In my first year at Red & Yellow, we were given a brief to go someplace out of our comfort zone and write about it. I decided to go to Adult World in Paarl, and this is what I wrote: (Our lecturer had to read this)
I’m not even going to deny that I’ve always looked for an excuse to go into Adult World. Then, yesterday, we got a new assignment that gave me the golden opportunity to enter the Narnia door of porn.
The assignment was for us to go to a place we’ve never been to, preferably out of our comfort zone, and observe everyone and everything there. At first I thought of going to a few lectures with my brother at the University of Stellenbosch. But that’s not really out of my comfort zone, is it? Then I thought of going to the SPCA, but then I might die of despair before I could write my essay. After going through a few other lame options, I finally decided on Adult World. This was going to be interesting.
When I got home after college I told my mom about my assignment and the place I chose to go to. She said that I might not be allowed to go there because of their strict confidentiality policies. My brother agreed. He then suggested that we rather go to Chicago, one of the scariest townships in the Western Cape. Quite ironic that my mother would rather send me into the ghetto than a porn store whose client confidentiality we’re not sure of! I quickly sent Wendy an sms to confirm my new idea with her. She wasn’t keen. My mother laughed after hearing this and said to me, “Gaan net vinnig in en uit”. My brother snorted from the other room and said, “That’s what she said.” With this I grabbed my camera and walked to the front door where my brother and I deliberated on what to wear. He wanted to wear a leather jacket, and I wanted to put on some red lipstick. After discussing this intensely, we decided to just go as we were. It’s not like we would see anyone we know there. Or would we…
When we got near Adult World, the next deliberation started: Where will we park? Will we be able to make a quick getaway if we park at the side of the building? Is it safe enough to park in their parking lot? Where will we be most inconspicuous? We ended up in the parking lot, looking conspicuous. In the parking lot we saw the expected broken beer bottles and cigarette stumps. After taking a few pictures of this, we entered Adult World.
Two signs greet you at the door saying, or rather shouting, “STRICTLY NO UNDER 18’S ALLOWED IN THIS STORE” and “ENTER AT OWN RISK. IF THIS SHOP OFFENDS YOU…DO NOT ENTER.” A very warm welcome indeed.
Upon entering you are supposed to take off any hats or coats you are wearing and hand them in at reception. Evidently they get porn snatchers on a regular basis. It’s to be expected with the prices I saw in there. Nothing is under R200. Except for the boob-shaped erasers I’m going to buy someone for their birthday.
I have to admit that I had, like most people would, a pre-conceived idea of how it would look in there. I imagined a dim room with “I’ve been really trying, baby” playing in the background. Imagine my surprise when I saw a perfectly lighted room with 5FM playing. I also imagined the shop assistants as tattooed, pierced, ex-sex rehab citizens. They weren’t.
In the first aisle I saw “The Beaver wand”. Don’t be fooled by the cute name. “This busy beaver has a powerful multi-speed vibrating egg inside. Put it on your finger and enjoy…”Well, you get the point. In that same aisle I saw “The amphibious finger”, “Injecta Vagina” and “Eagle Vibrator with comfort harness.” Yes ladies and gentleman, WITH comfort harness.
When we reached the back of the store 5FM was drowned out by a woman making extremely loud panting noises. Apparently coming from what my brother referred to as the “wank room”. I have to admit, nothing in the store made me want to laugh, except this room. Especially when a rather nervous looking man came out of it and immediately went back in when he saw me looking at him.
The second aisle was mostly dedicated to gay porn magazines and dvd’s. The third one was aimed at the hetero and lesbian consumer. I didn’t see anything particularly shocking there, either. Except for the prices of the dvd’s. Why would anyone buy a porn dvd for R250 when they could just download it?
I saw a few ‘”fat porn” dvd’s that will haunt me forever. It’s weird that there are people who go into the store to buy a dvd that they could watch overweight people have sex on. Weirdest fetish ever.
When we left the store my brother looked at me and said, “Weet jy wat, Anja. Die skokkendste ding daar binne was die pryse.” And he’s right. Nothing shocked me more than how over-priced everything in there was. I’m glad I went there, now I can cross something off my things-I-want-to-before-I-die list. And I now know where to buy fat porn…