The Sex Shop With No Sex … But Lots Of Beer

I first visited Ronnie’s Sex Shop with my parents — I was 17 and my little sister was 11.

ample parking The Sex Shop With No Sex ... But Lots Of Beer

We’d been driving three hours, and Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, was still three hours away. South Africa’s semidesert scrubland known as the Karoo can be pretty repetitive, and we all did a double take when the meaning of the crude red letters painted on an otherwise unremarkable white hovel sank in. My dad turned the Kombi round, pronto, and we went back to investigate.

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Ronnie’s has grown a lot — both in size and in fame — since that first visit. It now sees around 120 visitors per day in winter and more than double that in summer. In addition to the extremely well-stocked pub — festooned with underwear (left by female patrons, mostly) and graffiti (courtesy of visitors from all over the world) — there’s a café with a shaded outdoor dining area, a “cuddle puddle” for young and old, and the option to braai (barbecue) your own meat. Ronnie sells firewood and “braaipacks” ($5–$8, depending on what’s available at the butcher).