“Sexpresso” Shops

There’s something about the West Coast that just affects people’s minds, I think. I mean, sure, there’s a Starbucks on every corner so if you want to have your own coffee shop the competition is pretty fierce. But have we gone so adrift as a culture that we really need these?

At the Sweet Spot Cafe in the northern suburbs of Seattle, you get more than a foam topping on your cappucino. You get a waitress in a bikini, or maybe a tight-fitting T-shirt, and a choice of drinks with names such as Wet Dream (with caramel and white chocolate), Sexual Mix (a caramel macchiato) or Erotic Pleasure.
South of the city, in Tukwila, the baristas at Cowgirls Espresso wear sheer negligees and visible pink panties. It’s the same story in any number of other suburban bars and drive-through stands, like the Natte Latte in Port Orchard or Moka Girls in Auburn – bikinis, racy lingerie, fetish clothing, and plenty of suggestively exposed flesh.
…Welcome to “sexpresso” – the latest coffee fad to hit America, in which the country’s seemingly boundless fascination for Italian-style Java is combined with its equally boundless fascination for half-naked women.

I’m not morally offended/outraged by these places and I certainly don’t want to ban them or any such nonsense. But I do find it…sad is the word, I guess…that a bunch of these places have popped up and are accepted with such indifference. And it’s not just coffee shops; look at the images in ads on TV. It is the ultimate irony: after 40 years of feminism our society is more permeated with images of women as sexual objects than ever before (which is pretty amazing considering how we constantly hear about how the country has been turned into a rightwing religious theocracy).
And it makes being the dad of a teenage daughter that much harder.

11 Responses to ““Sexpresso” Shops”

  1. John says:

    Sad is the right word – it describes the people who go into these places. I guess that will be my defense when the sprog gets old enough – to seek out the place with the geekiest collection of perverts I can find and walk her past the window, so I can say “see, that’s who you attract when you dress like a tart”.

  2. major dad says:

    To answer the age old question of “Why are men pigs?” Because the trough is always full.

  3. John says:

    Yeah, but if there were no pigs, no one would fill the trough. You’d feel differently if you had a daughter, but sadly you are right, a lot of it is down to a tradgedy of the commons.

  4. Honey, don’t even try sliding that canard into the conversation, when you KNOW the answer is really “because they ARE.”

  5. Rob says:

    But how’s the coffee …

  6. ricki says:

    This kind of thing just icks me out. Yes, maybe that makes me a Puritan of the worst sort. But I’m just sick and tired of having the whole “We had a sexual revolution, yay!” thing shoved in my face.
    And the sad thing is – young girls DO get the message that they have the choice of either “tarting up” or being seen as humorless/repressed/possible lesbian/afraid of what “comes naturally.” And that’s not it at all, I want to scream at them. There’s such a thing as propriety. And caring about propriety doesn’t make you some kind of theocrat who’s going to slam women into burqas.
    Look, I don’t care what you do in your bedroom with your lover, whoever (and I do mean whoever) that may be. All I ask is that you NOT tell me about it, okay?

  7. Nightfly says:

    I find it oddly apt that radical feminism, having accused middle-class America (and especially the religious parts) of holding the “virgin/whore” dichotomy, are now living it for themselves – without even noticing it. In fact, if someone rejects the ethos of sluttiness they themselves will break out into cries of “prude!” and “repressed!”.
    It’s one thing for the pot to call the kettle black; it’s quite another to break out the paint and start swabbing everywhere.

  8. major dad says:

    I would argue that “pigs” are made whether by environment or exposure to other “pigs”. The point is as long these girls think that being tarted up will get them someplace they’ll continue to do it. I don’t think being modest makes you a prude/humorless lesbian either but dressing like a hooker well if it looks like a duck…

  9. Lisa says:

    Or as Dave Chappelle so eloquently put it, “You may not be a ho, but you’re wearing the uniform!”

  10. Nightfly says:

    Bwa-hahahahaha! I love Chappelle. I couldn’t help but think of him during Prince’s act at halftime yesterday. “Game….BLOUSES.”

  11. The_Real_JeffS says:

    I’m with you, Major Dad. Ducks have a funny way of looking like ducks.
    Granted, I enjoy the sight of a pretty lady myself, but an attractively dressed lady is all that is really necessary, not semi-starkers. If I want provocative, I’ll go buy coffee at Hooters, or maybe a topless bar (and, yes, I have done both, just not recently). I’m not so time crunched as to having to get hot while getting hot coffee.
    But the message here seems to be “Dress like a tart to get a start!” Or at least another escalation in the old adage, “Sex sells!”
    Well, yes, sex does sell. That doesn’t mean people want it everywhere, all the time. That would be like working in a chocolate factory; after a while, chocolate would get nauseating.
    And having semi-dressed young women selling coffee is not “marketing”; it’s objectifying women, not unlike p0rn.
    Nope, this is one giant step backwards. Especially for the blue part of Washington State.

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