Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meet the Progressive Pleasure Club!

A New Generation of Education-Based Sex Shops Is Changing the Adult Industry

The growing community of independent sex-positive shops has a new home thanks to the launch of the Progressive Pleasure Club (PPC).  Matie Fricker and I, co-owners of Self Serve Toys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, started the PPC to share support and resources with other shops like ours, which help people make informed decisions about sexuality-related products.  
We wanted to get people talking about the unique work we do and the challenges and joys we encounter at Self Serve, and so the Progressive Pleasure Club was born. We believe everyone has a right to enjoy sexual pleasure in a smart and healthy way, and we the PPC will educate customers about local, independent stores where they can feel safe shopping, and can trust the safety of the adult products they buy.

Today a new class of social entrepreneurs are taking the lead in opening sex-positive, independent shops all over the continent. Self Serve is one of a dozen or so like-minded shops in cities from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, where trained sex educators offer a locally-owned, education-based, ethical place to shop for intimate goods. The Progressive Pleasure Club is a network of independent sex shops dedicated to helping people make informed decisions about sexuality products. Member shops are committed to the promotion of accurate and honest pleasure-based sexuality education, and to offering products that meet the highest standards of safety.  “We are thrilled that the PPC came into being,” explains Gina Rourke, owner of Nomia in Portland, Maine.  “Since 2004, Oh My in Northampton, MA and Nomia have been collaborating and sharing information, as well as our purchasing power. To have the opportunity to join with a cadre of similarly committed entrepreneurs with shared values is nothing short of revolutionary. We are excited to see how this collective will transform lives in our communities as well as the industry at large.”

In the next year PPC members will join forces to educate the public about adult toy safety, promote local support for small business, and lobby adult toy manufacturers to eliminate the use of phthalates and toxins in manufacturing.  “We have created a unique space for sharing marginalized voices, both ours and those of our customers. The PPC is bent on radicalizing the adult industry for the better of all,” shares Lea Caughlan, owner the Rubber Rose in San Diego.

As small business owners, we recognize that there’s power in numbers. And not unlike the healthy polyamorous folks we often serve, PPC members seek to approach business from an ethical place of abundance and positivity. After all, we share the goal of promoting sexual health and pleasure for all, and believe there is room for all to succeed as we strive to reach it.  Searah Deysach, owner of Chicago’s Early to Bed explains, "I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is made up of small, local businesses that are committed to the same sex-positive, feminist values as I am. I love that we work together to help all of our shops thrive."

We look forward to meeting you in our hometowns all over North America, and helping you improve your relationships and lovin' in a healthy and happy way.

written by:  Molly Adler, co-founder of PPC

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