WIA Profile: Dirty Lola

WIA Profile: Dirty Lola

Each month, 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.

We all had “that one friend” in high school (or we wished we did) that completely changed the way we viewed ourselves as sexual beings. Even a space as seemingly open-minded as the pleasure industry could use a bluntly honest best friend, and that woman is Dirty Lola.

I want to help connect folks to the plethora of educators, therapists, influencers and resources out in the world that will help them have a happy and healthy sex life.

Dirty Lola is a whip-smart warrior for social and sexual justice. She empowers consumers with memorable, down-to-earth sex advice, cheeky entertainment, and pleasure product partnerships with some of the industry's top inclusive brands.

Lola made herself an industry household name with, a website promoting her sex-pertise and (pre-COVID) NYC live stage show. When folks could still publicly gather to share laughs, Lola spouted the dirty details on her audiences' most burning bedroom questions with her signature sense of humor and charisma.

Dirty Lola still wins hearts in the sex-ed spotlight, albeit from behind her computer or cell phone. In addition to keeping 12.8K fans updated and educated on her Instagram page, she's a valued staff member and educator for companies like b-Vibe, Spectrum Boutique and Everyone Deserves Sex Education.

There's no telling exactly where we'll find Dirty Lola next. From speaking out against racial injustice to researching the legalities of copyright law, Dirty Lola is a woman to watch, and that's why she deserves serious career kudos as this month's Woman of the Month.

XBIZ: In your opinion, how did the pleasure and sex-ed space fare this last year?

DIRTY LOLA: If we learned anything from 2020, it was how resilient our industry is. During shutdowns, sex shops all over the country saw a rise in sales, even while relegated to curbside pick-up or delivery. Sex educators and entertainers had to work quickly to pivot their in-person work onto online platforms, and event organizers worked hard to create digital versions of expos and conferences. We not only bounced back, but we also thrived. We also saw a much-needed movement towards making sure that marginalized voices in our industry are heard. For the first time since becoming a part of this community, I have hope that the needle is moving, and that real change is happening and will continue to happen. The pandemic didn't slow me down. I've continued to teach online with Anne Hodder-Shipp's EDSE [Everyone Deserves Sex Education], and various sex shops like Sugar in Baltimore, Maryland and Self Serve in Albuquerque. I've expanded my work to become a brand ambassador for b-Vibe and the creative director of Spectrum Journal, an online magazine offshoot of Zoe Ligon's Spectrum Boutique.

XBIZ: How did you get into the sex toy and sex-ed space, and how did you evolve your career to where it is today?

DIRTY LOLA: Growing up, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on about sex and sexuality. I was everyone's sex friend. I'd take friends to the sex shop and answer their questions. Who knew you could make a career out of that?

In 2010, I started hosting burlesque shows, and I created a Twitter profile — two things that changed my life. Twitter was the wild Wild West a decade ago. You could do just about anything there and not have to worry about being shadow-banned or deleted. I started out writing micro erotica, talking about my sex life, and posting nudes. Suddenly, I had a considerable following, and I knew I wanted to do something more with it. I started a blog, and then I discovered CatalystCon, the now-defunct sexuality conference. That's when I knew I'd found my people and my calling.

While attending my first CatalystCon, I realized I wanted to do more in the sexuality space, so I combined my love of burlesque with my knack for knowing lots of random things about sex and created Sex-Ed A Go-Go, my live sex Q&A and variety show. No one was combining sex education with live entertainment at the time, so I ran with it. The success of my online persona, Sex-Ed A Go-Go and a listing for a job at a local sex shop got me to leave my day job as a secretary. That began my work with Shag, a woman-owned-and-run sex toy boutique in Brooklyn. I'm still with Shag and hosting Sex-Ed A Go-Go seven years later, but I've also taught and emceed at a host of conferences, colleges, expos and private events. I've created educational content for VICE, worked with brands like Womanizer and Spencer's, popped up on shows like “Slutever” and “High Maintenance,” and co-hosted a web series for New York Magazine, “Sex Probz,” with my colleague Francisco Ramirez.

XBIZ: What is your overall mission as a sex educator and ambassador for the pleasure industry? What kind of change do you hope to create?

DIRTY LOLA: My mission as a sex educator is twofold. First, I want to make sure people feel safe, seen and know they aren't alone. So much of the shame people feel around bodies, sex and sexuality is rooted in aloneness. All it takes is one person saying, “I've been there, this is normal, you’re okay” to spark that moment of self-acceptance and curiosity. Second, I want to help connect folks to the plethora of educators, therapists, influencers and resources out in the world that will help them have a happy and healthy sex life.

XBIZ: With the entire B2B space all ears, what are some of your favorite pleasure product brands?

DIRTY LOLA: New York Toy Collective's dual-density dildos are just so good. The company does a fantastic job of creating inclusive, gender-affirming pleasure products.

b-Vibe has been killing it in the butt toy department. What I love the most about this company, including why I work with them [as a brand ambassador], is their dedication to educating their customers. They include educational booklets with all of their products, and they have an extensive collection of articles and videos on their website. Currently, their Anal Training and Education kit is a personal fave.

XBIZ: Were there any events that took place in the industry recently that you felt were significant in our quest for change?

DIRTY LOLA: I was surprised by XBIZ’s virtual panels on racism [“Race in Adult”] last summer and I was pleased by the way folks responded to them as a whole. We still have a lot of work to do, but this was a big step that needed to be taken to point out what's going on in the industry. I hope this work continues and isn't just forgotten when it's no longer trendy to care about black folks and systemic racism.

XBIZ: What are your goals for the rest of this year and into the future of your pleasure-ed career? What roles do you hope to play in the community and in your career?

DIRTY LOLA: My goal for this year is to keep thriving while we wade through the rest of this pandemic. I think that's all we can ask of ourselves at this point. I plan to continue being a loud voice for marginalized folks in our community and keep reaching out to folks across the digital divide until we can share in-person space again.


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