Sex and gender at work, in bed, and on the street

Manassas sex shop forces parents to explain DVD, lotion proximity to children

September 9, 2010 - 02:00 PM
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Sex shop will spark dialogue, some worry (Photo: Associated Press)

This Tuesday, Manassas residents descended upon city hall to protest the opening of KK's Temptations, a new shop promising to offer "adult DVDs, lotions, lingerie, and more." At the meeting, Manassas residents expressed supreme discomfort with one possible outcome of the store's presence in the city's quaint Old Town district: That they will some day be forced to explain KK's curious collection of wares to their children.

Today, I caught up with Lynn O'Neill, one Manassas resident who has already encountered this nightmare scenario.

This is how it went down: O'Neill and her two sons, ages 12 and 14, were exiting Old Town restaurant Carmello's & Little Portugal, when they spied the KK's storefront around the corner. "My children saw 'KK's Temptations' and assumed it was a candy store," O'Neill says. Wrong: "When we got closer, they said, 'What does this mean, adult videos?"

O'Neill handily swiped down the query. "I said, 'Oh, R movies. Or X-rated movies. Movies you can’t see," she says.

The line of questioning continued. "Adult toys? Do they mean cards and checkers?" O'Neill says the boys asked her. "How come we can’t go in? How come we can’t go into a toy store?"

O'Neill started grasping. "I said, 'Maybe it's toys only adults can use. Maybe it has something that you shouldn’t have. Like matches.' I didn’t know what to say with them," O'Neill admits.

But the boys pressed on. "So my 12-year-old says, 'Why are they selling lotions in an adult store?'" she says. O'Neill had "no words to explain that to my children." So "I said, 'Oh, Matt, don’t worry about it.' And then we kind of just walked away."

Crisis averted—for now. O'Neill's sons haven't raised the lotion issue since, but O'Neill is merely biding her time until her family must pass by the storefront a second time. "There’s no doubt that it will come up again," O'Neill says. "We go to the dry cleaner's across the street. And you know what’s going to happen? We’re not going to be able to go to that dry cleaner's anymore."

The O'Neill family's first brush with KK's appears to have gone relatively smoothly: The boys asked about the movies, the toys, and the lotions, and then they kind of just . . . walked away. But O'Neill is convinced that the boys' curiosity will not be satisfied until they get a peek inside the store itself. "At the town hall, that man, with the earring, he said that the store will 'open up a dialogue,'" O'Neill says. And that's exactly what O'Neill is afraid of.

 UPDATE: KK's Temptations writes in to contest O'Neill's characterization of the storefront window. "Nowhere on our sign does it say 'adult toys' so I don't really comprehend how the O'Neills' children asked if we would be selling checkers," owners wrote in an e-mail. "It is a false statement that our window advertises adult toys."



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  1. blenders blenders

    johnthan blenders

    Oct 23, 2010 - 05:23:36 AM

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  2. TheGnome TheGnome

    Doe Nut

    Sep 12, 2010 - 03:39:00 PM

    Oh no! You mean they can't keep their children from finding out about sex forever..?

    This mother needs to get a grip. Children are curious (although 12 and 14 year olds don't really count as children IMO) and WILL find out, especially if you try and hide things from them. Understanding about sex isn't going to turn them into sex addicts. Really.

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  3. sirriamnis sirriamnis

    M Schulz

    Sep 10, 2010 - 11:59:49 AM

    Seriously? This has to be some of the worst fiction writing I've ever seen. That never happened, unless she's been raising those kids in a cave.

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