The founder of Good Vibrations, Joani Blank, passed away on Saturday at the age of 79. AVN reports that Blank died at her home of pancreatic cancer.
Blank was considered a sex-positive feminist pioneer, and in addition to opening Good Vibrations also invented the Butterfly vibrator.
"Her life was based on advancing social justice issues, and the bigger picture always took precedence over her personal struggles," wrote her daughter, Amika Sergejev, on Facebook.
Good Vibrations, founded in 1977, "is the premier retailer trusted for almost four decades to provide high quality products, sex-positive education, and information that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment," the company explains on its blog. "We invented the concept of the clean, well-lighted vibrator store and we’re proud to provide a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment where customers can shop for sex toys, books, movies, and attend workshops."
Following news of Blank's death, Good Vibrations tweeted out its love and condolences. "We love you Joani Blank and are forever grateful that you helped make the world a more sex positive place," reads the company statement. "#GoodVibrations forever JB RIP."
Blank also founded Down There Press, a publisher focusing on feminist and sex-positive works, in 1975. According to her website, Blank also wrote numerous books and served as a volunteer for San Francisco Sexual Information — staffing the phones and answering questions for those who called in.
"This fierce revolutionary woman has taught us all so much," wrote her daughter Sergejev. "She has done so many things in her full days here on earth and I know you all have stories."
Blank leaves behind a company that is still going strong. Good Vibrations has eight locations, and earlier this month announced on its blog that it would be acquiring a new store in Santa Cruz.