OPINION: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street in WeHo?

The store front window at Pleasure Chest, 7733 Santa Monica Blvd.

I’m a 47-year-old straight man born and raised in West Hollywood. I own a home in WeHo, have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter.  Back in August, my wife and I were driving with our daughter on Santa Monica Boulevard during the middle of the day when traffic forced our vehicle to stop in front of the Pleasure Chest, the local sex shop on the east side.

As we casually glanced over at the store front window facing the street, we noticed an advertisement that filled the giant 8-foot-high by 8-foot-wide window with NINE GIGANTIC photos of FULLY NAKED ASSES! Some were male, some were female, some were bent over, others had Lollypops next to them, some had whipped cream on them and some had colored sprinkles that one would normally garnish on a scoop of ice cream.

Written in the center of the banner In GIANT letters was the announcement “ANAL AUGUST!” Our daughter proceeded to point at the sign and asked us “what does THAT mean”? After ten awkward seconds, my wife and I looked at each other mortified, and I replied “nothing” as we drove off.

I took this issue up with the city’s code enforcement as well as with some members of the City Council.  Although they agreed with my concerns, the issue was referred to the City Attorney for review. His response after seeing a photo of the sign was as follows:

“Nudity alone is not obscene, nor is bad taste. Contemporary community standards differ from community to community; in WEHO, those standards are different than in Topeka. Bottom line: Unless the content is obscene, we cannot regulate it.”

My response was: “I respectfully disagree that this sign is’”nudity alone.’ If it were nudity alone, there would be no issue. If it were simply nudity, my daughter would have just pointed and said ‘hey, look at those butts.’

“The fact that she can read the words ‘Anal August’ made her ask ‘Daddy, what does that mean?’ Obviously, a sign that strictly says ‘Anal August’ with NO nudity is not an issue since that could be an advertisement for a special on colonoscopies. But when coupled with naked butts with whipped cream and sprinkles, it takes on a whole different meaning. By the way, what a shame that you feel children in WeHo don’t deserve the same amount of respect as children in Topeka!”

Is West Hollywood incapable of being a city that has tolerance for all, or does it want to be known as a city that simply lacks a sense of decency and decorum? Has Progressivism become synonymous with salacious, lewd, tasteless and indecent? West Hollywood supposedly prides itself on being a city that welcomes any and all people, so how can that possibly be true when families raising children are alienated?

  1. Granted, raising children in an increasingly complex and changing world can’t be easy–so hat’s off to you, Mr Lee, on that score alone.

    But having children doesn’t qualify you (or anyone else) as the de facto arbiter of taste and decency for an entire community. Like it or not, you have chosen to raise your daughter in a city you know to be sexually and politically progressive. The poster you reference is nothing new in WeHo, and certainly cannot have come as a surprise to someone who was born and raised in the city. So, yeah, I’m gonna push back when you demand that everyone else change so you don’t have to work so hard as a parent. Or, when you claim that you’re somehow the victim of intolerance, the circular logic of which reminds me of complaints from the religious right that not allowing them to discriminate against the LGBTQ community somehow unfairly discriminates against them. Hogwash.

    Bottom line: If you now feel that this form of expression is intolerable to you, or harmful in some way to your daughter, then relocate to a community that is more aligned to your views.

  2. Mike King –

    To me, your comments appear biased against the WeHo LGBT community.

    1. Your word choice: it’s not sexual “preference” it’s ORIENTATION. If you’re straight, did you prefer to be straight versus gay? I cannot imagine that. Just as we did not prefer to be LGBT.

    2. Your assumption that LGBT parents would force their own sexuality onto their children. They don’t. If they did, outcome data would be different:



    Why would one want their child to experience discrimination at best, and hatred leading to death (think Matthew Shepard) at worst? Wearing rainbow colored clothing & going to Gay Pride reflects teaching diversity and inclusiveness.

    Yet, all over the world, straight people continue to force THEIR sexuality upon their children, even to the point of sending them to “conversion therapy.”


