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3 - Shopping for Sex

Situating Work in Soho’s Sex Shops

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2019

Melissa Tyler
Affiliation:
University of Essex
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Summary

Michael, one of the many participants in the study on which this book is based, described how, on a rainy Monday morning, he had spent time explaining the relative merits of a small selection of soft-porn DVDs to a recently widowed elderly man who had never been in a sex shop before but who was in need of some ‘company’; he had been asked to model a pair of leather chaps for a gay couple looking for party wear (finding out only some way into his modelling session that the party they had planned was for three, if Michael was interested?); and he had been invited to try on the newly delivered store-branded T-shirts designed to convey the sexual eclecticism and corporate identity of the store in which he worked on Soho’s Old Compton Street, known as the United Kingdom’s ‘gay capital’.1 And a ‘local’ (the term used to describe regular customers rather than people who necessarily live or work in Soho) had asked Michael if he would let him have the socks he was wearing, as the customer said he wanted to smell them while he masturbated. For reasons unknown to me at the time, and seemingly to Michael, this was not an uncommon request.

Type
Chapter
Information
Soho at Work
Pleasure and Place in Contemporary London
, pp. 72 - 116
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Shopping for Sex
  • Melissa Tyler, University of Essex
  • Book: Soho at Work
  • Online publication: 05 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316875704.004
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  • Shopping for Sex
  • Melissa Tyler, University of Essex
  • Book: Soho at Work
  • Online publication: 05 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316875704.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Shopping for Sex
  • Melissa Tyler, University of Essex
  • Book: Soho at Work
  • Online publication: 05 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316875704.004
Available formats
×