When Miko Exoticwear on Wickenden Street closed its doors for good this summer, Providence lost a local landmark. Since its days in the old firehouse on North Main Street, the friendly neighborhood sex store provided both sex-positive education and an array of sexy products in an inviting environment for more than a dozen years.
Yet fans of Miko hardly had time to mourn before a new sex store, Mister Sister, opened up in Miko's old home at 268 Wickenden Street earlier this month.
Owner Devioune Mayim-Daviau, 50, says customers flooded the store on opening day. Mayim-Daviau, who owned two other sex stores, Toys of Eros and WildHearts, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, says she used to sell some of her products wholesale to Miko. When she found out the space was available, she leapt at the opportunity to open a new store in a city with a "small town feel" that is close to her childhood home in Central Falls.
Mayim-Daviau says Mister Sister will emphasize education and build a connection with their clients, as well as being female-friendly and "offering something to every community."
While Mister Sister shares Miko's mission to educate customers and carries some of the same products, Miko fans will find their old haven has undergone a serious makeover. For starters, Mayim-Daviau painted the store walls a chocolate brown at the advice of her partner, Nicole Locascio, who also picked out the crushed brown velvet curtains that hang in the windows.
Mayim-Daviau's decision to include more male sex toys may appeal more to men and to Providence's gay community, and an array of leather products will attract a kinkier clientele than Miko's softer image.
"It's a new idea, catering to a new community," notes Megan Andelloux, who directed Miko's Sexuality Learning and Resource Center. Andelloux will continue to teach classes like "Female Sexual Pleasure" and "Fabulous Fellatio" in the back room of the store.
When you enter the new store, expect to be treated to a taste test of edible massage oils and bath products, alongside other novelty products, like pungent, edible body powder administered with a tickling feather duster. Everything in the store is out on display to be touched or tested. Mister Sister boasts something for everyone, from novelty items like candy bras to leather bondage outfits to vibrating toys with names like the "Purring, Thrusting Panther."
The windows of the store display some enticing products, along with an antique vibrator. Mayim-Daviau says she is conscious of how the store is located in a neighborhood, so some of the more "hardcore" items can't be seen from the window. To check them out, you'll have to venture inside and see for yourself.
The store is open from weekdays from 10 am-7 pm, and till 8 pm on Saturday and 5 pm on Sunday.