    3. However unlikely, let’s pretend some LGBT parents might be “…forcing kids into sexual preferences…” And? Your implication is that being LGBT is somehow bad; otherwise, why would it matter if a parent promoted their child to be LGBT? Straight parents promote heterosexuality to their children.

    Perhaps it might be helpful for you to read the history of WeHo’s founding; includes facts that the majority of City Council Members have been gay from inception to today: http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/story-west-hollywood-came-symbolize-lgbtq-l/

  3. I’ve seen the gay parade a couple of times in west Hollywood, & Have witnessed 2 homosexual men on many occasions walking with a little boy in hand & they had him dressed in rainbow colors talk about forcing kids into sexual preferences nowadays.i’ve also seen 2 lesbians walking hand in hand with a little girl dressed in rainbow colors.

  4. Interesting commentary, and I take only those who disclose their full and true identity as valid. The rest are trolls. I personally lament the increasingly prudish and uptight reaction to realities of life that should be celebrated as beautiful expressions of diversity and sexual reality. I’m not a parent, because I know that parenting is tough work, and requires people who have the intellectual skills to navigate a tough world, and not try to mold that world to make their tough jobs easier. Life is indeed easier in Simi Valley. Those who want the easy route should choose such locales in which to raise their children.

  5. Anthony, I’m not whining about straight restaurants popping up in WeHo. I also lived through the 80’s and 90’s and witnessed people die. If, as you said, they are going to “still do as they do,” (not use condoms, I’m assuming you mean), then you should advocate PrEP as a prevention measure. The fact is, people (mostly under a certain age) aren’t afraid of HIV anymore, because they haven’t witnessed people die, and some of them see it as a manageable disease, and do not understand how serious it still is. My attitude is, do whatever we can to prevent transmissions, at any age, and if the word F**k appears on the sidewalk as a means to draw attention, then so be it. The LAGLC is a wonderful, forward-thinking organization. I have lived in this community for 18 years, and owned property for 13 of those. As a property owner, I don’t see this as “my community.” The population inflates by 3 times the number of people on weekends, and those people spend money here, paying taxes, providing us with benefits, and raising our property value. I consider people who visit WeHo on a regular basis to be part of this community, also. Just because they can’t afford to live here does not make their experience here irrelevant. And it has always been that way, at least as long as I’ve lived here, even when it was more affordable.

    I’m not going to argue with you about how effective PrEP is as a prevention measure. I know it works, better than anything else (yes, even condoms). It is a miracle drug, and I’m glad the LAGLC, just as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have embraced it so much.

  6. Holy crap! There sure is a lot of unnecessary pearl-clutching going on over a simple poster of naked butts superimposed with some colorful graphics and the words “Anal August.” I know that you can put parental controls on devices and not allow your kids to watch TV shows or play video violent games rated for adults. But you can’t sanitize everything. The kids I’ve met are pretty good at getting around these things, whether on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other internet-connected device. Your home may be “secure” but that’s not the case everywhere they go or on every device they touch. Did they watch AHS-Cult on your DVR or On-Demand at their friend’s home? You can’t protect them from the big bad world forever. And what about the political dialog? How do you explain Nazis or white nationalists/supremacists? So many bigger issues and more “dangerous” ideas out there.

    If you treat the topic of sex as something “dirty” or “unmentionable” then your kids will get their information from other sources. You may not like that either.

    The Pleasure Chest is a very sex-positive store. It’s a store for adults, not kids. It’s been a member of the business community for decades and serves all sexual orientations and genders. Its open atmosphere helps to remove societal stigma from sex toys and sexual fetishes. It’s all part of the natural, normal and colorful diversity of human sexuality. I’m glad they call West Hollywood home.

  7. Since the majority of commenters are men, I’ll gladly give my two cents as a female – and as a former 9-year old girl. Well, I grew up with brothers, so finding some questionable porn mags as a kid just made me shrug. Kids aren’t stupid and figure out stuff while parents stumble to explain (and fail, as in this case). I’d be more worried about Hatchet Man – that guy would have for sure given me nightmares as a kid.
    And maybe, in this case, I’d not eat sprinkles for a while. Butts and food doesn’t seem appealing, but that’s just my opinion.
    I get it that parents always worry but I think there are bigger worries out there for our future generations than butts with garnish. Hell, I wish that would be the only worry we’d have.

