Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
In another life, Loretta Goodling might be cashing your checks instead of curating a collection of popular sex toys for Pennsylvania-based Excitement Adult Video stores. We’re pretty glad she chose the latter.
This job is never boring to say the least and I’m constantly learning something new.
Goodling is the toy buyer, staff training coordinator, tradeshow road warrior, and general Jill-of-all-trades at Excitement, but this vibrator expert once had a knack for climbing the corporate ladder in the banking industry. Like many sex toy success stories, Goodling wound up in the industry by accident and fell in love with the people, the products, and the opportunity to make the world a happier, more orgasmic place.
Goodling credits our little niche of taboo delights with leading her to life-long friendships, a love of travel, and, believe it or not, her first orgasm. In this month’s Women in Adult spotlight, we got the scoop on Loretta Goodling’s passion for pleasure literacy and how she’s ramping up Excitement Adult Stores to create a one-stop-shop for sexual wellness.
XBIZ: Who were you before you became a prominent player in the adult retail industry?
Goodling: I went straight into the workforce after graduating high school in the year in which I was a teen mother and had a one-year-old son at the time, so college was not really an option for me then. I started working as a teller at a local bank and would end up staying in the banking industry for the next six years. I worked my way up from there to become a customer service representative, and three years later, in 2003 I was recruited to help start up a new bank in the area called Integrity Bank. I would soon become an assistant branch manager of one of the new offices in New Cumberland, Pa. My time spent in banking is indispensable; it gave me the skills, support, experience, confidence and a place to call home for so many years. I will be forever grateful for my time spent there, and for the people I met that made a huge difference in my life then and years to come.
XBIZ: From banking to sex toys — that’s quite a leap! There must be some interesting pieces of the story to tell in-between. How did you find your way into our little corner of the world?
Goodling: I left banking in early 2006 and took some time off with my sons, then two and seven. During the year to follow, I took a job at a local grocery store for income until deciding what I wanted to do next. I was going through some personal life changes at this time and was unsure of my next step. Little did I know that I would end up meeting my wife Marcy at that local grocery store. Things got serious between her and I, so I decided to find other employment. I was no longer satisfied there anyhow. I needed something challenging, something I was passionate about, but at that time I didn’t even know where to begin to look.
I didn’t want to go back into the corporate world. I was good at it, yes, but my soul needed something different. I started looking through the newspaper ads, and I came across an ad for daytime warehouse/office help working with adult-related products. I applied as a fluke, really. Would I even be interested? Would I like it? What was it anyhow?
Well, I got the job at Excitement Video & Toys in 2008. I started as a warehouse associate, literally putting price stickers on porn. I had only ever been into an adult store once before and it was this one, so here I was now, 27 years old and working for my town’s local adult store. I had no idea then just how important Excitement, this career, and the industry would become to my life and the impact it would make on me personally and professionally. I had finally found my calling and it only took a few months there for me to realize this!
XBIZ: How did your career play out during those initial years at Excitement?
Goodling: I didn’t get to work in the stores too much that first year, but I would soon get the opportunity when it came time for Excitement’s Ladies Night events. Excitement would hold Ladies’ Nights a few times a year, and it was this huge event for only women to attend and shop. We would have games, prizes, snacks and sex education. Staff would get to dress up in lingerie that we sold or costumes, and it was just so much fun!
Sometimes we would have special guests in attendance and this is where I first discovered the wonderful Ducky Doolittle. Those events were some of my best memories in the beginning of my career here at Excitement. Having these events open to the community raised awareness and brought out so many amazing people into our stores where they could be themselves and share stories or ask for advice in a safe place. This allowed us to not only sell our products but to educate consumers, this would be around the time I decided I wanted to pursue this as a career.
I myself didn’t know what an orgasm was for women until age 21, and I didn’t have my first orgasm until age 25 with my then-girlfriend Marcy. I thought something was wrong with me, but there was not. I would later learn this is much more common than I could ever have imagined. My mind was made up. I wanted to be in the adult industry, and I wanted to help others learn how to pursue pleasure. The older I got, the more confident I became and holy shit, after so long I finally found something that I enjoy and love and want to talk about.
XBIZ: What job roles have you filled throughout your sex toy business career, and how did you leave your mark on each of them?
Goodling: As I said I began my journey at Excitement as a warehouse associate in 2008, within three years I would be the warehouse manager and the DVD buyer for the company. Our stores still to this day have rentals available and back then the market was huge for new releases. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the movies and getting to attend the yearly IVD/ECN warehouse shows in Jersey! Back then the porn stars would attend as well and we would have the chance to meet them and get their autographs. I remember being star-stuck, these were celebrities to me and here I am getting to hang out with them and getting paid. I still have a wall of pictures in the warehouse with all my autographs.
After about five years at Excitement I was promoted to the in-store trainer for the company, this was one of my favorite positions because I love to learn! I would spend countless hours at home after the boys were asleep researching all topics related to sex and pleasure from anal sex to electro-stimulation to how to properly use kegel balls. I would compile data and present to our staff on these topics. I would also play a huge role in our in-store events as well and at times presenting this info to customers.
