Listing itself as “Your Favourite Gay Store in Canada”, I can truly say that I was saddened to hear the news as I opened up facebook this morning about my local “gay sex shop” Priape closing its doors across Canada. Opened in 1974, Priape was a lot of things to a lot of people. I don’t at all claim to be anywhere near its best customer or an expert on the business, but as a VERY sex positive writer for this site I thought I’d take the time to write an article to announce the sad news to those who haven’t heard and let people post if they had something to say about their time at this legendary establishment.


Priape to me was a place where I could go to see incredibly sexy gear and fashion; to buy tickets for the next bear party; and, to talk with their invariably educated and well-versed staff about the newest events and products. Really, it was a place you just had to visit while walking down our gay avenue: you could be straight and looking to see what the crazy mo’s were up to or you could be looking for the latest and biggest dildo in production. That store held no judgement and sure as fuck didn’t put up with any as it offered a taste of every kink to anyone and everyone that entered it. For me, it was the staff that made it work. I couldn’t ask a question that would make those boys blush try as I might, and let me tell you: I’m into some weird stuff. Finding out that I can’t stop in to see my favourite manager there on my walk of shame home just to catch up and swap stories is something I’m going to miss for a long time to come.

Having been around for nearly 40 years, this store knew what it was doing. It wasn’t sales pushy and no one was trying to convince you of anything. Walking in was a friendly experience that you got to make the most out of: if you wanted to take a peek at a gay comic book and turn right around that was fine by them. If you wanted to get fitted for a plush leather harness then they took you to the back of the shop and got to working like dirty elves in Santa’s shop. I couldn’t tell you a time when I wasn’t amazed at the options and ease that place serviced this community (no pun intended). As they announced this morning all their stores across Canada (including Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto) were shutting down there was an audible cry across social media as gays and sex loving people everywhere lost one of our best sources for all things fun.

I’ve seen everything from 18-year old new gays, out of the burbs for the first time standing next to 80-year old dom slave owners, all experiencing something unique to them as they visited this store and I think it’s an honest tragedy they will not have this resource anymore. Priape was a staple, a memory, a safe space for so many and I’ll miss their hard work and amazing staff. This is not at all to take from the other amazing gay run establishments out there that will continue to serve our community but I felt this article needed to be expressed for me to be able to thank the men of Priape for what they made and provided us. Thank you to my friend Del Stamp who ran that place like a clock and his amazing staff in Vancouver.

Please, feel free to write if you had a good memory of this business. It’s your space below.