  8. Let’s keep it real simple: What is the age restriction to enter, browse and/or buy any of the products that are for sale in the business? If the answer is 18 and over, which it is, then the advertising that convey the explicit nature of the business inside should be kept inside and not openly dispalyed to minors who are not even allowed to enter the premises. PERIOD

  9. Anthony, you said “the word F@CK on a taxpayer paid street or sidewalk, or any of the other seedy and tasteless displays which are only there to be provocative. They serve no purpose except to amuse a small gaggle of people while the rest of us cringe because we pay a lot to own property here…”

    Ummm, no, that sidewalk marketing campaign by The Gay and Lesbian Center isn’t there for our “amusement.” It is there because it is an affective way of getting young people to pay attention, and get them to consider PrEP, which has reduced HIV transmission rates significantly. It is placed in a part of the city mostly frequented by adults, who are drinking at alcoholic establishments that already have overt sexual imagery, including go go dancers. It doesn’t make me cringe at all, and I pay a lot of money to live here.

    The same people who have been complaining about that campaign don’t seem to have a problem with a giant AHF billboard next to IHOP with a condom taking up the entire length of the billboard. Uh oh, someone might have to explain what that is to one of their children.

    1. To Randy- you claim that HIV transmission rates are down due to Prep which contradicts the CDC report of a year ago where HIV rates and other STD’s are frightenly up for 25 and under. In addition I donated to the center for several years thousands of dollars but the decision to use a vulgarism served no purpose and it won’t change the reality that those who did not live in the 80’s and 90’s will still do as they do and to treat Prep as some excuse for what continues to be reckless conduct is beyond the pale yet we are so enlightened – it was a waste of donor dollars on taxpayer property and hopefully in time it will fade and be forgotten maybe you might wish that these young people didn’t think of WEHO as permissive city where some have no clue how to even obtain prep for free unless they want to shell out the 1400 a month

      Plus I bet a lot of these people who feel threatened by the changes taking places in the community don’t even live here or own property yet they whine about a non gay identified restaurant going up near Pump as if there little bubble will be burst. Again it’s 2017 times are changing as are the demographics and tolerance needs to be a two way street

      1. Hey some of these comments getting a bit nasty….gays v straights….all because of a poster with bums! I’m a 70 year old and driving by that poster with my four grandkids we laughed had a joke it was fun. I lived in west Hollywood …had a blast…now retired on the beach in Santa Monica. West Hollywood will always have a place in my heart because it celebrates diversity and tolerance. That poster should not fuel anger and hate. What is happening to this country???? Chill out and enjoy this country for what it is……and for what it will remain…everyone living in harmony with each other. Go and watch “Hairspray”……. By the way my kids asked me to turn car round and go back to see that poster again….and we did…and they told their parents about it when they got home and they said…” Yep only in West Hollywood “. Cheers

  10. This is not a gay or straight issue. This is a public perversion issue. A public window display that read “Vaginal November” over female crotches would be just as questionable as the display that reads “Anal August” over butts. While we can all celebrate that WeHo is a place where gays feel so free to be themselves, it does not mean people are free to do anything – whether that’s having sex in public, defecating on the street, or putting up pornish materials in store windows. WeHo should take steps so a few public perverts don’t debase the whole community for everyone.
    As a side note, some of the comments here that basically tell straights or families to leave town are as reprehensible as a town telling its gays to leave. If WeHo is to really tolerant, it must tolerate different kinds of people.

  11. Look at Jimmy P representing with “WE”……No thank you.

    Sorry Jimmy, you’re free to speak for yourself, but this is NOT about censorship. It’s about tacky, tasteless, inconsiderate, inappropriate, single minded and brash images selfishly placed in the public view……”WE” don’t live in a vacuum.

    That’s just what I (“I” not “WE”) think.

