(Romantix, an adult bookstore, is the purple marker. The red markers are nearby schools)
Why is there a sex shop in my neighborhood?
I don’t about your neighborhood. But in my neighborhood we have enough problems to deal without having an adult bookstore just a few blocks from 4 schools and within a mile of 8 schools.
That’s the case with Romantix, an adult bookstore located right smack dab in the middle of City Heights on the corner of 48th & El Cajon.
I’m not talking about Romantix being buried in a shady shopping center. It’s on El Cajon Boulevard, where hundreds of students have to walk each day to and from school. And tens of thousands of cars stream… often stopped in front of the shop because of traffic lights. For example, it’s caddy corner to a Jack in the Box and across the street from a corner market. There’s a bus stop on this block, etc. This store is public and visible in every way.
Worse yet, the store advertises like this:
I’m asking you to join me in changing how Romantix advertises their business.
- Help draw attention to their sexually suggestive advertising in a residential neighborhood.
- Contact local media. A little bit of media attention could go a long way.
- Call the shop to ask them to take it down. (619) 582-1997
- Contact San Diego City Council to ask them to enforce appropriate ordinances.
- Use these edited images to draw attention to this injustice.
Would you want this in your neighborhood? Would this be allowed where you live? I doubt it. The simple reality is that this form of overt sexually suggestive advertising wouldn’t be allowed in any neighborhood ones like City Heights. I guarantee you that this wouldn’t fly in La Jolla, Point Loma, etc.
Why is an adult bookstore in a residential neighborhood?
According to San Diego Municipal code 141.0601 an adult entertainment business cannot operate within 1,000 feet of a residential area, a school, or a church. Um, it’s within 100 feet of a residential area!
Quoting the ordinance… section 3.
(3) The public health, safety, and welfare shall be preserved and protected by applying the provisions of this section in the following descending order of importance:
(A) Proximity to other adult entertainment businesses;
(B) Proximity to schools;
(C) Proximity to churches;
(D) Proximity to public parks;
(E) Proximity to residential zones; and
(F) Proximity to social service institutions.
So is it against the ordinance for Romanix to even be there? I actually don’t know the answer to that question. This neighborhood has been there for many years. But the ordinance says that it can be exempt if they don’t changed owners or expand/improve their property. I find it hard to believe that Romantix has been there, not changed owners, and not made any improvements in 20, 30, or even 40 years!
We all know why this is happening. It’s because the people who live in my community are often the working poor, powerless, and voiceless. It’s there because the people who live there don’t know that it’s not supposed to be there. And even if they don’t like it, they don’t know that there is anything they could do about it.
In truth, I doubt we could get them to close their doors. But I am fairly confident we could get them to cease using sexually suggestive advertising on the exterior of their building.
So while I wish Romantix weren’t allowed to do business in that location at all, I recognize that they likely do have every right to be in business at this location. To be clear, I’m not saying they should close– just advertise in such a way which is responsible and respectful of their location.
Together we can demand that the owner’s advertise in ways which are less degrading to women and less sexually suggestive.
My Note to the Owners/Operators of Romantix
Romantix, your business may be on a main artery in City Heights. But it is also in a neighborhood where hundreds of children pass by daily. Likewise, tens of thousands of motorists stream by and are even stopped in front of your shop while waiting for the traffic light to change.
As a concerned member of the community I am asking you to refrain from sexually suggestive, lewd, and degrading advertising on the outside of your business. Your clientele knows exactly what you are, where you are, and why they shop there. There’s simply no reason to advertise in this way when your establishment is in an area where thousands of people are forced to go by your shop. There is a difference between “within the law” and “what is right.” I am asking you to do what is right and best for the community.