Today I learned that Joani Blank
has died on August 6 2016. I must admit that I did know quite a lot of her endeavours and valuated them, but I did not realize that they were all hers. For example she was the woman behind the awesome Vulvart Tumblr
which had not been updated in quite a few years but still is very much worth a look for all its vulvawesemness. She released "Femalia", a book of vulva photographs, which does help to demonstrate the beautiful diversity of vulvas. There is none alike, but all beautiful.
I just love her dedication to the cause and her courage. And you surely needed a whole lot of courage (and boldness) to fund a publisher for sex-related books in 1975, and even call it "Down There Press". That name alone ... And then, one year later, open "Good Vibrations", a pioneering feminist and sex positive sex shop in San Francisco.
There are so many sex education rock stars, and so overwhelmingly many of them are women. I raise my imaginary hat and give my dreadlocks a happy swirl in honour for them. We would really need a Literoticon Hall Of Fame, and Joani would very much belong into it.
Below is an interview with Joani Blank from supposedly 2015. You get to see what I guess is her living room (with this famous, iconic Jan Saudek photograph on the wall
) and you get to meet the great Carol Queen showing you a around in today's Good Vibration shop and the Vibrator Museum.
She also has written two sex education books for children. They do show their age, but kudos to her that she released them under a creative commons license as a "donate if you want to" download from her personal website. I am attaching them here in order to keep the memory alive even if the website should vanish some day. Attaching a screenshot from today as prove.
Creative Commons License
A Kid's First Book About Sex by Joani Blank is licensed under a Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
The Playbook For Kids About Sex by Joani Blank is licensed under a Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.