London’s Odd Little Janus Bookstore

London has one of the strangest little adult entertainment bookstores in the world. Ever since the early 70’s, the Janus Bookstore and JANUS MAGAZINE have existed in England, despite years of changing laws and evolving legal situations for JANUS. The bookstore pays a huge licensing fee to the government to remain open that is equal to thousands of American dollars each business year, but has even faced some police actions including impounding of shelf inventory merchandise despite specializing in very softcore fetish material after paying such huge licensing fees.

JANUS Magazine remains one of the most softcore of any fetish publication sold in either England or Europe. Some really hard fetish material out of Eastern Europe make JANUS look like PLAYBOY Magazine by comparison. But, that’s what JANUS hopes to be, the PLAYBOY of fetish magazines. And at 10 British pounds or more an issue, JANUS is expensive as well. Their spotless clean bookstore is a stark contrast to so many dirty little sex shops elsewhere, and sometimes the store even has a uniformed doorman much like a luxury hotel to politely open the door for customers. Lawyers for Janus keep their materials softcore and legal for sale in England, where the business remains an oddity among far more sexually explicit publications. However, with much tighter English censorship rules regarding fetish material than mainstream sexual materials, JANUS Magazine and the bookstore forever tread on careful legal ground.

It seems odd that an English bookstore or a magazine with a circulation of just about 10,000 copies would become such a subject of so much legal attention. Governments have too much time on their hands.

The spanking fetish that JANUS specializes in seems as old as England itself and looks like pretty harmless stuff with no one really being hurt. JANUS is about as tame as you can get. But, that’s the nature of English law where some odd things ride on a very narrow legal plane there and JANUS Magazine and the little bookstore remain as two legal oddities there.

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