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Sunday, February 26, 2006

JPD cracking down on sex toy sales

Pointing to an empty wall where sex toys were once displayed, the Adult Video and Bookstore clerk's voice rose.

"They about put us out of business," she said, declining to give her name. "How are they going to tell a man what to do in the privacy of his own home?"

Jackson police have ordered Adult Video and Bookstore, Terry Road Book Store and Heritage Video Inc. to remove their sex toys.

The city is cracking down after the state Supreme Court last month upheld a state law that bans the sale of sex toys.

The law defines as illegal any device used primarily for stimulation of human genitalia. The fine is $500.

A Terry Road Book Store employee didn't want to discuss the crackdown.

"They said to take them down. I took them down," she said, declining to give her name.

Adult Video and Bookstore employees said they were outraged at restrictions on what they can and cannot sell. "I don't think it's right," one clerk said. "Sex is in every home in the world."

A co-worker agreed. "We don't push it on anybody."

Adam and Eve and ZJ Gifts LLC, the Memphis-based owner of Christal's chain of adult stores, sued the state of Mississippi in 2001, contending the state law thwarted the rights of customers to purchase adult toys.

Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled there is no fundamental right of access to buy sexual devices. Advertising of the sexual devices also is not protected by the right to free speech, the court ruled.

Doctors and psychologists, however, may prescribe sexual devices for their patients, the court said.

Jackson police hadn't enforced the law in a few years because it was on appeal, Jackson police Sgt. William Gladney said.

The ordinance divides Mississippians.

"I think it's a good law," said Paula Nevels, 50, of Vicksburg. "I think (sex toy use) leads to pornography and that leads to our children being exploited. I think a lot of it is perverted, anyway."

Calvin Miner, 27, of Jackson said he doesn't see what is the big deal.

"It really doesn't matter to me, but I don't think they should ban it," Miner said. "Everybody has their own preferences. It's your own choice."

People who own sex toys shouldn't worry, Gladney said. "We're not going into people's houses," he said.

But it is illegal to have sex toy parties where devices are sold from home, Gladney said.


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