Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health Finally Opens Doors in Rhode Island
CarnalNation is very happy to congratulate contributor Megan Andelloux on a well-deserved victory for sexual health. For months, Megan has been fighting the city of Pawtucket for the right to open the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, the first non-profit and sex-positive resource center in the state. The CSPH was supposed to open last September 26th, but the phrase "Sexual Pleasure" in the name brought the puritans swarming out of the woodwork. Accusations ranged from claims that they would teach sadomasochistic practices to schoolchildren to essentially being nothing more than a brothel. The grand opening celebration, which included speakers such as Carol Queen, Gina Ogden, and Elizabeth Wood and attracted over 200 people, had to be held off-premises in Providence because the zoning board refused to let the Center open on the grounds that their location wasn't zoned for educational purposes. As Megan herself wrote a few months ago, "That's correct, folks: the city of Pawtucket, RI took a firm stance against 'education' coming into their town."
Much has happened since then, but everything was resolved in the Center's favor last night when the Pawtucket zoning board voted unanimously to give a "special use variance," allowing them to open and see their first client today. About the long struggle merely to open the Center's doors, Megan says, "For the past five months, The CSPH has demonstrated to the public what sexuality professionals all over the country experience on a daily basis: roadblocks from politicians to open legit businesses, requirements to masquerade conversations about sex and fear of coming under personal attack for publicly acknowledging the simple fact that people are sexual and it’s ok to talk about it." The fact that the story behind the CSPH's difficulties opening is such a common one just makes us that much happier to see Megan and her staff finally triumphant. Congratulations and good luck from all the staff at CarnalNation.