A recent article from AVN caught our eye: “Game Changers: 30 Women Power Players in the Adult Industry.” Long overdue? Probably! With so many highly accomplished women in the adult industry, it’s no wonder they found it difficult to narrow the list down to just 30:
The whittling-down process turned out to be tougher than we thought — but also very inspiring. At virtually every major adult studio, there are female directors making movies informed by aesthetics that may not always be feminist, but are certainly feminine. And there are the superstars who are such natural entrepreneurs that they’ve made themselves into brand names, creating their own lucrative deals. Add to that the dozens of women who were “founding mothers” but have since gone on to other endeavors, and you end up — as we did — with a list of some 100 talented, ambitious and tenacious businesswomen.
The final list includes many folks we really love, such as Joanna Angel (“porn’s female counterpart to Mark Zuckerberg”), Tristan Taormino (credited with, among quite a few other things, “put[ting] the phrase ‘feminist porn’ on many mainstream lips”), Courtney Trouble, Nina Hartley (“a force of nature”), and Carol Queen. Another unsurprising inclusion is E.L. James, author of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
The list also includes several sex toy gurus such as Metis Black (president of Tantus) and Suki Dunham (founder of OhMiBod). Black has been instrumental in shifting the industry focus toward 100% silicone, non-porous sex toys, starting her company in 1998 when there were fewer than ten manufacturers of silicone sex toys worldwide — and very little knowledge about toxic toys.
Dunham did something else: she paired sex with music, creating arguably one of the most innovative sex toy lines in the industry. AVN writes:
Some might think it was fate that Suki Dunham got the idea for OhMiBod after one Christmas morning. Her husband and company co-founder, Brian, got her two significant gifts that year: An iPod and a vibrator. Dunham knew that music impacts so many areas of people lives, so why not their sex lives? A former Apple employee, Dunham not only revolutionized the technological aspect of sex toys — OhMiBod has created products that vibrate when hooked up to MP3 players, as well as respond to ambient sound, such as music in clubs — but also the look. OhMiBod was a company that dared to break away from the traditional pink and purple color scheme and offer items in bright greens, blues and even white.
One thing’s for sure: female entrepreneurs have been pivotal in moving the adult industry forward, and this article illustrates exactly how pivotal. We only wish the list hadn’t been narrowed down to just 30!