224  ConclCLusion
NJoy’s Greg DeLong. “What started thirty years ago with Joani Blank and
Good Vibrations—that it’s okay for women to use sex toys—has continued to
evolve. The Internet has also helped spread information and normalize sex for
a new generation of consumers.”28
Perhaps the most dramatic shift has been the widespread acknowledgment
on the part of mainstream retailers, manufacturers, and porn producers that
the adult industry is no longer a world of men. When Betty Dodson stood on-
stage at the 1973 now Women’s Sexuality Conference and boasted about her
relationship to her vibrator, she could hardly have anticipated a time when
adult industry leaders would ask feminist sex-­toy store owners like Babeland’s
Rachel Venning for business insight and merchandising tips. But that’s exactly
what has happened at industry gatherings since the mid-­2000s, where, far
from being ignored, women hold the microphone in seminar rooms filled to
capacity with wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and content producers eager
to mine—and some might argue, co-­opt—their expertise. In an industry that
is increasingly interested in cashing in on the buying power of women, their
status as experts, ceos, educators, trend makers, and, importantly, consumers
has continued to grow.
These gains were hard won. “When I began,” Metis Black, the founder of
sex-­toy manufacturer Tantus said, recalling the industry in the late 1990s, it
“was really a boys’ club. Men were the important buyers, salesmen, manu-
facturers, and store owners. Women might be on their arms, but the decision
makers were almost always men.”29
Black remembers being at one adult novelty trade show in the early 2000s
and watching as a product buyer for Good Vibrations was ignored as she went
from booth to booth. “She couldn’t get the time of day from the big boys, and
here was a woman who spends well over $1,000,000 a year, $3,000,000 was
probably her budget . . . and no one would pay any attention to her.”30
It was not just that women found themselves marginalized in an indus-
try dominated by men and steeped in sexism, but that their perspectives and
contributions were often completely disregarded. When feminist porn pio-
neer Candida Royalle first started making porn for women and couples in the
early 1980s, she was unable to find distributors willing to place her films in
retail stores because they could not wrap their heads around the products she
was making. When she approached retailers about carrying her movies, they
raised their eyebrows and scratched their heads in confusion. “The market was
not listening [to women], but I was,” Royalle recounted.31
Feminist retailers, manufacturers, and porn producers had become accus-
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