Out in the Field with Herald chief reporter Annemarie Field: Why the hue and cry over a sex shop?

THANK God some people weren’t in Adam and Eve’s garden otherwise we’d have never got here today.

I’m talking about the placard-waving do-gooders who seem to be getting their knickers in a twist about the application by Eastbourne’s one and only sex shop Secret Desires in Cavendish Place renewing its licence for another year.

The little unassuming shop does this every year but this time the management appears to have filled in the wrong form and has applied for a licence to use the premises as a sexual entertainment venue.

Easy mistake to make and I am happy to point out it doesn’t want to do that at all, it merely wants to carry on in business as it always has done without affecting anyone else.

However, the Mary Whitehouse Brigade has come out in force. Cue lots of whingeing and whining and wailing that a sexual entertainment venue would lead to hell and damnation on the streets of Eastbourne, threaten the security of local residents, affect the youth, exploit and degrade men and women, blah, blah, blah.

Oh for goodness’ sake, I wish these people would stop banging on about it.

I don’t have many vices in life (seriously!). I detest gambling but I don’t stand outside Betfred shouting at people about how it could destroy their lives. I walk right past the place, a bit like if I don’t want to watch something on television – I turn it over. Simple.

Sex shops, pole dancing clubs and lap dancing venues are a fact of life these days.

I know Eastbourne doesn’t want to become another Brighton or Bournemouth but the town has got to become a little bit more diverse if it wants to attract visitors.

I’ve been into Secret Desires once or twice – to buy presents for people of course – and surprise, surprise it’s not run by a greasy looking man in a mackintosh standing behind a grubby counter.

Nor has the shop led to perverts hanging about outside, young people learning the wrong values (should we then ban the internet where they can find out about everything?) or brothels springing up on the other side of the road, which is what the moaning minnies are worried about.

And as long as brothels are monitored properly, health checks carried out and no one is being exploited, what’s wrong with them anyway?

Isn’t it the oldest profession in the world?


POOR old Eastbourne Borough Council isn’t having much luck at the moment with a series of setbacks.

The Congress and Bandstand are both covered in scaffolding, the Wish Tower restaurant will soon look like a building site, the hoteliers are hacked off with planners giving permission for a Premier Inn, some Teletubby-looking domes are planned for the Western Lawns, of all places, and now the Red Arrows won’t be roaring above the Eastbourne skies during Airbourne.

As my mother used to say, if it was raining soup, some council officers would be left holding a fork.