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2013: Jan-March

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Nil Morality...

The London Borough of Hounslow proposes to ban lap dancing clubs and sex shops

Link Here23rd March 2013

Hounslow Council have proposed a ban on lap dancing clubs and sex shops in the London Borough. The council describes changes to its existing policy:

  • To clarify the situation with regards to all sex establishments. The policy is now specific in that it relates to both sexual entertainment venues (such as lap and pole dancing clubs) and other sex establishments (such as sex shops and cinemas)

  • To introduce a limit to the number of sex establishments and sexual entertainment venues that are suitable for the borough. The revised policy proposes no sex establishments and sexual entertainment venues

  • To introduce a period after which the policy will be reviewed. This period has been set as five years although will not preclude the policy being reviewed in the interim

The public is invited to have its say by e-mailing by 19 April 2013.

The findings of the consultation will be considered by the licensing committee before being presented for agreement by full council.



Blocking Out Bad Memories...

Commerative brick removed from sex shop over reference to Jimmy Savile charity

Link Here22nd March 2013

A commerative brick associated with Jimmy Savile's charity has now been removed from Happy Lovers sex shop off the A1 at Tempsford. General Manager, Martin Cobban, said:

It was put up when Charles and Diana got married and was one of 200 bricks to commemorate their wedding with the proceeds going to the Jimmy Savile charity.

The shop has also recently reapplied for a sex shop license which shows a recent change of ownership.



Rabbits and Aspirin...

Ann Summers sex toys to be sold by high street chemist, Superdrug

Link Here21st March 2013

High street retailers Superdrug and Ann Summers have joined forces to offer customers the chance to pick up some Fifty Shades-inspired fun alongside their weekly toiletries.

From Wednesday 27 March, Superdrug will stock a selection of Ann Summers sex toys and novelty items. The range will sit within the existing sexual health and wellbeing section of the store and will also be available to buy from

The Superdrug range will include Rampant Rabbits (from 49.99), vibrating bullets, Jiggle Balls (18) and the metallic Vibrating Egg (20), as well as smaller, novelty items such as Milk Chocolate Body Paint (5) and Edible Lubricants (8).

Ann Summers brand director Fiona Davis commented:

Following the Fifty Shades phenomenon, sex toy sales have shot through the roof. We're delighted that our best-selling products will now be accessible to a wider audience.



Fifty Shades of Profit...

Ann Summers plans to open 9 new shops this year

Link Here15th March 2013

Profits at Ann Summers have surged in last two years and the company now plans to open up to nine new shops this year

The sex store chain, said that the popularity of the Fifty Shades trilogy had led to soaring sales of nipple clamps and other sex toys at its shops. Jacqueline Gold, the chief executive explained:

Fifty Shades of Grey, like Sex and the City before it, has got women everywhere talking about sex and encouraged them to be more intimate, experimental and confident.

Fifty Shades has helped Ann Summers bounce back from a tough 2011 and the company is now aiming to open up to nine new shops this year after a string of closures. It hopes the trend will continue as a Fifty Shades of Grey film is on the cards and the book's success has spawned a library of copycat erotic fiction.



The Art of Creative Moralising...

Slinkies sex shop in Plymouth forced to reduce hours to accommodate a new school opening nearby

Link Here7th March 2013

Slinkies sex shop in Plymouth has had to restrict its opening hours in response to a new school opening down the road.

Some pupils going to the new Plymouth School of Creative Arts will walk past Slinkies, so the shop has been asked to close whilst pupils pass.

Mr Mitchell, the store manager, told the committee that Slinkies, has also reduced the signs displayed outside the shop. He said they had installed CCTV in the entrance lobby which would allow staff to prevent people loitering and stop children from coming inside.

The business had traded from the same premises for more than 40 years, he said and noted that in all that time there has never been an occasion when the police have had to attend, or a complaint has been made.

Dave Strudwick, the miserable headteacher designate of the school opposed the granting of the licence. He whinged to the committee that the entrance to the shop was less than 400ft from the planned school. It's about the tone, character and aspirations of the area, he spouted.

Andrew Brewerton, principal of Plymouth College of Art and director of the new school, also wrote to the committee objecting to the licence. He selfishly claimed that with the arrival of the school in the area activities that were once considered appropriate on Union Street need to be re-examined .

