FeaturesGayest & Greatest

Gayest & Greatest: Shopping and Services

Hollywood Super Center marks 15 years in an ever-changing market.

The most interesting question I got today was, ‘Does that go in your butt?’” says James O’Rourke, owner of Hollywood Super Center.

And it’s a fair question, really. The gay-owned establishment, situated at 2409 Grant St. in Montrose, has been servicing—or rather, serving—the LGBTQ community for over 15 years.

After opening as a cafe in 2002, the store evolved into a more clothing-centric establishment. Today, Hollywood Super Center is focused primarily on erotic playthings—from vanilla to kink, and every flavor in between.

“We offer a wide selection of supplements, lubricants, swimwear, underwear, and activewear, too,” O’Rourke says.

That’s all pretty standard fare for a sex shop in a queer neighborhood. But there are also plenty of options for more advanced tastes.

“We offer home items such as shower bidets, play sheets for the boudoir—even swing stands,” O’Rourke says. “My favorite is our 14-gauge steel-frame stand.”

If you’re confused about the nature of some of those items, the staff at Hollywood Super Center is ready to help.

“Our staff is friendly, informative, and assisting,” O’Rourke says. “We allow our guests to navigate the store at their own comfort. If you’re seeking assistance in areas you’re uncomfortable with, we’ll do our best to be helpful.”

Once upon a time, Montrose contained more erotic-themed stores per capita than any other Houston neighborhood. However, as the area started to gentrify, many of those businesses closed.

James says retailers that focus on erotic playthings still face stiff competition (no pun intended), but Hollywood Super Center has evolved with the times.

“We opened as a cafe/bookshop [at] 2409 Grant,” he says. “From there, we expanded and relocated the shop to 807 Fairview. At Fairview, we focused on toys, books, and DVDs. We explored the clothing market at that location, and again we grew.

“From Fairview, we relocated back to 2409 Grant,” he adds. “We occupied the space nearest Converse with an expanded clothing selection. [But by that time, we] noticed that the community’s needs had changed. DVDs, books, magazines, and Pride novelty items became less desired. We have since downsized as demand shifted. We now occupy a center space at the same shopping center.”

Although most merchandise at Hollywood Super Center is geared toward men—such as its selection of underwear, swimsuits, and jockstraps—the store has items to satisfy every need. And if you’re nervous about shopping in person, you can browse the selection online at HollywoodSuperCenter.com.

Whether it goes on your body or in it, you’re sure to find something that brings you pleasure.  —Ryan Leach

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Ryan Leach

Ryan Leach is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. Follow him on Medium at www.medium.com/@ryan_leach.
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