Most sex shops hide in the shadows, especially in post-Giuliani New York. They are usually in offbeat neighborhoods, so you can find them if you want to, but you wouldn't if you don't. Not Kiki De Montparnasse(NSFW), the new lady-centric sex shop on Greene Street in SoHo. No, they are right in a busy shopping neighborhood with the door held open by an appropriately shiny gold chain. As you may imagine, Kiki is not your average sex shop. Named for the stage moniker of Alice Ernestine Prin, the artists' model, muse and all-around it-girl of Paris in the 1920's and 30's, their website states:
Kiki de Montparnasse will ensconce you in luxury, woo your every sense, and remind you that few things are as profound as love and beauty. Once you have experienced it for yourself, you will know the transformative power of erotic license. Such freedom is intoxicating…and addictive. Because love is all there is (and love is enough).
Sure, no arguments over here. In fact you migh easily mistake the place for just a luxury lingerie shop, until you start noticing things...
More after the jump
Is that a riding crop over there? Cute. There's one with fluffy feathers on the ends. Pretty. And are those are beautifully made leather...handcuffs? Why yes, they are. In fact all those things you find in locked glass cases in the back room at Ricky's are here in luxury versions, elegantly displayed on open countertops for your examination. They even have sophisticated video equipment specially chosen for your "home movies". No need to sheepishly ask a clerk for help, a charming salesperson is here to help you which either makes her incredibly patient and open-minded or a shameless hussy depending on your level of prudishness. The store is long and narrow, dramatically lit and lushly appointed with dark velvet drapery and highly polished surfaces. The sort of erotic photography books you can find at Rizzoli are prominently displayed amongst the lizard embossed leather paddles. It is probably the only erotic emporium designed by the Los Angeles design firm Commune (or by any design firm, actually) whose clients include Barney's and Gucci (That's the design firm's, not the store's clients. We don't want no legal action over here). Actually, everything is so sleekly presented that somewhere along the way, the naughtiness has slipped away, and it feels more like the secret back room at Bergdorf Goodman, completely free of sleaze. This is either good or bad depending on your predilections (which are your business) but don't let that deter you. Kiki is worth a visit if only for the novelty of it and the opportunity to think about things to do with a bouquet of peacock feathers with a shiny silver handle.
Kiki De Montparnasse 79 Greene Street SoHo