Sustainable Passion has an unexpected sense of coziness that reflects owner Christine Barksdale’s goal of creating a safe space for sex education and female empowerment. There was an undeniable difference with this store from other sex stores, which are often raunchy and crass. From the intimate size and gentle drapery, to the tasteful choice of products, the store truly embodies a unique side of the sex industry.
“I describe Sustainable Passion as a sex-positive, women-centric boutique,” said Barksdale. “It doesn’t mean that I don’t welcome men, but I really did start this store with women in mind. And I’m not apologetic about that.”
Indeed, the environment made us feel invited and safe. It truly was more than a store of sex toys and pornography. It was a safe space that reinforced sexuality and womanhood – something hard to combine in the male focused sex industry.
The following piece includes snippets from an interview with Barksdale and photos of her shop to capture the nature of female sexual empowerment.
Photographed by Rachael Lewis-Krisky and Prairwa Leerasanthanah.