebrating the licensing of their only previously unlicensed shop last Friday 17th November.

The Bangor store opened 2 years ago having been refused a license. Nice 'n' Naughty then reapplied last year and were again refused. However, persistence paid off as on the 3rd attempt they were surprisingly granted a full sex shop license and are now able to supply R18 films to Bangor customers.

In appreciation of customers who supported the licence application and petition, Nice 'n' Naughty have 500 R18 DVDs to give away to the first buying customers.

Starting Thursday 23rd November. Simply mention melon farmers to the Bangor shop staff and you will be given a free R18 DVD of the Managers choice

24th November

Update: eA Nice 'n' Naughty Tal

Press release from

Adult retail boss Simon Prescott has won a bitter two-year battle to open a licensed sex shop in Bangor – overcoming initial 'scurrilous' suggestions that the professionally-run premises would attract perverts and even gangsters.

His Nice n Naughty empire has now become the 10th largest adult retailer in the UK, after Gwynedd County Council unexpectedly granted a licence allowing the sale of hard core material.

Despite no objections from members of the public, the local authority and Bangor Town Council had twice refused applications, amid what Simon describes as 'scandalous' allegations that his award-winning business would corrupt the local community.

But it was a case of third time lucky as Nice n Naughty learned via an "out of the blue" phone call that it had finally been granted a licence to sell R18 DVD's and other sex products from a retail outlet on High Street.

To celebrate Simon hosted a special party for staff and suppliers at the shop and began giving away £30 films to all existing customers who had previously been using the store to purchase "softer" unlicensed products.

Whilst Simon is delighted to have finally won consent, he is angry that it has taken so long, losing him tens of thousands of pounds in costly legal fees and lost trade.

I'm just relieved that the authorities have at last seen sense and decided to enter the modern era. My stores are a world away from the seedy image of back street sex shops of the past, he emphasised.

The saga began in September 2004 when Simon's initial application was rejected by the county council by 15 votes to nil, following a recommendation from the Town Council and objections from the Police.

Simon explained: One councillor claimed that sex shops were notoriously linked to perverts and gangsters which quite frankly is slanderous. We wanted to convert an empty shell of a former newsagents into a high quality outlet but it was the council's fear of the unknown and their perception of seedy sex shops and the whole taboo subject that was the problem.

Simon then challenged the decision, but at a hearing he says was conducted all in Welsh that he could not understand, he lost again. At this stage there was no appeal route, just a Judicial Review that would have been time consuming and very costly, he remarked.

Simon decided to open in January 2005 selling 'softer' sex products that did not require a licence. He traded for 10 months and built up a petition signed by thousands of genuine customers, and then applied again for a licence in October 2005.

He recalled: We lost again by the same 15 votes to nil. I could not believe it.

Nice n Naughty continued to legitimately trade without a licence until a few days ago when Simon received a telephone call out of the blue saying that the licence had at last been granted, at the third time of asking.

I took a call from an officer of Gwynedd Council saying that under the powers of delegation we had been granted a licence. I was told that this time there had been unanimous support from everyone, the police, traders and the whole of the community. I was ecstatic.

Simon is now legally selling a wide range of XXX products and has three members of staff working at the shop that joins a chain of others across the North West of England and Wales, including Aberystwyth and Chester.

Simon added: Although I am delighted to have finally won this battle I feel I have been messed around for the last two years. The Welsh authorities are years behind their English counterparts in terms of a modern, forward-thinking outlook on life. I am just glad that all this is over and that the people of Bangor can experience the highest levels of service that makes Nice n Naughty one of the fastest growing and most respected names in the high street adult entertainment industry. We want to send out the message that sex isn't shameful, we are playing a vital role in helping people sustain healthy marriages and relationships They should 'love' their 'love-lives'.

Chester-based Nice n Naughty is the current holder of The Retailer of the Year accolade that was awarded at the Erotic Trade Only Awards, the industry equivalent of the Oscars. Its staff get good wages, conditions, health benefits and even gym membership, making it easy to attract high calibre workers.

Simon pointed out: Hopefully our business philosophy and continued awards success will help break down barriers and change people's perceptions of sex shops as seedy back street premises with boarded up windows.

Our shops are nothing like that. They are clean, professionally-run, fun environments. We want to create relaxing atmospheres in which couples and ladies especially feel comfortable. Nice n Naughty is a great regional success story.


16th November

    Nutters on the Prowl

Stephenson Street nestles in the heart of Birmingham's concrete jungle and has catered for sex shops as long as I can remember. Surely there can't be a better location.

From UK Gay

Birmingham's fist gay and lesbian sex shop has been branded by nutters as a moral abyss of sexual depravity.

The store would be opened by Prowler, catering to gay clientele, but opponents worry that granting a licence would give Birmingham an international reputation for lewdness , according to the Birmingham Mail.

Prowler's new store is set to open next to New Street Station, opposite Stephenson Street gateway.

Prowler chairman Charles Graham Bell assured that the outlet would be beneficial to Birmingham's tourism: A large number of people from the gay and lesbian community will come into Birmingham to make their purchases. We will ensure the store is an asset to Birmingham - its lesbian, gay and bisexual community needs a Prowler store.

However, city councillor Kath Hartley suggested that a new sex shop would only tarnish the already dodgy area: A sex shop on this bus parade would demean the row of businesses there - one of which is a Christian book shop.


13th November
updated to
15th November

    Unsavoury in Coventry

From AVN

A proposed sex shop has caused an angry response from nutters and some local businesses. Birmingham-based Adult World Ltd. has recently applied to open a store in the center of the city, on the site of a local fabric store.

City Council received a number of letters objecting to the shop being located in what protesters feel is an "inappropriate" area.

The issue came to a head as directors from Adult World Ltd. and people campaigning against the shop attended a licensing meeting at the Council House to give their arguments.

Staff at the nearby Probation Unit and Refugee Centre told icCoventry the shop will upset their vulnerable clients and will attract what they called "unsavory people" to the area.

Adult World attorney Kareem Baig told the report that the shop is discreet and will have a positive economic effect on the area: No offence is being caused or will be caused by the granting of the license. The decor design and public image is tasteful, decent and in accordance with the business.

The committee failed to reach a decision, but is expected to reach one by the end of the week.

15th November


Update: Sleazy Justification

From ic Coventry

Coventry city councillors have refused the licence for a sex shop in Bishop Street.

Nutters and the nearby Probation Service and Refugee Centre feared that the shop would turn the road into a street of sleaze.

The agencies claimed their vulnerable clients, many of whom have been victims of sexual violence, could be upset by the presence of the sex shop, and vulnerable young people were in danger of exploitation.

The licensing committee at Coventry City Council agreed and refused to give permission for the shop. A spokesman from the city council said: The grant of a licence would be inappropriate having regard to the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put. The committee reached this decision having heard from the applicant and from the representatives of the occupiers of two premises within the immediate vicinity of 25 Bishop Street - The Probation Service and Coventry Refugee Centre.


14th November


Update: Private Sundays Approved

From Wakefield Today

An angry church nutter has condemned a Wakefield Council decision to grant Sunday opening hours to a sex shop during the Christmas period.

The Private Shop, on Doncaster Road, will open on December 17, 24 and 31 for a maximum of six hours, following a successful application by Darker Enterprises.

But the Nutter Reverend Mike Croft, of St Catherine's Church 200 metres from the sex shop, said the licensing authority had made a big mistake: It is a question whether this is in the best interests of the public, especially at this time of year, which is about promoting the love of God and well being in society. This shop is within close proximity of us, a Baptist church and two mosques and it has always been a matter of concern for people in the area. I believe it is the collective responsibility of all faith leaders to act in the best interests of the public whenever anything like this arises and oppose such applications.


5th October
updated to
20th October

    Temptation to Nutters

From This Is Lancashire

A sex shop proposed for a residential area of Bolton has been slammed by horrified nutters who are demanding the plans be thrown out. The adult store would be situated in Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge. The proposed adult store would be called Temptations and occupy premises formerly used by The Copy Shop.

Nutters and businesses have started a petition in a bid to stop it going ahead. Alex Hartshorne, headteacher at Sharples Primary School, said: I wouldn't support anything which provides opportunities for children to see things they should not. A lot of our pupils would have to pass the shop."

Petition organiser, Chris Whittaker, who runs the In Good Taste cafe next door to the proposed shop, said the store would not be welcome.