  12. Yeah, we’re not the classiest city but speaking of class, this is exactly what monied straights deserve for pricing out young gays from owning or renting here. The explosion of homeless folk ruining your experience is also fisting I mean fitting. Sometimes the worship of duality comes back to bite you on the ANUS.

    1. Huh? “This is exactly what monied straights deserve for pricing out young gays from owning or renting here” is such an incredibly laughable statement.

  13. This story amuses me. The man could have made it a very valuable learning experience, but instead got embarrassed. WeHo was much more ‘colorful’ in the 1980s and ’90s.’ WeHo today is more like Disneyland. I notice how more and more of the general population is painfully getting more conservative. As if terrified of sexuality. Please, bring back the 1980s. PLEASE!

  14. Hey! I wasn’t educating anyone! Just explaining my families reaction to the display……and the readers comments. about the UK….when did you last visit??? Best to make comments. from the horses mouth rather than its a*se! However …..although the content ridiculous the structure of it excellent. Rule Britannia !!!!

  15. How sad, that a parent would prefer to have a city change to accommodate their inability to teach their child that the world isn’t a sterile little romper room. Oh if only they could hear the language that the nannies, who are taking care of their kids use in the park, like I do daily. This reminds me of the time an ACAC appointee decided that she didn’t like the fact that the city hosted the erotic art fair in Plummer Park every year. The city leaders saw how well that went over. WE AS A MAJORITY OF THIS COMMUNITY DO NOT WANT CENSORSHIP. If this city is too sex positive for a parent to handle explaining to their child…..THEY SHOULD MOVE. JUST MOVE.

  16. Again having lived here for decades as a property owner who pays a fortune in taxes it’s amusing to see how some think it’s 1990 still and West Hollywood is some gay Mecca when it’s not. Like it or not gays like myself do not look at the city as if embracing diversity means we need crass and tacky billboards, the word F@CK on a taxpayer paid street or sidewalk, or any of the other seedy and tasteless displays which are only there to be provocative. They serve no purpose except to amuse a small gaggle of people while the rest of us cringe because we pay a lot to own property here, it’s not 1986 and like it or not it’s pretty hypocritical for some to tell the author he should move or take a less scenic route when he might pay property taxes while other posters here contribute nothing yet have this sense of zealous entitlement. West Hollywood has a nice diverse mix of people and none of us who live here care to be defined by the tacky and tasteless in your face displays we see too often. The author makes valid points lost on those who fear they might lose something that actually doesn’t exist. Its changed just like many other towns and people will realize this isn’t ugly sex charged ghetto unless you find that attractive Many of us do not

  17. As I said earlier, West Hollywood is one of the few places in the world that allows the outward display of sexuality, gay and straight. It has been this way for YEARS. People ought to research before either moving here, and/or raising children here if they are going to be offended.

    Jeffrey Ward, author Jake Lee was born in WeHo and has lived here his whole life. I’d be interested to know how Jake Lee’s parents handled the various sexually explicit displays when he was a child.

    This reminds me of when people move into a residential neighborhood that zoned agriculture, usually meaning it is an equestrian neighborhood with horses in back yards. They knew it moving in…and then, complain about the smell of horse poop and attempt to get the zoning change. Not ok. Same thing here.

  18. Got people to state opinions. Great job, Jake Lee.

    Life is a mixture of good and bad, offensive and not, artistic and inartful.

    Nine isn’t too young to learn what the word anal means. It could be explained without mentioning sex. You and your wife weren’t quick enough w/a response.

    We can coexist in a diverse city.
    Deal with it or take a less “scenic” route.

  19. To answer the writer’s question: Yes, as shown above, tolerance is only a one-way street. Either accept overt sexuality or be defined a hater because … tolerance!!

  20. Oh so many misguided and self righteous commenters…where to begin? Let’s see…How about the Brit educating us on the finer points of freedom. They should know, coming from a country where no go zones of Muslim neighborhoods are now commonplace, where female genital mutilation is increasingly common, homosexuality is a nonstarter, Jews are attacked for being Jews, and the police are too cowardly to act. I suppose they would cherish the “freedom” of seeing naked rears in public adverts since the newly elected mayor of London, himself a Muslim coincidentally, demanded that ads depicting women dressed “immodestly” not appear in public. What our British friends fail to realize is that here in America, freedom of speech does not extend to advertising…just ask the Marlboro Man and Smooth Joe Camel.

