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Ruby's Pearl (Iowa City, Iowa)



Ruby´s Pearl was a feminist sex store in Iowa City, Iowa, from 2001 to 2005. The store was co-founded by Laura Crossley and Kymbyrly Koester. Other co-owners included Heather Daggett and Gypsy Dolgos. According to Daggett, "The idea behind the store was to have a positive, clean, fun environment to buy sex toys. To have an alternative place for women to buy fun stuff in a shop that´s not creepy." In addition to selling sex toys, videos, alternative feminine hygiene products, clothing, zines, and feminist literature, the store served as a venue for art shows and workshops. The owners claimed it was one of only seven feminist sex shops in the United States.

Ruby´s Pearl was a hub for feminist and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) activism. The store held workshops on topics ranging from body image and tampon safety to hate crimes and safe sex education. Ruby´s Pearl frequently co-sponsored events with local non-profit and service organizations, such as the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, Emma Goldman Clinic, Women´s Resource and Action Center, I-CARE AIDS Coalition, and the UI GLBT Union.

Ruby´s Pearl closed on March 26, 2005, due to financial troubles. Crossley explained that the relocation of the store, the weak economy, and consumers´ preference for purchasing sex toys on-line contributed to the store´s demise.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ruby's Pearl (Iowa City, Iowa) records

Identifier: IWA0549

Ruby's Pearl, a feminist sex store, was a hub for feminist and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) activism.

Dates: 2001-2005