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Jul 232011

IN a follow-up to the article referenced in This Post
We are told that the owner of
Maria’s Passion Paradise has toned down her proposed adult shop to one that sells lingerie and candles—“things that make you feel good”. She has no intention of opening a “sex shop” in a residential area. It’s hard to know whether she is modifying her business plan for practical reasons, or whether she is back-pedalling based on the negative reactions she’s received. It’s also hard to evaluate her general business savvy. She already has a store in another city, which she reports isn’t doing well, and appears to be looking to start fresh in Reston.

Turns out the merchants’ association and the condo owners association don’t even want a lingerie shop. They believe such a store doesn’t belong in their community. Eve, the merchants’ association president, is apparently not concerned about the adult nature of the merchandise, but about the quality. She wants the community to reflect excellence.

With her resistance to this business, whether it presents as sexual or sexy, I’m not convinced she’s in a position to evaluate the quality of the merchandise, or the quality of the service provided by having this kind of store.

What I know is that people need this service. People are interested in things that make them feel “good”–that make them feel sexy. The business outlined on the Passion Paradise Web site promotes education, something people really need. I too worry about quality. I want people to be able to get the quality they pay for, or at least know what they’re getting if they don’t pay much. I want people to be able to buy candles and body products free of toxic chemicals. If sex toys and other products are made available (which I think they should be, residential area or no) I want those to be safe and healthy. Does the owner of Maria’s Passion Paradise have these high standards? I really don’t know.

This whole situation is an interesting reflection of how sex can tie into everything else in life. The store owner’s initial plan to open a sex shop featuring aphrodisiac-themed events got people’s attention, and roused their resistance, yet now much of the discussion revolves around what kind of businesses people want to see, and what kinds of changes are necessary to help this fiscally flagging community survive.

You can read the latest installment of this saga, including some eye-opening comments here.

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