Pioneering retailer of all things naughty-but-nice in Brighton, Tim Richardson, is our Unsung Hero of the month.
How many shops do you have now?
Three – there’s Lust in the North Laine and Taboo by the station, and we’ve just opened a new Taboo in Hove.
What was the idea behind Lust?
I see Lust as a mixture of Ann Summers and Urban Outfitters – you can come in and buy something for your girlfriend and your mum. The variety of things in people’s baskets is fantastic – a picture frame for your granny and a butt plug. A lot of people buying that sex toy wouldn’t go into a sex shop like Taboo – friends of mine still haven’t been able to go through the door after seven years, they’re too nervous. I realised we had to get those products into a much more open retail environment. If you’re walking out of Ann Summers you’ve basically either bought lingerie or a sex toy, whereas here you could have bought a Banksy mug – that’s the beauty of it, it takes the embarrassment out of it.
Is there stuff you can’t put in the window?
I don’t put sex toys in the window; I think it’s wrong. We’ll put subtle things in the display, to let people know there are adult products in the shop, but you don’t need a great big dildo in the window. It would put people off.
Don’t people prefer to buy this sort of thing online?
We’re launching our Lust website soon and Taboo’s online now. There are two types of customer, the ones who do it all online and those who use it for research but still want the retail experience, to see and hold the product. It’s down to the training of the girls in the shop to give the customer what they want based on what they’ve seen online.
Most women seem to have vibrators these days, are men’s attitudes to sex toys changing?
There’s the Fleshlight masturbator, a lot of young guys buy them now. We all know everybody masturbates – it doesn’t make you blind. It’s a natural thing to do and if you can buy something that’s going to enhance it why not? And also buy your granny a picture frame at the same time…
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