    As for the ludicrous statement that children are exposed to more vile smut on the Internet, tv and video games so deal with it…there are parental controls on computers and televisions so parents can limit what their children see, and ratings on video games so they can determine what games are appropriate for their child. Parents do not have those same controls over public displays of naked tuchus, but do have the right to a redress of grievances…another inalienable right protected by the Bill of Rights. To respect one, you must respect them all.

    Which leads me to the final asinine comment (see what I did there?) complaining that straight families are moving in to WeHo and supposedly spoiling the gay paradise. Here’s the thing…the gay community legitimately expects their rights to be honored, as well they should. But with that comes the apparently heavy burden of gays having to respect the rights of others, one of which is the right of a parent to express their disdain for public displays proclaiming “Anal August,” which last time I checked doesn’t just apply to gays, as if you own it. Plenty of straight people like knocking on the backdoor.

    The author has not made an assault on gayness, called for discrimination against gays, banning public displays of affection, or advocated their execution, despite the hyperbole of one commenter regarding Vice President Potatohead. So hose yourselves down because here comes the hard part. Living in a diverse community, state, and country means hearing and respecting the rights and views of those you live among, hearing their grievances, listening and coming together to resolve things the best way possible. Get over yourselves. You’re no more special than the rest of us. Maybe WeHo should attempt to show the rest of the country what mutual respect looks like. The citizenry could certainly benefit from the example.

  21. It feels like some people here are very quick to decry this man’s comments as somehow anti gay. I don’t think that is the case at all. My impression was that he was upset with what he thought was needlessly overt. Had the display been for “Titty Tuesday’s” or something that was overtly sexual and only heterosexual I’m sure he would have had the same reaction. The fact that people are jumping on him is the type of intolerance I believe he was speaking of.
    There are more families now in West Hollywood that ever before in the 15 years I have lived here. Many of those families are straight but many are gay. I know gay people that dont appreciate some of the overt sexual images their children see while out and about in weHo. What is wrong with having a conversation about accommodating as much of the community as possible. If we can’t do that, maybe our community isn’t as tolerant as we claim to be?

  22. Can Jack Lee please ask the FEC to stop showing Trump on television after he was caught claiming to grab women by the pussy – even if they were not agreeable — but as he said at the time — didn’t matter because he was famous. I think a lot of families had “uncomfortable conversations” about that and the dozens of allegations of rape, harassment and assault that Trump has against him. Jack Lee was very active rallying for Trump in West Hollywood aligned with the Brietbart hacks last year supported by Russia et al. Does he think that sort of illegal activity supported by Trump or the Russians is not obscene? Did he reach out to council to talk about his concerns about the hate speech and rape allegations against Trump? But somehow a photo of a butt, something everyone has through no fault of their own – heaven forbid – is somehow disturbing enough to waste our City government’s money on following up on? Isn’t this what his cronies call a “snowflake”?

  23. Wow I believe we have double standards with our Weho lawyer.
    This city banned strippers showing their butt in clubs mind you years ago,
    But store fronts do not have to abide. really your kidding

  24. …and the gentrification of Weho continues, but this isn’t about tolerance on the part of the community as a whole, this is once again about intolerance of a lifestyle, by an individual, about an open sexual society between consenting adults doing adult things, I mean can we call you Mike Pence instead of Jake, how long have you lived in WEHO, did you bring your child here to live with you while in WEHO, did you not do your homework on the type of community and the inhabitants of that community and the visitors of that community when you moved here, it seems all of this could have been avoided if you made better decisions for you and your family, and now here you are accusing a whole community of being intolerant, gee! Who couldn’t see that coming! Maybe the next time you choose to drive in one of the most walkable cities in America, you could choose a different route! Being Prudish does not make everyone else intolerant!

