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December 30, 2016

Joani Blank Named 2017 ‘O’ Awards Lifetime Achievement Honoree

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Joani Blank, the woman who founded the sex-positive Good Vibrations adult retail store in San Francisco and was the inventor of the Butterfly vibrator, has been named the 2017 Lifetime Achievement honoree for the 2017 “O” Awards. Blank opened Good Vibrations—the second feminist sex-positive store (the first was Dell Williams’ Eve’s Garden in New York City)—in 1977. From its humble beginnings in 1977 to its current status as a thriving business with several stores on two coasts, Good Vibrations has remained consistent to the philosophy that “pleasure is your birthright.” The Good Vibrations model transformed the industry and brought about a profound philosophical shift together with major changes in product development, innovation and safety, including their eco-rotic rating system enabling customers to easily identify which products are the most sustainable, and why. Blank also was the founder of Down There Press in 1975. The company was known for publishing sex-related books. Blank was the author of several books in her lifetime, including A Kid’s First Book About Sex, The Playbook for Women About Sex and The Playbook for Men About Sex. Blank was a cohousing enthusiast and a volunteer for various social issues and a philanthropist. She was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2011. Blank died Aug. 6, 2016, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. She is survived by her daughter and grandchildren. “Each year, when the committee meets to select the ‘O’ Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient, we consider those who have worked to advance the industry and who made a major impact among colleagues and more,” said Sherri L. Shaulis, senior editor of pleasure products for AVN. “Joani fits that description to a T. She bravely entered the world of publishing, adult retailing and even manufacturing at a time when women were not always encouraged or welcomed. But she persevered, determined that every person should be allowed to find sexual pleasure, education and more. And though she is no longer with us physically, her contributions and hard work and dedication will be recognized for years and decades to come.” Blank’s achievements and life will be highlighted during the 8th Annual “O” Awards ceremony, which is set for 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. The awards show takes place during the AVN Novelty Expo. For more information, visit NoveltyExpo.com.

 
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