Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure

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The history of how feminist sex toy shops changed the adult industry.

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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 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 consumers' lives.

Drawing on more than eighty interviews with retailers and industry insiders, including a stint working as a vibrator clerk, Lynn Comella takes a deep dive into the making of the consumer market for sex toys, tracing its emergence from the early 1970s to today. Comella brings readers onto the sex shop floor and into a world where sex-positive retailers double as social activists, 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.

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