KCBS_740 OAKLAND (KCBS) — Friends say the founder of Good Vibrations died earlier this month, at the age of 79 in Oakland, as she lived, facing a terminal illness head-on, and talking about it without shame.

Joani Blank, inspired by working on UCSF research with women labeled “pre-orgasmic,” opened her first retail store with a mission that persists 40 years later here, online and nationwide.

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“It wasn’t just retail. It wasn’t just fun. It wasn’t just pleasure – as important as that is. It was a lot of people don’t get access to what they need around sexuality. Let’s see if we can fix that,” Good Vibrations’ Staff Sexologist Carol Queen told KCBS.

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One of the best sellers at Good Vibrations is the Magic Wand.

“Give people good information, give them good stuff to buy, they’ll pretty much take care of themselves after that. That was like a virus in a good way. Letting the degree of comfort that we sought here in San Francisco loose. And that’s why you can buy a vibrator on Amazon now,” Queen said.

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