It's time for Earth and Salt to come home, babes!
Earth and Salt, a pleasure-centered, holistic adult store specializing in body-safe sexual wellness products and expansive education, is coming to downtown Burlington, Vermont, and I need your help in making it the most lush, affirming, and pleasurable space it can be.
My name is Beth Hankes, and I'm the owner of Earth and Salt. Earth and Salt came to me like a lightning bolt during a trip to Burlington in late 2019. This beautiful town, with amazing small businesses and a progressive community, had no adult store that would be fun to visit with my partner. I was shocked, but within three days of this realization, I decided I would build the shop I had hoped to find here.
I want Burlington (and all of Vermont . . . and all of New England) to have a safe, supportive space where folks can see and touch high quality, body-safe sex toys, lube, and accessories from brands that have been vetted for their business practices, as well as gender expression gear, BDSM products, sex aides and positioners, apothecary goods, and BOOKS (alllllll the books) on sex, love, relationships, body health, and pleasure. I want to provide a space where folks can find knowledgeable guidance in choosing products based on individual desire and need, and create a community space for learning, support, and pleasure.
Because Earth and Salt is about PLEASURE, not just sex; pleasure in our bodies, pleasure experienced with others, and the pleasure found in acceptance and celebration. While this business came to me from a visit to Burlington, I quickly realized that this was also an idea and a desire that came from my ongoing transformation about my own pleasure, or lack there of. How I wanted to access it but struggled to do so due to ingrained cultural norms and media messaging. How common life experiences like illness and personal growth deeply affected my ability and desire to feel pleasure. And just how damn little I felt like I could talk with friends about what was going on for me, how I was changing, and get help making sense of what I was feeling.
And I know this is true for so many others.
Beyond Adult Store Basics
Earth and Salt also serves the need for support and knowledge in the pursuit of pleasure, since pleasure is equally a mental and emotional experience as it is a physical one. So I, and a delightful cadre of sex educators and sexuality professionals, will provide inclusive educational resources that contextualize sex and pleasure as a part of daily life. Through these resources you will be empowered to better know your body, your desires, and how to advocate for yourself in the bedroom and beyond. Because at the end of the day, my goal with Earth and Salt is to see all people free to live in their pleasure, whatever that may mean for that person individually.
And in meeting the mission of seeing all people free to live in their pleasure, special attention must be paid to supporting and giving voice to historically marginalized communities, who have been prevented from fully experiencing their pleasure for so long. I intentionally partner with business owners and sex educations from historically marginalized groups, making sure that at least 50% of my collaborators and vendors are from a historically marginalized group.
So, BIG GOALS. But the best goals I could hope to serve with my time and my business. I hope you'll join me in creating something that will serve the communities in Burlington and Vermont (and beyond!)
The Money Details
Now, onto the moneyz. The goal of $10,000 will be used entirely for building out the store, and will be used for some or all of the following purchases:
- Point of Sale system
The more I raise, the more the Earth and Salt brick and mortar store will be satisfying and stimulating experience for you and other folks who come through the doors.
About the Owner
My name is Beth Hankes, my pronouns are she/her, I am an artist, sensualist, devoted fan of 60s and 70s rock, sex education certification candidate through the Institute of Sexuality Education and Enlightenment, and recovering corporate stooge. My path to find myself after years of self-repression and sexual rebirth inspired me to open Earth and Salt, a business that I hope will help folks return to their innate sensuality and sexuality, whatever that looks like for them. I joyfully look forward to breaking stereotypes, providing vital sex education to my communities, championing other business owners and sexuality professionals, and selling a lot of sex toys.
Thank you SO MUCH for helping Earth and Salt come home to Burlington. It's my dream, but it's a store for all of us. Thank you for joining this community and building a supportive, celebratory space for folks to explore their sexuality, sensuality, and connection to pleasure in its many forms.