Why Join NAASAS?
Adult Professionals Understand the Importance of Unity & Education
Most people get into business within the field of sexuality and adult industry because it can be an exciting and prosperous career choice. The old adage 'sex sells,' makes it easy for some to believe that it will be an effortless and uncomplicated business venture. This is simply naïve thinking and those who are successful within the adult industry know better.
No matter what specific career you choose to pursue within the field of sexuality, it is one of the most competitive, socially controversial and legally precarious professions in which one can become involved. That is why education, support, services and resources through an adult association are so important.
The Illusion of Freedom & Acceptance
For most of the adult public, the idea of nudity, talking about sex and even sexual products seem a common fact of life. It is often assumed that the days of sexual limitations for consenting adults are a thing of the past. After all, haven't we come a long way? The real answer is... not as far as many may believe.
The topic of sexuality is still one of the most controversial and dysfunctional aspects within our society today. As a whole, we are truly hypocritical and this makes for a dangerous atmosphere for those that work in the adult industry. Many people buy sexual products but socially judge those that provide them; seeing such individuals as uncouth and leading a shameful existence for filling the very need the consumer desired.
Many laws still exist in a variety of states that make it illegal to sell not just adult entertainment, but also things such as sex instruction books / DVDs and sex toys. It just takes making the wrong person angry with what you are doing to have them use those archaic laws against you.
Being in the field of sexuality, you may find that family members and friends may begin to treat you differently if they are aware of it. You will find that many businesses will have nothing to do with you as you now have a big scarlet letter on your chest that stands for Adult business. You will find that many banks won't give you loans, merchant accounts won't let you process credit cards, web hosts won't let you host your website on their server and the list goes on and on.
Scam Artists & the Importance of Networking
Unfortunately, there are some businesses that take advantage of newcomers to the field of sexuality and the adult industry. It is through our educational services, business reviews and directories and our social network that you can find companies that other established professionals can vouch for and give you advice regarding. Making sure you do not throw thousands of dollars away to a company that will not deliver is key to anyone's survival. Knowing the right people for your needs and networking is something that is a must in this industry.
Overcoming Being Naïve & Expanding Knowledge
Most people that start a business in the field of sexuality or adult industry fail within six months. Primarily, they are under the impression that the business is an easy one as they have the old adage of 'sex sells' in mind. We have said it before, but will again: the problem with that kind of thinking, is that the field of sexuality is one of the most complex, competitive, socially controversial and legally precarious professions in which one can become involved. It also requires understanding the tools you need to really be successful and avoiding the ones that simply do not work. That is why we specialize in educating professionals so that they know what they are getting themselves into.
For example, some people want to set up an adult novelty, turn key site for a small fee and dream of sitting back and enjoying a margarita by the pool while the money rolls in. Yet, it has not occurred to them how they are actually going to get traffic to their site to make sales or understand that the search engines do not rank template sites. Depending solely on Google Adwords where bids can cost astronomical fees is usually their first eye opener that this is not going to work the way they thought. That is not to say you cannot make money on these sites and a lot of it, but it requires understanding how to get traffic to them and how to market to a target niche.
Then you have the person that wants to start a party business, but does not realize that they are selling products that have toxins in them at triple the price on the Internet, or that they are inadvertently and illegally practicing medicine without a license when they give health advice or is even operating out of a state or county that forbids some of the products they are selling.
These are just a couple of the many examples of how easy it is to get in trouble or not make your business goals work for new business owners. This does not even touch the surface of the problems that seasoned professionals experience, such as changes in laws, shipping requirements and even overstocking inventory.
The Story of Why NAASAS Was Originally Created
As a mental health therapist with over twenty years in the field of psychology, I began focusing my career exclusively on sexual health in the year 2000. I also started a retail company that sells sex toys and other helpful products for consumers wanting to improve their sex lives. Throughout the years, I have worked with many professionals in the adult industry and have studied a great deal about how it functions as a whole and what one must know when working within it. Of course most of my efforts were done originally as a means to grow and protect my own business; but along the way, the more I learned, the more I realized that we all need a central educational association.
I heard story after story of people being prosecuted and socially ostracized for having anything to do with the adult industry. One such example was in 2003, when I was horrified to see a woman by the name of Joanne Webb on the Good Morning America show talking about her arrest for having sold two dildos to undercover narcotics agents in the state of Texas. She faced 1 year in prison and $4,000.00 in fees for having sold them. Mind you, Joanne was just a housewife, a former 5th grade teacher and sex toy party company representative selling sex toys to make some extra money and do something she thought would bring happiness to people; there was no hidden agenda in her selling the dildos.
After seeing her story, I immediately contacted her to offer my support. We became close friends and worked together to help her through the year long battle that had just begun. There were many facets to this story that demonstrated hypocrisy and dysfunction from those that tried to punish her for having done what they considered to be morally wrong.
Those prosecuting her claimed that what upset them most was her unapologetic efforts to discuss sexuality with her customers. They could not believe that a woman would dare teach sexual health information and sell sex toys to those adults that wanted them.
I would like to tell you that there was a happy ending to this story, but despite the case being dropped after a year; Joanne and her family paid a deep price. Joanne's family all suffered from anxiety and depression from the stress of this ordeal, they had to file bankruptcy and they lost their home and savings due to legal fees. Joanne's marriage suffered and ended in divorce and she was unable to get work again as a teacher due to the negative social stigma of her selling sex toys. She has since moved to another state, changed her name and has tried to pick up the pieces as best she can.
This is just one of the many stories that happen to hard working, well intentioned people just trying to make a living in the adult industry. It does not matter if you sell sex toys, produce adult entertainment or even teach people about sexuality; it is imperative that you be educated about what you are doing to protect yourself and your business.
Beyond Legal Issues
In addition to legal aspects there are many advancements and changes happening daily to make this industry a tough one for anyone to stay on top. Learning about toxins in sex toys, environmental efforts, sexual research and digital anti-piracy efforts are just a few examples of some of the topics that NAASAS provides education and resources regarding.
Through NAASAS, we have begun to create a collaborative effort overseen by experts in the field who are sexual pioneers. They provide leadership, education and serve as an inspiration to other professionals. NAASAS is a center where we can all help one another though education in sexual health, law and business to ensure that we are protected and connected.
NAASAS does not compete with other adult organizations that specialize in specific services. Instead, we help our members become knowledgeable of such organizations so that we can all work together. Examples are: Free Speech Coalition - FSC, Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection - ASACP, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists - AASECT, World Association for Sexual Health - WAS, Center for Democracy and Technology - CDT, American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU, XBIZ, AVN and others.