Mr Mitchell offered to alter the shop's opening times to suit the school. He and Strudwick were given time to negotiate privately and they agreed that the shop would open at 9.30am and would close between 3.15pm and 4.15pm in the first year of the school and until 4.30pm from the second year.

Slinkies was granted a licence including the new opening hours, which will not come into force until September this year.



The Owl Service...

3 Owlies Awards for Nice 'n' Naughty in Leeds

Link Here5th March 2013

The Leeds 5th annual LGBT awards, affectionately known as The Owlies took place on 28th February 2013. These awards celebrate and congratulate individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to the Leeds LGBT community. Business's such as pubs, clubs and retail, as well as the health services and volunteers are all included.

Nice 'n' Naughty Leeds walked away with two Owlie awards on the night for best venue manager (Jon Bishop) and best venue worker (Craig Roe)

As well as the standard awards, Nice 'n' Naughty Leeds were initiated into the Owlies Hall Of Fame.

Jon Bishop, store manager, said:

This is a great night for Nice 'n' Naughty Leeds and we feel extremely honored and of course very happy. What makes these awards so different is that they are all voted for by the public and that makes them even more special to us. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us and all our customers for their constant support



Do Not Disturb: Playing Lords and Ladies...

Brighton sex shop has fun being turned down from advertising at the LibDem conference

Link Here2nd March 2013

Scandal-hit Liberal Democrats have banned She Said Erotic Boutique from advertising to delegates at its Brighton conference. Party bosses have turned down a witty advert in the form of a 'do not disturb' sign.

Vanessa Austin Locke, marketing director at She Said, Brighton said:

I contacted the Lib Dems to see if we could put our leaflets into the bags. A very sweet lady told me that it would not be appropriate at this time.

A spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats said referring to sexual harassmant claims against Baron Rennard said:

Until the results of the investigation are known we do not think it would be appropriate for these leaflets to be put into delegates' bags.

She Said Erotic Boutique

59 Ship Street
The Lanes


11-13 Ship Street Gardens



Immoral or What?...

Sex shops subject to morality surcharge on Worcester City Council licence fees

Link Here26th February 2013

Sex establishments in Worcester are being charged almost 4,000 if they want to open a new shop in Worcester -- leading to criticism that council chiefs are taking a moral view.

The city council has published a raft of licensing fees for 2013/14, revealing new sex shops are being charged 10 times what some other businesses are asked for to obtain a licence.

Sex shops are charged 3,798 for a new business or 1,813 for a renewal in 2013/4.

This compares with licences in the range 118 - 688 for other businesses, namely pet shops, riding establishments, zoos, dog breeders, boarding kennels, massage centres, and tattoo shops



Different Cream Pie...

Walsall Private Shop set to become a cake shop

Link Here21st February 2013

The Walsall Private Shop on Stafford Street has either closed or is about to do so.

The shop is being taken over by Fletcher's cakes from just up the road. Seems like anyone looking for a mucky film will get an eclair instead.



No Recorded Troubles at Sex Shops and Lap Dancing Clubs...

But Nottingham moralists target them anyway

Link Here 18th February 2013

Sex shops and lap-dancing clubs should be banned in Nottingham, claims the county's Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Cutland.

Cutland moralises that such businesses are old fashioned and demeaning to women:

I would like to see a ban. There is a correlation particularly between how women feel when there are more sex shops and lap-dancing clubs -- it makes areas no-go areas for women.

Cutland cited debunked research by feminist campaigners in the London Borough of Camden which claimed to show that there was a 50% increase in sexual assaults after a rapid expansion of lap-dancing clubs.

Of course there is no evidence to support this ridiculous claim and she admitted:

Fortunately there have been no recorded incidents of violence or sexual assault in Notts which can be directly linked to these venues but is that because their presence in the city is very limited at present?

Police have not recorded any offences against women at any of the three licensed sex venues in the city. These are the sex shops Delta Love in Radford Road and Private Shop, Upper Parliament Street, along with lap dancing club Flirtz, in Friar Lane.

The city council is asking people for views on its repressive policy for the venues, saying its preferred option would be for no lap-dancing clubs or sex shops.

Barry Maltby, who works at Private Shop, said:

I don't understand why they want it banned, we're not harming anybody. I can't understand what we've done wrong. What's next, bookies, nightclubs and pubs? The council has got no idea what we do here. I think they live in another world. There's lots of nice customers come in here, the days of rain macs have gone, it's couples that come in.

