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Sex sells in the Liberties

Miss Fantasia's, sex shop found on South William street- photo by Laura Somers

Miss Fantasia’s, sex shop found on South William street- photo by Laura Somers

With one of the oldest populations in Dublin, Laura Somers and Eddie Butler discover how the Liberties is attracting a new market for sex shops.

In the words of Woody Allen “sex is the most fun you can have without laughing”. So is it any wonder why we are in the midst of one of the biggest baby booms Ireland has seen in years?

With all the doom and gloom surrounding the economy, people have found a way to entertain themselves. A way that’s free, fun and keeps you warm on those cold winter nights.

However, it seems the Irish have discovered more modern aspects of this way to drown their recession blues, by spicing up their sex lives with sex toys, costumes and various other products from sex shops around the country.

While most companies are seeing a severe drop in sales, sex shops have reported a steady increase over the past number of years.

Good Vibrations on Wexford street is a sex shop which opened up a year ago in the Liberties. The manager of the shop said: “We have seen a big increase in sales in the past six months in particular as people get to know where we are and what we do. They are intrigued to come in and explore.”

However, Good Vibrations had problems initially with parents and strict Catholic locals coming in and complaining that it wasn’t a suitable shop to have in the area.

The manager said: “We have had our share of complaints but we would expect this from a devout Catholic area. We find foreigners are a lot more accepting and open about our shop. There is still such taboo surrounding sex in Ireland but we feel like more and more people are becoming more open to talking about sex.”

Another popular sex store in the area is Miss Fantasia’s on South William street. They too are still thriving in the recession, however, they find that some people are reluctant to go into sex shops due to their image .

The manager said: “The reason for such taboo surrounding sex stores is the media. They portray them as dirty seedy places, when in reality they are just places people can come to explore different sides to their sexuality.”

The two shops take steps to ensure only adults are allowed into their store. The manager of Miss Fantasia’s said: ‘We ask for I.D. off anyone we think might be underage. We also keep suitable items such as costumes etc. to the entrance of the store and the more unsuitable stuff to the back of the store.”

Both stores have a huge diversity of customers from 70 year old men buying porn and erotica DVDs to young couples experimenting with toys for the first time, proving there’s something for everyone.

One of their best sellers is the couple’s vibrator We-Vibe, which markets at €80. Their next best sellers are DVDs which range in price from €30 to €80.

Around Halloween time, sex shops such as Good Vibrations and Miss Fantasia’s will expect costumes sales to go through the roof.

Both Good Vibrations and Miss Fantasia’s have online stores. These services are for their more private customers who wish to delve into the world of sex products but are too ashamed or shy to go into a shop.

The stigma surrounding sex shops is becoming something of the past and it seems locals are keen to explore this new aspect of the Liberties. It’s encouraging to note that no matter how down we are about the economy, the Irish can always find ways to entertain themselves.

Related posts:

A brief history of the Liberties
Peaches and Dreams
“We are not a dumping ground”, says DSPCA

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