Anna Bowling, of Florence Avenue, said: As a mother I would feel uncomfortable walking past a sex shop with my young daughter and I am sure other parents would feel the same way.

Astley Bridge councillor, John Walsh, said: I have grave concerns and have been on to the licensing officers. This is totally inappropriate with all the young people in the area, although I am also not at ease with the prinicple. I don't believe there's a right location for this kind of thing, but this is definitely the wrong one.

Members of Bolton Council's licensing committee were today meeting to decide on the application.

6th October


Update: Celebratory Drinks

Thanks to Claude

Despite the opposition "Contact Al - the Punters Pal" has done it  again!

On Tuesday a massive newspaper front page story - SEX SHOP FURY - had just about every board in Bolton outside a newsagent bleating on about the usual bollox.

I didn't think he'd have a prayer but looking extremely smart for a poor sex shop owner, he came out of the committee meeting with a wry smile and announced that anyone turning up at "The Sparking Clog" will get FREE BEER all night, it had to be a license. Sometimes victory is sweeter - Free beer and a smug smile was enjoyed by about 50 of us!

Cheers Alan!

Funny thing, I can't find any info about the decision - sour grapes or what?

20th October


Update: Temptations to Sour Grapes

From This Is Lancashire

Tory Councillor John Walsh has slammed what he calls a lack of public consultation before Bolton Council granted permission for Temptations adult store to open in Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge.

He has written to council chief executive Bernard Knight to complain about the decision and will call in the local government ombudsman. He said: This is a residential area and hundreds of school children will pass the sex shop every day, so how can it be appropriate? I don't believe there was proper consultation and have asked for a comprehensive list of who was consulted. Advertising of the application was not widespread enough and did not go on for long enough.

Cllr Walsh said he was astonished the licensing committee had approved the application for the site which is within walking distance of Sharples School, Sharples Primary School and Holy Infant and St Anthony RC Primary School.

A council spokeswoman said: The consultation process is laid down in law and was followed. The steps include advertising the application which the business did in The Bolton News on July 29. We are looking into the other issues raised by CllrWalsh and will be replying to him.


14th October

    Desires for a Licence

From Worthing Today

A Worthing sex shop is bidding to sell hardcore films.
Secret Desires, in Rowlands Road, provoked the usual nutters when it first applied for a licence earlier this year before the shop opened.

Sex shop opponent Steve Stevens gathered a 1,200-signature petition and protesters waved banners and campaigned outside the Town Hall before the licensing committee met.

But a thumbs-down from Worthing Borough Council did not stop the shop opening unlicensed and the owners claim a year of discreet, successful, trouble-free business can only help the new application they expect to submit soon.


11th October

    Councillors Make a Negative Impact on their Reputation

It is hard to not to surnise that the council is banning the shop for moral reasons. Firstly it is in an area where a sex shop has already been approved. Secondly Private Lines is already trading so any supposed impact has already been made. A slight change to the sales lines is hardly going to have any significant further impact on the area. Hopefully the councillors will be surcharged.


Nutters applauded last night as Gosport council threw out plans for a second sex shop in the town but the authority may now face a legal challenge to its ruling.

Around 15 local residents came to show their objection to an application by Private Lives in Forton Road, Gosport, to become a licensed sex shop.

The application would have allowed the shop to sell pornographic films.

But after the meeting last night business manager Chris Blake said the firm would appeal the council's decision in court.

Private Lives is on the same road as the town's existing sex shop, Utopia, and councillors agreed with nutters that a second sex shop would have an unacceptably negative impact on the area.

Residents also expressed their predictable anger that the shop was close to six churches and schools.

Chairman of the licensing board Councillor Chris Carter said: The board is concerned of the cumulative negative impact of the existing sex shop. The board considers the character of the immediate area would be adversely affected.


25th September

    Licensed to Exploit

From ic Surrey Online

Anyone wishing to open a sex shop, strip club or adult cinema in Mole Valley will now have to pay £2,800 just to make an application to the council. This represents a more than eight-fold increase on the previous fee of £361.

But despite this,it is still less costly to open a sex establishment in Mole Valley than most other surrounding areas.

  • Woking Borough Council charges an initial fee of £10,914 for an application.
  • The fee in Epsom and Ewell is £6,150
  • Applying to open a sex establishment in Tandridge will set you back £5,000.
  • Greenwich Council, in south east london, charges £19,000 for any application for a sex establishment.

At last week's policy committee meeting, some opposition councillors called for Mole Valley to set stricter fees, in line with those elsewhere. But the council's head of services David Searle said he was happy with the £2,800 figure, which he said took into account the "likely costs" of any application to the council.

The policy committee also agreed other new rules for the sex industry. All applicants must advertise their plans in the local press within 21 days of lodging their application. Letters will also be sent to all residents and businesses within 100 yards of the proposed establishment.


21st September


Update: Scarborough is Different to Everywhere Else

From Yorkshire Post Today

Scarborough council may have to abandon its 20 year "zero tolerance" policy on sex shops after its legal officers warned that adult entertainment companies could take their battle for outlets in the resort to the High Court.

Scarborough is one of the few resorts in the country not to have any adult stores in its town centre. One shop selling magazines and adult toys had planning consent in the late 1970s in Aberdeen Walk, but the business failed owing to lack of custom.

Planners did not have to confront the issue until July this year when Darker Enterprises Ltd applied to license a sex shop in Victoria Road, Scarborough, next door to the Movieland video rental business. More than 300 people petitioned against the scheme with the usual bollox reasons.

The council rejected the scheme out of hand because of a decision by the full council in 1984 that it would have "no sex establishments in any localities in the Borough of Scarborough" using a section of the 1982 Local Government legislation.

However, councillors will be warned that the 1984 policy has now been overtaken by court cases and sticking to it could leave the authority open to judicial review by sex shop operators.
Lawyers are recommending the town hall adopt a new policy to decide each case on its merits , which means the Darker Enterprises application would be allowed to proceed to a hearing where all views will be considered.

Rev Mark Haynes, superintendent of Scarborough Methodist Churches, who led the campaign against the sex shop, said: I will galvanise the troops again to make their feelings known and hopefully we will get more than 300 objections this time. Part of me feels we are dominated and ruled by lawyers, although we have to respect the law. But there comes a time for Scarborough to say we are different and do not have to follow the example of everyone else.

There are no plans for public consultations on the new policy because the council's legal team says that residents can have their say each time consent is sought for a sex shop licence.

Scarborough's head of environmental health services Andy Skelton noted that a particular concern was a 1994 case involving Bournemouth Council and a firm called Continental Books which underlined that pre-determining numbers before even hearing an application went against "natural justice".


20th September

    Nice n Naughty n Female Friendly

From a press release by

Plans have been unveiled for the county's first ever fully licensed adult boutique in Liverpool, aimed specifically at women.

Fast-growing adult retailer Nice n Naughty is opening a plush city centre lingerie and accessory store where hanging baskets will adorn the exterior and an appealing shop window display will be the first in Liverpool for more than a quarter of a century after licensing chiefs lifted previous design restrictions on sex industry retailers.

The Colquitt Street premises will boast a special relaxation zone where customers can enjoy refreshments as part of a warm and welcoming shopping experience that also features a demonstration area, complete with giant plasma screen showcasing the latest erotic fashion wear.

Store Director Simon Prescott explained: This will be our 10th store across the north west of England and Wales, and it is the first in the country to be designed specifically for females and couples. The exterior design and general atmosphere will have a much softer female appeal and all the staff will be ladies apart from one male worker.

The store is due to open late November. Sexy clothing, wigs, boots and shoes will be some of the many items available.

It will be a very relaxing shopping experience, slightly different than are other stores that tend to be a little more male orientated, said Simon. It is much bigger than our existing Liverpool store and we want to create a different atmosphere as we recognise that many traditional rival sex stores can have a harsh image, aimed much more at the male market.

He added: Another major difference is that we have been granted consent for a window display that traditionally have been banned by the council for the last 30 years. In the past adult shops have had to have a fully closed off shop frontage with frosted glass or pulled over curtains.

Chester-based Nice n Naughty has now become the third largest chain of its type in the country. The Award winning business is the current holder of The Retailer of the Year accolade that was awarded at the Erotic Trade Only Awards, the industry equivalent of the Oscars.

Simon pointed out: Our staff get good wages, conditions, health benefits and even gym membership, so it's easy for us to attract high calibre workers. Hopefully our business philosophy and continued awards success will help break down barriers and change people's perceptions of sex shops as seedy back street premises with boarded up windows. We want to send out the message that sex isn't shameful, we are playing a vital role in helping people sustain healthy marriages and relationships.


18th September

    Blanket Sex Shop Ban Dismissed

From Saffron Walden Reporter

Uttlesford District Council's officers recommended to the licensing committee that when prospective sex shop owners apply for licences they are judged on their own merits. 12 town and parish councils having responded to a questionnaire stating the establishments would be unwelcome within their boundaries.

Stansted parish clerk Ruth Clifford said she was shocked the committee had been recommended not to adopt a policy of a blanket ban on sex shops.

UDC's executive manager for corporate governance, Michael Perry, said the recommendation was made because the committee members do not have sufficient evidence on which to substantiate either a policy to prevent sex establishments or one which imposes strict limits on the number allowed. He added that such policies could attract a judicial review and that every application should be dealt with on its individual merits.


10th September

    Dildos at Greenpeace

From Barladies

Environmental group Greenpeace called on the European Union to ban the use of chemical plastic softeners in sex toys because they contained dangerous substances known as phthalates.

Adult sex toys contain the same toxic substances that the European Union banned from use in children's toys, Greenpeace said in a press release.

The environmental group said it was shocked to find that seven of the eight sex toys it had tested contained between 24 and 51% of phthalates.

It is unbelievable that such toxic substances can be used in adult toys. We have tested many products in the last few years but never have we encountered such high concentrations, Greenpeace spokesman Bart van Opzeeland said.

Greenpeace research has shown that phthalates can disrupt the human hormonal system, diminishes fertility and adversely affects the kidneys and liver.

The substance is used to soften plastics and PVC plastic. Greenpeace stressed that a ban on phthalates would not mean the disappearance of people's favourite sex toys as there are plenty of non-toxic alternatives.


10th September

    What is the world coming to when we need a sex shop in Coventry?

Plans were unveiled for a sex shop in Coventry city centre. A curtain store in Bishop Street would be converted into a shop selling adult videos and magazines.

A Birmingham-based firm is behind the bid for a licence to create the first city centre sex shop in Coventry. The latest bid has been made by Gary James Best on behalf of Adult World Limited.

A similar application to the city council in 2001 sparked nutter opposition and was rejected.

The Reverend Nutter Viv Gasteen, of the Central Methodist Church, in Warwick Road said: What is the world coming to when we need one of these shops in Coventry? It is totally unnecessary.


8th September

    Licensed...But Don't Tell Anyone

From This Is Dorset

Nutters claim they scored a 'minor victory' when councillors refused to allow a Weymouth sex shop store to change its sign.

Store boss Neil Phillips wanted to add 'licensed adult shop' to signage above Discretion in Ranelagh Road - as well as a licence to operate for another year.

But although Weymouth and Portland borough councillors granted the licence they refused the change in signage conditions.

Licensing committee chairman Councillor Michael Goodman said: In view of the fact that no complaints about the shop have been made, certainly none that haven't been immediately resolved, and we've had no objections, we are happy to renew the licence. With regard to relaxation of conditions, we're not happy that the sign could be seen by members of the public on the outside of the shop.

Phillips said: On my three other premises, having that on the outside sign is a condition. It forewarns the public before entering the store.

Councillor Joy Stanley, who represents Melcombe Regis ward, said: This is a minor victory for standards in the area. Local people have rallied in the past against this type of shop and there is no need to indicate the type of shop it is. At least with it just saying Discretion on the sign it does not lower the tone.


2nd September

    Bury Culture

From This Is Lancashire

A sex shop could be the latest addition to Bury town centre's culture quarter'.

Councillors met recently to decide whether to approve the establishment at Back Broad Street.

An objection has been received from the manager of Connexions Bury on Broad Street, who says it would be inappropriate for a sex shop to be nearby impressionable youngsters who use the Connexions service.

Bury has two licensed sex shops, in Rochdale Road and Bolton Road.

Members of the licensing and safety panel will have to decide how many, if any, sex shops are appropriate for the area.


27th August

    Nutters Pry into Private Lives


Plans for a second sex shop in a town have predictable sparked outrage among nutters who fought to stop the first one from opening.

A shop called Private Lives has just opened for business along the road from Utopia and has applied to Gosport Borough Council for a sex shop licence.

The shop currently sells lingerie and sex toys but if given the go-ahead, it will be able to stock explicit pornographic films.

Some nutter residents cannot understand why there need to be two shops in the same road and feel that both shops are out of place in the area.

Peggy Radford said: I am disgusted that there's one in this area, I can't think of a reason why we would need two. Most of the residents are families and elderly people, it's just terrible. People can buy these things on the internet these days so there is no need for the shops. [perhaps she should have a word with her MP about the ludicrous mail order prohibition]

Gosport Council deputy leader Graham Burgess said every application would be judged on its merits: Gosport Borough Council said that they would permit two sex shops in Gosport, the fact they they are both on Forton Road is immaterial. The residents' points of view will be looked at before a final decision is made.

Views are invited by September 12.


26th August


Pillow Talk Stifled

From Eastbourne Today

Pillow Talk sex shop is looking for someone to take over the premises after the company went into liquidation this month.

The shop at 3 Terminus Buildings opened last April.


31st July

    Licensed to Ban

From Tyrone Times

Dungannon Council has passed legislation allowing it to take control of the setting up of sex establishments in the borough area.

Under a new directive, due to take effect from next month, anyone wishing to set up a sex establishment, which includes sex shops and sex cinemas, within the borough will have to comply with council regulations and require a licence to operate.

From August 21 it will be an offence to use any premises including a vehicle, vessel or stall in the Dungannon district as a sex establishment unless the appropriate licence has been granted.
Offenders could face a fine of up to £20,000.

A council spokesperson said the move was taken to safeguard the public and reflected wider changes in society: Licence officers have advised the council to put in place legislation to deal with the possibility of someone wishing to set up such an establishment. The spokesperson denied that the move was in response to attempts to set up a sex shop in the Dungannon district.

The council has subsequently made an amendment to the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Order (1985) which provides for the control of sex establishments.

The licences, which will be granted for one year, will only be effective provided the applicant meets a number of strict criteria. Applicants with a criminal conviction will be barred from holding a licence. The character of the relevant locality and the use of neighbouring premises will be taken into account before agreeing to an application. It will be up to the council to decide the appropriate number of such establishments in the locality. [no doubt zero]


27th July

    Retailer of the Year...For the Second Year Running

The Melon Farmers also offer their congratulations particularly as Simon takes time to make for a good relationship with his advertisers too...Well done!...well deserved!


Expanding adult retailer Nice n Naughty is celebrating back-to-back 'Oscars' success after securing a prestigious industry accolade for the second year running.

The Chester-based company that has eight stores across the North West of England and Wales including Aberystwyth, Bangor, Chester, Warrington, Wigan, Bolton, Liverpool, Southport, Manchester was named Retailer of the Year at the Erotic Trade Only Awards – the industry equivalent of the Oscars.

At a glittering London ceremony, Nice n Naughty secured the coveted crown, beating rivals such as Ann Summers to repeats last year's stunning success.

The high profile awards are voted for by the industry itself and are attended by a vast range of adult suppliers, wholesalers and retailers from all over the UK.

Delighted Company Founder, Simon Prescott explained: To win this award for a second consecutive year is fantastic and demonstrates the high quality of our modern and appealing stores and also our friendly and knowledgeable staff. This award is voted for by the industry itself so is extremely gratifying to realise we are so well respected and acknowledged by our peers. Also I think its right that the public should realise when they shop at Nice N Naughty they are buying from the officially recognised, best adult retail shops in the U.K.

Simon paid tribute to the dedication and hard work of his staff and said: To get the award two years on the run is a great achievement and I was so pleased to see the sheer delight and genuine pride on the faces of our staff who attended the ceremony. It was a great feeling to see the staff on stage to accept the award as I know they take so much pride in Nice n Naughty and have grown and developed with the company. We work very hard together to make Nice n Naughty the best and to see the smiles on their faces during and after the award ceremony was priceless.

Nice n Naughty is the first licensed adult retailer to achieve Investor In People status and sells lingerie, sex toys and hard core DVD's. It has already made headlines of its own this year when attempts to sponsor a Southport Cricket Club were hit for six after claims its support was inappropriate.

