February 1, Visits to adult bookstores elicit behavior that ranges from macho swagger to skulking insecurity in men and bold confidence to adolescent giggling in women, a new University of Florida study finds.
The dividing line appears to be whether men and women go to the stores alone or in a group, with gaggles of women often tittering like bashful teenagers and men with girlfriends resorting to Kingswood adult bookstores bragging and gay-bashing homophobia, said Dana Berkowitz, a UF sociology graduate student whose research is published in the October issue of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.
Lone women can be very assertive claiming what they want, while many single men are reduced to cringing embarrassment about their desires, she said. Little research exists on how people present themselves in adult Kingswood adult bookstores, said Berkowitz, noting that most studies look at how images of sex influence behavior or how these shops are linked to prostitution, drugs and gambling.
On the other hand, what is it about some women that make them uncomfortable with their sexuality? Berkowitz did her research at a Florida store that specializes in pornographic videos, magazines and novelty items and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For six months, she frequented the shop two to three times a week Chameleon swingers club Barry about an hour each time to observe.
She found two kinds of men who shopped alone: One group entered the store only to purchase or rent pornographic videos, while the other would discreetly browse through the entire store for a prolonged time before making a purchase — if they made one at all.
They found creative Kingswood adult bookstores to manage the shame associated with being patrons of pornography, often by feigning Kihgswood in more socially accepted products, she said.
One balding man who appeared to be in his late 40s, for example, walked up to the counter one night and asked the clerk for a large box of condoms before proceeding to inquire about various sexual enhancement lotions, considered somewhat more shameful, she said.
In groups, women displayed such stereotypical feminine practices as giggling and blushing, while some resorted to badmouthing and condemning other women, Berkowitz said.
Women are not socially conditioned to flaunt their sexuality, and under the gaze bookstorse other females, many felt pressure to distance themselves from certain images and items, she said.
Men who shopped with women tried to reaffirm their heterosexuality, acting according to culturally imposed ideals of ultra-masculine or homophobic behavior, Berkowitz said.
Some would loudly describe Kingswooe sexual exploits with other women, while others criticized the all-male pornography section, saying gays should have their own establishment, she said.
People behave differently when they patronize adult stores as part of a group, and their behavior reflects that context, focusing on sexual activity and sexual orientation. Source: University of Florida Explore.
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