Good vibrations in Park Slope: Sex shop opens with frigid controversy

The Brooklyn Paper
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The secret is out: Park Slope is home to scores of randy, vibrator-loving women.

That’s the main reason why Babeland, the Manhattan-based sex shop, is opening an outpost this May in a neighborhood more commonly derided for its stroller moms than extolled for its hot mommas.

“Park Slope is one of our biggest shopping bases,” said Pamela Doan, a spokeswoman for Babeland, which has other stores on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side and on Mercer Street in SoHo.

Finally, Park Slope women will be able to buy nipple clamps and dildo harnesses in a sex-positive environment, conveniently located on Bergen Street, between Fifth and Flatbush avenues.

Though the store’s location has stirred up a wee bit of controversy, thanks to its proximity to the soon-to-open children’s clothing store Gymboree, Park Slope women interviewed for this article welcomed the store with open, er, arms.

“Anyone who’s shopping at those children clothing stores should just shut up.” said one Sterling Street 26-year-old who asked to remain anonymous.

Another Sloper, this one a 27-year-old Fourth Avenue resident, declared herself “thrilled.”

“Babeland is an incredible store — very empowering for women,” said the Sloper, who has been going to the Lower East Side Babeland for years, and has even taken fellatio and “find your G spot” classes at the Mercer Street location.

“The classes are well worth it,” added the woman. “Are they having those at the Brooklyn store, too?”

Indeed, they are.

“We’ll be putting together a specific program for Brooklyn residents,” said Doan, who pointed out that one of the store’s two co-founders, Claire Cavanah, is both a Park Slope resident and a mom. “We want to be able to contribute to the neighborho­od.”

If there’s no controversy about the opening of Babeland, it’s probably because the Slope has seen such stores come and not go.

In 2002, the Pink Pussycat Boutique opened across the street from MS 51, on Fifth Avenue near Sixth Street. Many parents rallied in protest, but six years later, the store is still there, thanks to an agreement with parents to make the window display discreet and keep the front door locked during school hours.

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