Simon revealed: Nice n Naughty operate a very active policy of supporting local communities and now sponsors many different amateur sports sides across the region. Winning this award is the perfect tonic ahead of a forthcoming new store opening in the North West later next month, whilst our enhanced website and on-line store also reflects how the company continues to evolve and move forward.

Simon is hoping this latest awards success combined with the professional and transparent way he runs his business will help banish the traditional 'old style' negative perceptions of the retail sex industry.

He continued: Our staff get good wages, conditions, health benefits and even gym membership, so it's easy for us to attract high calibre workers. Hopefully our business philosophy and continued awards success will help break down barriers and change people's perceptions of sex shops as seedy back street premises with boarded up windows.

Our shops are nothing like that. They are clean, professionally-run, fun environments. We want to create relaxing atmospheres in which couples especially feel comfortable.

He added: We want to send out the message that sex isn't shameful, we are playing a vital role in helping people sustain healthy marriages and relationships.

Mr Prescott, aged 33 runs the growing business with his partner Trish Murray who originates from Warrington. He opened his first shop in Chester in 2000.

He concluded: "Nice n Naughty is a tremendous success story as our reputation and market presence continues to grow, helped in a significant way by winning high profile industry awards such our latest success.

We have a great relationship with all our suppliers and friendly rivals and are grateful for their ongoing support whilst we have continued to grow and develop the business. We are determined to move the company onto even further levels of success."


25th July

    Bad Apples

From Somerset County Gazette

A move to block any more sex shops in Taunton has been approved. Taunton Deane Council's licensing committee has decided the two shops in Station Road are enough - one is trading and the other has permission to open.

Members voted to keep to two in the town and also said there should be no sex shops in parishes around the district. The matter, prompted by complaints from the public, will now go to full council,.

A guide policy for applicants wishing to set up a sex establishment in the district was also approved.

Deane licensing manager Jim Hunter said: A local authority can specify the number of sex establishments in an area, and in this particular case two shops would seem appropriate. We've examined the case law, and from this I believe the committee's decision is beyond challenge."

[Maybe they haven't spotted Human Rights Legislation that requires a better justification than: "two shops would seem appropriate", before banning things]


24th July

    Human Rights Gone West

From Weston Mercury

Hardcore porn will not go on sale from a shop in Weston which has been refused a sex shop licence. North Somerset Councillors turned down a licence application from Joy Adult Shop in Whitecross Road.

It is the third time the saucy store has failed to get the licence that would allow it to sell R18 films and increase its range of adult products.

Ward councillors and nutters said that a full sex shop would knock down property prices, degrade a family area and upset passing schoolchildren.

Solicitor for Joy, David Fletcher, argued that there would be no real change: The idea that it has an affect or corrupts the youth of the area is ridiculous. The practical difference will be nil in the area and on the people living around. The idea that it will attract a sinister cliental is wrong.
I dispute that the shop is on a school route. It simply isn't.

Premises of this kind have to exist. I understand there are none in North Somerset. It is part of a healthy society that we tolerate this kind of shop and the legislation is there to put them in proper places. One has to ask where in Weston would be a proper location, because the town centre would raise exactly the same objections as have been raised in the Whitecross area.

The license would not create any disorder or crime and there had been no objections from the police, churches, schools or other organisations, he said.

Licensing subcommittee chairman Cllr John Clark said: We resolve to refuse this application having regard to the character of the locality and use of which any premises in the vicinity are put.


15th July

    Naughty in Bolton


Nice 'n' Naughty are opening a new licensed shop at the rear of 72 Newport Street in Bolton.

The opening day is set for Monday August 14th.

The first 100 customers will receive a fee gift and any customer printing the details from the Melon Farmers Website will be entitled to 10% Discount in any of the Nice 'n' Naughty shops


6th July
updated to
21st July

    Fair Site

From Scarborough Today

Plans have been drawn up to open a sex shop in Victoria Road, Scarborough. Attempts are being made to turn part of the Movieland premises into one of the Private chain of sex shops.

Private is owned by a company called Darker Enterprises Ltd, which is based in Barking, Essex. It has applied to Scarborough Council for the granting of a sex establishment licence. A spokeswoman for the company said the Private chain sold a wide variety of sex toys, sex videos and DVDs. Applications for sex shops were going in at the rate of "three or four a week" at the moment, said the spokeswoman.

Anyone who wishes to object to the proposal has until the end of the month to write to the head of environmental health services at the council.


18th July


Update: Scarborough Scarred by Nutters

From Scarborough Today and  Yorkshire Post Today

Plans have been drawn up to turn part of the Scarborough Movieland premises into one of the Private chain of sex shops.

Ann Tennant has launched a petition to stop the move from going ahead: I feel very uncomfortable about the whole thing and I've spoken to several of my neighbours who feel the same way. It will attract undesirable people and house prices will come down. There is also a nursery at the bottom of Cambridge Street and I don't think that has been taken into account. It is a very family-orientated community around here, and just because we live in town it doesn't mean we should have to put up with it.

Dave Beck, along with Tennant, started a petition against the sex shop this week and have gained more than 100 signatures from concerned residents.

Christian nutters may also band together to fight plans for the sex shop in Victoria Road. Mark Haynes, minister of Westborough Methodist Church, has led objections to the shop plans. He said he is contacting Martin Dunning, rural dean and vicar of St Mary's Church, as members of both their congregations have raised objections. Haynes hopes the Salvation Army also will join the campaign because the shop is near the organisation's Citadel.

21st July


Update: Scarborough Scarred by Rights Abusing Council

From Scarborough Today

The application for a sex establishment licence has been sent back to Darker Enterprises by the council.

Andy Skelton, the council's head of environmental health, said: We have declined the application because in 1984 the council passed a resolution that it would not license any sex shops. It may well be that the council might revisit that decision to make sure that it reflects the council's current wishes.

There was no-one available from Darker Enterprises to say whether a legal challenge would be made to the council's decision.


1st July

    Ye Olde Attitude

From Saffron Walden Reporter

Sex shops in Saffron Walden may be on the cards depending on the outcome of a district council meeting planned for Tuesday July 18.

Uttlesford District Council will agree on suitable locations for the sex shops after hearing back from the licensing committee, which is currently identifying parts of the district where they would be tolerated.

Some nutters of Saffron Walden have inevitably expressed concern that the introduction of sex shops may bring the town into disrepute.

Sally Keyte said: I really don't think Saffron Walden needs a sex shop, and I am worried that undesirable characters may be encouraged to visit the town. [Too late! undesirables clearly already live in town...]

David Woodhouse, who owns barbershop Chaps in George Street, Saffron Walden, doesn't think a sex shop would survive in the town: Obviously it is still a very taboo subject, especially in a clean-cut town such as Saffron Walden, and it would be hard for a sex shop to get many customers. This is the sort of town where everyone knows everyone, and there would be a lot of gossip if somebody saw someone they knew visiting one. I don't necessarily think it would harm the area, I simply don't believe it would be a success.

The council's licensing committee has sent letters to town and parish councils in the district to enable them to express opinions relating to the introduction of sex shops and the regulations that should govern them.

The letters were sent out to gauge public opinion following an application to open a sex shop on the Parsonage Farm Industrial Estate in Stansted.


19th June

    Swindon Make up their Own Law

From This is Wiltshire

Hardcore DVDs will not be going on sale in Swindon following a meeting of the town's licensing committee.

Members decided last night not to adopt a sex shop licensing regime that would allow premises to sell hardcore material, including R18 videos and DVDs.

The decision comes after months of unbelievable wrangling over whether sex shops would swamp the town if the council adopted such a licensing regime.

Among opponents to the scheme is a coalition of churches spouting self serving bollox that sex shops lead to rape and child pornography.

In its submission to the council's licensing committee, Swindon Churches Together said such a move would attract an undesirable element and give the town a seedy reputation.

Peter Wannell, the owner of Exchange Bookshop an adult shop in Gorse Hill rejected the church criticism. He said there had been no rise in sex crime in other towns that had adopted sex shop licensing, and added that the suggestion the licence would cost £10,000 was ridiculous. Wannell said he had lost 70% of his custom to Oxford and Reading where hardcore videos could be sold.

The council surveyed 33 community, cultural and religious organisations and parish councils. Of those, 23 were opposed to the scheme, seven supported it and three took no position.

After the meeting, Conservative Councillor Colin Lovell,  chairman of the licensing committee, said: We are now looking into writing to our local MPs with a view of changing the law so that we can control where such shops can or cannot be located.

But committee member Lib Dem Councillor Dave Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott) said he refrained from voting on the issue. The sex shop consultation was poor no individuals were consulted which is why I abstained from voting. However suggesting the issue be shelved for up to three years would be dreadful. Evidence was given that hardcore pornography was being sold illegally in areas children frequent, such as leisure centre car parks. Resolving this issue quickly could stop such illegal trade and protect the town's children.


15th June

    Blank Minded Councillors

From the Reading Evening Post

A sex shop has been denied permission to sport lighten up its frontage by licensing chiefs.

Jeremy Bailey gave Reading Borough Council a choice of eight designs for the front window of his newly relocated shop Love Care in Oxford Road.

But his dreams were dashed at a meeting on Wednesday when councillors told him his designs breached regulations. One of the members was also worried children would read the list of products on offer, while others could be offended by the store's hoardings.

Bailey said his new shop was now up to West End standard with new floors and ceiling and it deserved to have a new shop frontage. He had asked for a red front window with either a mouth or oval in the middle and the words, Adult Supermarket, Adult Superstore, Licensed Sex Establishment or Licensed Sex Shop emblazoned on the front.


5th June

    Human Rights Corrupted by Belfast

Belfast Council refuse to grant sex shop licenses without adequate justification of the harm that would be caused and then expect to persecute shops selling without a licence.

From the Belfast Telegraph

A sex-shop owner is heroically continuing to sell unclassified DVDs despite fines previously imposed.

Belfast businessman Kevin Robinson, who owns the Private Lines sex-store in Gresham Street, was fined £2,500 for offences under the Video Recordings Act. Legal R18 hardcore was being sold without a sex shop licence.

Robinson, who does not have a licence, pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Act after officers from Trading SubStandards seized more than 250 videos and DVDs. The items were seized because they were unclassified or marked 'R18'.

Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers vowed to investigate purchases of the two films by Sunday Life reporters: This man pleaded guilty to selling these type of films without a licence and I would like to know why it appears similar films are still being sold. I intend to raise this matter with the council and to see what action can be taken against the sale of such films. The shop must not be too worried about getting fines for these type of films, because it keeps happening all the time.

Belfast City Council, which has already spent £100,000 of ratepayers' money opposing sex-shops, went to the House of Lords earlier this year in a bid to ban Ulster's sex-shops


3rd June

    Bollox from Westminster Council

From the Adult FYI

A record number of pornographic DVDs and videos have been seized from unlicensed sex shops in Soho.

In the past 12 months, Westminister City Council licensing officers confiscated more than 27,000 pornographic movies valued at about £600,000.

The council unbelievably said much of the material seized was banned under the Obscene Publications Act and included acts of "non-consensual violence". Westminster's Licensing Team Leader Peter Cradock said his officers were often left "shocked" when they had to watch the blue movies... .[yeah yeah!]

There are now 14 unlicensed sex shops in Soho, compared to 52 five years ago and the council said it was determined to shut down those that remained. Last year four were closed and no new ones were opened.

Westminster City Council prosecuted 82 people as a result of the raids in the past year.

Councillor Audrey Lewis said: These unlicensed premises are a blight on Soho, which it should be remembered, is also a residential community. We believe the sale and distribution of this material is linked to organised crime [...yeah yeah!] so anything that prevents these people making money has to be a good thing . Our officers are determined to shut down the remaining premises and prevent them selling this unsavoury material. If anyone thinks what has been seized is harmless I can assure them that it is most definitely not.


2nd June

    Above the Law in Dundee

From the Evening Telegraph

Dundee councillors have vetoed an application for a sex shop licence for premises in Albert Street to sell adult videos.

The application by Desire, which currently sells bridal lingerie and fantasy wear, was for a new licence enabling it to sell restricted film material.

The application which was considered by the licensing committee had been opposed by 147 local people. The protesters said the shop was on a main thoroughfare through the Stobswell regeneration area, was near churches, schools, and sheltered housing, and was passed by pupils from a primary and a secondary.

Despite a plea from operator Morag Wilson that there had been 230 people in support who wanted freedom of choice, councillor Joe Morrow effectively cut short the discussion by proposing that the number of sex shops in the area be rated as zero, which effectively meant the current application was one too many.

He was supported unanimously by the committee, and the application fell.


30th May

    Newbridge Prudes

From Kildare Nationalist

Sex shops which have opened their doors in Naas and Newbridge are causing problems with local nutters who are questioning the suitability of the locations. Both shops, at Basin Street in Naas and Eyre Street in Newbridge, are trading under the name Xanadu.

The Naas outlet has ruffled more than a few feathers since it opened its doors on the side street, offering "adult entertainment" and sex toys. The store sells hardcore pornographic DVDs and magazines as well as an array of sex toys and aids.

It is the location of the store that has aggrieved the nutters (any location would aggrieve them though). The store is located near the Kildare Youth Services building and the local library. It looks directly across at a currently disused building earmarked for a new community centre and a potential home to the local No Name Club and Naas Girl Guides.

Speaking to the Kildare Nationalist, the mayor of Naas Pat McCarthy said the store was badly located." I would question whether of not that type of shop is appropriate there, he said. Considering Basin Street and harbour area of Naas is in line for rejuvenation .

Local councillor and prude, Mary Glennon, said: It's not some sense of prudishness. BUT... I just think it's so tacky. Cheap and nasty. Do we need this? It is a very well-trodden path for children on their way to and from school and to the library. There seems to have been a lot of lower-end operations down there (Basin Street). It seems to attract that, and maybe landlords down there should think twice about it,

A spokesperson for Naas Town Council confirmed that the store is within its planning remit as it is trading as a "retail" outlet.

Xanadu, at Middle Eyre Street in Newbridge, is a small premises with a dark façade, possibly designed to offer maximum privacy to those going in there. There is no window display but signage over the doorway advertises that the shop sells "DVDs, toys, hen and stag party packs and lingerie". It also states that the business is "strictly over 18s".

Getting inside requires that you press a special buzzer before being admitted. The interior is small and dark and, apart from one limited display of sex toys and party packs, the vast bulk of the shelving is occupied by DVDs.

The shop is open from 3pm to 10pm. The films that make up most of the shop's stock are clearly of a graphic nature, complete with explicit pictures on the front and the kind of titles not generally seen in regular video stores.

The DVDs cost between €30 and €60 and all appeared to be for sale, with no indication that they could be rented out. Nor was there any sign of the "lingerie" that was advertised for sale outside the shop, although it may have been available on request.

Neighbouring traders on Eyre Street say they are generally not conscious of the Xanadu operation, as it is open only later in the day.

Newbridge mayor Brian Maginn said that while he had not been aware of the operation up to now, he would be concerned about a business of this sort opening on Eyre Street. We all know what is out there on the internet, but we would not like to see certain types of premises in our own town,

A garda spokesperson commented that while an over-18 operation such as this is not illegal in itself, there could be a question surrounding the actual DVDs on sale: An adult shop selling adult material may be alright, but if, for example, any of the films on sale have actually been prohibited by the Censorship of Publications Office, that is another issue entirely .


27th May

    The Appeal of Longer Hours

From This is Kent and Sussex

The owner of a sex shop in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells is celebrating after winning her fight for longer opening hours in a court case this week.

When the original licence for the Secret Desires shop in London Road was issued by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, in November last year, the premises was given restricted opening times between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

The shop owner and director of the company, Cathy Sutton lodged an appeal against the fixed opening times and had her case heard at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on Monday.

Costs were awarded in Sutton's favour of £4,512 after it was heard the council had no reason to restrict opening times. The shop has now been given an extra two hours of trading into the evening to 8pm, and Sunday opening hours of 10am to 4pm.

Sutton who owns eight other sex shops in the South East said: I am very pleased with the result because I was getting fed up with customers saying, 'oh, you shut at 6pm'. I'd say that 40% of our business is done between 6pm and 8pm through our other stores.


22nd May

    Children Forced to Walk Past Nutters Everyday

From Yeovil Express

Members of South Somerset District Council's licensing committee refused an application for a second sex shop to open in Yeovil.

Committee members voted against the application by Darker Enterprises to set up a sex shop on Princes Street.

They were supposedly unhappy about the layout of the entrance to the shop as it shared a confined space which provided access to a butchers used by families; the area was frequently used by young people walking to and from nearby schools and Yeovil College; and the types of other shops in the area were small independent businesses, several of which specifically attract families and children.

