Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Great Retail Porn Cabal Exposed

If my recent musings about breasts, necrophilia, and Vagisil haven't made my mother proud of her blogging son, well, this won't either.

Recently, I was casually perusing the classified ads in the Chicago Reader when I saw this:
FINALLY, A JOB that will excite you! We are a national retail adult entertainment business looking for bright, creative and enthusiastic individuals to join our team. Sales Associates: Full- and part-time positions available. Starting pay $8/ hour, plus commissions. Applicants must be 21+ years of age. Apply in person Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm at one of our Chicago locations: Adult Fantasy, 2928 North Broadway; Erotic Warehouse, 1246 West Randolph; Frenchy's, 872 North State Street; Hubbard Books, 109 West Hubbard; Lamours, 3901 West Lawrence; Over 21, 1347 Wells; Wells Books, 178 North Wells. http://www.loversplayground.com/.
I was shocked. I always assumed that adult bookstores were independently owned, but apparently that retail sector has had its share of mergers and acquisitions over the years. I never would have guessed that the porn shop across the street from my friend Jean's condo, the porn shop I used to walk past on the way to work, and the porn shop by the Admiral Theatre were all tentacles of the same corporate beast.

A little research showed that Lover's Playground (LP) dominates several Illinois markets, particularly college towns. If University of Illinois sorority girls are looking for a gag gift, they'll probably find it at one of the three locations in Champaign-Urbana controlled by LP. Ditto for students from NIU (DeKalb's venerable Paperback Grotto) and ISU (Risque's on old Route 66 in Bloomington). Even Denmark II (the nearest porn shop to where I grew up) is just another cog in the great porn wheel of LP.

Alas, what has happened to the "mom and pop" porn shops?

No comments: