The opening of an Ann Summers outlet in the centre of Oxford causing excitement among some the more adventurous Oxford students. The sex-based shop is due launch its venture on 5 June, meaning students will no longer have don macs, paper bags and red faces upon covertly entering one Cowley Road’s many adult establishments. However some residents are upset that the sex toys and lingerie chain will be part of the Clarendon Centre, claiming that such a central venue is unsuitable for such a “racy” shop. It would appear that the popularity of Ann Summers, which sells everything from lingerie to leather whips, dildos to “Debbie Does Dallas,” is evidence that Oxford’s reputation for adhering to a ‘No sex please, we’re British’ attitude is a remnant of the past. Primarily aimed at women, the sex merchant announced a Viagra-like surge in sales last year, with profits of £9.5m, more than double the previous year’s figure. To Chief Executive Jacqueline Gold, these figures are enough proof “that the British people just can’t get enough of sex.” Ann Summers is already a hit with college Women’s Officers, with many having organised parties to promote its vast catalogue of sexual paraphernalia, and there has been little student condemnation of the recent plans. A titillating Ann Summers event is already being planned for the ladies of Lady Margaret Hall by next year’s social secretaries, which students hope will remain ‘tasteful but exciting.’ One anonymous first-year claimed to eagerly anticipate the “chance for sexual experimentation away from parents’ prying eyes.” Yet only last Friday the Government banned the company from advertising vacancies in Job Centres, classifying them as ‘sex industry jobs’. For now at least, vacancies are instead being advertised in the Oxford Mail.
ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003