There’s no need to avert your eyes at Spot of Delight in London, Ontario.
In the Richmond Street sex store, it’s okay to stare.
London’s Spot of Delight is hosting an art show and open house on the evening of Friday Feb. 12.
The open house features nude portraits and a live demonstration by London painter Nicholas DeGroot.
An Art Gala in a Sex Shop
“We thought it’s never been done before, an art gala in a sex shop. It’s so new, so fresh and so exciting,” said Ana Brown, co-owner of Spot of Delight.
DeGroot will be exhibiting about 18 of his paintings at the open house in his first solo show. The longtime expressionist painter will also be in action, demonstrating his process by painting a nearly nude model from Western University’s Art department.
The wine & cheese event and art exhibition is free to attend and also features live jazz music and prizes.
But of course, it wouldn’t be a sex store without some adult-only offerings.
Stainless steel “Pure Wand” by njoy
Spot of Delight will have a selection of its hand-blown glass and stainless steel sex toys on display alongside DeGroot’s creations.
“We wanted to show the art and beauty in our products too,” said Brown, adding some of the toys look more like sculptures than adult novelties.
The art show-sex store partnership is a bold and unusual one, something DeGroot said drew him in. “I think we both like the fact that we challenge the conventions of what is expected,” he said.
“I’m not expected to have an art show in a sex store and they’re not expected to be engaged in arts and culture.”
Like the Apple Store but With Sex Toys
The store itself might even challenge London’s concept of what a sex store can be.
Since it opened in September, Brown has made the Richmond St. storefront into a bright, modern and inviting space. The store doesn’t carry pornography and instead focuses on high-quality toys and sexual health products.
“It looks like the Apple Store inside… but with sex toys,” she said.
Just like the Apple Store, Spot of Delight is prepared to help you with the merchandise.
Workshops are available including “Intro to Rope” and a special “Sensual Couples Valentines Workshop” that includes instruction on sensual massage, temperature play and toys that tickle and buzz.
After moving to London from Toronto, Brown and her husband saw a need for a higher-end, community-focused sex shop with a welcoming, inclusive and non-threatening atmosphere.
“We want it to be part of the culture of downtown… the cultural scenery of the city. We want it to be a focal point where people come and gather,” she said.
Brown said DeGroot’s show will boost the recently opened store’s community profile and present art, culture and sexuality in a unique way. DeGroot is thrilled to show his work at the shop and is eager to see public reaction to the exhibition.
“Any level of debate this can spawn involves people in the art that much more,” he said.
Nicholas DeGroot Art Exhibition
When: Friday Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
Where: Spot of Delight, London 426 Richmond St.