Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Good Vibrations Partners with BAWAR
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. So Good Vibrations is very proud to collaborate with iconic nonprofit Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR, which represents and serves all genders) to host four events through March and April. These highlight BAWAR’s crucial work and blend the two organizations’ strengths on behalf of survivors of sexual assault. We will focus on uplifting survivors to celebrate and reclaim pleasure, desire and intimacy on their terms!
To launch Sexual Assault Awareness Month with awareness and education, BAWAR and Good Vibes will host a free Meet and Greet on March 27th, 6:30pm-8:30pm, at the Good Vibrations Lakeshore store (3219 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610). Enjoy snacks and sips and meet staff members from BAWAR and Good Vibrations. See Sexual Assault Awareness Month workshop content and materials, meet the facilitators, ask questions, RSVP, and celebrate a pleasure-based approach in the anti-sexual violence movement!
BAWAR states that historically, this movement has been more focused on issues surrounding violence and less focused on including discussion of sex, sexual pleasure and sexual connection. Consequently it has not always validated the needs and/or practices of many communities, such as People of Color, LGBTQIA+ communities, people with disabilities, sex workers and people who practice kink, polyamory and consensual non-monogamy. By centering our bodies, our pleasures and our desires as a potential site for healing, we engage in an act of reclamation that can prove integral to the process of transcending trauma.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Workshops: BAWAR and Good Vibrations present a Sex Ed for Survivors* workshop series
On April 10th, 17th & 24th, from 6pm-8:30pm at the Good Vibrations Polk St. store (1620 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109) we host a three-part workshop series to be collaboratively facilitated by BAWAR and Good Vibes staff. Participants can attend all three, and each workshop can also be attended on its own. Experience a different kind of sex education that deconstructs myths, blasts apart biases, and invites in a truly intersectional approach! Also, we will give attention to the ways the bodies of people who have experienced sexual violence may be impacted, both somatically and psychologically. While these are not intensives, participants should expect to leave with introductory-to-intermediate level information, exercises and ideas.
The BAWAR/Good Vibrations team will provide presentations, facilitate group discussions and give toy demos. Participants can participate in PG-rated exercises (no touching, exposure or disclosure required!) and will ALWAYS be given the option to step out if they need some space. This workshop series centers the experience of survivors; however, it is not necessary to identify as a survivor to participate.
*The word ‘survivor’ is being used here as shorthand to denote individuals who have experienced sexual assault. Please note, however, that not all who have been impacted by sexual violence identify with this word.
While this is not group support or therapy, participants can contact BAWAR at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the BAWAR office at 510-430-1298 for information and referrals to such support. For immediate emotional support, please utilize the 24-hour hotline at (510) 845–7273.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month workshops:
Tickets are available through Eventbrite; attend one class or all three. Register early, as space is limited. All genders and sexual orientations welcomed!
Part one: What We Carry
Part two: Reclaiming Ourselves
Part three: Inviting Others
Two pricing options are built into these RSVP pages: a $10 entry fee for those who can afford it, and free admission for those who need that option. The proceeds from ticket sales will all be donated directly to BAWAR.
Educational Outreach & Affiliate Manager Andy Duran says, “Good Vibrations has had a longstanding relationship with BAWAR, providing donations and sex positivity trainings for their staff and advocates throughout the year. It became clear that there aren’t a lot of resources designed to help support those who have experienced sexual assault in reclaiming pleasure and intimacy, both alone or with partners. This topic is incredible important, not just to us but to the communities we serve, and we knew more needed to be done. We are honored to offer this new workshop series!”
Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist Carol Queen PhD adds, “Working to serve a diverse customer base, Good Vibrations staff often meet survivors of sexual assault or trauma. This is a significant source of sexual distress and problems. We are so very glad to offer this resource for Sexual Assault Awareness Month that is designed to give people access to pleasure and support.”
Good Vibrations frequently supports nonprofits that address sexual assault and trauma. Last quarter our GiVe program raised funds for San Francisco Women Against Rape and Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
Support BAWAR at Good Vibrations!
Finally, for every copy of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone (authored by Carol Queen with Shar Rednour) sold during April, Good Vibrations will donate $5 directly to BAWAR.
About the hosts:
Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world’s first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women’s pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Still a feminist-owned business, Good Vibrations has since expanded to include all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations’ expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.
BAWAR (which represents and serves all genders), the first rape crisis center in the country, has addressed the problem of sexual assault since 1971. Through their work, rape and incest survivors can receive the quality counseling and advocacy they need, and the community receives education regarding sexual assault issues. BAWAR defines sexual violence by the narratives of the survivors who experienced the violence. We are here to believe and validate the community we serve in a trauma-informed, culturally appropriate and accessible way. Programs include presentations specifically designed for children and youth from middle school through college; outreach to men currently incarcerated for violent offenses; and professional trainings for emergency room staff, therapists, clergy, educators, and police officers.