Pure Pleasure is a welcoming pleasure shop located in Santa Cruz, California, and is locally owned by Amy Baldwin and Janis Baldwin. The concept behind Pure Pleasure was developed by Amy and her mother, Janis, and was created out of the need for a more inviting sex shop within the Santa Cruz community.
At Pure Pleasure, our mission is to provide a comfortable place where people can shop for sex toys, as well as access resources to enhance sexual pleasure and wellbeing. We feature high-quality, non-toxic, phthalate-free adult toys, and also carry a line of vegan-friendly products. Pure Pleasure aims to promote sexual diversity, offering something for the pleasure inside us all.
The People of Pure Pleasure
Amy Baldwin- Before opening Pure Pleasure with her mom in 2008, Amy obtained a degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Sexuality from San Francisco State University, as well as 60+ hours of training from SFSI (San Francisco Sex Information) to become a Certified Sex Educator. Amy, AKA ‘Ask Amy’ is passionate about providing honest, accurate information to help people enhance their sexual pleasure and well-being. She runs her own blog, and also offers a Q and A section for any sex-related questions.
Janis Baldwin- Janis opened Pure Pleasure in 2008 alongside her daughter, Amy, to support the wellbeing and healthy sexuality of the community. To her, Pure Pleasure is not just a business but a philosophy in happiness through sex-positivity. She is a big advocate of communication (how else would you own a sex shop with your daughter?) and in the belief that sexuality is ever evolving. She is the founder and director of the Pure Pleasure Sex-Ed program.
Lollie- Lollie is a redhead with a personality to match. She LOVES talking about sex and sexuality. Lollie is a UC Santa Cruz graduate of psychology and cognitive science, with big plans for graduate studies in sex therapy and neuroscience. Pure Pleasure welcomed Lollie to the family in January 2010. The shop has become a second home, and she can often be found hanging around the shop on her days off.
Cynthia- Cynthia is a student at UCSC, with a double major in Feminist Studies and Linguistics. Combining her passion for social justice, sex-positivity, and open communication, she plans to pursue a career participating in and/or leading comprehensive sex education programs, especially in communities that currently have less access to these resources.
Gina- Gina has been working in reproductive health for nearly 20 years as an educator and researcher. She approached Pure Pleasure in 2009 about holding a focus group for a research project she was working on and was impressed with Janis and Amy’s welcoming, sex-positive business and their commitment to community involvement and education. Shortly thereafter, Gina began working with Pure Pleasure part-time as a Pleasure Party Educator and staff member and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Human Sexuality Education. Also a parent of two boys, she is committed to sex-positive parenting.
Photos by Maehelena Vermy and Frank Leonard