  25. Is it fair that gay people are alienated from public life pretty much everywhere other than weho? Is it fair that when I go to the abbey now it’s mostly straight couples? Where should I go to meet guys? First of all, tolerance is the wrong word. There is nothing to tolerate about gay people, we are just people. People like you are just waiting for that opportune moment when gay people start to have their things taken away from them. There are plenty of salacious billboards with boobs all over them and billboards advertising gentlemen’s clubs all around the valley. Have you taken those people to task? The current administration releases new licenses to discriminate every day and you’re talking about a poster with butts on it? The Vice President wants to hang us. What’s next, are you gonna ask that men stop kissing each other around weho because you might have to explain it to your children?

  26. What exactly is the ‘lack of tolerance’ you’re bitching about? lol. WeHo is a party community, it revolves around nightlife, and is more of an adult place. If you’re so easily offended by that you should probably be in a suburban family oriented community.

  27. Interesting. He said we lack decency and decorum. And why? Because he didn’t want to explain something to his daughter. OK, so let’s say we decide that he shouldn’t have to have any frank discussions with his daughter, ever, and the city takes the photo down. What happens when he doesn’t feel like explaining the picture of two men kissing? I guess that goes down, too. What he is saying is that we should all live up to HIS standards of decency and decorum.

  28. So in the short 10-12 years I have lived in West Hollywood, I have noticed that more and more families with children. Especially in my neighborhood. I knew it wouldn’t be too long before the straight community starts complaining about the non family friendly side of the city. Welcome to gentrification. Families move in and the gays are pushed out.

  29. Todd and Stuart, spot on. I just returned from Europe. People wouldn’t think twice about seeing this stuff. I’m sorry, but you can’t please everyone, and if that is labeled as “intolerance,” then so be it. West Hollywood is not, and never has been, a city where the majority of citizens are families. Maybe it doesn’t seem fair, but to me, it wouldn’t seem fair for me to live in a community that instils conservative values and censorship, simply because it might make a few parents uncomfortable to have to explain something to their children. And I agree with the City Attorney in that this doesn’t qualify as “obscene.”

    Another person suggested taking Fountain. I agree. This is exactly how I felt about the “F**k w/o Fear” campaign on SMB, or the go go dancers who are visible from the Micky’s patio when walking or driving down SMB. Or other prevalent sexual imagery along the route of the gay bars. This sexual imagery is part of the community we live in, and if one wants to avoid it, then take another route. It isn’t like this is on every street of the city.

    For those that label me as “intolerant,” I turn that around and say that you are “intolerant,” if you don’t believe in my right to appreciate sexual freedom and expression.

    On another note, if you are so afraid of children seeing this window display, why did you include it in this article (or allow it to be included)? You do realize children have access to the internet, and that many are carrying around cell phones and tablets?

  30. Move in to Simi valley if you don’t like it. West Hollywood was founded because of intolerance towards queers. Don’t like that? Gtfo.

    I bought property here because of the city’s progressiveness and sex positiveness. Surely not going to take the opinion of a Trump lover seriously. You see out of place in our little community. Perhaps you’d be happier elsewhree.

  31. Todd, thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy. Parents: draw a line with your children – certain topics are not age appropriate for discussion, and most of them aren’t even sexual in nature. Tell your children these images are about adult activities and you will explain it to them when they are older. Or, see Stuart’s approach for a different/progressive alternative.

    Ryan, thank you for stating WeHo is a sex-positive city, and we ought to remain that way. Sexuality is a huge part of gay men’s lives, and WeHo is one of the VERY FEW places in the whole world where it can be displayed with pride and without fear of reprisal. Those of you who still ascribe to puritanical notions and are offended by what LGBT communities choose to display might give serious thought if West Hollywood is right for you/your family. As the City Attorney stated, the community standards in WeHo are different than elsewhere. With the exception of other tiny LGBT enclaves scattered about the US, you literally have the whole rest of the country where you will not find such displays. We only have 1.8 square miles.

  32. Nothing about the window, in and of itself, is offensive. The only word that seems to be a problem is “anal.” The US still lives in a Handmaiden’s nightmare of Puritanical roots. Some naked butts? Yawn. It wouldn’t even draw a side glace in Europe.

