ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I conducted my very first interview for what would eventually become this
book in 1998, long before the slow scholarship movement emerged. This re-
search approach involves slowing down and letting ideas percolate, empha-
sizing quality over quantity, and taking the necessary time to write, rewrite,
and, ideally, get it right. There was no way I could have known back then that
I was embarking on a research project that would span so many years. In an
academic world in which the mantra “publish or perish” is a constant refrain,
time is indeed a luxury. For this book, it was also indispensable.
When I began this research in the late 1990s, feminist sex- toy stores were
a loose network of like- minded businesses that were part of, but also some-
what peripheral to, the larger adult industry. Not long after I signed my book
contract, the economy of the sexual marketplace underwent a seismic shift.
By 2008, the women’s market for sex toys and pornography was being her-
alded as a major growth market and feminist sex- toy stores seemed to hold
the key to how other businesses could appeal to this newly significant and
highly sought- after demographic. To tell the story I wanted to tell, the focus
of my book would need to expand; so rather than winding down my research,
another phase of data collection was just beginning, ultimately adding years
to this project.
I am extremely indebted to all of the feminist sex- toy store owners, em-
ployees, marketers, manufacturers, educators, cultural producers, and cus-
tomers who took the time to speak with me over the years and who always,
with enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, shared their experiences and expertise.
This book would not have been possible without them, and I am immeasur-
ably grateful for their support.
I am especially thankful to Aileen Journey, the former proprietor of a small,
feminist sex- toy store in Northampton, Massachusetts, who was the first per-
son I interviewed for this project and whose contributions sparked my think-
ing in significant ways.
Babeland cofounders Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah took a chance on
an unknown PhD student when, in 2001, they welcomed me into their fold as
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