Babeland is a feminist sex toy retailer started over 20 years ago in Seattle, WA, by two queer best friends, me (Rachel) and Claire. We’ve been allies with BUST for all these years, and because it’s Pride, which is a pretty sexy month, they invited us to do a blog post. Thanks BUST!

Babeland and Pride go way back. I remember in June of 1993, Claire and I taught ourselves to screenprint so we could give our friends barely dry “Where is Babeland?” shirts to wear at the parade. We didn’t have a store yet, but we had a plan. Women wanted vibrators and dildos. People needed a place to explore and ask questions about sex. Babeland was the real world manifestation of our mission to promote sex positivity—our influences included Queer Nation, Lesbian Avengers, Act Up!, and post-structuralist gender studies—a place where we could sling both sex toys and advice. Until our shop and others like it (and then the Internet) opened up, it was difficult for people to get what they needed.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Fall Issue d217c

 Sex toys and information are now a hell of a lot easier to get than they were back in the day, so some part of our original mission has been accomplished. Vibrators aren’t the threat to men they used to be. In fact, 40 percent of our vibrator buyers are men, and look at the distance queers have come! Women now expect orgasms—they’ve gone from “nice to have” to a requirement for many of our customers. But feminism has a ways to go, and so does queer liberation, gender expression, and body positivity.  

June is a big month for Babeland. Pride is a big tent and it seems like everybody gets a little slice of permission to explore their sexuality this time of year. People are coming out, loving their bodies, and asking for what they want in bed. So even if you’re burned out on traditional Pride celebrations, be sure to embrace sexual exploration this June. Now go, exercise your right to pleasure!

By Rachel Venning, Babeland co-founder 

Support Feminist Media!
During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com.
Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.

 DONATE NOW