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News & Awards

Good Vibrations is the nation's first and premier provider of sex education and sex postive products as seen on Oprah, MSNBC, and Dateline, and in magazines such as Men's Fitness, Essence, Cosmo, and popular sites such as and Lauded by local and national press, Good Vibrations stores (four retail stores on two coasts) and its robust website,, were awarded for excellence, including the DIG Award, the Cybersocket Award for Best Lesbian Site, and the "O" Awards for "Outstanding Online Retailer" by AVN Novelty Business, the AVN Award of Excellence.

Good Vibrations' sister company Good Releasing was recently honored with several Feminist Porn Awards and AVN Award Nominations. Our store and are products create quite a "buzz"! Good Vibrations has been making the world a sexier place for over 33 years! We've also been awarded:

  • Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature, 2006
  • Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly, 2004
  • Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly, 2003
  • Certificate of Honor from the board of Supervisors, 2003

In The News


Current Press Archive: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007


'Pleasure Is Your Birthright': Good Vibrations Celebrates 40 Years On Valencia

Date: April 12th, 2017
Author: Larissa Runkle

When sex therapist and marriage counselor Joani Blank first founded Good Vibrations in 1977, the idea of a well-lit, approachable sex shop only existed in her head. Nine locations and a thriving online business later, the sex-positive company celebrates its 40th anniversary at its first store at 603 Valencia Street (on the corner of 22nd and Valencia streets).

Now an institution along the retail corridor, Good Vibrations has come a long way from its origins.

In the age before the internet, gaining access to sexual education was practically impossible. "Women didn’t even know about their bodies," said Good Vibrations executive vice president Jackie Rednour-Bruckman.

The first sex shop for women in San Francisco (and only the second in the country), the business immediately stood apart from Mission Street's seedier sex shops, which offered peepholes and porn magazines...

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Why More Women Are Paying for Sex Services

Dominatrixes, porn distributors, and more spoke to the reasons women feel more comfortable buying sexual experiences than ever.

Date: March 27th, 2017
Author: Carrie Weisman

On Wednesday, the Institute for Women's Policy Research released a report that calculated the year the pay gap between men and women will close in America: 2059. A long ways to go, it goes without saying.

But millennial women, at least, are making more than ever before, and that's worth celebrating. More money means more opportunity to invest in recreation, and sex has a way of working itself into that realm. According to those with different hands in the pleasure industry, from professional dominatrixes and porn distributors to escort agencies and more, an increasing number of women are coming forward to invest in their services.

...According to Dr. Carol Queen, an author, educator and staff sexologist at the San Francisco-based sex shop Good Vibrations, these kinds of in-person endeavors can help women map their progress toward sexual self-discovery. "In an era when people feel they can learn it all online, I think many feel the next step might be exploring in a controlled environment," she said.

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Don't Worry: Catching Feelings After a One-Night Stand Is Super Normal

Date: March 21st, 2017
Author: Glamour

“It’s actually fantastic that you’re connecting with people in a warm way, so don’t shut down these feelings completely. Think about it this way: Feeling nice about someone you had nice sex with makes as much sense as feeling nice about someone that you had a good conversation with. Acknowledge your feelings and take them for what they are—a pleasant reaction to a pleasant experience, and that’s it. Oh, and remember: You could also get out of this loop by masturbating sometimes instead!”
Carol Queen, Ph.D., author of The Sex and Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone

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Why Does It Feel Like I Have To Pee During Sex? 3 Common Feelings & How To Deal

Date: March 10th, 2017
Author: Suzannah Weiss

If you've ever had the urge to get up and pee during sex, you're definitely not alone. This is a pretty common feeling to get when something's pressing on the inside of your vagina, Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen tells Bustle. Sometimes, it really does just mean you have to pee. But other times, pushing through it can yield some pretty rewarding results.

That "I have to pee" feeling usually comes about because your bladder and vagina are so close together, says Queen. If your bladder is full, it'll be more easily pressed, so one way to avoid the sensation is to pee before sex. It may get harder if you wait until you've started due to the engorgement that happens when you're aroused.

If you really have to pee, the sensation will probably get painful, says Queen. But if you don't, there's a chance that you're actually going to squirt. "Pee-urgency really is a notorious sensation felt by those who are about to ejaculate," says Queen. "It’s likely associated with the excitation of the nerves that serve both the bladder and the so-called G-spot." So, if you're not experiencing too much physical discomfort, it may be worth pushing through.

Not sure what describes your situation? There are three different ways the peeing feeling might show up, says Queen. Here's how to deal with each one.

