With the erotic Fifty Shades trilogy still topping best-selling book lists and a movie (Hysteria) about the invention of the vibrator opening across the USA this week, the summer is starting out steamy. Sexperts cite a combination of factors, including marketing that targets average women. They also trace societal changes to 1998, when a Sex and the City episode broached the subject of vibrators. And in the early 2000s, Tupperware parties gave way to parties selling vibrators and sex toys.Although I've not really noticed (I honestly don't shop for sex gear at Wal-ly World styled stores) them here in the region sometime's known as the "Bible Belt", the basic premise of the article is that sex is more mainstream than ever because major national chains like CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Safeway, Target and Walmart now include vibrators on store shelves.
Maybe we're becoming a bit more like the Europeans, less uptight about sex. And, I guess change is inevitable with time, but I'm not sure if these kinds of trends can be called real progress, I suppose so, but I have nagging doubts. I can say for sure, that it is a symptom of bigger overall changes in society, and in the way people get sexual material and adult sex toys.
Which brings me to the real reason I'm writing today, to lament the closure of a local adult video, magazine and toy store that had existed for the majority of my adult life, Centennial Video Center in Rock Island, Illinois.
While driving to IML2012 with Master Dream and his precious treasure, my friend and fellow dominant asked if I knew whether Centennial Video Center in Rock Island, Illinois, was still open. I didn't know the answer, I thought they were still around, but I wasn't positive. I did make a note to check the next time I was in the Quad Cities (name of the Metro area that includes Rock Island and Moline, Illinois,as well as Davenport and Bettendorff, Iowa.)
Well, I happened to be in be Rock Island yesterday morning with Serafina, we took a side trip to downtown, slid down 20th street where the store was located, only to discover an amateurish "Closed" sign taped to the storefront. I guess I had my answer . . .
In the early and mid 1990's I was a regular customer at Centennial Video Center. The were by far the best source within a couple hundred miles for finding BDSM videos to rent, and they also stocked some decent bondage and BDSM related magazines, which I enjoyed from time to time as well. The "Love Bondage" magazines from Harmony Productions featuring the work of Simone Devone were personal favorites that still have their own place among my erotica collection.
While it does hold a fond place in my heart, when I start thinking back in time, I hadn't visited the store in something like 15 years. I guess from that perspective, it's easy to see why the store closed. The World Wide Web now delivers porn direct to people's homes, and having sex toys delivered to your door is just as simple.
In the modern world there's no reason to have to go into a sleazy store that's lit with harsh fluorescent light and which stinks with an overwhelming stench of toxic Phthalates. No longer do I have to risk health or safety to trip my kink . . .
So, while I know, upon consideration, that the demise of Rock Island's Centennial Video Center is simply the march of progress, I still feel a little melancholy thinking about that "Closed" sign, sad and ugly and taped crooked to the wall. It's a little like the store is some old whore who's been kicked to the curb because she's no longer attractive, can no longer earn her keep.
I feel a little bit like putting a tin can under that forlorn and forsaken sign, and throwing in a quarter . . .