MINNEAPOLISAdult stores in Minneapolis are joining together this Saturday for “Benefits With Friends,” a fundrasing sale to benefit Venus Unveiled, a small, unique, Black-owned lingerie and sex toy store which was damaged during the unrest in the Twin Cities on May 28. Bondesque, Fantasy Gifts, Flirt Boutique, Rainbow Road and Smitten Kitten will host the event to support Venus Unveiled, which bore the brunt of the unrest. Its large front window was smashed, merchandise was stolen and silicone lubricant was poured all over the floor, creating damage so significant that the floor must be replaced. This structural damage to the store, owned by Marvin Levi, was in excess of $50,000. All this comes at a time when small businesses are already suffering through the pandemic, and adult stores are barred from receiving CARES act funding. Some items cannot be replaced, Marvin states on his GoFundMe page, and the emotional impact is very hard to bear.” The Smitten Kitten, located just around the corner from Venus Unveiled, is responding to the calls of community leaders and the Black Lives Matter movement by pulling together the adult business community of the Twin Cities to stand in solidarity with Black-owned businesses and support Venus Unveiled. The effort includes a GoFundMe page which has already raised $16,335 of the $50,000 goal. To access the page and donate, click here. Benefits With Friends is a special shopping event on Saturday, June 20 where participating adult vendors and lingerie shops will donate a portion of proceeds to Venus Unveiled. Customers can shop at Bondesque, Fantasy Gifts, Flirt Boutique, Rainbow Road and Smitten Kitten to support Venus Unveiled. For a full and updated list of details and supporting businesses, please see the Benefits With Friends event page on Facebook here. Participating stores are: Bondesque, 707 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408 Fantasy Gifts, 5805 Excelsior Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55416 Flirt Boutique, 177 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104 Rainbow Road, 109 W Grant St, Minneapolis, MN 55403 Smitten Kitten, 3010 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 Since 1999, Venus Unveiled has been an oasis for exotic dancers, offering a wide range of products and benefits for the local community. Over the years it has expanded to carry a wide variety of unique lingerie, shoes and adult products. They are also known as an affirming sanctuary for the LGBTQ community, offering gender expression products and lingerie for all kinds of bodies.
written by: Allen Smithberg