Security monitor in Mission Secrets. Photo by Yujie Zhou.

Few, it appears, are as unhappy with Covid-19 protection measures than the customers who frequent the adult shop Mission Secrets, a neighborhood fixture since the 1970s.

“We’ve been punched in the face. We’ve been kicked. We’ve had stuff thrown at us,” said Parker, the manager of Mission Secrets. “We’ve always had issues with people threatening us, but it’s gotten worse over the last two years. All because of the mask requirements or vaccine requirements.”

Some of these assailants are customers, but some are homeless residents. Another staff member who preferred to go by the pseudonym “Bear” to protect himself commented, “This year, I’ve been threatened at least once a week.”

He recounted the latest incident: A man entered the store on Nov. 5, walked right up to Bear at the counter, punched the partition, which struck Bear in the face, then immediately turned around and left. The force of the punch was so strong that it knocked over the plexiglass protection partition, video footage shows. 

“I was just minding my own business,” said Bear. “I wasn’t paying attention. Next thing I knew, I got hit in the side of the head.”

The counter at Mission Secrets. Photo by Yujie Zhou.

He has shown police the footage, but so far hasn’t heard anything back. The San Francisco Police Department hasn’t responded to inquiries from Mission Local, but we will update the article if and when it does. 

Days earlier, Bear had a confrontation with the same assailant, when the man’s wife refused to wear a mask. Bear insisted, but the couple refused to follow the rules or leave. The police failed to arrive until the store closed that night, by which time the couple had already left.

This is becoming an unwelcome fixture of daily life at Mission Secrets. On Tuesday, a man came in and walked directly to the back of the shop, where customers are allowed to sample pornographic videos. He stayed there for an inordinately long time. Parker asked him to pay and show proof of vaccination. “And he started to threaten me and lunge at me,” said Parker.

“It happens to everyone that works [here] at least once or twice every week,” Parker said. 

So far, neither the police nor any other authority have been much help, and employees have opted to not defend themselves with force. They fear “getting into trouble or being fired,” according to Parker.

“People think because you work here, you’re worth less or you don’t deserve the same type of respect or just courtesy,” said Bear. 

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Yujie Zhou is our newest intern. Before falling in love with the Mission, she covered New York City, studied politics through the “street clashes” in Hong Kong, and earned a wine-tasting certificate in two days. She’s proud to be a bilingual journalist.

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4 Comments

  1. I’d say they need to change the entry system: have a security guard at the door and/or have staff buzz everyone in. No wanderers just coming in off of the streets.

    1. Agree. Hold the employer responsible for the safety of employees. Is anyone checking into city and state labor laws? I’m confident that employer would be held accountable and encourage injured employees to consider class action.

  2. In my business the doors are locked and we let the clients in when they call us
    The one person who got huffy when she started coughing is going to mysteriously not get another appointment

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