BEST ADULT VIDEO STORE - 2008
It's a strange time for adult video stores just now. With all the talk of how the internet has affected industries such as music and publishing, it's easy to forget that the web was colonized first and fastest by pornographers, and they have been pushing the possibilities of the internet further than any other single industry. An entire subsection of porn—gonzo—has set up shop online and often offers its wares for free. Flash video sites, borrowing their formats from YouTube, are becoming ubiquitous and are likewise free. And, for the connoisseur, online stores offer a larger and more diverse selection than any real-world video store could imagine—and will often stream it directly to your computer. So why would discriminating consumers duck into a seedy neighborhood shop when their computers provide everything they need? The answer, of course, is kitsch. If there is one thing that the web cannot re-create, it is the dubious pleasure of walking into a massive porn emporium, filled with an endless variety of tacky sensual delights, from corn-syrup-based Spanish Fly to creepy little booths that play multiple channels of looped porn, as long as you keep feeding it quarters. The web has no substitute for the serendipitous experience of thumbing through a shelf of remaindered vibrators and stumbling on an animated adult film from the '70s, available now for just $9. And you might be able to stream porn into your home, but if the movie puts you in a mood that requires a Bo Peep or naughty nurse costume, you're going to have to wait a few weeks for UPS. Not so with a real-world adult store, where, just upstairs from the videos, costumes can be had, and then costume-wearers can be had. For the most carnivalesque of these experiences, we must recommend Sex World, which has actually painted itself to look like a sideshow and offers such additional oddities as a penis-shaped, coin-operated animal ride.