Vice-chairman of the licensing committee, Cllr Martin Wale, said: We looked at all the options and thought this was the best solution. He added that the majority of the committee was in agreement to turn the application down. Councillors spent nearly two hours considering the application, and returned to rapturous applause from the assembled objectors.


19th May

    Two Tiers Become One

From York Council

York Council have revised the charging policy for the issue of licences to operate sex shops in the city. The City of York Council previously operated a two tier fee structure.

There are currently three licensed sex shops in York, with two of these being category 1 (£9330 charge for sales of all categories of sex shop products), and the other being category 2 (£2197 charge for sales of VHS, DVDs & magazines only).

Advice from the Head of Civic, Legal and Democratic Services had been sought, and the advice received was that differential fees should only be considered if there is a disparity between the work involved in issuing and maintaining the two categories of licence. In terms of the three licences issued in York there is no significant difference in this regard. The report detailed the consultation with the licence holders of the three licensed sex shops and their responses.

Members discussed advice from the Advisory Panel: That the Executive Member be advised to approvethat the charges remain as set, and that they be reviewed as part of the 2006/07 budget review, and as part of this review the differentiation between category 1 and category 2 sex shops be removed.


18th May

    The Thongs We do for Charity

Thanks to

Amateur footballers showed some 'bare faced cheek' by taking part in a charity soccer tournament wearing just their boots and pink thongs – thanks to Chester-based adult retailer Nice n Naughty.

Nice n Naughty, the first adult retailer to achieve Investor In People status, sponsored male players from The Bridge Pub at Vicars Cross as part of the fundraising event for a children's charity.

Players approached the store chain for support after reading wide spread publicity about its recent failed attempt to sponsor Southport Trinity Cricket Club.

The pub side wore pink thongs donated by the retailer during three matches and also donned sponsored T-shirts to keep warm between games at the charity gathering held at Chester Cricket Club in Vicars Cross – where £2,500 was raised for good causes.

Store Director, Simon Prescott, explained: Nice n Naughty has again been involved in sponsoring local sporting events - however this one was a little different. When approached by a local pub football team for sponsorship to help raise money for a children's charity we didn't think it was that unusual – but how wrong we were. The team wanted to play in the five- a- side tournament each dressed in a PVC pink thong. Nice n Naughty happily sponsored them and we couldn't help but be on the touchline to offer support to the lads.

Simon concluded: Nice n Naughty operates a very active policy of supporting local communities where we have stores and this charity football match is another example of our wide ranging policy. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, having a great laugh and raising money for charity at the same time.


8th May

    Herbal Desires

From ic Wales

Sex shop owner Derek Bartle had promised a gala opening party for Secret Desires in Taibach, near Port Talbot. Last night though, Bartle told how he was forced to put his erotic bash back on the top shelf after being besieged by angry nutters.

Although the shop was approved by Neath Port Talbot Council, the authority received 50 letters from angry residents and nutters who were supposedly worried about the shop's closeness to a school and feared it could lower the tone of Taibach.

We had planned quite a lavish opening but in the end we felt that we did not want to push it in the face of local residents, said Bartle, who runs a similar sex shop in Blackwood. We felt something more low-key was appropriate, so we just opened the doors and waited for customers to come in.

The shop's biggest seller so far has been herbal viagra. We have sold more of that than everything else put together, said Bartle: Many people have come in and have said that they are surprised that the shop is not seedy.

Taibach councillor John Rogers has promised to monitor the shop: There was widespread opposition among local people to the idea of a sex shop in Taibach and hundreds of people supported our campaign against it. I will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure it adheres to the terms of its licence."


30th April

    OldTown Attitudes in Newtownabbey

From the Belfast Telegraph

Plans to open Newtownabbey's first sex shop have sparked a predictable row with nutters. Planners are expected to rule on the application later this year.

David Christie is seeking planning permission to open a sex shop in premises at the Central Park retail area. The businessman already owns a wholesale distribution business, CBC Distribution, which supplies scores of sex shops across Ireland with sex toys, magazines and DVDs.

The Rev Brian McClung from Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church said he would be opposing the proposal: We can't turn around and bemoan what takes place in society in general with perversion and attacks on children and then permit such a thing as a sex shop to exist. [So how many attacks on children have occurred in the name of religion and yet we permit churches etc to exist] . If you look at wicked things you will do wicked things. How many perverts have been found to have been viewers of pornography? I would say the vast majority of perverts use pornography. [So how many terrorists have been found to be users of religion? I would say the majority!]

Christie said he wants to launch a business which shouldn't cause offence to passers-by. Everything which I sell is made for an over-18 market. When you have two consenting adults wanting to purchase such goods, then if that provides them with a bit of spark in their own relationship, then that must be a good thing. If there are customers out there who want to buy toys or buy movies and are taking them home then there are a lot of worse things which they could be doing. The shop would be in a very discreet area and we don't believe it would attract unsavoury characters.


28th April

    Woking is Smoking Now



The first sex shop in Woking was given the go-ahead on Wednesday.

Nine nutters spoke against the licence for a sex shop at 25 High Street and the the council received 58 letters of objection and petitions from seven churches in the borough.

Margaret Burnett of Old Woking said: Woking has become an increasingly pleasant place to live and is a family town. Having a sex shop is not going to help keep it this way. There are a lot of vulnerable people in society who like to indulge in sexual fantasies. They can go on to become dangerous people.

Management consultant Clive Sullivan, who was speaking on behalf of applicant Darker Enterprises (Private Shops), reminded the meeting that sex shops are legal: The decision is not a question of moral values and councillors have to put their personal moral views aside, as well as the objectors' moral views when making the decision.

Sullivan reassured the public about the appearance of the shop, saying: The goods won't be in the window. We have made a condition on the licence that the windows must be obstructed by blinds. I understand people are worried about the licence with regard to children. We do not let under-18s into the shop, our material is strictly for over-18s and we exercise strict control on the premises.

Darker Enterprises, based in Essex, has licences for more than 100 sex establishments in the country.

Cllr Ian Eastwood, committee chairman, said: The committee has had to follow the requirements of the the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the council's adoption of Schedule 3 of the Act on October 8, 2002. We have no option other than to grant the licence, subject to conditions with the following variations and additions.

Councillors agreed the shop would open from 9.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Sunday and public holidays. There must be double doors to enter the shop. The name will be Private Shop and signs will be non-illuminated and discreet. There will be no advertising in press, media or handouts. The licence must be renewed in 12 months when any problems regarding the shop can be discussed.


17th April

    Taunton's 'Told You So' Mayor


From the Somerset County Gazette

A Former Taunton mayor who 'told you so' that the opening of Taunton's first sex shop would start a trend says he has no pleasure in being proved right with the latest application.

Adrian Prior-Sankey says if planning permission is granted for a third sex shop in Station Road retail provision and the Vision for Taunton could be seriously affected: If councillors consider additional shops of this nature are vital to the town's economy there must be more discreet areas avoiding high-profile retail routes and interaction with those of delicate sensitivities.

Essex-based Darker Enterprises hopes to set up shop at 85 Station Road, selling sex toys, lingerie, DVDs and adult videos - it owns 110 similar shops nationally and it is believed the shop will be called 'Private Shop'.

The application is still under consultation by the council


12th April
Updated to
22nd April

    What a Bunch of Silly Mid Wickets


From The Telegraph

When a cricket club negotiated a sponsorship deal with a chain of sex shops, nutters at the England and Wales Cricket Board decided they had to crack the whip. Southport Trinity Cricket Club officials thought they had pulled off a coup when they secured their £600 deal with Nice'n'Naughty.

In return they would bear the company's logo on the front of their shirts and its web address on the back.

They would display a banner at The Rookery ground where the club has played for more than a century. The deal got as far as the official handbook of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition before the ECB stepped in. The Merseyside league was asked to persuade Southport Trinity to pull out of the deal.

It did so by threatening to dock the club any points it accrued while its players were wearing the offending shirts. Colin Maxwell, the club's chairman, said yesterday that he was disappointed: We are living in 2006. It's not like the old days when these shops were seedy, back- street affairs.

