Sex Shop Opens on U Street

IMG_0174, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

A few weeks ago a reader wrote in that she heard a sex shop was opening in the old Habitat space at 1510 U Street, NW. I posted a FQoTD asking folks if they thought it would fit in well to U Street. Most folks thought it would. Well, the spot, Secret Pleasures had its grand opening this past Saturday. It’s Web site says:

“Secret Pleasures is committed to providing a comfortable environment that will allow exploration and enhancement of intimacy. We offer in-home parties for women and couples, that soon will be replaced with workshops and party hosting at our soon to open location in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

Our goal is to enhance intimate relationships by offering enhancment techniques and educational resources as well. Secret Pleasures offers a wide variety of intimate products, books, DVDs, lotions and other romance enhancement products. We carry the highest quality of adult novelties and intimate products from the leading manufacturers.”


46 Comment

  • “Romance enchancement” is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  • Sweet!! er..ugh..I mean…how interesting..the whole “sex shop” on U Street idea.

  • Could of come up with a more original name. ‘Secret Pleasures’ sounds like a kind of chocolate ice cream…

  • i hope they expand their model to be more inclusive of gay males… they could be missing out on a huge market there, especially in this city

  • Isn’t there/Wasn’t there a shop on U St. same general location, in the lower ground floor of a building?

  • Yes, transplants, I mean people, there were a couple of sex shops on U St not that long ago.

  • i cant wait until i’ve been a dc resident for a few more years so i can be all self-righteous about the transplants.

  • Actually, I was born and raised here (yes we do exist and no you can’t touch me) so you will still be a transplant in a few more years. In fact, I doubt you will even be here much longer.

  • oh thats gold… keep going dude, I am writing this all down so that I can be a pretentious as you some day.

  • I’m certain the owners of this place feel that “DC is filled with educated, sophisticated people who like plastic penises.” HA! As for serving the gay community–this shop would cease to exist if there wasn’t a sizeable gay community to support shit like this.

  • I don’t think this is the kind of business we need to be supporting as a community. DC is becoming a city of excess, too many alcohol serving establishments, and now a growing trend of sex businesses. It’s not good for the community as a whole.

  • I’d love to spin by here and pick a couple things up.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Of course you feel that way -voiceofreason. Care to explain the “growing trend of sex businesses”? Does one new store make a trend? I enjoy your contrary comments though – you never disappoint…

  • Hey POP, glad to never disappoint. I was thinking of the new sex store in Alexandria and the community fight that went on there over it, this sex store on U Street, the one I pass by sometimes in Dupont, and the stories about the sex house death on 14th Street, and I assume there are other houses like that around town, the strip clubs, etc. I also know about some unofficial brothels in various places in Columbia Heights. I think all of these businesses, and they are businesses, add up to a sexually permissive trend that isn’t an overall positive for the city. This city is lacking in basic services for many, good values for the teenagers are lacking, and operations like this add to an overall attitude that seeking pleasure for pleasure’s sake is what we should be concentrating on, an attitude that hurts many around here.

  • VoR you are looking for something that aint there. basically every city in this country, not to mention the rest of the world, has as many or more sex shops, brothels, sex houses etc. as DC.

    pick your battles!

  • TonyS, not organizing a picket or anything, not gearing up for battle, just expressing an opinion. I agree with you that it’s a losing one, sadly.

  • In the early 90’s I used to sell erotic short stories to Penthouse Forum pretty regularly – not letters – they bought, two real short stories per issue and paid extremely well – $1,900 per story. (At a time when book advances for an unknown author were about $5,000.) They actually had pretty high literary standards – don’t scoff – and probably did more to support developing writers than any NEA grants ever did.

    There were also several good collections of erotic fiction published in this era (Slow Hand ed. by Michelle Slung) then internet porn came along and ruined everything. My point is – good sex is good business and good for everyone.

    Bad sex and abuse is always bad. There is a big difference, and most people recognize it.

  • Judging by the teen pregnancy rates, sexual abuse stories and high level of HIV/AIDS in DC, I’d say most people are not recognizing the difference.

  • Zuckerman- VOR- you are living on the moon. Women buy toys, vibrators. etc. all the time. Straight couples also buy outfits and kinky stuff. This is not the downfall of society and it is not a gay phenomenon. Here is some advice for the two of you. Go to your women’s pantie drawers. and take a peek inside. The two of you are so effin clueless there is no doubt in my mind your women need a full arsenal to get any satisfaction.

  • VOR- another solid point. Teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDs rates ARE through the roof. god forbid a shop open that sells condoms. fun ones too which encourage their use. do you think before you type?

