How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure
by Lynn Comella
Pub Date 08 Sep 2017
In the 1970s a group of pioneering feminist entrepreneurs launched a movement that ultimately changed the way sex was talked about, had, and enjoyed. Boldly reimagining who sex shops were for and the kinds of spaces they could be, these entrepreneurs opened sex-toy stores like Eve’s Garden, Good Vibrations, and Babeland not just as commercial enterprises, but to provide educational and community resources as well. In Vibrator Nation Lynn Comella tells the fascinating history of how these stores raised sexual consciousness, redefined the adult industry, and changed women’s lives. Comella describes a world where sex-positive retailers double as social activists, where products are framed as tools of liberation, and where consumers are willing to pay for the promise of better living—one conversation, vibrator, and orgasm at a time.
"Sex shops were my entry into a brazen new world of gender and sexuality, eventually channeling my career in adult film. Lynn Comella's masterful book documents the 'sex-positive' ethos of gender and sexual progress and its complex junctures within capitalism, feminism, and education. Recounting a pivotal moment, Vibrator Nation is a fascinating history lesson for the uninitiated, a gift to all who were there, and a love letter to those who call these sex shops home." — Jiz Lee, editor of, Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection, and Privacy