(Note: This story appears in the February 2023 issue of SE Magazine)
Two magazines merge into one, a convention is held, and the industry’s retailer-centric magazine is born.
“At first glance, the magazine you are holding right now may appear to be a new publication, but as you go through the pages we know you’ll get a feeling of familiarity with the content and the layout. That’s because STOREROTICA Magazine is actually the merging of our two popular industry publications, TEEZE Magazine and ADULT STORE BUYER (ASB) Magazine.”
Those are the exact words that greeted the readers of the very first issue of STOREROTICA Magazine, an issue which was published 15 years ago in November of 2008. As our current readers may or may not know, two magazines — TEEZE and ASB — began publishing in 2004. TEEZE was mailed to the owners of lingerie boutiques, while ASB was sent to the owners and buyers at adult stores and super centers. Though TEEZE (created and published by our parent company, ED Publications) was initially centered around models and photographers, it quickly evolved into a business-to-business trade publication for the owners of lingerie stores. ASB (created and published by an associate of ED Publications) centered around buyers at adult stores across the US, with a concentration on pleasure products and adult film producers.
Where did the name “STOREROTICA” come from?
The name STOREROTICA came before the magazine was ever published. In 2007, TEEZE and ASB came together to produce the STOREROTICA Show, an industry-only convention featuring a tradeshow, seminars and the first Annual STOREROTICA Awards. The STOREROTICA Show was held in conjunction with the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO, the convention that’s been produced by SE’s parent company for the past 30 years.
Though the STOREROTICA Show did enjoy success in 2007 and 2008, many of the readers of STOREROTICA — including store owners, buyers and vendors — told us that, frankly, the industry already had enough conventions to attend, and that we would be doing them a favor if we didn’t add yet another event to their annual travel schedule.
As for the “how did we come up with that name” … isn’t it obvious? Our magazine was designed exclusively for the owners, operators and buyers at erotic retail stores — hence, STOREROTICA.
Why did TEEZE and ASB combine?
We felt as if both magazines were reaching, basically, the same audience. As adult stores were becoming more upscale and female-friendly, the line between “lingerie boutiques” and “adult stores” had become more blurred than ever. In fact, the old-school model of “XXX” stores had all but gone away, giving way to the more modern erotic retail stores that would attract all demographics and sexualities, not just horny men looking to score some porn and lube. STOREROTICA Magazine was designed to represent the evolution of the industry at large, and reflect the needs and desires of the current era of adult store owners and buyers.
Celebrating both “sides”
We had only been publishing STOREROTICA for a year before our advertisers asked us for a favor: “Can you keep the soft goods separate from the adult products?” It seemed that the lingerie manufacturers didn’t want their ads placed alongside the latest rabbit vibe. OK, we can do that. In December 2009, the new split-cover format of the magazine made its debut. For the next five years, STOREROTICA had two covers: The “soft” side typically featured a lingerie manufacturer on its cover, while the “hard” side showcased a pleasure product manufacturer on its cover.
Shortly thereafter, soft-good companies began to withdraw their advertising, not just from SE Magazine but from virtually every trade publication. We’re still not exactly sure why these manufacturers don’t feel the need to advertise their products to the stores who buy their products, but we digress.
In February 2015, STOREROTICA changed its format back to the original; meaning, one cover, with all of the editorial and ads combined together.
But really, why wouldn’t they be? Why should lingerie be kept separate from pleasure products, lube, BDSM gear, etc.? Don’t all of these amazing products contribute the sexual wellness and pleasure in one way or another? We think so.
What is STOREROTICA’s “identity”?
We feel — and have always felt — that we are the magazine and website designed for the adult retailer. We strive to be the magazine that you read for the latest product news, industry trends, retailer advice, and to hear feedback from fellow store operators via our reader polls. For example, this issue’s readers poll is all about what you like — and want to see more of — in the pages of SE. We appreciate everyone who responded, and we will do our best to implement your great ideas into future issues.
Also, please know that we welcome your feedback anytime. Feel free to email our sales and marketing manager Kristofer Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on our socials (Facebook, Insta, Twitter) and say hello. We appreciate each and every one of you, and we thank you for 15 enjoyable, enticing and erotic years of STOREROTICA Magazine.
Cheers to many more!
Dave Manack, Publisher