Sex Shop & Education Center to Open in DC?
Good news DC! One of our very own is in the process of opening a sex shop and education center right here in America’s very own capitol.
Jessica VonDyke has been slowly working to creating the space—to be aptly named “The Garden”—for nearly a decade now. “I was very drawn to how erotic art and erotica speak about and effect society. So I schemed up a center for erotic art and education, then quickly realized that I personally was too young and didn't have my shit together enough to pull it off.”
Over the next few years, in the process of preparing, she helped one of her friends open and run a sex toyshop. But in the way of DC that friend eventually left town, igniting VonDyke to pick up where they’d left off. “I decided to make it my own and get it off the ground,” she says.
VonDyke’s goal for The Garden is to create a space where people can learn about all things related to sex in a safe, judgment free zone. “The classes will help people find out more about their body, sexuality, limits and possibilities,” explains VonDyke. That’s where the toyshop part comes in. Imagine, being able to take a class on asking for what you want in bed and then afterwards being able to walk across the room and buy something that looks fun. Not to mention, the people who will be staffing The Garden will be able to answer all of your questions regarding that new toy.
“I'm sure there are literally millions of websites that you can visit and have a vibrator mailed to your door,” says VonDyke. “But, what do you know about that vibrator or lube or butt plug?” Besides she loves answering people’s questions regarding sex toys!
More importantly, The Garden will be a safe space for everyone. VonDyke proudly calls herself a polyamorous queer. Her and her wife exist in a
community of “queers, kinksters, homos, trans folks, fags, lesbians, hetero and folks outside the box in all kinds of ways. This space will be VERY aware of the various cultures and subcultures within our community.” And in that same way, VonDyke—who’s lived in the DMV all her life—has spent years accumulating a large network of “amazing” educators and presenters who will hopefully teach at the shop.
Here’s the hitch-like everything opening this center costs money, and VonDyke is currently in the process of raising the much needed funds. For the past month she’s been raising money on indiegogo.com (the timeline ends THIS SUNDAY so if you’ve got some pocket change to spare click HERE). “I’m also looking for individual investors at any level above $1000,” says VonDyke. “My last choice of resource will be business loans through a bank because I would rather my community make back the interest than give it to a bank.”
For anyone who’s visited Good Vibes in the Bay Area or Babeland in New York (or similar stores in Chicago, Portland, and Albuquerque to name a few) will understand why this shop will be an important addition to our community. “Pleasure, specifically erotic pleasure, is an important part of a healthy life,” says VonDyke. “And spaces like The Garden are here to help you explore what that means to you in a safe, friendly and educated way.”