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March 20, 1997 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-20

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68- The Michigan Daity Weekend Magazije -T 'ursdayMarch 20, 1997'



The' MWchga Dy Weekemo

About Town
Shops offer kinky sexual waresn

0 He said


By Je Ws P. Miller
Daily Arts Writer
For a town as liberal and packed full
of young people as Ann Arbor, sex is
surprisingly absent from the campus
marketplace. Sure there's the racy "art"
books in Border's, the girlie mags near
the counter at the In and Out (ha!) party
store, but generally speaking, sex does-
n't sell on campus.
A great exception to this dictum is
Understatement, your friendly neigh-
borhood lingerie vendor. The store is
everything you would expect from its
name; that is to say, a rather cheeky and
stylized approach to sex and that which
precipitates it.
Or in the words of Charmaine
Spencer, one of the proprietors, "Basic
average lingerie, stuff for the larger
sizes and for the men." So no barbed
w ire or cellophane, I suppose, but just
the basics.
"We sell black and red, mostly,"
Spencer said, putting a little finer point
on the mechanics of seduction. But

Understatement puts on an even finer
point. Despite rejecting the more
bizarre kinds of intimate appaiel
(except for the case of leather and studs
in the corner), the store is full of lace,
shiny trim, sequins, feathers, silk, satin
and all of the things that make the Joe
Average American say, "Mildred, look
what I've got for you. Send the kids to
your mother's and lets find that Johnny
Mathis record I had in college."
Understatement carries a full compli-
ment of body stockings, body paint,
Chippendale's postcards, sex board
games, sex naps, panties in beer bottles.
costume jewelry, oils and lotions.
For customers interested in the hard-
er (ha!) stuff, there is a small plastic
cabinet in the back containing a few
lonely dildos and the like. With a sign
prohibiting refunds and exchanges
("No refunds, No exchanges.")
The secrets of seduction (and other
things also, if the stuff works) are laid
bare at Understatement. Get in touch
with your satin side.

ie mood in The Safe Sex Store, for-
y known as Condoms 101, is a
cable change in tenors. Maybe it
the Indigo Girls bootleg I heard
ing softly in the background, or the
handcuffs on the wall, but this was
itely a college store.
ie Safe Sex Store doesn't compro-
anything, or pull any punches.
Ve sell a lot of Trojanz, Sheik and
ses," said LSA senior Rachel
er, a Safe Sex Store employee.
y come in for condoms and they
a lot of other items they like."
:plaining the store's recent change
me, Cooper said, "the owner real-
nts to promote safe sex. It's not a
e." Their bread and butter is still
hock troops of the safe sex move-
good old-fashioned prophylac-
Id these were serious condoms.
ns, Ramses, Lifestyles, lambskin,
cated, unlubricated, oil-based,
r-based, glow-in-the-dark and more
rs than the Good Humor Man. The
back corner is filled with
safe sex pamphlets and
other medical information.
Large amounts of shelf
space are given over to
candles, incense, massage
oils and other soft-core
stimuli. In short, all that
man has learned about pro-
tected nookie over the last
20 years.
p.m. But now to the fun stuff.
Let's see ... apart from the

JEA^N^IE ^^VAS "Y Uail
Gags and Gifts features a variety of sexual toys, including this inflatable doll.

Area Sex Stores

thousands of kinds of oils, lotions and
other such things, the store has every-
thing from edible panties to a party
game in which two people use a set of
dice to decide what sexual act to per-
form on each other, another big seller
according to Cooper.
The store is an appropriate mixture of
good-natured (and necessary) humor
about sex, and attention to the more
serious aspects of it as well. Stop by, it's
ribbed for your pleasure.
Gags & Gifts, located in Arborland
Mall, is the real deal, Holyfield sex
store. They carry everything from blow-
up dolls to lingerie to sex toys.
When asked about their biggest sell-
er, employee Brenda Bullock was
"We sell mostly vibrators," she said,
matter of factly.

Like many other local sex stores,
Bullock said that they do most of their
business with couples rather than sin-
gles. In contrast to the campus area
stores, most of Gags & Gifts customers
are middle aged folks, rather than the
students who frequent The Safe Sex
This place is a serious hardware
store. People serious about the-artifical
sex trade are advised to stop in and
sample their wares.
At first glance, Ann Arbor doesn't
seem to contain the red-light sex stores
that many urban settings have. But one
looking for sexual goods needs to ven-
ture no further than a few blocks to find
their goal - and with three shops to
choose from, selection from this "Porn
of Plenty" of wares shouldn't be a prob-

