ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Sin in the City: come away, learn, explode
By Lori Mastronardi
“Come away with me, in the night… ”
Gazette File Photo
A NEW, SLIGHTLY DISTURBING WAY TO PLAY WITH DOLLS. Blonde and curvy Barbie
is like a doll version of the infamous porn star Jenna Jameson. Available
at department stores everywhere.
It’s quite the juxtaposition. Picture it: you’re listening to
the sweet lyrics of Norah Jones as you browse through aisle after aisle of
porn-related products. Maybe the soothing sound is intended to romance you
into purchasing the pleasure-inducing games, videos and accessories that surround
Or maybe the slow-paced music allows you to take your time and carefully make
a selection, thus reducing the possibility of dissatisfaction or regret. Whatever
the reason, Sin City is there to provide answers to the most curious of minds,
while playing the most unexpected of soundtracks.
Formerly known as Adult Movie Warehouse, Sin City Adult Superstore offers
customers three London locations. Armed with a notepad and some friends for
support, this determined A&E editor stepped through the doors of the Wharncliffe
Rd. store in search of some answers.
Employee Joel Johnstone, equipped with five months of experience working at
Sin City, shared information on everything from videos to clientele.
There were a handful of customers wandering through the store on this early
Friday night. Johnstone explained that the cold weather usually slows down
business. He said there is generally a steady flow of customers during the
summer months and the holidays are also quite busy — perhaps with people
buying gifts, feeling lonely or simply wanting to spice things up a bit.
As for days of the week, Sundays at Sin City rival attendance at morning mass. “Sunday
is the busiest day because it’s two-for-one VHS/DVD,” Johnstone
So if it isn’t church-goers, who regularly visits Sin City? About three-quarters
of the clientele consists of single and married men. “Married men come
in by themselves — the rings on their fingers give it away,” Johnstone
revealed. “They will come in, get their stuff and quickly leave.”
However, it’s not only older men who stroll through Sin City. Apparently,
quite a few couples shop as well. Couples will often seek advice, which Johnstone
recommends to any new and curious customers. “It’s good when people
ask questions, because usually what they think they want is not what they want
Couples are also the most likely to purchase flavoured condoms, as people
may grow bored in a long-term relationship, and therefore, search for ways
to add some flavour. Ahem.
And what about that guy that sits next to you in psychology? Or your lab partner
in chemistry? Johnstone said that several students visit the store, and explained
that slightly awkward confrontations can result. “Students will see me
around, look at me with familiarity, gasp and think you’re the guy from
the porn shop! You know what I rent!”
Sin City boasts a rather extensive collection of videos and DVDs, while offering
a variety of sections that caters to different interests. New releases are
one-day rentals for $4.35, comparable to a Blockbuster hit.
As for popular films, Joel says that anything with blonde bombshell Jenna
Jameson is very popular. The couple section also attracts a lot of people,
as does the “private” section. The latter contains popular, high-end
films; for example, Forbidden Tales is an actual film, with porn in it (if
you want to snatch it up, save $59.99).
Sin City also offers a gay section, which offers copious amounts of gay porn,
unlike most other adult stores. A popular series in the gay genre is Personal
Trainers ($29.99 each) by Bel Ami Entertainment, which includes live training
for the role of a porn star.
After a thorough tour through the shop, collecting priceless information along
the way, it’s time to leave. As I step out the doors, I can’t help
but hear some Dido lyrics… “I think I’ll explode.” Hmm.
Maybe there was another intended reason for the soundtrack.
If you’d like to take a peek for yourself, visit Sin City Adult Superstore
at one of three locations: 1-100 Wharncliffe Rd. S., 330 Wellington Rd. S.
or 1560 Dundas St. E..