It is illegal for UK sex shops to show goods in the window. Soho's Original Book Shop with a licensed sex shop downstairs. Brewer Street , Soho. Almost all licensed adult stores in the UK are forbidden from having their wares in open shop windows under the Indecent Displays Act , which means often the shop fronts are boarded up or covered in posters.
A warning sign must be clearly shown at the entrance to the store, and no sex articles for example, pornography or sex toys should be visible from the street.
However, lingerie, non-offensive covers of adult material, etc. The Video Recordings Act introduced the Rrated classification for videos that are only available in licensed sex shops. No customer can be under eighteen years old. In London, there are few boroughs that have licensed sex shops.
In the district of Soho within the City of Westminster a handful of sex shops were opened by Carl Slack in the early s, and by the mid-seventies the number had grown to By the s, purges of the police force along with new and tighter licensing controls by the City of Westminster led to a crackdown on illegal premises in Soho.
In the early s, London's Hackney council sought to shut down Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium , because they did not have a licence. In the Ann Summers chain of lingerie and sex toy shops won the right to advertise for shop assistants in Job Centres, which was originally banned under restrictions on what advertising could be carried out by the sex industry. The shop appealed and won, but this was overturned by the House of Lords.
The borough has fifteen licensed sex shops and several remaining unlicensed ones. Islington and Camden each have multiple sex shops; the former also has three pornographic cinemas. United States[ edit ] In the United States, a series of Supreme Court decisions in the s based on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution generally legalized sex shops, while still allowing states and local jurisdictions to limit them through zoning. Into the s, nearly all American sex shops were oriented to an almost entirely male clientele.
The latter class of stores tend to be very consciously community-oriented businesses, sponsoring lecture series and being actively involved in sex-related health issues, etc. Canada[ edit ] This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. February Learn how and when to remove this template message The first sex shop on the continent of North America was called The Garden.
The Palm Beach Post commented: Most sex shops of today carry adult videos, which means that most sex toys remain strictly in the hands of adults. Italy[ edit ] This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.