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New breed of sex shop takes LA by storm

Los Angeles couples and singles are enjoying a new trend in sophisticated sex boutiques.

The new wave of sex boutique is unlike it’s stereotypical predecessor.

Gone is the seedy decor and raunchy music; these days sex emporiums are classy, upscale and ultra elegant.

At Kiki De Montparnasse on fashionable Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, soft lighting creates an inviting and discreet environment in the 3,000 foot interior resembling a luxurious boudoir (bedroom).

Decadent dressing rooms in shades of purple are equipped with multiple light settings to create the right mood to try on sexy lingerie.

Here items are displayed like the finest works of art.

Everything from 24-carat gold handcuffs selling for US $595 to high end cashmere lounge robes at US $1095.

Laura Somoza, sex advice columnist and author of ‘Bliss in the Bedroom’ says that Americans are catching up with places like Canada and the UK in their market for sex toys.

Retailers are starting to see a new ways of reaching a more discerning customer as well.

Kiki De Montparnasse Executive Director Kama Fershko says the store represents a lifestyle brand with store employees there to promote intimacy and love.

To create even more of a mood, the all female employees offer customers champagne upon arrival.

Anahi Bustillos is a 25-year-old actress and singer. She says the new upscale sex boutiques empower women and encourage men to respect them more.

The ‘Romance Concierge’, offered at Kiki De Montparnasse, is a fantasy customer service for an evening of pleasure.

Employees help customers to plan the perfect evening with a loved one.

Make an appointment and a ‘Romance Concierge’ will help prepare everything from the toys, wardrobe, chocolate covered strawberries to rose petals in the bath to the camera rental.

Further down the street the upscale feel continues at CoCo De Mer where socially conscious erotic luxury is the theme.

CoCo aim to meet environmental and human rights considerations by investing in local artisans and working with Fair Trade projects and cottage industries.

Ultimately the concept is about eroticism which is reflected in the products on sale which include massage oils to erotic books and lingerie displayed openly like artwork.

The fitting room, called ‘Mr. Permissions’ office, is connected to another room where a significant other can sit and watch via a peephole.

A camera, should the customer request, can videotape the activities and they can then give permission to put on the recording on the store’s website, as many people do.

Eric Rudy is a 33-year-old wardrobe stylist. He says that the store is chic and inviting.

CoCo De Mer owner Justine Roddick – daughter of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick – opened CoCo with her sister as a ‘luxury erotic emporium’.

She says that the shop is welcoming to the customer and has a sanctuary-like feel to it.

Part of the CoCo experience are the intimate salons hosted by ‘sexperts’ in various fields to help teach people about all aspects of sex.

People mingle during cocktail hour and then take seats to listen intently to speakers.

On this night – it was a reading from the creator of the world famous burlesque show ‘The Velvet Hammer’.

Roddick says that the salons are necessary because people want to learn about sex.

Lecture topics have ranged from ‘Feminine Dominance to the ‘Art of the Tease’.

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