Katherine Taylor: Why banning sex shops won't work
OH blimey, I don't mean to bang on about sex for the second week running, but I just can't help it. It's been in our faces all week.
Firstly, the proposal that Nottingham's sex shops and lap-dancing clubs should be banned.
"Banned!" The word that elicits instant excitement.
Don't think of a flamingo – see, I bet you did just then. The surest way to make the public hanker after something is to try and stop them having it.
Same goes for sex. It's a hot potato all right. Chris Cutland, the county's Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner says sexy establishments are "old-fashioned", "demeaning to women" and should be closed down.
I disagree. Sex shops and lap-dancing clubs are in demand – sex sells. And they belittle men too – have you seen the prices these places charge?
I also think officials such as the commissioner ought to point their powerful digits directly where it hurts and stamp out violent crime, drugs, guns and prostitution.
Instead, Ms Cutland is putting her foot down on the man or woman in the street. Grown adults, after a bit of honest, wholesome X-rated action.
Or wanting to buy a sexy wench outfit. Or whatever floats their boat.
Ban it? It'll only go underground and become unregulated. Illegal lap-dancing joints? What a health and safety nightmare with all those rickety poles popping up in sheds and garages near you.
I'm curious as to Cutland's criteria though. Why does the breast-obsessed, children-welcome, "sports bar" Hooters get off scot free? And what about all the stripping, oops, I mean, "burlesque" evenings bursting out all over town? And what of the Ann Summers shop on Long Row with their hen and stag-party weekender essentials. Why so selective, Commissioner?
I'm not suggesting the sex industry is squeaky clean. As with any other business, all human life frequents it. The dirty mac brigade pop up in every kind of industry.
Having once worked behind the counter of a sex shop (oh the stories I could tell...), I can vouch this is true.
With one lap-dancing club and two licensed sex shops on Cutland's hit list, perhaps they'll become revamped into mobile phone shops? Because no one accesses sex chat or internet porn via their phones do they? Oh wait...
Let's see the results of the council canvassing public opinion on their policy. I predict a strong voice from Nottingham. Not necessarily because everyone here is sex-mad, but plenty will have a reaction to Cutland's tutting attitude.
Want more tittle tattle? Then your super, soaraway Post has it: Torvill and Dean – were they at it? Yes, apparently, the cheeky scamps. They supposedly "dabbled", possibly back in 1984 at the peak of their Sarajevo Olympic fame.
How dare they! Didn't they know 1984 conjures up the anti-sex league in the Orwell book of the same name? No sex = no distractions = a mind focused on the state instead.
Oh my. Is this what the Commissioner is planning? Some sort of puritan dystopia for Nottingham? I think we should be told.