Raynham, MA: “Shock, outrage over sex acts in store”

Raynham, MA (population 12,000) hosts a Video X-tra Adult Superstore. The Enterprise, a regional newspaper, reports today:

The business–the town’s only adult video store featuring closet-sized video “preview viewing” rooms–has become an indoor meeting spot for men seeking sex with other men, a Sunday Enterprise investigation has shown…

Larry Ravech of Stoughton, one of the store owners, said he was not aware of any sexual activity in the viewing booth area.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said.

An Enterprise reporter went into the store three times last week and was propositioned several times, including by one customer who bluntly asked–using slang terms–if he wanted oral sex.

A used condom was observed on the floor of one booth at the business.

Several residents on Sunday said they didn’t want the store and the anonymous sexual activity it attracts in town.

“I’m really disgusted. It just makes the town more seedy than it is,” said Mark Danahy, 51…

Experts say indoor meeting places, such as the Raynham video store, are the latest sex trend as police try to push sexual activity out of highway rest areas and other public areas.

But with anonymous sexual activity comes increased health and safety risks, including the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, experts say.

“There are a number of health issues,” said Michael P. Murtagh, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Bridgewater State College.

Some officials in Raynham seem to believe their options are limited, as long as the sex in the booths is not exchanged for money. However, health regulations, such as removing doors from booths, are clearly permissible under the law. See also Kittery’s experience.

14 thoughts on “Raynham, MA: “Shock, outrage over sex acts in store”

  1. you people who run this site should get a life! Do you have nothing better to do with your life then to try to limit porn stores. Who cares if guys are getting it on in the backroom, if they both agree to it then whats the problem? you say its a public risk for STD but so is using a public toliet, sleeping in a hotel bed. God you must have a real boring sex life, with no thrills at all. I hope they keep the booths open. Havent you ever heard of freedom? thats what this country is based around. If you dont like it well you dont have to go there plain and simple. Im not a guy, im a girl and im disgusted by people like you, who think that since you disagree with something thats its wrong, and you need to change it. Well guess what buddy theres alot of people whom disagree with you!! i bet all the signitures you got for your petition in your town were from old people, and church people, who have no fun with your sex life! Grow up, and get a real hobby!

  2. Yes, people dying from AIDS is wrong, and if modest measures like taking the doors off porn viewing booths can help prevent that, we’re for it. As Superior Court
    Judge Paul Fritzsche told Capital Video in Kittery, “‘There is no fundamental liberty interest to view sexually explicit
    materials in a closed viewing booth at a business.’

    Freedom without compassion is anarchy, where power rules. In those conditions, freedom doesn’t feel very free to those who have less power. In Raynham, the law is needed to redress an imbalance between the rights of the porn merchant and the rights of the community. The latter have a legitimate interest in keeping their people healthy.

  3. first, i don’t believe you can legislate compassion. legislation is coercive and therefore antithetical to the genuine exercise of compassion.

    second, i don’t see you exercising a lot of compassion for the folks at Cap Video.

    Jesus did not vilify mary m; he welcomed and embraced her.

    third, may be you’d really make progress if you tried to exercise the compassion that you preach.

    and, fourth, I’ve saved a copy of this comment, in case you fail to promptly publish it.

  4. Sure you can legislate compassion–OSHA comes immediately to mind. As became readily apparent over a century ago, some government action is needed to balance the power of big business. Without the prospect of government intervention, it’s all too easy for businesses to exploit workers or expose them to harm.

    For weeks this summer we tried to engage the Goldbergs privately to discuss our concerns about their new tenant. We received no response. We held an open meeting in early August. No Capital Video representatives identified themselves there. All this underscored to us that legislative action was needed, especially in light of Capital Video’s record in Kittery and statements made by the leasing agent, R.J. Greeley.

    Even now, we are once again extending an opportunity for dialogue to Capital Video to address the community’s concerns. I hope they take us up on it.

    Besides giving them a chance to dialogue with the community, I’m not quite sure you mean by expressing compassion for Capital Video. Their abstract right to make money does not spare them from criticism if they do so by exploiting people and spreading suffering. Compassion for Capital Video does not mean the people have to approve or stand idly by while their interests are harmed.

    Jesus was often stern with people who used twisted logic to confuse the issues or defend unjust actions. He was much friendlier with those who expressed a sincere desire to repent. I eagerly watch for signs of repentance at Capital Video. A good start would be refusing to sell films where condoms are not used to reduce disease.

  5. First of all, I’m surprised that someone who advocates decriminalizing child porn would feel safe invoking Jesus’ name without a lightning rod in each hand.

    “Compassion” without justice is cheap sentimentality. Those who shamelessly profit from sexual and physical abuse of women aren’t showing much compassion. Neither are porn defenders who refuse to recognize these women’s pain as real, preferring instead to congratulate themselves on how politely they treat the abusers.

    Jesus didn’t vilify the woman caught in adultery, but he did (nonviolently) stop the men who were throwing stones at her. And then he urged her to go sin no more. Would it have been more “compassionate” to allow them all to persist in harmful behavior?

  6. First, I’d like to compliment you on your grammar.

    I used to work at Video X-tra. It’s rare if ever that anyone uses protection. I know this because the men who frequent these booths would tell me so. Without being too graphic, they basically have said it’s not worth doing if there’s a condom involved. I can attest to the fact that there is usually bodily fluids on the floors, walls and chairs. Another problem with this place is that it sells Video head Cleaner or “poppers”. The men buy the poppers, and go into a booth. Clockwork. This is not a moral issue for me, it’s a public health issue. There are plenty of men that come in with wedding rings on and car seats in their station wagons sitting in the parking lot. I used to see them out in public with their wives and children and cringe.
    Disease is being spread. They are going home and having relations with their wives after having relations with countless men in the booths.
    In closing, these places need to be regulated.

  7. I’m sure that town elders, church members, etc would visit these stores if they knew thay would not get caught or seen. Let people live. If they make bad choices, they have to live with it. If women are being abused, it’s not because of porn, it’s because of the individual men’s behavior. Prosecute them, don’t try to place blame on porn. I bet you’re against gays too. Who do you think you are? You are no better than anyone else. Take care of yourself and leave other’s alone.

  8. I have visted this store many times over the years and find it to be well run by the owners and staff..I have had no problems visiting this Video Store..To those who claim these incidents are going on, shop elsewhere i guess..As far as the Video Booths. They are private with a closed locked door..I have never had a problem with this area of the store..5 star rating…

  9. I have visited this store many times over the years and find it to be well run by the owners and staff..I have had no problems visiting this Video Store..To those who claim these incidents are going on, shop elsewhere i guess..As far as the Video Booths. They are private with a closed locked door..I have never had a problem with this area of the store..5 star rating…

  10. People have the right to behave as they chose! Who are you to stop them? We do not live in a communist country, if you are so into impeding on peoples rights move to china. The exterior of the building is not offensive and if you don’t want to be offended stay out of there. Maybe you should gat a life and focus on some more important issues like hunger or homelessness. I will bet everyone writing this blog has at one time or another has watched or looked at adult material. Should you be arrested? Or should your business be shut down? No one has a gun to the participants or patrons heads forcing them to go into the store or appear on film. This is a free country that is hat makes this country great. Focus your energy on something else more important.

  11. Well gosh, why do we have laws at all? Why do cities have health inspections? If a store creates, profits from, or turns a blind eye to unsafe conditions, the people have a right to take action. Considering AIDS and other STDs, it’s no stretch to say this is a matter of life and death.

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