  • Thank you all for the personal jabs.

    Yes, condoms are a good thing, but shops and other businesses that promote and market sex serve to cheapen it, over-emphasize its importance and encourage impressionable minds to value it above all else. These types of attitudes contribute to problems like teen pregnancy and HIV/AID’s in this manner.

  • Thanks vor, I do enjoy your views as they challenge the norm (at least here) and ya dont seem like a troll.
    I only take issue in that cheap sex is important, especially in these tough economic times. I would also hate to think what would happen to all of those little kids, with little hands, living in indonesia if they no longer had jobs making the toys. I think we owe it to the Indonesian kids, and their brotheren in Shen Zhen, to purchase quality bondage products at a reasonable price.
    At least i am trying to fight poverty.

  • VOR are you republican? Do you remember being 13? You have a boner like 90 percent of the day. Teens like sex because they go through puberty and are curious. That and its really really fun. Not because they walked by a sex store. Besides don’t you have to be 18 to go in sex stores in DC? But hey sex stores have been around forever. There are communities with them and those without. So you’ll have no problem posting some evidence to support your theory that sex stores pervert our youth or encourage them to have sex in an irresponsible way. If you can’t find any evidence perhaps you could do your own study. For starts you may want to look at the neighborhoods that have them in dc and the surrounding area. Georgetown. Bethesda, Dupont Circle. And communities that don’t. And compare the Teen Pregnancy rates.

  • VOR – no one knows you personally, so there are no personal “jabs,” ( sounding so St. Sebastian-y!) only reactions to your usually histrionic, dreary and poorly reasoned postings. One can’t “over-emphasize” the importance of sex. It simply IS important.

    Condoms are easily available everywhere and have, unfortunately, little to do with HIV transmission or teen pregnancy. It is an issue of culture and empowerment. Women or girls who understand sex, and feel allowed to enjoy it, (with or without men or toys or whatever) are able to shoo the nasty boys away. Women or girls who realize they have more options in life besides the relative comfort (guaranteed person to adore you) and status of a baby, have a chance at a real life.

  • I think I know Voice of Reason personally, considering he’s also DCDirewolf. Just a hunch.

  • I’m quite certain I don’t know any of you.

  • Hey Anon at 4:43, I’m a Republican. But I also love the freak nasty.

  • Hey Anon at 4:43, I’m a Republican. But I also love the freak nasty.

  • Wow !

    It finally happened. Can’t believe it.

    I’m actually on the same side of voiceofreason on something

    -against the peddlers of this smut.

  • VOR WFT? “Women or girls who realize they have more options in life besides the relative comfort (guaranteed person to adore you) and status of a baby, have a chance at a real life.”

  • oops I meant WTF

  • Huh newbie? I didn’t write that, Victoria did.

  • But then I’m just a girl…Gotta agree sex shops are just not what I need in the neighborhood these days. Can we get a bank branch near the Petworth Metro? And a deli market/sandwich shop like So’sYourMom?

  • voice of reason, do you speak out against businesses that are stereotypically black as much as you do those that are stereotypically white? you dont like that this is a city of excessive drinking and fucking, so you lament wine bars and sex shops… but how do you stand against corner liquor stores and 15 yr old mothers (which most would see as the real problem)? do you also cry out against popeyes and mcdonalds for serving food that makes people excessively fat? what about the people you see passing by in their hummers and other excessively pricey suvs? do they get an earful on how that money could have better served the community? im just curious about your stance on ‘black’ excess compared to ‘white’ excess here…

  • Christopher, I don’t like corner liquor stores either. And as I’ve mentioned repeatedly above, I think teen pregnancy is a big problem. I also agree with you that popeyes and mcdonalds are problems for the reasons you mentioned. And yes, I don’t like big SUV’s.

    But, this blog doesn’t post messages with hundreds of comments about how wonderful those things are like it does with wine bars, sex shops and other yuppie establishments.

    I don’t think it’s a race thing at all as you suggest.

  • The idea that people who are at risk for unwanted teenage pregnancy are the same people frequenting U Street sex shops is preposterous. This debate makes so little sense to me my head is about to explode.

    A sex shop here or there is fun. Whorehouses? Not so much. VOR/DCDirewolf ought to lighten up. Welcome to the Western World. If you’re anti-sex shop, there are places in the rural south or nations where Sharia law dominates that might welcome you with open arms. Here in Washington, DC, they’re allowed and they’re not that big of a deal.

    You want to tackle teenage pregnancy, opposing sex shops on U Street isn’t the place to start.

