News24

Porn shops gaining in approval?

2000-10-27 18:26

Protesters in Parow, Cape Town, shouted "whore and prostitute", at the international porno actress, Christi Lake during her previous visit to South Africa for the opening of the sex shop, Adult World's warehouse.

The sex shop chain launched their website on Friday, where, amongst other things, naughty toys and porn videos can be ordered and delivered to your door.

In the last three years, and since the protest at the opening of Adult World, South Africa's "open-mindedness about sex", according to Arthur Calamaras, managing director of the chain of stores in South Africa, has increased surprisingly.

"Women especially stream into our shops."

He added:"Women come in and ask questions about the sex novelties."

At the controversial opening of the warehouse in Cape Town, 70% of the visitors were women.

Traffic came to a standstill for 10 minutes in July 1998 while approximately 500 protest marchers, under strict police guard, advanced on the sex warehouse. Church groups from Ravensmead,in particular, raised strong objections to the opening of the warehouse.

This warehouse is currently the largest of its kind in Africa. The chain store has already opened 21 sex shops throughout South Africa.

"I was very sceptical about this kind of sex shop chain in South Africa," Al Robles, American partner in the firm and so-called "porn guru" told Beeld on Friday.

In America there are 2 000 sex shops. "If it is up to Calamaras, soon there will be just as many here," Robles said.

On Friday Calamaras was trying to water down the stigma attached to sex shops.

"If unsavoury characters come in here, security guards quickly show them the door" he claimed.

He also gave the assurance that child pornography, bestiality and violent sex were not tolerated on their shelves.

"We sell enough of the legal material."

In the days when the warehouse opened, protesters walked around with placards proclaiming, "Real men don't need pornography", "Protect our people from banned pornography".

On Friday, a few people shook their heads as they walked past the shop in Blackheath, Johannesburg, while Lake and her colleague, porn actress Nina Whett, posed for photographs on the pavement.

Christi Lake recalled, on Friday: "In those days it was frightening and intimidating with that bunch of protesters. We expected it. South Africa's borders were closed to sex novelties during the apartheid era. Now the doors are wide open".

Lake claimed that one of the protesters "waited until her minister left before she came and peeked in the warehouse to see what exactly she was protesting against".

This woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, got a job at the sex warehouse the next day.