Oh Joy, Sex Toy (NSFW) has me all kinds of excited.
But wait, I’m not talking about that kind of excited, guys! Geeeez, get your mind out of the gutter! While OJST could definitely be considered titillating by some (it is, after all, about sex), I’m mostly excited about two things: the awesome educational element here and the way author/illustrator Erika Moen has figured out how to monetize.
Apparently comics aren’t just for kids anymore.
First of all, let me explain what we’re dealing with here. Erika is a freelance artist who has been doing comics online since she was 15. Her latest project is a cartoon that reviews something related to sex or sexuality weekly, with a full cast of “masturbateers” to help her try out different products.
We’re talking anything from porn to sex toys to sexuality to the sex industry.
Erika’s first cartoon was a funny, explicit, sexy instruction manual on how to best use the Hitachi Magic Wand, which may be the most famous sex toy ever in the history of vibrators. (Some say the Rabbit and with them I agree to disagree.)
But how’s Erika Moen making money?
A couple of ways, ’cause she’s a hustler.
After Erika’s hilarious walkthrough of why the Hitachi Magic Wand provides the most bang for your buck, she gives you the option to buy it from one of her affiliates. On this one she’s got Good Vibes, Babeland, Lovehoney, and Amazon listed. When she launched in April last year, GladRags and Crash Pad were already on her affiliate roster, which means she had a total of six companies backing her up already.
You’ll also notice some ads around the border of Oh Joy, Sex Toy, but only if you look closely. Erika has clearly picked out companies that fit her site’s mission and aesthetic, meaning that most of the ads blend in well with everything around them.
While you might think it’s better for ads to stick out, the excellent integration actually had me looking harder at the ads than I normally would in order to figure out what they were. The ad I spent the least time looking at happened to be the one that did the poorest job blending in.
As Oh Joy Sex Toy has gotten more and more popular, Erika has had to find ways to support its production. In addition to syndicating the comic with publications like Bitch, Fleshbot, and The Nib, on Sunday she announced that she has started using Patreon, which is a subscription service that she describes as being “sort of like Kickstarter.” You can pledge a certain amount of money for each cartoon and set a cap on how much you want to give each month. This helps Erika keep a steady stream of income, allowing her to focus on creating hilarious, informative comics for your viewing pleasure every single week.
If you can’t afford to pay a little, don’t worry: Erika has reassured all her loyal fans that the comic will always be available for free. If you can, however, why not give a little and help a badass sex educator stay in business?
Erika has also set it up so that her own pleasure is taken care of: if you’re feeling “generous” you can buy her a sex toy to try out. This element adds one more fun, playful, kinda sexy element to a site that’s already got plenty going on in all three categories.
Check in every Tuesday for a new informative, titillating, smart, sex-positive from the one and only Erika Moen!
Photos by… Oh Joy, Sex Toy