Who said romance was dead? Certainly not the card shops of Nottingham – although some of their Valentine’s Day efforts are not for the faint hearted these days.
From naughty messages to the down-right crude – there are now a wide range of adult cards available to suit all tastes.
In January, high-street stationer Paperchase recalled a range of sexually explicit Valentine’s Day cards after receiving complaints from customers.
The offending cards included messages such as “I’ve got a huge hard on for you”, “I love your big c***” and “nothing says I love you like a***”.
A sign had been placed next to the cards saying “rude cards here – you have been warned!” – though it was criticised for being written in smaller print than the cards themselves.
In 2017 some adult-themed cards remain on sale at the Nottingham branch, based on Low Pavement, including ones saying “I willy willy love you” and “you’re my favourite thing to do”.
Assistant manager Karen Sanders said: “This year was the first we have had them on sale as we wanted to cater for everyone – but it upset a lot of regular customers so we made the decision to take them down.
“We still sell some adult cards but they are cheeky and funny, and not like the others which were a lot ruder.
“Many people don’t take Valentine’s Day seriously now so we sell cards for everyone, including a younger and more diverse audience.”
Some of the recalled cards, which are produced by card manufacturer Dean Morris, are still on sale in Scribbler, on Bridlesmith Gate.
The shop has displayed a sign to warn customers the cards are of an ‘adult nature’.
Store manager Emma Swann said: “We have not received any complaints about our adult cards – they are very popular, especially with women as men tend to buy the sweeter ones.
“People aren’t really romantics anymore and just say what they feel.
“Some of our most naughty cards sold out three to four weeks ago – people come to us specially because they know we push more boundaries.”
Traditional card shops Clintons and the Card Factory, in the Victoria Centre, also stock a small selection of ‘adult-humour’ cards.
They include milder phrases such as “you turn my software into hardware” and “you really turn me on”.