Sex Store Opposition Picks Up Steam

An adult store coming to Southington is stirring up controversy in the town.

Residents who are outraged about adult store Very Intimate Pleasures taking over the old Ethan Allen building on Queen Street protested at a Planning and Zoning meeting Tuesday. Some residents said the novelty boutique doesn't belong amongst the family-oriented businesses around it, like the Hair For All salon next door.

"I have already gotten comments from customers, saying, if it goes in, they won't come to the plaza anymore. They won't bring their children around it. One of my customers told me today, if it goes in, she won't even bring her kids down Queen Street," said Christine Knott, who manages the salon.

They're also worried about the clientele the store will attract, so they've started a petition protesting the store and demanding it not use outside advertising.

"Everybody knows what they're selling, but as far as the people who are going to be hanging out there, I just don't think it's appropriate for Southington.  It's a middle-class, very family-oriented town. It should not be allowed," said Carol Wright of Southington.

The store has already been approved because it adheres to the town's laws on adult businesses. Southington only mandates that an adult store sell 10 percent or less of adult products, and 5 percent of  V.I.P.'s products will be.

The store's district manager, John Perrone, said the business will be classy, just like the chain's other stores.

"Sixty-five to 70 percent of our customers are females or couples, so that type of person is a very good person to have coming to your community and business there," Perrone said.

The store will remain discreet, he said. The window dressings will not be sexual in nature, so from the outside, no one will know what it is.

"It's a building by itself. It's not in a plaza. There's no reason for children to be near it if that's what they're worried about. I have no problem with it at all. We've had a strip joint, an adult bookstore in town for years," Coby Goyen, of Southington, said.

The store in Southington is set to open in December.

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