Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adult stores and conservatives

As GG and I were driving to and from northern Wisconsin, we noticed a lot of billboards for pro-life advocacy groups and for adult superstores. The pro-life groups makes sense to me. This is a conservative rural area where it would make sense that pro-life and other socially conservative groups would be influential. But I have to admit the number of adult superstores that were not only advertised, but were right off the highway kind of surprises me. I noticed a similar trend when I was living and traveling in North Carolina and through Virginia. I saw a lot of billboards that were socially conservative or were religiously based like biblical quotes, but also a lot of adult bookstores or billboards for "gentlemen's clubs". I remember the first time my brother and I were driving around Greensboro, NC where I would later reside for a time and we noticed a lot of adult bookstores and a very large strip club. This mix of social conservatism and yet a blatant flaunting of sexual materials always struck me as interesting. It seems as though there are contrary thought, you should ogle women in various states of undress or masturbate to adult material, but if you were to have sex with a real live women it was a sin or less socially acceptable. This seems to say that sex is less acceptable than masturbation. Now I am not trying to condemn masturbation, but for an area that held families and family values in such high esteem, shouldn't they also encourage people, men especially to find families instead of masturbate? I have known of strip clubs and other adult bookstores in other areas like Chicago, Baltimore, and DC, but they seem to be more discreet entities. I know Baltimore has "the strip" where it is just one long street with strip clubs and adult bookstores, but they seem to be in concentrated areas, where the areas of North Carolina that I saw had the adult entertainment areas spread out, I guess this makes it seem like there are less of them or something, but I think there might have been more "dens of ill repute" in these conservative areas than in not as conservative areas. I am not sure why there seems to be more adult stores in socially conservative areas than in more liberal areas, maybe it is more about anonymity as GG postulates or maybe in the rural areas it is blamed on the those truckers who are passing through or other travelers and not the good people in that area or maybe because they are not having sex they need to masturbate more often in socially conservative areas, but whatever the reason, it is definitely a trend I have noticed and will keep track of as I travel. And I will leave you with one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strips that fits along the same lines of adult material.


Anonymous said...

What great questions you raise, Boxer. I have no answers, even though I'm sitting less than a mile from an adult superstore.

I think one of the reasons you find those stores along interstates is because that's considered "safe" territory. (1) It's not close to schools, churches, etc. and (2) You can drive out there and not be seen by your neighbors, etc. Unless, of course, you happen to run into them at the adult store.


GourmetGoddess said...

I know we talked about this last night, but I also think the locating of the adult stores near the Interstate is an easy way for locals to blame others for vice. It's not really them patronizing those stores, but truckers and out of staters, you know, those people who aren't us. It's pure bupkis, of course.

There's also this "boys will be boys and need an approved sexual outlet" meme that happens in rural areas, especially in highly religious areas. It is ok to have a few "fallen women" in strip clubs and porn mags/DVDs because, of course, it is never the boys at fault and they can't go around defiling all that pure white womanhood. Yuck.