In honor of National Masturbation month, here’s an encore column by Maria about launching into the sex-positive education industry from last May. — Amanda
By Maria Padhila
You know that feeling you get inside when you know it’s just absolutely right? That’s the feeling Jessica VonDyke got when she started working in sex-positive education and retail. And it’s the feeling she’s hoping to share with others, in more ways than one.
In honor of the merry month of May (National Masturbation Month, let’s not forget), I wanted to talk to a woman who is following her bliss professionally and personally — she’s seeking to open The Garden, a sex-toy boutique and education center. A positive, queer-woman-owned, educational, eco-friendly, community-centric, good-looking (she’s also an interior designer) sex-toy boutique, in one of my favorite neighborhoods. What could be finer?
How does a person end up pursuing that line of work? (Just lucky, I guess, as the old joke goes.) She says that about a decade ago, she got interested in erotic art, and began to study its history, just as a personal interest.
Then a friend launched a project to create something along the same lines as The Garden, a combination toy shop, classroom space and resource center. “I was having the time of my life working on this,” Jessica says. “Talking to educators and selling toys — it just felt like it was what I was meant to do.”
But her friend dropped the project, and Jessica didn’t think she had the chops to pursue it at that time. Now, after having had some experience in running her own interior design business, she’s come back to what she enjoyed doing most. “There were so many signs pointing toward it, saying: ‘This is what you have to do,’” she says.
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