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May 10, 2018

Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health Moving To Providence, RI

PAWTUCKET, RI—According to an announcement emailed to supporters earlier today, the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (CSPH) will be closing the doors of its "drop-in" clinic in Pawtucket, and will be relocating the organization's main offices to the state's capital, nearby Providence. The exact address was not revealed. The Center, a non-profit founded by sex educator/sexologist Megan Andelloux, saw its share of flak from locals when it first started up, with rumors circulating that it would actually function as a brothel, an abortion clinic, and/or a haven for sex trafficking. Shortly before the opening, Pawtucket Mayor James E. Doyle voiced "serious concerns about the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health locating on Main Street" after having received an anonymous letter bashing the idea of such a center. But after the local chapter of the ACLU expressed its dismay over opposition to the Center, and Andelloux explained its mission more fully to the local zoning board, CSPH was allowed to open. The emailed announcement also noted that longtime Executive Director Kayla Wingert will be leaving her position on July 24 "to start her own exciting new chapter," though again, the announcement contains no clue as to what that chapter will be. The email lauded "those ... who have been following the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health since its inception in 2010," but informed those followers that "Our staff members work several jobs to be able to make a livable wage, and it has been a longtime goal to create a paid internship program. Team CSPH does life-changing work, and all staff members and interns deserve to be compensated accordingly with fair wages and benefits. We want to do right by our staff by reallocating costs in order to provide this compensation." In order to do that, Board Chair Erica Busillo Adams said she hoped that the "regular visitors to our cozy sex-positive space in Pawtucket" would understand that it was a choice between paying employees a living wage and maintaining the drop-in clinic, so that clinic is scheduled to close on May 31. Adams noted that CSPH's clinical therapy services would continue, and that the staff would continue planning the next Study Sex College Tour, hosting CSPH's upcoming Sexual Attitude Reassessment, and continue running its Non-Toxic Masculinity series, while continuing to refine the organization's online resources. CSPH is already searching for a new executive director, which Adams described as "someone who can continue our fundraising momentum and help us to continue making our services widely accessible." A job description is expected to be posted online within the next few days. "While both of these substantial changes come with strong emotions, our hope for the future far overpowers any fear or anxiety," Adams wrote. "The CSPH has always stretched well beyond Pawtucket’s city limits. We’re excited to put more energy into connecting with our supporters in all states, including Rhode Island! The CSPH will be doing more than ever before to reach you whenever and wherever you need us." Adams said that there will be a small gathering at the Pawtucket clinic location on May 31: "We hope you’ll join us to say goodbyes (or 'see you laters!') to Kayla and this special space," also noting that, "In the future, we hope to open the doors to a new drop-in location once again, where uterus pillows, books from our sex ed heroes, and antique vibrators will bring our community together. Until then, we can’t wait to connect with you in the digital sphere!"

 
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