Actually this may be misleading, because what you think of as a sex shop and what I consider to be one could be rather different.
Yes, the two 'adult' shops in town selling clothing, DVDs and sex toys are still very much around. However, we used to have a local ropeworks. They made some of their own and bought in other stock, and you could get anything from garden twine to the rigging for a tall ship or foot-diameter hawsers. They also did a huge range of snaplocks, clips and other fastenings, canvases for trucks and marquees for events.
Since I tend to buy rope in industrial quantities, if only a couple of times a year, that was where I bought it. And not just for bondage, I might add (for that I mostly bought 7mm diameter polyprop braided, in different colours). For example I used them to source stuff to set-dress a stage for a goth band and similar things as well.
I rolled up there this afternoon and found the sign had gone. The factory next door told me they'd closed two months back. The recession had done for them.
It's a shame the recession is hitting the small businesses so hard. In future I'm evidently going to have to order online if I want stuff in quantity and at a good price - though I admit to having a yen for some rope laid from fibreoptic filaments I saw a while back from a specialist supplier... think how good that would look in a club...