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The Patron Saint of Sex

Carol Queen is battling cultural misnomers about sex, one lecture at a time.

Date: March 2nd, 2017
Author: Jessie Schiewe

The week of Valentine’s Day was busy for Carol Queen. Then again, so are most weeks for the sexologist who, in addition to being the oldest working staff member at Good Vibrations, is also a lecturer, author, educator, and founding director of the nonprofit Center for Sex & Culture.

In fact, in the span of four days, Queen achieved more than most people would in a week. On Monday, she gave a lecture about porn, media, and 50 Shades of Grey to a student group at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The next day, she did a presentation for the Young Presidents’ Organization, where she discussed cultural sex myths, like the belief that women can only orgasm through intercourse. (Not true.) On Wednesday, she hosted a class about reproductive justice rights for queer and trans-identified people at Good Vibrations. And by Thursday, she was at the Asian Art Museum, talking about antique vibrators and 2000-year-old dildos for the launch of a new exhibit called Tomb Treasures.

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'The Bachelor' Highlighted a Women's Sexual Health Issue

Date: February 29th, 2017
Author: Kyle Fitzpatrick

ABC’s "The Bachelor" is known for showcasing sexy romances on the small screen, but last night’s episode was a step in a different direction.

Finalist Raven Gates revealed some personal information that highlights a much bigger problem for straight women in America: she has never had an orgasm.

...Dr. Carol Queen, sexologist at Good Vibrations and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book, sees this problem stemming from a mis-education about female anatomy.

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The New York Times

Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic and Vegan: It’s a Condom

Date: February 17th, 2017
Author: David Gelles

A dozen employees at Ricky’s, a beauty shop in downtown New York, huddled below a display of lustrous wigs. Around them, hair irons, press-on nails and makeup kits were stacked to the ceiling. But on this morning, the clerks had gathered to learn about an unusual new item on the shelves: nontoxic, eco-friendly vegan condoms.

Meika Hollender, the co-founder and co-chief executive of Sustain Natural, addressed the crowd and showed off her wares. The latex in Sustain condoms comes from a Fair Trade rubber plantation in Southern India, she explained. The factory is solar powered. And the condoms are free from nitrosamines, possible carcinogens found in many popular brands.

Coyote Amrich, the director of purchasing and product development at Good Vibrations, a chain of sex shops, said more customers were asking for Sustain and other environmentally friendly brands. “There’s a growing environmental awareness,” she said. “But does that mean everyone wants to know if their condom is vegan? No.”

Sustain is not the first condom of its kind. Glyde, a rival brand, also makes vegan condoms that are certified as Fair Trade, a designation used by manufacturers to connote sustainable farming practices. And certain varieties of the major condom brands, including Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles, also are nitrosamine free.

[read full story]

The Harvard Crimson

Good Vibes Only: Good Vibrations Staffer Preaches Sex Positivity

Good Vibrations is a “pleasure boutique” founded in 1977 with the goal of creating a “clean, well-lighted alternative to conventional adult bookstores,” according to its website.

Date: February 23rd, 2017
Author: Sadie C. pate

Tucked into a nook of Harvard Square, Good Vibrations lies below the sidewalk and down a set of quaint little stairs.

Flanked by delicate flower pots and a dainty curved handrail, the entrance to the bright and spacious store is conspicuously welcoming.

Good Vibrations is a “pleasure boutique” founded in 1977 with the goal of creating a “clean, well-lighted alternative to conventional adult bookstores,” according to its website. The business originated in San Francisco and made its East Coast debut in 2006 in Brookline, Mass. Last month, Good Vibrations opened its ninth store in Harvard Square.

“We’re a place where anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, can feel comfortable coming in, asking questions, and getting an education alongside a really quality product,” says Allyssa S. Prutzman, a Sex Educator-Sales Associate—SEAS—at Good Vibrations. “Pleasure is your birthright, and you deserve to feel it no matter what walk of life you’re coming from. And you deserve to feel it in a shame-free way,” she says.

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The Harvard Crimson

Square Abuzz with Entry of Good Vibrations Sex Shop

Date: February 16th, 2017
Author: Alison W. Steinbach and Katherine E. Wang

Harvard Square is picking up Good Vibrations from a new sex shop at 52 JFK St. Good Vibrations, a San Francisco-based business, held its grand opening in January after a “quiet” opening in October. The Harvard Square location is its second in the Boston area, joining the seven branches in the California Bay Area and one in Brookline.

In addition to selling a wide variety of sex toys and other products, Good Vibrations holds educational workshops on sexual health and pleasure. According to the store’s website, staff members are all trained sex educators, and the store focuses on providing information and answering questions about products.

