Honey Birdette under investigation by Adelaide council

Sex shop has seven days to remove sex toys

Over the past year, we’ve received numerous complaints about Honey Birdette, a store found in major shopping centres around the country. Honey Birdette is a sex shop masquerading as a high end lingerie store.  Capitalising on the popularity of BDSM themed trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Honey Birdette sells gags, whips, restraints and sex toys and claims to be “all about sex”. Their website has a section entitled 'Saucy Snaps', images depicting threesomes, spanking, faux lesbianism and hot wax.

Honey Birdette’s porn-themed advertising should therefore come as no surprise. Despite the Advertising Standards Bureau upholding complaints (more here) about their massive window front advertising, including an image of a woman in lingerie with tape over her nipples, the sex shop refused to remove the ad.


The acceptance of sex shops like Honey Birdette in family shopping centres raise a whole range of questions. Are minors allowed to enter the store? Are there age restrictions on purchasing sex toys and pornography? How much of their floor space is dedicated to sex toys? Can they sell hardcore pornography? Can the stores be located next to children’s retailers or play centres?

As Fiona Patten, chief executive of Eros, Australia’s peak sex industry body said, “If you look at the definition of an adult store they are definitely an adult store. If it is a suitable location for Honey Birdette, then it is suitable for Club X.”

The Adelaide City Council is currently investigating Honey Birdette for breaching development laws that ban sex shops from busy retail areas and family-friendly precincts. The store reportedly failed to disclose the nature of their shops in making an application and have since been given seven days to remove the sex toys and submit another development application.


Contact Adelaide City Council  [email protected]

Here are some points you could make:

Honey Birdette is a sex shop, and as such they should be required to abide by laws and regulations for sex shops.

Children are exposed to Honey Birdette’s porn themed advertising if the store is allowed to operate in family shopping centres. The public space should be safe for everyone.

The Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled that Honey Birdette’s highly sexualized shop front advertising is in breach of industry codes and standards, yet Honey Birdette have refused to comply with the ruling and did not remove the porn-inspired advertising.

That in allowing a sex shop to trade in a family shopping centre will open the doors for any sex shops to trade in major shopping centres.

Further reading

Sex shops to move into major shopping centres- Collective Shout

Brisbane adult shop 200m from childcare centre shut down for operating without a licence 

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  • Sasha Heywood
    commented 2014-11-20 00:07:04 +1100
    Your local Woolworths and Coles and pharmacies sell ‘tingling’ lubricants and vibrating penis-ring condoms…and pharmacies also sell devices for tightening pelvic floor muscles…in family centres. The packaging in supermarkets is sexual (bareback condoms). Storm in a teacup. Get over it. Go badger your local pharmacies and supermarkets who also stock children’s items alongside their vibrating penis rings and flavoured studded condoms for ‘extra pleasure’.
  • Rebekah Reilly
    commented 2014-10-09 23:17:41 +1100
    There has been one open up recently in Marion Shopping Centre too – I noticed it while passing by with my two daughters on my way to the Child and Youth Health Clinic also located in the centre…
  • Adela Brent
    commented 2014-10-08 18:53:47 +1100
    It is important not to give up and keep resisting. Together we can do it. Thank you Shout-out for giving us the opportunity.
  • Regina Saunders
    commented 2014-10-08 13:58:17 +1100
    There’s a whole world of adults available to everyone: Let’s keep some places safe from gagging in response to our kids’ questions your storefront generates.
  • Vicki Johnston
    commented 2014-10-02 23:52:04 +1000
    We also have a Honey Birdette store at our local Westfield Eastgardens and I have written to Centre Management and the two local Councils about this issue. The store has walls of sex toys inside, as I found to my horror when accompanying my 16 year old daughter inside while she tried on a bra!
  • Nadia Beck
    commented 2014-10-01 17:17:49 +1000
    Also, Honey is in the Myer Centre, which is a huge supporter of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, so why not ask the pageant if they plan to run a Honey float for the mums and dads this year?

  • Nadia Beck
    commented 2014-10-01 17:04:12 +1000
    Council elections are on in Adelaide in November – why not write to each Lord Mayor candidate for their opinion on Whorey Birdette?





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