Forbes Magazine Reveals “The Perils of Being an Adult Toy Entreprenuer”
Article Explores Bias, Features Pioneering Sex Positive Retailer Good Vibrations
SAN FRANCISCO (August 15th, 2013): Forbes Magazine recently featured Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Strano reflecting on the unique challenges of doing business in an “adult” world. While sourcing a manufacturer, securing a loan, or attracting venture capital are hurdles for any business, Forbes revealed just how much more onerous the process is for businesses deemed adult. Even the most progressive and tech-savvy businesses face greater difficulties because of a widespread bias against sexuality.
Strano explains how the fraught relationship between sex and porn taints all branding in the adult toy industry and common public perception. “Sex and porn are generally lumped together. They (entrepreneurs) are fearful because of stigmas around sex and pleasure in this country,” says Strano.
Left: a Sex Educator/Sales Associate demonstrates apparel. Right: the modest exterior of Good Vibrations’ sixth store (Oakland, California).
These stigmas have come to the fore recently when designers, retailers, and manufacturers from outside the industry have entered a previously marginalized business domain. Jimmyjane designer Ethan Imboden expressed his surprise at being denied manufacturing deal when a company, who manufactures weapons, turned down making his vibrators for “moral reasons.”
Entrepreneurs in the adult industry have taken to identifying their products as “consumer goods” rather than adult products in an attempt to secure investment and entice partners across the board. That so many investors prefer to be at arms-length when supporting a promising company reveals the extent of shame in society disguised as religious and moral qualms.
Good Vibrations hopes to encourage greater innovation, investment, and participation in the adult industry by transforming it and its perception. Strano elaborates, “As our vision statement says, we recognize that sexuality touches on every aspect of our lives and that many people face challenges around positive sexual expression. Our goal is to help everyone we come into contact with to discover ways to experience sexual pleasure, health, and well-being. We’ve been at it for 36 years, and the fact that the industry is even attracting more players is a testament to our success in reducing sexual shame and owning sexual pleasure as your birthright.”
ABOUT GOOD VIBRATIONS
Good Vibrations is the San Francisco-based retailer trusted for more than three decades to provide a comfortable, safe environment for finding sex-positive products and educational materials to enhance one’s sex life. Good Vibrations offers products through its website, goodvibes.com and retail stores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, CA and in Brookline, MA.