A SEX shop owner wants to use a lick of paint and have a lingerie window display to stop his confused customers from going into a competitor next door.

Matthew Smith, 36, will ask councillors to vary a condition to allow him to brighten up the front of his Hidden Assets shop in Milllbrook Road West, Southampton.

The city's four sex shops have previously been restricted to screened windows and discreet brown signage.

But Mr Smith wants to change his shop colours to navy blue with silver lettering to distinguish it from A Taste of Amsterdam, the sex shop next door.

"It is very apparent that patrons are and have been entering the wrong shop thinking it is part of the same business," he said in an application to city councillors.

He also wants to introduce a "fully enclosed" illuminated display of "tasteful lingerie" in the window.

"It is only high street style clothing that would be used for this display, not any of the more risqué items which may raise eyebrows or cause any sort of embarrassment," he said.

Mr Smith promised councillors on the licensing panel a selection of photos of the kind of lingerie he has in mind.

But objectors say the display will encourage teenagers to gather who could intimidate residents using the nearby shops and walking by a night.

One said it was "contrary to the prevention of crime" and would "compromise public safety".

Another was worried the lingerie would introduce unwitting customers to "extreme products and R18 videos".

The issue will be decided when six councillors hear annual licence renewal applications for all four of Southampton's sex shops on Wednesday.

They include Mr Smith's other shop, Hidden Desires, in St Mary's Street, an application by Darker Enterprises to renew its licence for the Private Shop in Above Bar Street, and one by Martin Castle for A Taste of Amsterdam in Millbrook Road West.

Objections were also made to the council over the latter two.