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Touched By the Invisible Hand

Welcome to the very first issue of HQ: After Hours. We are ecstatic to launch this new endeavor by which we hope to expand your horizons and open you to new ideas and revenue streams—and we are happy our first can be with you.

In the coming months, expect this mini-magazine within a magazine to continually evolve to meet our sister sector’s growing demands. As it develops, we’ll begin implementing the same painstaking efforts we’ve made to accommodate the space that we’ve been serving over the last two decades; product spotlights, industry insights, sector-specific deep-dives, the whole nine inches. Tell your friends, but maybe not your mother.

It should come as no surprise that the adult industry—that is, the business of intimate pleasure—would make happy bedfellows with our world of counter-cultural retail. Sexual liberation has been at the heart of the counterculture revolution since its inception. And like cannabis, its myriad accessories and the axiom of holistic healing it has spawned, sex-centric commerce has been marginalized, derided and persecuted by an establishment still beholden to the moral majority and haunted by the ghosts of its puritanical forebearers.

Reproduction is the fundamental objective of every living organism, and evolution has seen fit to make pleasure one of its primary drivers; the sweetness of fruit, the ecstasy of copulation, et al. We are hardwired to seek out the sensuous.

Yet, two decades into the third millennium, in a world where technological progress is measured in exponents, the devices we’ve developed to enhance our sensuality are still somehow seen as taboo within the general culture.
But this is the counterculture industry—and we thrive on the taboo. If we’ve learned anything from the strides we’ve made, it’s that nothing moves the needle of progress more effectively than the marketplace. Ironically enough, it’s a page right out of the conservative playbook.

Let’s use the market to usher in the era of a truly sex-positive society, where we can be ourselves and explore the ticks that make us tingle, free of shame or exploitation. Maybe that invisible hand will have a few more surprises for us than we could have expected.

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