It may be a taboo subject for some, but for Kim Pitts, talking about sex is her job.
Pitts is the owner of Craved By You, a specialty sex store located on Provost Street in New Glasgow. Although there are other sex stores in the county, Pitts says her concept is different from what you might find elsewhere. She focuses on sexual health and wellness, education, a sex positive attitude and products that are safe and healthy to use.
“I felt there was a need in the community,” she said. “My main focus was to set up something safe and inclusive.”
Pitts added that her store is unique in the education and inclusivity aspect with her location being the only one like it — that she knows of — other than Venus Envy in Halifax.
Initially, looking for a career change, Pitts ended up deciding the store was something that Pictou County was ready for.
“I was looking for something to do that, at the end of the day, made me feel like I made a difference,” she said.
A number of Pitts’ regular customers come to her for medically related needs. With her research and knowledge, Pitts has been helping those who need support in their intimacy because of various medical reasons that can include things such as nerve damage from injuries or other conditions. To these people, Pitts runs a valuable service that allows them to be comfortable, and to avoid having to make a trip to Halifax from Pictou County, Cape Breton and everywhere in between for their needs.
“Sure we’re all having sex but we’re certainly not all talking about our support or enhancement needs,” she said.
Although Pitts has received some negative comments on her location, not only for her but for the LGBTQ+ community, of which she is a strong supporter, she felt a central location was essential for visibility. The visibility is something the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health finds important about the store as well. The centre is also a strong supporter of the concept of the store as well.
Along with individual clients, Pitts has also had professionals such as physiotherapists gather items they need for their clients at the store. She has had inquiries from group homes as well as to how they can safely and healthily support their clients’ needs.
Pitts has tried to make the space as inviting and friendly as possible.
Before she orders products she does extensive research on them to ensure they are safe and will meet the needs of her clients. Pitts has a small library of reading material for those who are interested in educating themselves and she does not carry pornographic material. Everything at the store isn’t all educational or support needs though: Pitts also promotes a bit of fun with party favours and gag gifts.
As a very strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, Pitts has received a lot of encouragement for the inclusivity of her store and how comfortable she makes people feel, regardless of the topic.
“They have confidence in what I’m doing,” she said. Getting a bit emotional Pitts added, “To be recognized, letting me know I was doing the right thing.”
Although she has had support for her shop from her customers and the Rainbow community, Pitts is facing a lot of misconceptions and negativity about her store and its location.
“It’s about making people comfortable with talking about something that can be uncomfortable to talk about,” she said. “The negativity stems from people that are uninformed because they’ve never been in the store. The negativity prevents people from exploring.
“If I can make a difference to one person a day or week than I guess what I do is worth the fight.”
At the front counter of her store Kim Pitts poses. She runs Craved By You, a sex positive store in down town New Glasgow.