APRIL 16, 2012 11:33AM

Sex Ed Field Trip

Rate: 12 Flag



The picture is the parking lot out front of “The

Pleasure Chest.”

 When “The Pleasure Chest” moved their Chicago store to our neighborhood a few years ago, the brigades of young mothers pushing $1,000 strollers were not amused.


Then there were those of us who were a little amused.


The store is not new. The Pleasure Chest first took the brown paper wrapper off the front windows of a store selling sex toys way back in 1971 in the West Village of New York City.


An LA store opened in 1975. A Chicago store at another location in 1977.  Today the nephew of the founder is still involved in running the stores.


The idea has always been the same. An open, honest, fun and healthy sex life. Today grandparents shop the store.


Our neighborhood is one of immense diversity. A local trend in this time of slowed construction and declining income for most of us, is for the richest of the rich to buy the house next to them, tear it down and turn the empty lot into a hockey rink, fish pond, volleyball court or baseball diamond for the kids.


At the same time, there are neighbors lining up at the Food Pantries for their only hot meal of the day. Neighbors who used to be accountants or lawyers, who used to have a home and a car and a known future.


There are the walking wounded who have slipped entirely through the fraying social safety net as it hangs only by the thinnest of threads. Never really sure where they will eat or sleep next.


So the Pleasure Chest really ---as it turns out—didn’t change morality, end marriages, beckon to the four horseman of the apocalypse to giddy up down Lincoln Avenue and flash their swords of righteousness. Neither Michelle nor husband Marcus Bachman needed to be called in to consult. The war on women did not open up a new front right down the block from the Dunkin Donuts.


Instead, The Pleasure Chest just keeps on doing what it has been doing since the early seventies. And doing it well. No one’s morality changed. People had much larger battles to wage.


The Pleasure Chest is a store. Like lots of stores.


Of course the school bus in the parking lot of The Pleasure Chest on a Sunday afternoon. The picture you see here?


Many of us found most amusing.

Photo Credit: E. Moeller-Younger 


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The upper middle class momma's with their $1000 strollers have replaced the little old ladies in tennis shoes... and why was the school bus in the parking lot on Sunday morning? Picking up or dropping off?
That picture is worth blowing up and framing.
Ha! (Not the neighborhood part.)
I'll bet that bus was filled with Unitarians!
That photo is worth a zillion words Roger.
And so is the thoughts in this post...
Jeepers! A red awning in what appears to be an bright and open neighborhood. The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood is located on Santa Monica Boulevard in a neighborhood that seems to inspire deviance. I lived in the area for many years and was a frequent ... um, uh, voyer and sometime shopper. I worked in a bar across the street called "SPIKE" which was a men's leather/Levi bar nestled between a Russian grocery store/bakery, a 7-11, a barber shop and another dyed-in-the-wool men's bar. I don't think school busses were even allowed to drive down that section of the Boulevard!! Funny thing was that when I left LA back at the end of 2000 it was interesting to observe that while the Pleasure Chest with its ominous black storefront that seemed to curl a dark inticing finger to passers-by to take a walk on the wild side, the majority of shoppers were upper middle class couples (even elderly couples). With the nonchalance with which they made their purchases, they could have just as easily been shopping for groceries!

No muss, no fuss, no ruckus after all these years. Made me smile as does your piece. ;-}

Yes, Roger, but it planted the seed of iniquity in your neighborhood. REPENT!!!!!
jmac---these are the questions!

jlsatre---the photographer is a friend of mine. And as soon as I HEARD of the photo---I had to have it.

frank--hey were you there too?

OLN--That is hilarious!

Stacey---My thought too!~

Mission---The photo is the show piece!

eyespye---I'm sure attitude has a lot to do with it all

CM---No, that was me who planted that!
Another sterling example of "what the market will bear." That bus was probably chartered by a local nursing home! :D

I really enjoyed this post. The picture is pretty funny. ~r
cute story...catchy title. thanks for sharing.
L--Could be!

Joan and Sag---It's the picture that makes it. How do I NOT post that?