The Sweetest Taboo

Discover chatted to Tim Richardson, proprietor of Taboo and reality star of accompanying Channel 4 series, A Very British Sex Shop. The documentary chronicled the lives of Tim and his family, while giving viewers a unique look into the sex lives of the UK population.  

How did being on the TV show affect your business and family life? 

As far as the business was concerned it was phenomenal. The show was repeated every year since its release and we were ready to start filming a second series but then went into lock-down the week we were supposed to begin recording. The show was also repeated again during the first week of lock-down, so this helped massively with online sales. Footfall into the shop also increased, due to travel restrictions people weren’t going abroad, so consequently loads more people visited Brighton. We fondly call our fans TV tourists, they’ve seen the show and come into the shop and expect us all to be there, which obviously we’re not. Overall the show in terms of business has been incredible for us. 

We were sceptical initially in terms of how we would be portrayed as we know things can happen in the editing room and we didn’t want to be shown in a bad light, so that was one of the stipulations for us doing the show. We saw the show the week before it went out, so we knew what to expect and we were very relieved and pleased with the final result. The only negative comments were directed at me because some people assumed I’d lured my family into this dark underbelly of the sex industry, which isn’t true. 

Are there still plans to do another show? 

I don’t think there will be now as it was three years ago. Also, we have decided to quit while we’re ahead and I don’t think we’d do another one. Even though it was very good for the business and we are really grateful for the first series, we’ve all moved on with our lives. My daughter has qualified as a solicitor, so I know she definitely wouldn’t take part. The nature of reality TV has changed so much over the years and producers seem to want as much drama and controversy as possible, and that’s just not for us. 

Tell me about the room you’ve just designed for Hotel Pelirocco? 

Another part of my business is called Brighton, which is an Airbnb BDSM dungeon. We’ve been running that business for three years now. I wanted to expand while staying in the adult sector. It’s been really successful and we’ve recently opened our second one. Essentially they are kinky Airbnbs. On the basis of that, the owner of Hotel Pelirocco approached us and asked if we’d like to create a kinky themed room for them, they didn’t want the room to be too full on, so we created the room as an introduction to kink so we didn’t make guests feel uncomfortable. We are really pleased with the final result. 

Any advice for a flagging relationship? 

Come and visit our shops! Be open minded in your sex life, don’t be afraid to consensually experiment. Sometimes relationships can get boring, a bit like eating curry every night, sometimes you have to go out together and eat cheeseburgers. 

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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