“Hello Nice N Naughty… Yes, we have quite a few male masturbators, we have the Fleshlights…The Pipe Dreams. The prices range from 14.99 all the way up to 99.99”
So goes a typical conversation in one of Chester’s adult stores. Nice N Naughty opened on cosmopolitan Brook street 19 years ago. But are people still having sex or is it all done on the internet these days, like everything else ?
“Ha ha I hope they are. If people are having sex online we hope they’re using an anti virus!” jokes the newest team member Lulu, who staffs the store alongside Joe and manager Carren. “We do have couples toys which you can link to your phone so online sex is slowly taking over.”
All the staff are positive about their work and the opportunities it offers. “I have worked at Nice n Naughty for 8 years of and on and it can be a very fun job. We get to see what’s new and order in. The thing I like is helping customers with getting their sex life back after cancer or just having a new partner. We are also one big family with 9 stores all together and the website.” says Carren.
Lulu says that she really enjoys her job ,having worked in retail for the last 5 years. She quickly became desensitised to the products on show which range from dildos and lubes, to bondage gear and beyond. ” This is the first retail job I’ve had that really keeps me on my toes. It’s also very rewarding as, at the end of the day, we are ere helping people with their sex lives and that’s such a wonderful thing” Joe agrees, commenting that :
“ It presents you with opportunities to meet people from all different walks of life, with a wide range of sexual preferences, making us experienced in our different clientele.”
The store is noted for its eye catching seasonal window displays. Designed by the staff themselves, they are limited by what products they can display openly. The staff are in agreement that there is still a stigma attached to adult stores. The traditional image of a sleazy man in a raincoat emerging with items in a brown paper bag remain embedded in our cultural zeitgeist. “I feel there will always be a stigma attached to every part of the sex industry, although there really shouldn’t be. However, I think people are becoming more open minded and are wanting to try new things so it’s a lot less stigmatised than it has been in the past.” comments Lulu.
Carren says the stigma remains and will always be there. “We at Nice n Naughty are doing our best to try and break down the stigma. I think people are surprised when they come into store and see what the shop looks like and how their staff are.”
As noted earlier, the internet has had a big impact on the sex industry, aside from its impact on retail in general. “The internet has made sex shops adapt and provide new methods of selling” says Joe. “People who buy in store get expert knowledge, they get to feel and see the stock first hand, and they get to take the goods home straight away!”
“We do still get customers that do not want to come into store due to feeling embarrassed. We do also get customers coming in store due to the fact that they can see the item first.” says store manager Carren. “There are also still customers who do not want this on their internet search history.” Lulu takes a similar view observing that:
“People feel comfortable shopping for personal items anonymously from the comfort of their own homes. However, we do still get a lot of people wanting to physically see the items before they purchase them, which you obviously can’t do online. It’s a bit of a bonding experience for couples to come in and pick things together too.”
I asked the team about current trends in the adult industry. Joe says that remote controlled love eggs are in fashion at the moment. “They offer a fun way for two people to play with a sex toy. An all-time favourite would be a body massager as they can be used intimately and to relax tight muscles after exercise.”
Lulu: ” We have had a lot more male customers who have previously had prostate issues who have been purchasing prostate toys. This may be linked to a rise in awareness surrounding prostate cancer. Anal play in general has become more popular recently too to be honest. Bondage is also up there and I think it always will be!”
Carren agrees that “anal play is a big thing in Chester and we are finding men more willing to try anal play. We also have a lot more customers asking for toys with apps.”
The team say that the store is popular with stag and hen parties and they all enjoy bantering with and helping the parties. “I do like the stag do’s as they are very happy for us to dress up the groom” says Carren. I ask her about any funny stories and she replies that “there are too many to say! What happens in Nice n Naughty stays in Nice n Naughty ; ) . ”
Many thanks to the team at Nice N Naughty