In 2015, I was promoted to the assistant toy buyer, I spent nearly three years in this position and got to travel to trade shows with our main buyer Dion Young at the time. I spent a lot more time in our stores; I would review new products with the staff, assist with merchandising and customers and more. When Dion left the company earlier this year, I took over his position as the toy buyer — I am responsible for ordering all toys and supplements for all five stores. I finally got to where I wanted to be in the company and I’m only just beginning. I love this place!
XBIZ: Everybody loves an inspirational shout-out! Who deserves props for helping you define your career mission?
Goodling: First would be Ducky Doolittle. Meeting her and hearing her background and where she got to today inspired me so much. I clicked immediately with her and she continues to inspire me even now. She believes in me and like I said, she really was the reason I pursued this industry further after our first interaction.
Second would be Kim Faubel. I’ve looked up to her for many years, and as you may or may not know, she too got her start in the industry at Excitement. So her and I crossed paths way back when before she left for Vegas. We lost touch and reconnected a few years ago. Kim and I are not just coworkers in this industry, but also great friends. I have learned so much just from talking to her. She is such a great person inside and out and her loyalty is unchanged. She is one of the most courageous people I know.
I also have to give a shout out to Taylor Means. Her and I just met about a year ago and I admire her so much and all that she has accomplished. I’m grateful to have her in my life.
Last would be my wonderful coworkers/staff, and David Betesh, my boss and the owner at Excitement Adult Stores. They push me everyday to work hard and never give up.
Most of all, I owe a huge thank you to Dion Young. He was my travel buddy; my teacher and he showed me the ropes to be successful in this position. He doesn’t know how much that meant to me. Thanks Dion!
XBIZ: Give us a snapshot of daily life at Excitement Adult Stores.
Goodling: I’m constantly busy, between ordering, setting up staff training, researching new products and traveling between stores there is never a dull moment. I like the diversity of our stores, staff and customers. This job is never boring to say the least and I’m constantly learning something new!
XBIZ: What are some of your favorite memories from the last few years of travel and events?
Goodling: I have so many wonderful memories during the last 10 years that I can’t even pick one. I will say I never was on a plane in my life until four years ago for Excitement. Since then I’ve gotten to travel to Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Miami, Detroit and Vermont just to name a few. I couldn’t be more grateful for these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It makes me want to work harder and continue to grow.
One of my most recent memories was going to the Nalpac show in Detroit. Our last night there we got to watch fireworks on the water overlooking Canada. All these breath-taking moments really make me realize just how lucky I am. That same night, instead of going to bed, I ventured the streets alone. This helps me with my anxiety. I force myself to go do new things, to meet new people. I met a wonderful trans woman. She was playing an instrument on the sidewalk. We chatted about sex toys and life, and then I just danced as she played music as if there was no care in the world on this random busy street in Detroit. Nights like those I will always remember! I have to pinch myself at times, is this real life?
XBIZ: Throughout your lengthy career, how have you seen the industry evolve? What are some of the biggest differences you’ve noticed?
Goodling: Ten years ago, all toys for the most part took batteries and came in either flesh color, purple or pink. Now we have rechargeable toys. You will never need to buy batteries again! Yay! Some of these rechargeable products are even app-enabled so you can play with a partner long-distance. Plus, manufacturers have really felt out the market and started branching off from those basic colors. Products are becoming more gender-neutral, too, and I love it!
Consumers are also more conscious of the materials they are putting into their body so silicone toys are on the rise as well as hypoallergenic lubricant. The innovations alone have amazed me, to say the least. Some toys don’t even look like toys. They have become more discreet, and you can put them on a nightstand and no one would know.
Pleasure Air technology is a big thing now in the industry, and I am in love with my Womanizer. I can’t wait to see where 2019 takes us in the pleasure world. Sex toys are becoming more mainstream and less taboo every year, some thanks to “Fifty Shades” for that, of course. I don’t care why, really. I’m just happy that we are talking about it and that more people are comfortable using toys and coming in to an adult store. We really just want to help.
XBIZ: What are your goals for a personally and professionally successful 2019?
Goodling: March will mark one year that I have been the toy buyer, and of course I want to grow in this position at Excitement. I also have started bringing in CBD lubricant, topicals, bath bombs and more. Excitement carries smoke-related products and CBD, so I’m looking to grow in that area and the possibilities are endless. The health and wellness side is growing at a steady pace so keeping up with these trends is essential. Personally, I would like to finally pursue my dream of taking dance classes and travel more, not just for work, haha. My whole life has been putting my sons first and making them proud and giving them a good life. Now they are 19 and 14 and need me far less. I put a lot of time and energy into this industry and this career. I will never stop. I’m super passionate about all of it. However, I think it’s time I find a hobby and dancing has always been a passion of mine. So I’m hoping to start that in 2019.