By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Arts Editor
OK guys, let's get one thing straight
right off the bat - before I even explain
how I know this little tidbit of info. If a
woman ever tells you men are wild, sex-
ist pigs who look at women as nothing
more than pieces of meat, and that
women are calm, cool, collected and
look at what's on the inside of a man,
not the outside, then you tell them that
they are full of crap.
Most women would never fess up to
the fact that they like to see naked men
as much, if not more, than guys like to
see naked women. Sure, society tells us
men are the ones who like to see beau-
tifully molded flesh of the opposite sex
and that women don't get off on seeing

cut guys with big schlongs. But the fact
is that the myth exists only because
guys fess up ,(and are usually stoked)
about going to strip clubs, while women
will deny their flesh fascination till the
day they die.
I have to commend my co-editor Jen
for her honesty in affirming my theory
when she summed up my argument in
five words: "women like to see dick."
Don't even try to deny it ladies,
because I've seen it! I've gone where not
too many men have gone before, and I
saw you, you sly gals. In the name of
journalism and The Michigan Daily, Jen
and I went out on the town on a Saturday
night to experience both female and
male strip clubs so we could share our
findings with you, our Daily reader.
I'll admit, there are many, many other
places I'd rather be on a Saturday night
than sitting in Danny's, a sleazy
Windsor, Ontario strip club, with a
naked guy slinging his lead on the
stage. As a man who has grown up and
been conditioned by American society,
going to a male strip club wasn't really
a comfortable experience. It's not some-
thing I'm planning to bring up while
I'm drinking with the guys, and it's def-
initely not something I'm eager to
repeat in this lifetime.

But regardless of how demeaned and
dirty I felt by seeing some poor man
being taken advantage of and exploited
like a piece of meat, it was well worth the
never-ending pain. After seeing a couple
hundred women scream every time one
of these guys dropped another layer of
underwear, I know women like to see
schlong. (I've decided to start NMROC
- the National Men's Rights Organizing
Coalition - send me an e-mail if you
want to join. Members of our sister
group, NWROC, are welcome.)
Throughout our stay, the ladies were
led in sleazy chants like, "If you're
horny and you know it clap your
hands," and the emcee kept on scream-
ing for "kielbasa." (Note: They don't
scream for flounder at male clubs.)
The lame routines and terribly cheesy
music continued through my less-than-
enjoyable stay, and most of the guys did-
n't even take it all off. Not that I'm com-
plaining, but if you pay $8 to see dick,
dick is what you should get.
That's why I like Deja Vu in Ypslianti.
For a mere $5, you get to see vagina all
night long. Now, I'm not saying I want to
see Ypsilanti vagina all night long, but
hey, if you pay to go to a nudie bar, you
should get to see some nookie.
I hadn't been to the Vu since my first

year at Michigan, and my
skanky women didn't excit
much. I remember the club'
to be something like "Thous
tiful girls and three ugly o
fate sent me on the nights t
ones were dancing.
Three years later, I have
girls have improved an
seemed like a palace c
Danny's dingy decor.
Packed with horny
guys, the Vu has three
types of clientele: the
18-year-old Michigan
and EMU students
(the most prevalent
group), the dirty-old-
middle-aged men,
and guys who must be
named "Tiny."
At the Vu, I reaf-
firmed my initial dis-
covery that women
are wilder and J
raunchier than men -
when it comes to strip clu
at the Vu were subdued an
sitting back with their r
drinks, quietly watching tli
The worst thing about 1
fact the club doesn't serve

Store Name:
Gags & Gifts
The Safe Sex Store


Phone: Hours:

3693 Washtenaw Ave.

971-5588 Monday-Saturday, 10-9 p.m.;
Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

1209 South University Ave. 741-1434 Monday-Saturday, 12-9 p.m.;
Sunday, 12-6 p.m.


249 E. Liberty St.

327-9030 Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.:-7



UAC Committee Chairs Wanted!
for the 1997-1998 school year
Universities Activities Center is the largest student-run organization on
campus. UAC's purpose is to enrich the student community. UAC has a
spot for everyone. If you enjoy the arts, the entertainment field, or are
interested in technical work, business, or advertising, UAC would love to
have you join the team! UAC is made up of a fantastic team of students.
We're so much more that just programming; we're about fun, too. Not
only do we work together, we play together! There is never a dull
moment at UAC!
Committees Include:
Amazin' Blue Laughtrack
Comedy Company Soundstage
Impact Dance Theatre Special Events
M-Flicks Viewpoint Lectures
The Rude Mechanicals Eclipse Jazz
(formerly Soph Show) Homecoming
MUSKET Michigras
Mini-Courses Ticket Central
Multicultural Programming Board
Michigan Academic Competition
Applications are available at the UAC office,
2105 Michigan Union
Due Noon, Monday March 24
Universities Activities Center
2105 Michigan Union
: _ 3 xUro 2105C1 Michigan UnionA t J q 7 a!2: b: E

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