    Kid have already seen worse on the internet. And how about the visual/sexual violence? You can’t keep their eyes away from the murder, rape and misogyny that is the staple of TV, movies and video games. What do your tell your kids about the latest mass shooting or the nightly grizzly murder reports on TV. How about the horror of war? I’m sure it’s hard being a parent and finding a way to navigate the world filled with such available information and images. They don’t just read the encyclopedia for a school report anymore.

    How about saying “we will talk about that when you’re a bit older, honey. This is a topic for another time.” Leave it at that.

  33. ……….forgot to add…..we all have bottoms….like we all have feet…we would celebrate feet February…why not Anal August? Chill out!!!

  34. Really surprised to read these comments……when my kids saw it…aged 7, 9, 11,14 we all laughed at this cheeky poster….we are British and when we drove by I shouted “bottoms up”….. we adore west Hollywood and the freedom it stands for.

  35. This is something that West Hollywood needs to clean up. The level of smut reflected in that sign and generally across the community is something no community should “tolerate” – gay, straight or whatever. WeHo went way too past liberation into acceptance of public perversion, and it’s time to reign it in so people can love their lives without street porn. Right now, with these kinds of signs and spectacles, WeHo tolerates the equivalent of a flasher opening his trench coat to passersby. Hopefully, this is a rallying cry to start the change and raise the standards.

  36. The writer needs to get a grip. There was a missed opportunity to talk to his child about sex (in a developmentally appropriate way) but instead caved in to whatever discomfort he and his wife had and skipped the conversation altogether. Sorry, but that’s not the city’s issue. Railing against a sexually oriented window advertisement accomplishes nothing except to communicate that sex and bodies are shameful and should not be discussed and must be hidden from view. West Hollywood DOES prides itself on being a city that welcomes any and all people, but that doesn’t mean we need to cave to every “ouch” incurred by someone’s sex-negative moralisms.

  37. A parent has a RIGHT for his or her children not to be exposed to this. Maybe, a photo is not offensive to one person; but there must be respect for the parents. Similar with marijuana. Outdoor smoking should be prohibited. EVERYONE has the right not to be exposed to THIS kind of second hand smoke.

  38. Thank goodness your daughter hasn’t seen some of the video that plays at the window of the underwear store on SMB and Robertson…..or the seen the banner at the juice bar and “healthy” food joint that used a different spelling for “come in”…….I wouldn’t want to explain that to a 9 year old.

    All these things may not be “obscene” but they are the lowest common denominator of taste, tackiness.

    We can be all the things the Topeka isn’t, without being that.

  39. Same complaint was heard a few years back by someone who was offended by the signage on the Studs Theatre & the response, appropriately, was this is West Hollywood….not a sanitized community in Simi Valley, kinda comes with the territory. Perhaps you could have used it as a teaching moment to explain to your daughter the diversity of West Hollywood and what she might have seen was nothing shameful, but just things that people older than herself are interested in…..I’m just a say’n…

  40. This is a great commentary that reflects the changing demographics in our community. The author brings up a sincere and valid points. Of course the City will turn a blind eye but frankly there are some of us who live here, pay property taxes and want to live here but do not see the need for tacky and tasteless billboards, signs etc that serve no purpose except to force the views of some on others. It’s not 1986 and hasn’t been for a long time and the city is changing. The stereotype of West Hollywood does not define all of us and like it or not we have a diverse population compared to 20 years ago and it’s time for some to realize that if we want others to embrace diversity then those who say that should do no less. The sign was an embarrassment but there are others today that are just as overtly and unnecessarily provocative. Time to wake up and look who your neighbors are. Again a good commentary

  41. Jake, you do have a point. Local “community standards” are focused on adults and can be rather ignorant of parents’ and children’s needs and concerns. I had a similar experience when I questioned the wisdom of having porn-themed events next to a toddler’s playground but wasn’t exactly met with empathy.

  42. I agree with you Jake. This is just one example. There are many. My 11 year old nephew curiously staring at a Squirt.org billboard made me cringe as I waited for a question that thankfully never came.

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