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February is the month of love, but for more than one reason. Yes, we have Valentine's Day (and we're stoked to still be celebrating it) but it's also the month of love because we get the opportunity to commemorate and respect Black History and its part in the world that we live in today. Black History Month is an annual celebration that takes place every February in the United States and Canada. It is a time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history and to honor their struggles and triumphs. In this blog, we will explore the history and significance of Black History Month, including the development of sex toys and sexual awareness, and the importance of continuing to celebrate it today.
Black History Month has its roots in the early 20th century, when historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Black Life and History (ASNLH) in 1915. Woodson, the son of former slaves, recognized the need to promote the study and celebration of Black history and culture, which was often overlooked or ignored in the broader narrative of American history.
In 1926, Woodson and the ASNLH launched "The Black History Week," which was celebrated during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week-long celebration included public lectures, exhibits, and other events that highlighted the achievements of Black Americans.
Over the following decades, Black History Week gained popularity and momentum, with Black educators and community leaders organizing local celebrations and pushing for its recognition on a national level. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month, urging Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history".
Black History Month is important for several reasons. First, it serves as a reminder of the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history. From the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement to the arts, sciences, and other fields, including and especially the adult toy field, Black Americans have played an important role in shaping the country's history and culture.
Second, Black History Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge the struggles and hardships that Black people have faced and continue to face in the fight for equality and justice. From slavery and segregation to police brutality and systemic racism, Black Americans have faced numerous challenges and obstacles throughout history, and their stories serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for social justice.
In the sex toy industry, for instance, Black representation was non-existent, and when it began to happen, it was filled with racism. Today's known sex toy industry first began in the 1960s and 1970s, where it was owned by white men and designed and sold for a predominantly white male audience (Marie Claire 2020). The first "flesh" dildos, for instance, were only made in Caucasian skin tones, and those that were supposed to represent African-American bodies, "were intentionally oversized and stark, crayon black" (Marie Claire 2020). As of 2020, over 50 years since the start of the industry, it was still very hard to find accurate, authentic depictions of African-American bodies. That's why at AdultLuxe, we've worked hard to contribute to the closing of that gap. We've made sure to make all of our realistic toys in all shades and sizes.
King Cock Plus Thrusting Warming & Vibrating Dong, for example, is a triple treat that features 1 inch deep piston powered thrusting motion, internal warming up to body temperature in minutes, and powerful stimulating vibrations for the ultimate experience. Its design has been carefully crafted to be as authentic as possible to a brown skin penis.
Buck Vixskin Dildo is made of Platinum grade silicone that has a high degree of flexibility and resists tearing.Our exclusive formula contains a silicone lubricant suspended between the molecules, giving a more realistic feel and greater elasticity. The Bucks Vixskin Dildo comes in 3 different skin tones!
PDX Plus PERFECT Ass Masturbator can also be found in both a lighter and darker shade. Intended for penis owners, every inch of her soft, supple Fanta Flesh booty was made for them to enjoy. Her big round ass cheeks are perfect for squeezing and massaging, while her two tight holes are lined with pleasure nubs that were designed to massage every inch of their shaft. Each hole features a different pattern to give penis owners the realistic experience that you have been craving.
PDX Plus Perfect DD's Male Masturbator also comes in two shades. Similar to the Perfect Ass Masturbator, every inch of her soft, supple Fanta Flesh body was made for penis owners to enjoy. Her big round DD tits are perfect for squeezing and fucking, while her two tight holes are lined with pleasure nubs that were designed to massage every inch of one's shaft. Each hole features a different pattern to give a penis owner the realistic experience that they have been craving.
More options for both vagina and penis owners can be found on our website! And we're always open to suggestions and constructive criticism. As diligent as we've been with out product choices and names, we're not perfect. If there are any that come off disrespectful, we thankfully welcome feedback to improve.
Finally, Black History Month is a celebration of diversity and cultural richness. The Black community is diverse and encompasses a wide range of experiences, traditions, and cultures. By celebrating Black history and culture, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the many contributions and achievements of Black people, and we can also learn more about the diversity and richness of the Black experience.
Nenna Joiner is a great example of such richness. As a Black female sex shop owner, she has made it her mission to provide the inclusivity that she failed to see throughout her life. In an interview with Essence, she explains that she learned about her body as a young Black woman very early in life thanks to her aunt Robin and her involvement with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In fact, her aunt gifted her a Good Vibrations book which motivated her to visit her first sex store. On her visit, Nenna had one thought, "eh, this ain’t me. I stayed there for a minute and I said this is what I want to do. Instead of criticizing, I always talk about creating and that’s what I wanted to do" (Essence 2020). And so, that's what she did. She thought and created until Feelmore, a sex-positive erotic shop based in Oakland, California, was born.
Her store is more than an erotic toys shop, it's a collection of art pieces. Everything from your typical toys to vagina pillowcases, Feelmore has something for everybody. Nenna's main goal is embrace diversity, similar to how her idol Hugh Hefner did. "There were ways that he could strategically embrace diversity while making the millions that he made. He included people of color in the magazines like Darine Stern who was on the cover in 1973, October and Jennifer Jackson [who was Playmate of the Month]. I wanted to make sure that in a white homogenous industry that we could actually have people of color included" (Joiner, Essence 2020)
There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month, both on an individual and a community level. Some ideas include:
Sensual Honey Wellness is a company that sells all wellness products for the vagina and teaches about the benefits of methods such as yoni steaming.
Kinky Choices was founded by Gushy Goddess and Poppa Sweet Cheeks, adult entertainers, educators, and professional fetish trainers, after they realized the sad truth that there was little representation for people of color in the kink scene. They sell all types of known toys made by popular brands, such as the Magic Wand, but if you're local to them, they also offer "consultations with Gushy Goddess herself, and Kinky Choices parties, where Gushy Goddess will attend your event, bring a variety of toys for demonstrations and teach sex tips and tricks" (Cosmopolitan 2022).
Overkink was founded by Jaycee Chester in hopes of normalizing sex positivity in the Black community. Overkink is an online store that also carries today's most popular brands, such as The Magic Wand, Lelo, and and CalExotics. What makes them stand out is that, unlike most shops in the industry, they offer a loyalty program! So you can rack up points with every new orgasm you purchase.
Private Packs is a wellness brand founded by Suzanne Sinatra that sells cooling and heating options for vulva soothing purposes. The product is perfect for soothing any throbbing or burning pain, such as after a bad wax or even giving birth.
A full list of amazing Black owned businesses that you can support this (and every) Black History month can be found at Cosmopolitan.
Black History Month is an important opportunity to reflect on the contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout history, as well as the ongoing struggle for social justice and equality. By celebrating Black history and culture, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the many diverse experiences and traditions within the Black community, and we can also learn more about the ongoing struggle for social justice and equality. Ultimately, Black History Month is a reminder that Black history is American history, and that the contributions and achievements of Black people are an essential part of the broader narrative of our country's history and culture as well as our everyday life and pleasures.