Sex shop says mannequins in saucy undies ‘will be good for Exeter economy’

A sex shop in Exeter has asked for permission to feature mannequins modelling saucy clothing in its window.

Simply Pleasure, at 156 Sidwell Street, hopes to land the go-ahead for life-size male and female dummies to feature in its display – but will need licensing bosses to change the rules to make it happen.

The request to Exeter City Council by ABS Holdings, which operates the ‘adult superstore’, states the models would be like to those in other outlets.

No toys, bondage items – or anything ‘inappropriate’ -would be on show.

It says the female mannequins would sport lingerie – similar to M&S – with T-shirts and underwear on any male incarnations.

The outlet also wants to incorporate branding for gay sex shop Prowler in its signage.

The city council’s Sex Establishment Licensing Policy currently prohibits the display of any clothing.

Condition 17 of the rulebook states that only the name of the premises, the words ‘Licensed Sex Establishment’, its opening hours and street number are allowed to be displayed outside a premises – along with a notice saying: “No admittance to persons under 18 years of age.”

The council’s licensing committee will consider amending the policy when it meets on Tuesday so that the stipulations are broadened.

A report to members states: “The proposed policy amendment will contribute to a business-friendly economy whilst maintaining appropriate standards of decency.”

In a letter asking for the condition to be varied, ABS Holdings says: “There are exceptional circumstances why we consider this change to be necessary.

“It will enable us to promote items in the store while still complying with the marketing restrictions on our products.

“This is good for the store, the business, and the local economy in Exeter.

“It will reduce the view of ‘sex shops’ as seedy, dark, back-street businesses and to bring this more in line with an open view, displaying clothing items which other stores are permitted to display, and make our business look more appealing to customers.

“Sexuality and sexual health needs to be promoted in the whole country in a positive manner.

“Nothing inappropriate will be displayed and this will be the same as other retailers who are permitted to display these sorts of items, especially as lingerie is displayed by national firms like Debenhams and M&S and specilaised chains such as La Sensa and Ann Summers.

“It will clearly display the nature of the store without being graphic, which makes it easier for potential customers to know what items we sell, encouraging those who are looking to purchase these products and dissuading those who are not of age from entering the premises.”

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