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Postcards from Salt Lake
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006


A racy debunking of Salt Lake City myths

By STEPHEN BRUNT
Wednesday, February 13, 2002


Before anyone arrived here for these Winter Olympic Games, there were plenty of preconceived notions of the church and state. Conservative. Anti-alcohol. Dominated by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Not by any imagination the kind of place you'd head for a dirty weekend.

Stephen BruntAnd so it came as a bit of a surprise the other day to stumble upon Frederick's of Hollywood, the store known world-wide for racy underwear, and other accoutrements designed for hot times behind closed doors. Though July, the woman behind the counter, suggested that I might have the wrong idea about the store.

"I think we're just a little classier than we used to be," she said. "And people don't realize that until they come in. It's not as sleazy as they think."

As she said this, my companion sifted through a sale bin full of edible underwear.

"We're still Fredericks's," she acknowledged. "We do fantasy wear. That's what people want. They don't just want nice and elegant. They want to be a little wild."

But what about the big question? After much diplomatic humming and hawing, July cuts to the chase.

"Yes, they [the Mormons] shop here too," she said. "They say, I'm not going to wear it in the temple. That's okay. You still have to have fun in the bedroom. So they wear it. We know they come in here."

Still, doesn't that conflict with the ritual undergarments that all members of the LDS church are required to wear? Those bright pink baby dolls wouldn't do much for anyone when slipped on over a pair of blessed long johns.

"They don't have to wear the [church underwear] when they're working out," July explains. "Or, of course, in the bedroom. Or, like when they're gardening and stuff. But most of the time they need to be on."

A look around the store reveals not a single stitch of gardening clothes.

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