  • He-Man, I don’t think we’re in that much disagreement, you can keep your head intact. I agree that opposing sex shops on U Street isn’t the place to start for tackling teen pregnancy. But I also think that an overall culture of over-emphasizing sex has an impact. None of this stuff happens in a vacuum as they say. And I”m not interested in closing down sex shops or imposing religious law, come on now. But I am interested in raising the larger point that an overly permissive society has consequences.

  • i call bullshit on that sir. we can be as sensitive as we would like to pretend to be, but lets face the facts… 15 yr old girls arent going into secret pleasures, much less going in with the goal of furthering their life choice of being a young mother. room 11 is not creating a problematic drunken society the same way hooch in a paper bag is. you cry out against these businesses because they are new, catering to the new face of dc, the new money of dc, the new class of dc, which you see at totally white. do you really think that any gentrifier has had anything to do with the teen pregnancy level in dc? the obesity rate? drug addiction? crime?

  • Chris, yes, yes, yes and yes. Marginalizing people causes all those things.

    On your other point, if there was a post here celebrating a new liquor store I’d be making the same arguments.

  • I don’t believe that the mere existence of a sex shop on U Street contributes to a culture of overemphasizing sex. It’s just a place to buy dildos, dude.

  • VO-non-Reason – damn right! “An overly permissive society has consequences.” Consequences that led to women being able to vote, own property, control their reproductive rights and enjoy their sexuality. What exactly are the consequences of an “underly permissive society?”

  • As a U Street resident, you people in Petworth shouldn’t care what is in our neighborhood. As for lacking of morals and stuff? Are you the moral police? If you don’t want to live in a city there is plenty of room in ignorant rural parts of America and you’d easily be surrounded by fellow prudes that could help you protest things like this.

  • Who told you that you were the “Voice of Reason?” You sound small minded and behind the times. Perhaps you would be happier in some less populated area?

  • OK, I see some people that have drunk the kool aid over the last 10-20 years. This will probably get me flamed, and often does but here goes.
    liquor stores, drug dealers, fast food, cigarrettes sex shops guns etc.
    They are not THE ROOT cause. I know lots of schools drill that into your head, and it appears to be socially responsible (though it serves to minimize rights and freedoms in this country).

    Its your own damn fault. call it personal responsiblility.
    See, ya get to make choices in this country. That means good and bad choices. If you make enough bad choices, you suffer consequences.
    Its the unbelievable bs that everyone seems to buy, that gun manufacturer’s, big tobacco, McDonalds are evil and the root of many of society’s problems. Thats the BS you have been sold for a long time. But it isnt true.
    Its the individuals decision to do stupid things. Not societies.
    Ultimately, your lack of control, or education may cause your life to suck.
    if your life sucks and you are unhappy, you might just realize that as an adult, Its your own damn fault. Its easier to say society, MCdonalds tobacco and bitch to the gov to protect you from everything and make decisions for you. But at the end of the day you made all the decisions that put you where you are. liquor stores, sex shopss, gentrification arent the cause of the problems.

    Its the individuals choice, and I dont see any excuses anymore.
    man up nancy, Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. And lets try blaming the individual for a change before demanding that we outlaw everything so no one can do stupid things.

    /guy who does stupid stuff.

  • Considering all the back and forth going on here, it sounds like we’ve got lots of people with more time to kill than I do. Honestly: leaving arrogant & baited comments on blogs and then going back to harvest responses and respond to the responses is a bit like obsessively inspecting your poo in the loo, innit? Bit self-absorbed, are we?

    I’m not calling out names here since that seems to encourage the poo gazers.

    But bloody hell already, with the false morality and (self) righteous indignation. He-Man’s Gay @ 5:45 pretty much nailed the issue perfectly, and well done sir.

    For me, I tend to be offended by an over-abundance of churches and cellphone dealers (no joke), but I’m not about to go wagging my failed armchair-sociologist buttocks all over the blogosphere about it. Some folks actually ENJOY these “church” places, despite what I see as their track record for infecting the world with hatred and warfare. But that’s my problem, I guess. Who cares? I may or may not frequent this “sex shop” but hell, at least it isn’t another church or friggin’ Cricket dealer.

    If all these comment croakers really HAD the wisdom they claim to have, they’d step away from their sticky keyboards, enter the political arena, and make the world a Good and Proper place. Until then, I call rancid steaming bullsh*t on all the self-righteous bad-vibe merchants. For the rest of us: Onward! To the sex shops!

  • Having an opinion about culture = poo inspecting? Seems hyperbolic.

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