The council's consultation survey is available on its website and closes next Friday, February 22. The Council plans to finalise its policy by May 2013.

Offsite Article: Nottingham lap dancers hit back at demeaning claims

20th February 2013. See  article from



Council Indiscretion...

Authorities want to identify customers visiting sex shop

Link Here15th February 2013

The owners of Mrs Palm, the licensed store in Truro, Cornwall, are appealing for help and advice from other licensed store owners in combating the latest condition Cornwall Council is attempting to impose upon the business.

The council is now saying that Mrs Palm is required to install very intrusive CCTV to record and retain for not less than 31 days recognisable facial features of all persons attempting to enter the shop, leaving the shop and also of persons in the shop.

Mrs Palm co-owner Braxton Reynolds is preparing an appeal against the condition and would welcome feedback from the industry:

Our customers are particularly concerned that they are using a shop that is extremely discreet but obviously there are serious implications for the whole industry about this, he said.




Showing Rare Sense...

ASA dismisses whinge about bus advert for La Senza

Link Here7th February 2013

A poster, displayed on a bus, featured an image of a woman wearing a bra with her hands on her hips. Text stated SEXY IS BACK ... THE NEW LA SENZA OPENS NOV.12 484 OXFORD ST.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was:

  1. likely to cause serious or widespread offence; and

  2. unsuitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted there was no explicit nudity in the image and that the ad was for lingerie. Because the image clearly related to the product being sold, we considered that those who viewed the ad were less likely to regard it as gratuitous or offensive. We considered that the model's pose and facial expression were no more than mildly sexual and that the strapline was light hearted in tone. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might consider the images distasteful, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the model was wearing a bra and displaying her cleavage, alongside a strapline that included the word sexy . However, because the ad was for an underwear range and the image was no more than mildly sexual, we considered that the ad was not unsuitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children and concluded that it was not socially irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.



Update: Arbitrary Prosecution Thrown Out...

East Staffordshire Borough Council prosecute sexy shoe shop over licence requirements

Link Here25th January 2013

Heelz Adult Store in Burton upon Trent is being prosecuted by East Staffordshire Borough Council for trading without a licence, even though, according to the store, the council has not actually stated what percentage of sex products constitute a significant degree , and would thus require a licence.

Mike McGee, co-owner of R18 film publisher and distributor DVM Enterprises and also boss of Heelz Adult Store, told ETO:

We've been in talks with [the council] from when we first opened the shop two years ago. They visited us and said we needed a licence due to the 'significant degree' of sex products we stocked. They weren't able to put a figure to what a significant degree was at the time, but we had an interview with them last December -- under caution, making us feel like criminals, and recording it -- and asked why we'd not applied. We only hold a small range of what they class as stimulating items -- toys, whatever -- and explained this.

After the meeting they came back down in the New Year and saw that we'd taken it upon ourselves to reduce the number of 'sex items' to a small range -- as they'd not been able to tell us what was too much. They said at that time that we should ignore the deadline they'd given us to apply for a licence and we didn't hear anything more from them. Although that stockholding's not changed, we did put up a new sign calling Heelz an Adult Store -- not a sex shop -- and soon afterwards they were back in again, giving us a letter saying we needed to apply for a licence.


I'd say we've a smaller proportion of sex lines than Ann Summers, but that's not been good enough for them. A few weeks ago we were asked to go in for another meeting but while trying to get dates together for that a court summons has arrived.

...Read the full article

Update: Case dismissed due to vague council rules and definitions

25th January 2013. See article from

Stafford Magistrates Court was the scene of a sex establishment licensing row when a case brought by East Staffordshire Borough Council against Heelz Adult Store of Burton-Upon-Trent was heard by three magistrates.

Two separate charges relating to running an unlicensed sex shop were dismissed.

Earlier, the magistrates had heard from East Staffs BC's chief licensing officer Margaret Woolley who'd visited the shop in the preceding December and January, Brian Davies, an environmental health officer, and the two men sent in to make a test purchase. These men, Dwaine Drew and Liam Gratty gave conflicting evidence about the size, nature and product split of the business, and like Woolley and Davies, hadn't conducted a formal count of products, or taken measurements or photos.

Arguments centred around what constituted a sex article , with the prosecution pushing for the shop's footwear, lingerie and clothing lines to be included in a very loose interpretation of products designed to stimulate.

