I haven’t written in so long because I am in the midst of a HUGE bout of sexoholia. For those who are new here, let me explain. I sometimes get into what I call “sexoholic modes” where I have 10 million ideas and ambitions about how to take over the world with sex-positivism. I get sex business ideas. New sex product ideas. New sex book ideas. It’s being a sexologist on steroids, and I frankly feel bad for anyone who comes across me, because I ramble on and on about all my new plans. My ideas don’t always pan out (for example in past sexoholic modes, I came up with the idea of turning this blog into a one-woman play, and starting a sexuality minor program at my local university), but sometimes they do! This bout has been particularly… extensive.
It started because business has plateaued. I won’t say it’s slow- it is and has always been profiting, but it’s just kind of leveled off. However I do not panic. I instead kick into sexoholic mode, and now I have 10 million new ideas for how to jump start sales, bookings, and publicity. I will warn you this list is boring, and more for the purpose of helping me keep them straight than to be interesting.
Shop related changes and ideas:
- Changing the outside image of Feminique. This includes no more sex fact of the day on the sidewalk sign. Yes, it’s tragic, but sex facts apparently intimidate people. I’ve been looking at the numbers, and things started changing as soon as I started putting the sex fact out. People do enjoy it, read it, laugh, learn, walk out of their way to read it every day, etc., but those people aren’t buying shit, and the people who do buy shit are too nervous to walk into a store with a sign about pubic hair or how many minutes a pig orgasm lasts. So no more sex fact. Also, I’m getting a new business sign. No more generic pink and brown “Feminique Boutique”. I am hanging a sign with my heart crotch logo on it, if the borough of West Chester will let me. (PS: The borough meeting in which I will plead my case for the sign change will be an upcoming episode of my show). On the inside I’m working on new lighting, especially for my antique vibrator museum.
- Changing my image. Ok, not really changing it, just sprucing it up. I decided I’m going to go to work business casual from now on. The hippie in me hates limiting free dress expression for my employees and myself, but sadly, no more hot pants L
- Changing Feminique hours. I’m having BFF George, who also happens to be a statistician, look at every sale that took place during every hour of the past year, and re-organize my hours of operation to maximize shopping and spending trends.
- Changing Feminique inventory. Not total overhaul, but a big one. So far I’ve already added new book titles, and rearranged/scrapped/added new front room inventory. Within the next few weeks I’ll also be adding new t-shirt slogans (I haven’t done that in a couple years), changing t-shirt styles the slogans are printed on, completely overhauling the lingerie and shoe selection, and adding a few more sex toys. I’ll be moving the sex facts indoors, around the shelves with the products.
- Changing the Feminique website. This I’ve already started, and it’s a massive undertaking. New photos, new layout.
Party and workshop related changes and ideas:
- Changing my speaking fees. This one I’ve been stewing over for months. People yell at me all the time, that with my credentials (have I mentioned that if all goes as planned, in 112 days I’ll be a doctor, and the only person in the world with a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in sexuality?) and with my experience (doing over 150 speaking engagements a year) I absolutely, no questions asked, need to be charging more. I finally agreed to at least consider it, and I’ve done HOURS of research and determined that to be at the low end of what speakers typically charge, I need to be charging at least 8x more for my college work, and at least 2x more for my private parties. I will be raising my rates, but probably not by that much, at least at first. It’s the curse of loving your job- I want to educate, I enjoy it, and I don’t want someone’s tight budget to be a reason I don’t get to talk about sex with them for one evening. That being said, I do need to wise up about this issue from the business perspective. Some of you may not cheer me on with this one, because if you’re reading this you’re probably a client or potential client and of course would want it for cheaper, but I can no longer do in-home parties knowing that every other type of in-home party entertainer, like animal-balloon making clowns for children’s parties, are making twice as much. If Cher impersonators and magicians are worth it, than so am I. I’m still debating if I want to up my per person rates, or charge a flat rate, and parties can invite as many guests as they want, lowering the per person fee if they invite a lot of friends. Thoughts?
- Even with the fee increase, there will still be opportunities for people without the budget to bring me in for a party or college presentation to do so at a discount, in conjunction with certain promotions that I will be running. Figuring out these promotions is a part of my sexoholia.. One of them, a big one I might add, is this summer. I’m offering in-home parties at cost for people who live in a state I have not checked off my list yet. My goal is to teach in all 50 states, and if you live in one I haven’t taught yet, I can do it this summer for just the cost of travel/airfare. Other discount opportunities relate back to #5 on this list, sprucing up the website. I still have many in-home parties to be filmed for my website, so if you’d like to have a party and are willing to have it be filmed, I can do it at a big ol’ discount!
- New party topics and giving old party topics new titles to change it up a bit. Any ideas for a college workshop or party topic you’d like to see me offer?
- I’m thinking…. MAYBE thinking about POSSIBLY having consultants do in-home sex toy parties for me. I’ve done it in the past (really REALLY long time ago). There are pros and cons. Pros- good money, helps with brand recognition as more people learn about what it is I do. Cons- All the problems I’ve had in the past- sales consultants stealing my business model and offering my fellatio and other classes, consultants not fulfilling their order and then having their angry customers contacting me. Still a LOT to think about, but if I decide to do it, that will be a ridiculously time consuming bout of sexoholia.
Writing related changes and ideas:
- Working on getting a syndicated sex column.
- As I mentioned, I’m also working on writing some books: My handbooks to go along with my different speaking topics (orgasm, fellatio, etc), The People You Meet in a Sex Shop, and my feminist erotic novel. That’ll be a long process, but in sexoholic mode, I’m a writing machine!
- Writing a dissertation. DBD. Ha! I’m doing a qualitative document analysis study looking at community responses in the comment section of online news article about sex shop zoning controversies. It’s been interesting…
- Working on getting my book into book ciricles/book clubs.
Miscellaneous changes and ideas:
- I’m brainstorming new advertising strategies. Ideas?
- I am hiring a publicist to publicize my doctorate completion, as well some other PR ideas I can’t share yet ;)
- Designing my own line of sex toys. I have SO many ideas, just need a manufacturer to back me.
- Working with local hospital gyn to do workshops and support groups. Setting that up is a project.
- Plotting and planning and planning and plotting season two of my reality show, and all the work associated with that.
So in conclusion, I’m insane. Any one of these 18 items is enough for one person for one summer- writing a dissertation, writing a book, designing a workshop, having a business inventory makeover, etc. But all 18. At the same time? This is me being a sexoholic. This is how my brain works. So in the areas I’ve asked for feedback (in-home party per person vs flat fees, if I should have consultants, new advertising strategies, etc) I welcome your thoughts! Otherwise, I’m sorry for boring you, (if you’ve even read this far), I just needed to set my summer goals straight. And I hope you all enjoy the new changes!
Contact sexologist Jill McDevitt:
www.facebook.com/JillAtFeminique (if you like the blog, you’ll love the facebook. Go ahead and add me!)