This article needs additional citations for verification. A sex shop in Walker’s Adult sex stores, Soho, London. It is illegal for UK sex shops to show goods in the window.
Soho’s Original Book Shop with a licensed sex shop downstairs. Almost all licensed adult stores in the UK are forbidden from having their wares in open shop windows under the Indecent Displays Act 1981, which means often the shop fronts are boarded up or covered in posters. In London, there are few boroughs that have licensed sex shops. In the district of Soho within the City of Westminster a handful of sex shops were opened by Carl Slack in the early 1960s, and by the mid-seventies the number had grown to 59. By the 1980s, purges of the police force along with new and tighter licensing controls by the City of Westminster led to a crackdown on illegal premises in Soho. In the early 1990s, London’s Hackney council sought to shut down Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium, because they did not have a licence.
The licensing or closing of unlicensed sex shops, along with cultural changes such as the substantial relaxation of general censorship and the ready availability of non-commercial sex, have reduced the red-light district of Soho to just a small area. The borough has fifteen licensed sex shops and several remaining unlicensed ones. On the one hand, there are stores resembling the UK’s Ann Summers, tending toward “softer” product lines. This section’s tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia’s guide to writing better articles for suggestions. The first sex shop on the continent of North America was called The Garden.