In an emailed statement, Lita D. Peña ’19, co-president of Sexual Health Education and Advocacy Throughout Harvard College, said the store’s arrival will help mitigate the stigma surrounding sex toys and sexual pleasure.

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Spartan Daily

SJSU talks toys and safe sex

Date: February 8th, 2017
Author: Kristin Lam

Good Vibrations, a Bay Area-based sex retailer, held a LGBTQ sex and sexuality workshop in the Campus Village 2 Multipurpose Room Tuesday night.

The Pride Center and Rainbow Village – an open-themed community in Joe West – co-sponsored the event titled “Sex Talk with world famous sexologist Dr. Carol Queen” in order to teach safe and consensual queer sex education.

Music technology sophomore and Rainbow Village resident advisor Zuri Lazare said that everyone was welcome, but the event was mostly targeted toward students in the LGBTQ community.

“I hope they’ll get more understanding about queer sexuality as well as consent within different ranges of orientation and different genders,” Lazare said. “As well as safe sex in general because I feel like everybody needs that.”

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the Bold Italic

Downtown Berkeley Is for Lovers

Date: February 7th, 2017
Author: Sarah Miller

Last year I had a great idea for Valentine’s Day: a “sexy” walking tour of Berkeley. My (now ex-) boyfriend wasn’t into it, and my dream was deferred. What the fuck, right? It’s true.

...Next stop is Good Vibrations (#2). I don’t know what gets you off, but I think a little something that slips into your skivvies with Bluetooth would be fun to use on the walk. Also, pick up some kind of oil or lubricant.

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The Globe and Mail

Fifty Shades versus BDSM: The reality of consent

Date: February 2nd, 2017
Author: Charyn Pfeuffer

“In BDSM, it is common practice to discuss ahead of time what all partners want to do, and what limitations they have,” says Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at San Francisco sex-toy shop Good Vibrations. She adds that these limitations are sometimes based on boundaries, and sometimes on health issues, “as when a person who has asthma shouldn’t have a hood put on them.”

Queen began exploring BDSM in the 1980s, and says that it’s where she first heard the actual word “consent” used regularly, and discussed as an integral part of an erotic experience. She says it’s far less common for those having “old-fashioned skin-to-skin sex” to have involved conversation about what they like, don’t want to do and what kind of STIs they might have.

She believes that most of us are poorly equipped to have an honest dialogue about sex and that many negative experiences – from awkward misunderstandings all the way to sexual assault – might be avoided if we got comfortable with these conversations. “The BDSM players are among the only people on the planet who elevate sexual/erotic communication this way,” Queen says. “We all have tons to learn from them.”

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Kinky Valentine's Day Ideas

Date: February 1st, 2017
Author: Aly Walansky

Valentine’s Day is said to be the most romantic day of the year, but a lot of us aren’t basic flowers-and-chocolates types of people. If you want to do something a little more special than the same old thing that everyone else does (we have Hallmark cards for that!), there’s a lot of edgy, fun, and absolutely still romantic ways to have a sexy and exciting V-Day.

Whether you embrace the day by trying a new toy or a new sex game, or do so via a gift — there’s many ways to be naughty and still share the love. There are a lot of kinky ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. There’s also experiential options: you can go on a trip or do something really meaningful together that will bring your relationship to a whole new level.

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The Taboo Tip Straight Men Can Take From Gay Men About Sex

Date: January 27th, 2017
Author: Amber Rose

Remember earlier this year when Amber Rose suggested that Kanye West enjoys anal penetration?

It was a silly exposure of bedroom antics that highlighted a taboo subject related to male sexuality: saying a man enjoys anal sex is basically a gay slur.

While Amber may not have been insinuating that Kanye’s #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch-ness made him same sex oriented, the subtext of her Tweet was one of emasculation, that his enjoying a little butt play makes him inferior.

Ironically, the act is one of the safer sex practices and, according to a popular 2010 study, anal sex had a huge rise with women. Why? Because anal sex heightens pleasure—for everyone.

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Anonymous Sex Toy Review: The Moody

Date: January 20th, 2017
Author: anon

Over the last few years, sex toy companies and stores have propositioned us to review their toys in exchange for, you know, their toys. This week, one of our anonymous reviewers tried out the Moody from Fun Factory, available at Good Vibrations.

I’m a sex toy late adopter. My workhorse vibrator has, for too long, been a Con-Air plug-in “personal massager” from Walgreens with the shape and charisma of a 1950s hair dryer. So meeting the Moody, a vibrator that charges via USB in my laptop, felt like an upgrade to the future.

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