Joani Blank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Joani Blank (July 4, 1937 – August 6, 2016) was an American entrepreneur, writer, videographer, cohousing enthusiast, philanthropist, sex educator, and inventor in the field of sexuality.


She founded Down There Press, a publisher of sex-related books, in 1975.[1] In 1977, she opened Good Vibrations, the second feminist sex toy business in the United States (the first having been Eve's Garden in New York City, which was founded by Dell Williams in 1974).[2][3] Prior to her opening Good Vibrations, she was hired at the University of California, San Francisco to screen candidates who had difficulties achieving orgasm. This study influenced her business model for Good Vibrations.[4]

She was one of the first volunteers at San Francisco Sex Information and has served on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Blank is also known for her inventions of the Butterfly vibrator [5] and Titattoos (now Intimate Art Tattoos).[6]

She has lived in cohousing since 1992 and served for eight years on the board of the Cohousing Association of the United States.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Blank had one daughter, Amika, and three grandchildren. She lived in Doyle Street Cohousing in Emeryville, California and co-founded her final home community, Swan's Market Cohousing in Oakland, California, where she volunteered her time to social justice issues such as prison reform, economic equality, and the Cohousing Association of the United States.[citation needed] She remained active in the field of sexuality, and many of her old books and videos are available through her Web site.

Blank holds a masters degree in public health education.[1]

Blank died of pancreatic cancer on August 6, 2016, less than two months after its diagnosis.[8]


  • Editor, Still Doing It: Men and Women Over Sixty Write About Their Sexuality, Down There Press, 2000
  • Co-author (with Ann Whidden), Good Vibrations: The New Complete Guide to Vibrators, Down There Press, 2000 (see also 1976, below)
  • Editor, I Am My Lover: Women Pleasure Themselves, Down There Press, 1997
  • Editor, First Person Sexual: Women and Men Write About Self-Pleasuring, Down There Press, 1996
  • Editor, Femalia, Down There Press, 1993
  • A Kid's First Book About Sex, Down There Press, 1993
  • The Playbook for Kids About Sex, Down There Press, 1978
  • The Playbook for Men About Sex, Down There Press, 1976
  • Good Vibrations: Being a Treatise on the Use of Machines in the Indolent Indulgence of Erotic Pleasure-Seeking Together with Important Hints on the Acquisition, Care, and Utilization of Said Machines and Much More about the Art and Science of Buzzing Off, Down There Press, 1976
  • The Playbook for Women About Sex, Down There Press, 1975


  • Orgasm: Faces of Ecstasy, Blank Tapes and Libido Films, 2004 (with Jack Hafferkamp and Marianna Beck).
  • Carol Queen's Great Vibrations: An Explicit Guide to Vibrators, Blank Tapes, ~1997.


  1. ^ a b Sides, Josh (2009). Erotic city : sexual revolutions and the making of modern San Francisco. New York: Oxford University Press,. p. 122. ISBN 9780199703395. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Revolution in the Garden: Dell Williams, Lynn Vannucci: 9781596370388: Books". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  3. ^ Boles, Janet K; Hoeveler, Diane Long (2004). Historical Dictionary of Feminism. p. 117. ISBN 9780810849464. 
  4. ^ Comella, Lynn (2010). New sociologies of sex work. Farnham ; Burlington, VT :: Ashgate. p. 215. ISBN 9780754699682. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Good Vibrations Founder Joani Blank, Feminist Pioneer and Vibrator Designer, Has Died". San Francisco Magazine. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  6. ^ Intimate Art Tattoo web site
  7. ^ "Joani Blank's Cohousing Stuff". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  8. ^ "Good Vibrations Founder Joani Blank Dies". Adult Video News. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 

External links[edit]