Sex Educator Taylor Sparks On Founding One Of The Largest BIPOC-Owned Sex Toy Retail Companies In The U.S.

When it comes to sex, bodies and education around sexuality and pleasure in the United States, we have a long way to go. From comprehensive, medically-accurate and fact-based sex education not being taught in every state, to the cultural backlash when musicians such as Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion release an empowering anthem about female sexual pleasure such as ‘W.A.P’, it’s clear that the puritanical roots of this country still need to be weeded out.

Where are are seeing innovation, progress and change come from is through individuals, organizations and movements that are working to change culture and empower people with the knowledge and tools they need. One of those people is sex toy retailer and erotic and holistic educator Taylor Sparks who has been empowering women, men and couples to have better, more amazing sex for over a decade.

She is the founder of Organic is one of the largest BIPOC-owned sex toy retailers, which offers an elevated collection of premium, eco-friendly, body-safe intimacy accessories designed for women, men, couples and all bodies and desires. Backed by industry knowledge with a focus on a modern approach to selling directly to consumers, Organic Loven only retails expert-recommended eco-friendly, body safe, natural or organic products. 

We spoke with Taylor about all things sex, consent and pleasure, as well as the history of racism and cultural bias in American that contribute to barriers that need to be broken down today.

Tell us about your journey into the sex toy industry and how your company Organic Loven was founded? 

I’m certified in both human behavior and holistic aromatherapy, and I’m an erotic educator and sex goddess. About 12 years ago, I launched Skin Care for Athletes, an organic skincare company for elite endurance athletes, and I developed a line of 16 head-to-toe organic body care products called Tri-Body Products. We sponsored 5ks, triathlons, triathletes, marathoners and five Olympians in both the summer and winter Olympics. About ten years ago we started traveling to adults-only resorts and met a couple that specialized in adults-only vacations which included cruises, resorts and hotel takeovers.

As we began working and traveling with them, I took note that the vendors on the cruises and at some of the events only sold chemical-based sexual products, i.e. lubricants, condoms and chemical-laden sex toys. The travel agency commissioned me to develop a private label line of organic, sensual massage oils and body washes for their brand. Once the brand was developed and launched, we didn’t have a place to sell them as they had a travel agency, and I had a skincare company for athletes. So with their love and support, I launched in October 2013, a site that specializes in improving adults’ sexual health/wellness and enhancing their sex lives through our organic intimate body products, body-safe sex toys, sex-positive books and erotic educational seminars. We launched our business with those four products and now resell more than 1,000 organic and eco-friendly products, representing more than 150 brands, and we ship worldwide.

You have been in the game for well over a decade, and have probably seen so much progress in the area of public discourse around sexual wellness. What are some of the biggest changes you have seen for the better?

Most of the changes have come from more women entering the sexual health and wellness industry either as educators, counselors, retailers and sex tech entrepreneurs. As more and more women have stood their ground and stood in their truth regarding women’s sexual pleasure, health/wellness, more and more people feel comfortable doing the same. The internet has helped spread the good word about sexuality and the best in sex tech!

Whenever we see progress toward bodily autonomy, especially for female-identifying bodies, there comes a backlash. Why do you think society is so afraid of women having control over their bodies and sexuality? 

I believe that these behaviors are driven by regions of the world with more traditional cultures and beliefs – like the puritan views the US often holds, but so many of them are living with undercover behaviors (lying, cheating, hiding their sexual preferences) deciding that women should not have freedoms or sexual freedoms. Since they cannot live as their authentic selves, be it out of shame due to religion or fear that comes from their culture, they put that shame and fear on women. It is used as a way to control and, in their minds, own us.

As a woman of color, can you share any of the barriers you have had to overcome in your industry, and why it is important we see more BIPOC owners in the sexual wellness/sex toy world? 

African-American women have had to live with the stigmatization of their enforced sexuality or enforced lack of sexuality since we arrived here during slavery. We sought solace in the church hoping to find answers about our bodies and sexual desires – to no avail. White society has labeled us either angry/smart mouthed (sapphire), hyper-sexualized (jezebel) or A-sexual/unkempt (mami), and we have not been able to shake those labels for many generations. Those labels are still thrown around today. Now with more BIPOC women in the field of sexual education and pleasure, we have a better understanding of our rights to please and be pleased by anyone we wish to indulge in, and that it is totally okay. We’ve come to understand that we are not ‘whores’ because we seek and choose pleasure.  

We love that you are very inclusive when it comes to the terminology you use. Can you talk about the importance of catering to all bodies and disrupting harmful gender binary norms when it comes to talk about sex and sexuality? 

I don’t believe in boxes. I believe that everyone and every body type has the right to whatever pleasure they wish to have – as long as they are not hurting someone that doesn’t want to share in that pleasure. It seems so simple to me, but I understand that due to religion and other cultural backgrounds, anything other than hetero sex seems wrong. So, as I am the owner of my company, I get to express it in any way that I believe. We love those that love us!

The products you recommend are all eco-friendly, natural or organic. What is the reason for focusing on these types of products? 

As a certified holistic aromatherapist, I have an understanding of the chemicals that are in intimate body products and the materials that some sex toys are made of that can be harmful. The FDA has allowed a number of chemicals to be ‘grandfathered’ in the USA that have been banned in areas like Canada and Europe. Some of those chemicals are considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe), meaning that more than just a few people have to complain about an ingredient before they decide to take it off of the market. The skin is porous, and up to 60% of what we put on it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The vagina and anus are covered in a mucus membrane, and 100% of what you put on it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. We have chosen to not include any chemical-based products for those reasons. Some of these ingredients can cause vaginal dryness and/or yeast infections in women. It is our goal to keep bodies safe and wet!

Along with helping people get more out of their pleasure experiences with the products available through Organic Loven, what message are you hoping to share on a wider scale about pleasure? 

As a Sex Goddess, I believe that sex is good, and holistic sex is even better. Holistic sexual health and wellness is important to your overall health. Sex heals on both the giving and the receiving side

Can you talk about enthusiastic consent and why it must be a vital part of healthy relationships? 

My version of enthusiastic consent is: Fuck yea! If the response to a consent question is not ‘fuck yea,’ then it is a no. Teaching our girls and our boys the difference between ‘not now’ and ‘fuck yea’ is vitally important in helping them to learn to set boundaries for their own bodies. There are still some adults that have never learned how to do that. Healthy relationships work on all areas of communication – speaking and active listening (not just hearing).

In another 10 years, where do you see Organic Loven, and where do you hope the sex retail industry will be? 

Organic Loven will continue to grow and teach seminars all over the world in multiple languages. I’m actually studying Spanish (again) so that I will be able to teach all of my current seminars completely in Spanish. The African-American and Latino community receive the least amount of information on sex, sexuality and sexual health. It is my goal to contribute to both communities world wide.  

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