Are Sex Parties the New Side Hustle?

“I have a question,” Abbey May, 22, raises her hand leisurely. She's in the center of a crowded couch of girls in birthday hats sipping from pink solo cups.

“Where is my G-spot?”

The wine-slaked women erupt in a storm of giggles. A few faces flush. Many of them shift forward in their seat, willfully hanging on every word of their new instructor.

“A lot of women come to me concerned with their inability to reach orgasm, either with themselves or a partner.” Amanda Long responds.  “‘Where is my G-spot?’ or ‘What can I change to reach climax when in the bedroom with my partner?’ are actually very common questions.”

Long, 22 from Livonia MI, is a Pure Romance consultant and student at Central Michigan University (CMU).

Society has a longstanding inclination to label topics surrounding sex as taboo. For instance, female masturbation, sex for pleasure, and LGBTQ relationships. Pure Romance consulting aims to empower women with knowledge about their bodies in an environment they feel comfortable in.

“When Amanda first introduced me to Pure Romance, I was skeptical. But after the first party I went to, I instantly fell in love. She was a plethora of information that I didn’t even know I was missing.” Jill Carnacchi, 23, student at CMU said. Carnacchi hosted a party on February 6th to celebrate her 23rd birthday.

Since purchasing the Pure Romance starter kit in September, Long has facilitated six parties in the Mt. Pleasant area. The most recent party was hosted by the CMU Organization of Women Leaders (OWLs) on February 16th.

“I picked up Pure Romance as a little side hustle as I pay my way through school.” Long explains in a later interview.  “Working with Pure Romance I make my own schedule, and I'm my own boss.”

Pure Romance is an in home party business – meaning consultants find women interested in hosting a party and bring inventory into their home. The host can earn free products based on party sales along with their complimentary gift. The parties are gender exclusive, free to host, and offer detailed product descriptions. Their product line includes perfumes, creams, shower products, oils, cosmetics, lingerie, bedroom accessories, and more.

“Growing up, we are taught the biological standpoint of sex in health class, but the system tends to promote abstinence.” Long said. “I find people are afraid to explore their sexuality due to a social stigma enhancing feelings of shame, discomfort, and embarrassment. But, I believe my generation has the power to change the way society views sex.”

The United States is in disconnect about how to teach puberty stricken adolescents about sex. According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, “Only 20 states require information on condoms or contraception, and only 20 states and the District of Columbia require sex and/or HIV education to be medically, factually, and technically accurate. Meanwhile, 27 states require lessons that stress abstinence, and 18 states require instruction that teaches students to engage in sexual activity only within marriage.”

Education that lacks consistency creates a culture of confusion between young men and women, many of them in the dark about their own body, and the intimacy of sex. Although Pure Romance is revolutionary in its approach to combining education and product promotion, there is still stigma sorrounding the idea of 'party' and 'sex'.

“I haven’t told my parents I sell Pure Romance, and I don’t know if I’ll put it on my resume.” Long said. “When people hear Pure Romance or intimacy products the only thing going through their head is “sex toys” – but the company has so much more to offer than that.”

Since the founding by Patty Brisben in 1993, Pure Romance has expanded its platform. In 2005, they opened The Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health, a non-profit organization funding clinical research geared toward women’s sexual health. In support of the LGBTQ community, Pure Romance recently created a line of products geared toward their specific sexual preferences.

“I feel as a woman it's important to understand our bodies, that’s why I decided to host a party with my roommate; so Amanda could enlighten more women.” Carnacchi said.