Originally Published September 23, 2008 on New2NYC.org
Okay, so New York City may not be the hot spot for heathens of the world that it was twenty years ago...Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum and BB King’s Blue’s Club have long since replaced the porn theatres and head shops that made city the true land of the degenerate. Like it or not, this city is definitely a lot less shady than it used to be, at least on the surface. The truth is – it may be cleaned up, but look a little bit harder and you’ll always find what you need here in the world of adult retail…
Start in the good old land of bohemia, the West Village. While it may be filled with fashion boutiques and baby strollers these days, you can still find a modern take on the good old “adult bookstore.” Case in point is the PLEASURE CHEST (www.thepleasurechest.com) on Seventh Avenue South. Even if you aren’t in such a lecherous mood…this is a fun store to check out. Don’t worry, while this may be a dirty birdie store, don’t expect to find dirty old men in trench coats – this place was on Sex and The City, after all. Since 1972, The Pleasure Chest has been a pioneer in breaking down the old taboos, creating what they consider the original sex toy "boutique". Expect to come across your fair share of sex toys – from dildos to blow up dolls. You’ll also be sure to find that S&M gear you always secretly longed for, lubes of all types, porn films and magazines, and plenty of sexually themed gag gifts.
Maybe you’re more of the sexy lingerie type? Well, why not try AGENT PROVACATEUR (www.agentprovocateur.com). First things first, this is not a sex shop; this is the store to discover things to spark up your love life. As they put it, expect to find an “opulent range of inspirational creations, designed to intensify life's pleasures and unlock your innermost desires.” This store has everything from panties, bras, garters and corsets, to pasties, whips and masks. Come in with an active imagination and you’ll leave with a smile.
What about for you gays? Don’t worry your sexuality is not something to be hushed up here in NYC, not with stores around like RAINBOW AND TRIANGLES (www.rainbowsandtriangles.com). This is not just a sex shop…this place has been an institution in the heart of Chelsea since 1994. They have a wide range of products that will make any homo smile. From stationary, including some of the most hilarious cards around, to wrapping paper, gifts bags, and a fantastic assortment of candles. They even have wonderful ornaments for your holiday tree (no matter what your religious leanings are)… But let’s face it, this article is about sex, which Rainbow and Triangles has in spades. You’ll be sure to find sex toys, “art-y” coffee table books, raunchy magazines and movies, and bondage gear…everything you’ll need to entertain yourself and whoever else might come along. And, they have a great assortment of club music to get your groove on.
The Pleasure Chest (212.242.2158) located at 156 Seventh Avenue in the West Village is open everyday from 10am to 12am.
Agent Provocateur (212.965.0229) is located at 133 Mercer Street in Soho. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 7pm and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm
Rainbows And Triangles (212.627.2166) is located at 192 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. Call for store hours.