From Nice'n'Naughty

It goes without saying that Nice n Naughty are extremely disappointed at the the ECB decision to disallow Nice n Naughty to be the Sponsors of Southport Trinity Cricket Club. We feel that it is discriminating against our business, which is a chain of 8 respectable stores which are fully controlled and licensed by local councils - not dissimilar to a pub or an amusement arcade. As the ECB allow sponsorship from breweries and gambling bodies we can not understand why they feel we are inappropriate and feel a little hard done by to say the least. Nice n Naughty are a professional company that have achieved Investor in People recognition, awarded Adult Retailer of the Year and have over 30 staff in shops that are reflective of any other high street store. We can understand that some people may not want to shop in a Nice n Naughty store but think that the ECB have possibly made a decision on a perception and the stigmas once associated with adult shops. Nice n Naughty is a far cry from the adult shops of yesteryear and with a high percentage of our customers being females and couples we felt that Southport Trinity Cricket Club would be a great way of promoting our business to the cricketers and their wives or partners.

As a company Nice n Naughty have been the sponsors of several local sporting clubs including rugby, netball and football in areas where we have stores. We feel it is important to support local clubs as we know many struggle to obtain sponsorship. We wish Southport Trinity Cricket Club the very best for the season and hopefully one day we will be accepted as a sponsor - like any other professional business!

(Nice 'n' Naughty are running an offer, April through June: Buy 1 DVD can claim a 2nd for half price)

22nd April


Update: A Nice Score for a Chester Cricket XI

From ic Liverpool

Nice 'N' Naughty have announced they are to sponsor another cricket team. Saughall Cricket Club in Chester will brave the furore and last night sealed a deal with Nice 'N' Naughty, which sells hardcore porn videos, sex toys and fetish wear.

Director of the firm, Simon Prescott said: The team in Chester heard about what had happened in Southport and approached us. I like cricket so I am keen to sponsor a team and I am looking for teams and local businesses to sponsor.

Nice 'N' Naughty has eight stores across the region, including one on Seel Street, in Liverpool, and Prescott prides himself that his is the only adult retailer to achieve Investor In People status.

Simon Prescott said he was sure that a cricket sponsorship deal in Chester would be much better received than it was in Southport: People in Chester have always been good to us and we have always been really well received.

He also explained why he let Southport Trinity keep the £600 sponsor money after the club cancelled the deal. He said: To be honest, I just felt really sorry for the lads in the team. They had approached us for sponsorship and were happy to wear the shirts. In the end, it all went above their heads and there was nothing they could have done. After all the publicity, we got much more than £600 worth of advertising, so we let them keep it.

Martin Huxley, Saughall's treasurer and opening batsman, said: We play for a different league, the Mid-Cheshire Alliance, and we have been told it should be all right. Simon and his company have been really generous. We are all very open minded here at the club and are just grateful for the sponsorship - you never know, it might bring us luck.


10th April
Updated to
28th April

    Bognor Desires Sex Shop

From Chichester Today

Sex shop chain owner Cathy Sutton is heading for Bognor Regis. She has revealed her intention to open her latest branch in the town centre. She has chosen a former recruitment agency office in Lyon Street West for her next Secret Desires outlet.

She told the Bognor Regis Observer she could be open selling articles such as sex films and magazines, marital aids, toys and clothing in about six weeks. Her application for a licence to run the adults-only outlet was submitted to Arun District Council this week.

Suttons said that sex shops should no longer be viewed as sleazy backstreet outlets. Sutton said it was inevitable a place with Bognor's population would have a sex shop before long.

27th April


Update: Bognor Prude Starts Petition


A Bognor Regis prude is starting a petition against plans for a sex shop in the town. Samantha Strudwick intends to ask parents at two schools close to the proposed premises for the X-rated outlet to support her protests.

The Bognor Regis Observer revealed recently that Kathy Sutton wanted to open her latest Secret Desires outlet in empty premises in Lyon Street West. Sutton, who has ten sex shops around south east England, has sought a licence from Arun District Council to enable her to sell adult DVDs and magazines as well as marital aids, sex toys and clothing.

But Strudwick said the location was completely unsuitable for such a use: I'm no prude and I know there's a place for sex shops in society... BUT... this shop would be on the main route to two primary schools in the town centre.

28th April


Update: Prudes in Bognor


There was a heated debate hosted by Bognor Regis Town Council on Tuesday. Some 25 people attended the hour long session in the council chamber.

Nearly all were against the idea of the Secret Desires shop opening in Lyon Street West. Their views led the council's planning and licensing committee vote 3-2 against the shop being allowed.

Chairman Cllr Don Eldridge used his casting vote to reach the decision. He said: I think the shop is in the wrong place and there's a lot of public opinion that it should not be there. We should reflect that.

28th April


Update: Desires Granted


Unfortunately for the prudes of Bognor, Adur District council later awarded Secret Desires a sex shop licence enabling opening between 9am and 8pm. Although the council specified that the shop must stay closed on Sundays.

The shop will now open at 5 Lyon Street West in about 4-6 weeks time.


21st March
updated to
14th June

    Applying for License to Please

Thanks to Wendy

SA Lingerie in Hertford, which opened its doors at the beginning of October 2005 has just applied for their sex shop licence at the request of many of their customers!

Shop owner Wendy Stevenson states that the application has reached the local council offices and awaits their decision after the 28 day notice period.

14th June


Update: Good Herts

Thanks to Wendy

SA Lingerie were granted a sex shop licence fro their Hertford shop on Tuesday 13th June by  East Herts District Council.

There were no objections from the general public and the committee voted unanimously for the granting of the licence.

The licensing committee unanimously voted to grant Wendy Stevenson, owner of S A Lingerie in Market Place, permission to use the existing store as a sex shop. The committee even chose to offer longer opening hours for the shop than Stevenson had requested.

Committee member Cllr Michael Tindale said: We could offer opening hours until 8pm, I can't see a reason why not when other shops in the town are open until then.

Sex articles or other items used in sexual activity can be sold in the store, it can also stock R18 certificate videos and DVDs. Without the licence the sale of these products would be an offence under the Video Recordings Act 1984.

There are no plans to alter the shop frontage, the visibility of the interior of the building to passers-by will be restricted and the sex articles will be at the rear of the store.

Stevenson said: I am very pleased with the outcome, we opened at the beginning of October selling lingerie and a few adult products. Since then we have had more and more customers wanting more products in particular R18 DVDs. We looked into getting a licence and found the council had not had one before. It has been a learning curve for us and the council. The application was advertised for a month and no objections from the public were received.


20th March

    Salivating Army Wage War on Legal Adult Entertainment

Let them know where they can stick their War Cry when they collect in your pub.

From the Horsham Today

A film crew plans to make a documentary about the controversy over Horsham's adult shop, due to open next month.

The complaints and objections began in late February, when the message 'Adult shop coming soon' was noticed on the window of an empty shop site at the north end of Barrington Road.

Although it has been predictably condemned as unsuitable for a residential street, planning regulations allow the adult shop to be opened without any planning application having to be submitted.  Licensing as 'sex shop', would be required to sell hardcore videos and DVDs though.

Now, Horsham based independent film and video maker freezedriedham has decided the controversy would make good material for a new documentary. They hope to interview some of the objectors and, if possible, site freeholder Peter Everitt.

Everitt came in for harassment after his decision to allow an adult shop owner to move in as a tenant. In the past, he has been told that planning rules do not allow it to be used as an office or turned into housing.

Horsham's Salvation Army, based in nearby Booth Way, has started a petition against the shop.


18th March

    Your Underwear is Showing

From the Oldham Advertiser

Oldham councillors gave the go ahead for a public knicker display in a town centre sex shop.

The Adult X shop, which has sold underwear, books, sex toys, and DVDs of a graphic nature since June 16, 2002, applied for permission to display lingerie in order to attract more customers.

Deborah Love, area manager of sex store business Simply Pleasure Ltd who own the shop, said: We are really pleased. We are trying to raise the profile of the business and attract couples in their 30s with disposable income.

Simply Pleasure Ltd also run the two-storey, 3,000-square-feet Simply Pleasure warehouse in Park Road, which is thought to be the second largest sex shop in the world beaten only by the famous Hustler shop in Sunset Boulevard in the United States.

Cllr Mohammed Masud, who was the sole objector to the application, accepted the decision: I opposed it. Now it has been passed and that is democracy for you. My view has nothing to do with any faith or religion, nor is it related to any particular community. I do not feel it is in the best interests of my constituency, and it is not in the best interests of nearby shop owners.

In reply to Cllr Masud's accusations that the display may have a negative influence on children, Deborah Love said: We don't want to influence children to come into the shop. The shop has CCTV and a door entry system. If we don't want people in we don't let them in. The door is locked and we have a buzzer through which we let people in.

