A sex shop called The Cage has been driven from the Kapiti Coast because of gossip - and a desire to expand the business.

Paraparaumu Beach was too small for a sex shop to thrive, owner Wayne Anderson said.

People did not want to be seen buying sex toys and were worried their sexual preferences would become the subject of gossip on the bowling green.

But that's not to say the Kapiti Coast - which has the oldest population in New Zealand - doesn't like its sex toys.

"Don't get me wrong, we had a good clientele - sex does not stop at 60, remember that," Mr Anderson said. "We had a lot of elderly women clientele on the coast. They were great. We all have needs."

The shop was open for 2 1/2 years in an industrial area.

"Being a conservative area, people didn't want to be seen at The Cage. We survived, but I wanted to do more than just survive. I needed to go where the masses were."

Mr Anderson said it was a "big ask" for people in a tight-knit community to trust shop workers with knowledge of their sexual preferences, even though he was the soul of discretion.

Mr Anderson does not expect similar problems in the shop's new location - Wellington's red-light strip in Vivian St.

- NZPA