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Adult store owners say Carencro's policies are outdated

Adult toy blurred
Carencro City Hall
Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 12:30:50-04

A couple opening their third adult shop is facing some push-back from the city of Carencro.

The owners of Crave Romance Boutique, Mike and Jolene Menard, say they’ve been in business for more than 20 years, and they’ve helped a lot of people with their needs along the way.

“We crave food, we crave love, we crave intimacy,” said Mike Menard, “But a craving like that, you gotta go take care of it.”

Menard says his stores were shut down during the pandemic, but after reopening, business is buzzing.

“We’re staying home more, we’re not going out to bars,” he said. “So, self-care has been a pretty big thing.”

He found a space in Carencro, on Derek Plaza Drive. His landlord has no issue with their business opening at his space.

Now, with plans to open their third location in a few weeks, they’re faced with a city ordinance that indicates “solicitation for viewing or the distribution of adult videos, literature, and sexual toys” as obscenity. This ordinance was written in 2003 and edited in 2012.

Menard says those terms are too loose, and a person must be 18 years old or older to enter his store.

“It looks really broad, it basically bans any adult toy from the way he’s reading it, and obscenity doesn’t work like that.”

After Miller v. California in 1973, for something to be considered obscene, it must pass a three-part test, according to the Supreme Court.

Now, it is known as the Miller test. For something to be marked as obscene, it must adhere to all three rules below.

  • Whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards", would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
  • Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law;
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Menard says you can buy anything he wants to sell at his store at a local Walmart or Walgreens. After meeting with the city, Menard went to both stores in Carencro and purchased around $300 worth of items, just like he’s planning on selling.

“Anyone that has [a phone] can order anything they want from that Amazon building once it’s completed,” he said. “I just want a fair shot at doing my business, too.”

This issue will be discussed at the upcoming city council meeting on March 15.

KATC reached out to city manager Don Chauvin, who refused to comment out of concerns surrounding legal action from the couple.

The Advocate reported this first.
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