January 27, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 64  

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Sin in the City: come away, learn, explode

By Lori Mastronardi
Gazette Staff

“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 you.

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 explained.

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 at all.”

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..



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