CONSERVATIVE Despatch is abuzz with gossip and mixed emotions about the new sex shop, Lovers Extreme Adult Boutique, that has opened its doors in Main Street.
The sleepy town was woken up two weeks ago by shop owner Deon Lowe when he opened his fifth branch – other outlets are in Uitenhage, Jeffreys Bay, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth – of the “adult store” in the centre of the town.
And despite the backlash from certain sectors in the town, Lowe does not regret his decision to open, because business is booming.
“Since we opened, people have been in and out of the store. While I was waiting for the licence to be approved for my Uitenhage store I thought: ‘Why not open one in Despatch?’ So I applied for another licence and did exactly that,” Lowe said.
“I have heard rumours of people not approving of my business, but sometimes these toys and videos save marriages by putting the spark back into them sexually. People have the misconception that we sell sex, which is not the case.”
The shop is open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday. But so as not to upset the church, it closes on Sundays, Lowe said teasingly.
But it’s no laughing matter for the NG Kerk’s Ds André Lotter.
“We don’t approve, but it is a free country. He can do as he pleases. It doesn’t mean we have to support him. Business comes and goes in this town, because people think they have a monopoly, but the question is whether their business is sustainable.”
Soft-spoken Liandi Rademeyer was also not impressed.
“I don’t think it is a good idea. Generally I don’t think people in our town will show interest after the hype has died down. And besides that, I’m sure I speak for most women in Despatch when I say I won’t let my boyfriend near me with any of those funny things. God made us as we are for a reason. We don’t need toys.”
Her cousin Andrea Rademeyer echoed her, saying: “I think people are more curious than anything else at the moment. Businesses don’t really last in Despatch, only the ones we use daily. And I seriously doubt that Extreme Lovers is as busy as Shoprite. Besides that, the shop is in the main road, and we can’t take the risk of going in because anybody can drive by and see you. News spreads fast here.”
Despatch resident Nadia Snyman disapproved of the shop, saying: “Dit bring die
duiwel in. [It invites the devil.] Once we allow shops like this into the town a trend develops and more [liquor outlets] open, and so on. I don’t think this shop has any place in our town.”
Theology student Quinton Nel said: “This a small community. People won’t be walking into the shop freely considering they might be spotted and embarrassed by another member of the community. I think residents would rather travel to PE to buy the things on offer.”
However, Lowe disagreed, saying he had opened the shop because his customers did not want to travel.
Pieter Kapp, owner of a Despatch café, believes Lowe is making a honest living. “He saw what he believes is a gap in the market and is trying to make business. There is nothing wrong with that.
“It is your choice whether or not you choose to support the business.”
– Tremaine van Aardt
This story appeared in Weekend Post on Saturday, 19 April, 2014. For the full story read Weekend Post, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition