Ottawa adult store's sexy window display stirs up controversy

Pedestrians pass by a window display at Wicked Wanda's adult store on Bank St. where dolls are depicted in sex and bondage scenes Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.



OTTAWA -- A sexually explicit display of Barbie and Ken dolls in the front window of an adult store in the city's Centretown neighbourhood is getting residents hot and bothered.

The display in Wicked Wanda's Adult Emporium sex shop has been up for less than a week but folks are already divided over what is obscene and what is publicly permissible.

Inspired by the Fifty Shades of Gray popular erotic novels, store manager Mel Lockhart and her staff posed nearly a dozen Barbie and Ken dolls in a variety of sexual positions depicted in the novels, including Ken and Barbie, Ken and Ken and Barbie and Barbie engaged in oral, anal sex and other shenanigans.

Even though there is no nudity -- the dolls don't even have genitals -- the display is as raunchy and hardcore as doll play can get.

But what bothers area resident Shannon Lee Mannion is the effect its going to have on young children.

"The store has gone too far," she said. "There are other sex shops in the neighbourhood that don't show graphic sex because there are standards of decency. Anyone shopping at Wicked Wanda's already know what's inside. It's Christmas and kids want to window shop. I'm concerned that we're exposing children to sexual acts they shouldn't see. We don't show Playboy and Hustler in the open for everyone to see. Why are we making this an exception?"

Mannion said she's formally complained to the store, police, councillor Diane Holmes and the Centretown Citizens Association, but so far, nothing's been done -- in part because it's proving hard for people to agree if the window display is even pornographic in the first place.

"We're a sex shop in the gay village, so community standards are going to be different here," said Lockhart. "They're only dolls. People who live in the neighbourhood can talk to us if they're offended by it, but we haven't had many complaints."

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