Proposed New Hampshire Sex Shop Causing Controversy in Manchester

The adult store would fill a vacant storefront on Manchester Street

A business proposal that would bring a sex shop to downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, is raising some eyebrows.

The adult store would fill a vacant storefront on Manchester Street, less than a block from Elm Street.

“Yikes,” said Jean Cairney who works in Manchester.

It’s a gut reaction that many people share.

“Not happy,” said Manchester resident Kelly Suydam.

The woman behind the proposal says it’s not a “sex shop” but an “intimate products store.”

Sophia Raymond wouldn’t go on camera Wednesday, but posted a Facebook video defending her business.

“It’s not just about sex,” she told her Facebook audience. “It’s about helping people in all aspects of it.”

She says her store, Provocative Indulgence, would host workshops on everything from self-love to senior citizen sex.

“I do feel that carrying these products can be integral for helping relationships and helping women to be more confident and more in control of their sexuality,” Raymond said.

During her 25 years on Elm Street as the owner of Benton Shoe, Susan Baroff has seen a lot of businesses come and go. She’s glad to hear that one of the city’s many empty storefronts is getting attention.

“I don’t have a problem with it as long as they’re respectful neighbors,” Baroff said.

The proposal goes before the zoning board Thursday night.

If approved, it will become the second store of its kind in the city.

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