Magistrates explained that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the shop was selling or displaying significant numbers of sex articles and that items such as clothes, shoes and boots could not reasonably be included in their count. And since the council had no clear policy on what percentages and products made the unit trade as an unlicensed sex shop , it was unreasonable to expect Mike McGee to comply with invisible guidelines. He was found not guilty on both counts.

An application for costs was made against East Staffordshire Borough Council and they have 21 days to appeal, but this can only be done on points of law, which seems unlikely.

McGee was advised to request official, written guidance on the shop's product mix, to avoid a repeated prosecution.

...Read the full article



Gwenap Evolves into GwenApp...

Britain's oldest sex shop closes in Hull and goes online instead

Link Here16th January 2013

The owner of Hull's oldest adult store says he is being forced to shut up shop due to a huge slump in sales.

Tim Watson, owner of Gwenap on the corner of Princes Avenue and Spring Bank, says he will continue the business, but online.

Originally a seamstresses and hat specialists, the firm capitalised on the boom in the adult sector in the late 1970s.

Watson bought the business two years ago from Jim Starkey, who ran the shop for more than 20 years.  We gutted the shop and moved the adult side of the business online, said Watson: we now mainly sell corsets, lingerie shoes imported from America and 1950s pin-up dresses which are very popular.

However, in recent months the business has suffered dramatic falls in profits, which Watson blames on the recession and changing shopping patterns.

Gwenap opened in 1903 and closed on January 15 in 2013.



Update: Justifying Suffocatingly Expensive Sex Shop Licences...

Westminster Council launches appeal so as to be able to continue overcharging for sex shop licenses

Link Here 15th January 2013

Local authorities are mounting a legal challenge so as to be able to continue using inflated sex shop licence fees as revenue to fund their pet projects.

Westminster City Council, backed by 15 other councils from across the country, has launched a Court of Appeal application expected to be of widespread importance.

The council is challenging a High Court declaration that a European directive requires that licence fees should reflect administration charges, and not be used as a source of revenue. In the current case under consideration, legitimate sex shop proprietors in Westminster are being asked to bear the cost of enforcement against unlicensed shops via inflated fees around the 30,000 mark.

Prior to the introduction of the 2009 Provision of Services Regulations under the Directive, reasonable enforcement costs were allowed under the 1982 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

Council chiefs claim domestic laws that allowed the use of fees for policing purposes are being overridden by EU legislation in a way that could open the floodgates for illegal sex shops . They argue that controlling the sex trade in UK cities should be a matter for local councils, not Brussels .

Other local authorities fear that, unless Westminster wins its case, other licence fees, currently be levied above the cost of administration, could be effected including the licensing of markets and street trading.

The High Court declaration under challenge had been won by the proprietors of 13 sex shops, of which 11 were in Soho and two in nearby Covent Garden. The court found that Westminster Council was massively overcharging for licences and was not setting the fees according to the cost of administration as required by the European directive.



Ms Angry of Tunbridge Wells...

Nutters object to sex shop on the grounds they have found a new word, 'sexualisation'

Link Here12th January 2013

Secret Desires has been open for 6 years in Tunbridge Wells at 152 London Road, Southborough.

Since the opening there has been little objection to yearly renewals but the latest application, which will be decided at a borough council meeting on Thursday, has been met with supposed concerns of the sexualisation of children.

Southborough mayor Jacqui Jedrzejewski said:

It's on a major school route and although, in all fairness, they do obscure the windows, the fact remains it's an adult shop on the main thoroughfare -- which school children walk past at least four times per day.

This is an opportunity to review the licence again and I don't think there's any more support for it now than there was in the early days.

They have kept themselves discreet, I'm not against the shop -- but there are better places for it to be.

Other objections were posted on the borough council website, with the shop's placement near several schools being cited.

Update: Licence granted

12th January 2013. See  article from
See also article from

Secret Desires sex shop in Tunbridge Wells has had its licence renewed despite nutter objections from local residents.

A borough council meeting decided yesterday that the shop can keep trading.

Vincent Connolly, regional manager of the company that runs Secret Desires and representing the sex shop's owner Kathleen Sutton, said:

All objections relating to the vicinity of the shop to nearby schools were considered and rejected when the licence was first granted in 2005.

Since then the shop has been running within the conditions set out by the council and has never received any complaints.

I'm surprised by the opposition to this after five years of no objections.

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