Running A Sex Shop #03: The Feelmore Adult Gallery in Oakland


Nenna Joiner is running the Feelmore Adult Gallery in Oakland. Her shop just got a video profile on The Root. The video has already been seen by more than 80,000 people on Facebook.

The business was founded in 2011 and is run as a brick and mortar store by Nenna Joiner, a vibrant African American woman. The shop is located in Oakland, California. After getting a degree in Public Management and working at the television production company run by her parents Joiner decided that she wanted to work in the adult business.

Joiner said: »I bought a 100 DVDs, porn, vibrators, oils, potions and lotions and dildos and all of that. And I just put them in the back of my Camry and I went out in Oakland.« And indeed she worked as a traveling salesperson, going to clubs, bars and locations, selling porn and sex toys out of her van.

While that sounds quite sudden and unplanned Joiner is running her much-loved shop as a boutique business, sex-positive, open and in a way as a hipster version of a sex shop. She still thinks of her difficult time as a hustler and the hard work it was to make one single sale as a very important experience for her success at her now buzzing store.

Joiner is stressing the point that you shouldn’t bring any of her personal troubles into your business. »Especially not if you are running a sex shop.« Other than that though the more open the store is, the better. At least that’s Joiner’s motto.

»If you ever pass Feelmore, you’ll see that there are no tinted windows.« The opinionated owner of the boutique sex shop is convinced that »if we’re gonna change any stereotypes about sex, I think the windows are the first things to go.«

One thing she is very proud of that her shop draws customers from all age groups and with all kinds of backgrounds. »Yes, we are getting the abuelita who is coming in for her grandson.«

Her shop is decorated with vintage erotica and feels like a shop where you want to spend some time looking around. Joiner loves the idea of getting her customers to be curious about new sensations with their body. »I think for us we definitely make sure that we send people home with this creative idea that sex is really sculpted by you and no one else.«

She knows that many people in the neighborhood don’t want her there but she is optimistic that she can get her message across that is: »Your sexuality belongs to you.«

If you want to The Root’s profile, click here. To check out the store and its online presence, click here.



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