Cllrs Derek Heffernan, Philip Rogers and Tony Brownridge agreed to the change in licence with the condition that other non-lingerie items are not displayed in the window and more graphic items are kept well within the shop. The front door will also be blacked out with vinyl to prevent bypassers from looking inside.


9th March

    Holyhead is not the Appropriate Location for a Nutter Mayor

From ic North Wales

Plans to open a sex shop in the centre of Holyhead have got nutters in a spin.

A former launderette owner David McCullum wants to move from cleaning clothes to selling sex goods by opening an adult store on Williams Street. He plans to submit an application for the sex shop to the council once renovation work on the property has been completed.

The move has already come under fire from the town mayor who said Holyhead is not the "appropriate" location for an adult store.

McCullum, who says he was given the idea by former customers at the launderette, said: An adult store would offer something different in Holyhead to the charity shops that are there at the moment, and give people something to come into the town for. I do not want anything too lewd in the shop or to offend people and the shop window would not have anything on display to cause offence, as I appreciate there are children and older people who would not want to see these things. But attitudes to sex have changed and people are more accepting of shops like this. I appreciate there will be people against this coming to Holyhead but I think there will also be lots in favour of it and I have certainly had a lot of support from people in the area.


7th March

    Vibrant Nightlife

From The Guardian

Vending machines have acquired a new range of products: mini vibrators, bottles of "love liquid" edible lubricant, silicone ticklers and "lust fingers".

Bars and nightclubs across London, Manchester and Newcastle have begun to offer a range of sex toys, for around £5 a go, through the fuchsia pink Tabooboo machines, which are mostly sited in toilets to render the pondering customer a bit of privacy. Some, however, some have also popped up more publicly in the middle of hairdressing salons.

Alphabet Bar in London's West End was the first location to have a machine and placed it on the wall in the middle of the bar. Manager Geoff Todd says it is used daily: Some people use it just because it's in the bar, some make a special journey, maybe because they are too embarrassed to go into a sex shop. Some buy the toys because they are a novelty, some do it for a laugh, some buy them as presents. It's been a great success.

Alan Lucas, managing director of Tabooboo, plans to roll the machines out across the country and has begun exporting them to the United States and Italy: It's about challenging the way people think about sex toys. So many other products are vended and I wondered why we couldn't vend sex toys. It comes from the idea of people not wanting to buy things over the counter. The products all fit into a box two or three times the size of a cigarette packet. We sell mini vibrators that are as strong as big ones. The most popular product is a vibrating rod ring which is something he wears which vends at £5.

He went on: The younger generation has a different attitude to sex toys and what we are doing is taking it away from the porn associations because the products we sell are in anonymous, discreet and well-designed packaging.

Last night the Catholic author and nutter, Piers Paul Read, who advocates the moderation of sexual appetites in this week's Spectator, said the idea of the vending machines was awful: Sex is not a game. These toys sound horrible.


1st March

    A Desire for A Sex Shop in Port Talbot

From ic Wales

A Sex Shop licence was awarded to  Secret Desires in the centre of Taibach, Port Talbot, despite 47 letters of objection which had been received.

Dom Promotions Ltd applied to Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council for permission to operate at 28 Commercial Road. The same company already have a shop at Blackwood

Councillors, who discussed the application were told there are five places of worship, a school and 36 shops or other retail outlets within 300 metres of the proposed premises.


16th February

    Hustled Out

From The Times

It has been nearly three years since Andrew Joseph, the scion of a wealthy property dynasty, emerged as the man chosen to bring Hustler Hollywood sex shops to Britain. Joseph vowed to tackle British embarrassment over sex by thrusting lingerie and adult toys on the high street with the happy slogan "Relax, it's just sex". Unfortunately the British reaction to Hustler has been so limp that it flagship superstore in Birmingham is going to close. But it's not the only one suffering. According to recent accounts posted at Companies House, rival Agent Provocateur has seen pre-tax profits collapse by 70%.

As JAK points out... old news. Hustler Hollywood was closed in November. There was talk of refinance and a re-opening but that does rather sound unlikely as the shop was simply too big for what it did. The rent was high, prices were high and most of the fetish gear could be bought more discretely nearby.


13th February

    Mustafa Shag

From the Chicago Sun Times

From the Sun: Furious Muslims have blasted adult shop [i.e., sex shop] Ann Summers for selling a blow up male doll called Mustafa Shag.

Not literally "blasted" in the Danish Embassy sense, or at least not yet. The Muslim Association's complaint, needless to say, is that the sex toy insults the Prophet Muhammad -- who also has the title al-Mustapha.

In a world in which Danish cartoons insult the prophet and Disney Piglet mugs insult the prophet and Burger King chocolate ice-cream swirl designs insult the prophet, maybe it would just be easier to make a list of things that don't insult him. Nonetheless, the Muslim Association wrote to the Ann Summers sex-shop chain, We are asking you to have our Most Revered Prophet's name 'Mustafa' and the afflicted word 'shag' removed.

When Samuel Huntington formulated his famous "clash of civilizations" thesis, I'm sure he hoped it would play out as something nobler than shaggers vs. nutters. But in a sense that's the core British value these days. If it's inherent in Muslim culture to take umbrage at everything, it's inherent in English culture to turn everything into a lame sex gag. The "Mustafa" template is one of the most revered in the English music-hall tradition: I've been reading the latest scholarly monograph -- 'Sexual Practices of the Middle East by Mustapha Camel.

The European Union's Justice and Security Commissioner, Franco Frattini, said on Thursday that the EU would set up a "media code" to encourage "prudence" in the way they cover, ah, certain sensitive subjects. As Signor Frattini explained it to the Daily Telegraph, The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression. . . . We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.


6th February

    Worthless in Worthing

From the Argus

A sex shop owner has vowed to open for business despite losing her bid to sell hardcore films after more than 1,000 people protested.

Kathleen Sutton said Secret Desires in Rowlands Road, Worthing, would be trading in two or three weeks' time even though she was refused a licence.

She said the shop could still open without a licence, but would sell less explicit material including sex toys, clothes, DVDs and magazines.

Councillors deliberated for 75 minutes in secret before rejecting her application.

Coun Tom Wye, chairman of the borough's licensing and control committee, ruled the shop was in an inappropriate area near at least two children's homes.

Earlier, barrister Philip Sinclair, for Miss Sutton and her St Leonards-based firm, Shoptonight Ltd , said: Seventy per cent of our customers are couples or women. Sex shops are no longer seedy backstreet establishments. They are not populated by people in dirty singlets with cigarettes hanging out of the side of their mouths.

But ward councillor John Livermore said: If it does open let's hope the people of Worthing vote with their feet and don't go near the place.


4th February

    Barnado's Throw their Workers onto the Street

From the Daily Record

A Barnardo's  charity worker has been sacked after she applied for a licence to open a sex shop. They booted out Helen Beaton following an investigation.

As well as managing one of the charity's branches, she ran a fashion store which has a sideline selling sex aids. She wanted to sell hardcore porn there. But now she is closing the boutique after failing to get a sex-shop licence so the business could expand.

Her application met with fierce opposition in Galashiels, Selkirkshire, and after a stormy meeting, councillors rejected her licence bid. (no doubt with an inadequate justification)

One of the 60 objectors complained to Shameful Barnardo's, claiming she was not a fit person to manage one of their shops. She was suspended before Christmas pending a probe and was sacked after a disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh on Monday.

Gerard Cousins, head of retail at Barnardo's, said: The member of staff involved in a recent internal inquiry in Scotland is no longer employed by the charity.

Helen had been the manager of their shop in Selkirk. She is now considering taking the charity to an industrial tribunal and last night declined to comment.

Her business partner Shona Jackson said the Ballisticz shop will close, along with their venture selling sex products, and they will concentrate on their online business: We would have to wait another year to apply again so we have decided to close, which is very disappointing considering all the hard work we have put in.


24th January

    What? Not in Watford

From the Watford Observer

A sex shop operator has been refused a licence to sell pornography and marital aids at premises in Watford.

Watford Borough Council's licensing committee heard an application to license a sex establishment at 131 St Albans Road.

Darker Enterprises Ltd, which applied for the licence, was proposing to open a shop selling R18 videos, DVDs, marital aids, health products and ancillary items.

Darker Enterprises has yet to confirm whether it will appeal against the council's decision.

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