Every Wednesday, The CSPH highlights a Sexuality Professional you should keep your eye on. Their backgrounds are very diverse in order to bring attention to the wide variety of amazing people working in the field. This week we bring you Jennifer Pritchett!
1. What do you do in the field of sexuality?
I create sex-positive culture and support other people and groups as they do the same! First and foremost, I founded and own The Smitten Kitten, a progressive, education-based, sex-positive adult toys and supplies retailer. You can find Smitten Kitten online at www.smittenkittenonline.com or in-person in Minneapolis, MN.
In addition to my work at Smitten Kitten, I also operate a small adult toy consumer advocacy and adult industry education organization known as The Coalition Against Toxic Toys (CATT). You can find CATT online at www.badvibes.org. It is through CATT that I help create positive social and environmental justice change throughout the adult industry through grassroots, consumer-based change.
I host a weekly sex-positive variety radio show called “Sex and Coffee” on AM950, the progressive voice of Minnesota. Sex and Coffee airs on Saturdays at 6pm on air and live streams at www.AM950radio.com.
I, along with a team of incredible people at The Smitten Kitten, are producing a critical erotic media conference called SwellCon this coming August 2013 in honor of The Smitten Kitten’s tenth birthday. You can learn more about SwellCon at www.swellcon.com.
Additionally, I help other progressive and ethical adult industry start-ups and already established businesses and organizations who are seeking to go to the next level- including retailers, small product manufacturers, and others through my consulting business TSK Consulting.
2. Where are you based out of?
I am based out of Minneapolis, MN USA.
3. What is your focus? What do you do?
My focus in the field of sexuality is in the adult retail industry. Whether that is through operating The Smitten Kitten, my own retail store, or helping other people and organizations realize their own adult industry goals via TSK Consulting or The Coalition Against Toxic Toys.
4. What are your particular goals and passions in the field?
- To constantly be a catalyst for adult industry-wide progressive social, environmental and sex-positive change
- To provide gainful and meaningful employment for sex educators and support scholarship and innovation in the field of sexuality.
- To make quality toys, equipment, supplies and education available to everyday people in a personally empowering environment.
5. Why did you choose to work in this field?
I chose this field out of personal necessity! I am an avid sexual explorer and the resources I needed were not available to me. With a background in feminist DIY culture, I just had to do it!
6. Where did you go for school/training?
My formal education is in Gender and Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I earned my MS degree there in 2002.
7. Do you have any literature out (websites, articles)?
You can hear me on the “Sex & Coffee Radio Show” every week. You can listen live streaming on Saturdays from 6-7pm at www.AM950radio.com. Previous shows are available for podcast there as well.
You can also find me presenting at conferences all around the country. The next time you have a chance to come see me is at CatalystCon, http://catalystcon.com/
I will be presenting a panel about “Toxic Sex Toys” a phrase I coined in 2003. Here’s a link to my speaker page:
8. What would you recommend to future professionals attempting to get into the field?
- Cultivate mentor/mentee relationships with the folks in the field who you identify as being role models and who are already succeeding at what you want to do!
- Take your business as seriously as you treat sexuality. By that I mean, make sure you have solid legal, accounting, tech services, and marketing professionals working with you to make your professional dreams a reality.
9. What is the most challenging aspect for you working in this career?
Balancing work-life and family-life is a challenge. I, like so many other professionals in the field of sexuality, am so passionate about the work I do that I can become completely immersed in it. I am so in love with my job that I occasionally forget to eat lunch or I stay up way past my bedtime!
10. One must read-what would you recommend? Why?
The book that is most on my mind right now is a new one out by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson of TantraPM, http://tantrapm.com/index.html, called “Great Sex Made Simple: Tantric Tips to Deepen Intimacy & Heighten Pleasure.”
I recommend this book on multiple levels. First, it’s such an accessible, practical and authentic introduction to Tantra—this is a great resource for anybody working in the field of sexuality both personally and professionally.
Secondly, I recommend this book for professionals, especially aspiring sexuality education writers, as an example of one of the best edited, most thoughtfully composed and formatted books of the non-fiction, how-to ilk ever written!