Adult retail store coming to downtown Port Townsend

Vespertine focuses on women’s sexual health and wellness

Posted 7/1/21

“Vespertine” describes something active, flowering, or flourishing in the evening.

In botany, a vespertine flower is one that blooms when the moon does. In zoology, a vespertine …

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Adult retail store coming to downtown Port Townsend

Vespertine focuses on women’s sexual health and wellness

A digital rendering gives an idea of what the storefront will look like after completion.
A digital rendering gives an idea of what the storefront will look like after completion.
Photo courtesy of Jaime Jaynes
Posted

“Vespertine” describes something active, flowering, or flourishing in the evening.

In botany, a vespertine flower is one that blooms when the moon does. In zoology, a vespertine creature becomes active at sundown.

In this instance, Vespertine means the age-positive, feminine-wellness boutique coming to the heart of Port Townsend.

Vespertine Boutique is on a mission to serve women and those with female anatomy, becoming the first sexual health marketplace of its kind on the Olympic Peninsula.

With an aim to support the physical and mental wellness of its customer base, Vespertine’s brick-and-mortar store and its online platform will offer diverse products to suit every need, as well as workshops and events for self-exploration and discovery.

Port Townsend native Jaime Jaynes returned to her roots during the pandemic in order to be closer to her family. It was here that she began to explore the concept for Vespertine.

“This opportunity really presented itself kind of organically,” Jaynes explained.

Her female friendships here span across a diverse age range, she said. They began having open conversations about the things they’ve had to navigate or overcome.

“I was having very vulnerable conversations with women in our community.”

Although each circumstance was different, they were relatable.

“At the heart of it all, it was about taking care of your body as you age as a woman, and how there really is a gap in education, resourcing,” she continued.

“There’s also, I think, a lot of miscommunication or a lack of resources to understand products that can be used to improve your situation from a sexual health perspective.”

In locating these gaps, Vespertine was born.

“I was thinking very specifically about women who are navigating the second half of their life,” Jaynes said, and how traditional sexual education is about anatomy, reproduction, and safe sex, but as one ages, there isn’t a place to still navigate and nurture their sex life.

Anatomy changes over time with menopause, postpartum, pelvic floor changes, post-cancer, post-hysterectomy, so Vespertine was created for all the life events that women have to navigate.

“We’re just going to provide tools that can improve your situation,” she said.

She set out with a mission to share knowledge and to provide patrons with a one-stop shop for diverse products, extensive information, and various resources to support their sexual health at all stages of life.

“You can get anything you want on the internet, but it feels like an ocean,” she said, describing it all as intimidating with “a lot of low-quality products that masquerade as something they’re not.”

“They really aren’t the quality that, I think, a woman deserves,” she continued.

Jaynes described a revolution in female-owned and operated companies with female scientists who are designing products that are for women’s bodies.

“It’s a very cool culture,” she said. “It’s respectful, classy, tasteful. It’s a different culture than what you would traditionally associate with a sex shop.”

Vespertine boutique will support these women and non-binary-owned businesses, providing products designed for the feminine anatomy.

“There are lots of products, tools, methods, exercises, books that we’re trying to offer in one place, in a psychologically safe place where people can ask questions and explore those options to improve their own health.”

Vespertine is serving products right for individual preferences and individual needs in a space that promotes privacy and comfort. For sexual health, specialized physical therapy products, pleasure tools made from silicone, glass, metal, or natural stone and crystals, lubricants, physical aids, and books will be offered.

When it comes to body care, Vespertine will provide products for menstrual support and bladder support, as well as bath products, underwear, supplements, and pain therapy products.

Skincare, cosmetics, hair care, perfume, shape-wear, sleepwear, and more will be available.

Vespertine will also be providing the tools necessary for anyone who transitions.

“If you’ve had a sex change, we want to be there for you,” she said.

All of these products will be offered on their robust online platform, as well.

“If anyone feels uncomfortable shopping in our store, they don’t have to,” Jaynes explained.

“They can call us on the phone; they can browse our website and we will ship it to their house even if they live across the street.”

In order to best serve the community, Vespertine has gathered an advisory board that includes local community members who have expertise in health, well being, therapy, and sex education.

They are consulting with healthcare experts, mental and physical therapists, sex educators and sex coaches to help them make sound recommendations.

They will also be seeking feedback from customers about what is working for them and what isn’t.

“My intention is to bring joy into people’s lives,” she said, and wanting others to feel confident to explore their curiosities or to overcome a subject they may have deemed taboo.

“I’m really excited to build relationships with my customers,” she added.

That excitement has been met with its share of challenges, however.

Port Townsend’s municipal code, when it comes to the licensing and the operation of adult entertainment facilities, states: “Adult entertainment facilities are historically linked with organized crime, prostitution, narcotics, and other unlawful and criminal activity.”

These same municipal codes that allow adult entertainment businesses to exist downtown with zoning restrictions also deem them a risk. Because of this, the annual cost of an adult business permit is $2,500 plus $1,000 per manager.

Jaynes wrote in a letter to Port Townsend City Council members about the regulations: “To sell liquor in Washington State, the business permit is $800 a year and it can easily be argued that the impact alcohol sales result in unlawful and criminal activity.”

“We are unable to find historical data that would link a detrimental risk to public health, safety, or welfare with an adult retail business that is geared towards providing products supporting the sexual health of women and non-binary people who share the same physicality,” her letter continued.

The same municipal codes designed to protect the community from potential criminal activity occurring as a result of operating their current definition of an adult business, also considers this sexual health venture provocative. Because of this, Jaynes was advised to carry terrorism insurance and purchase a CCTV security system.

In her letter, Jaynes proposed a new, more accurate definition, “Adult Sexual Health Retail Store,” within the regulations for adult entertainment businesses, as well as a reduction of the cost of the permit “to more accurately represent the expected impact a business like ours will have on the community.”

“Women’s sexuality shouldn’t be categorized as anything obscene. It should be a human right to be able to improve your health,” she said.

“I feel like we’re a new category that should be defined,” she added, as no pornographic media or entertainment will be sold on the premises.

“Port Townsend has that opportunity to say, ‘You know what, it is an adult business, but this is for adult women and it’s a health experience.’”

Looking to serve a need in the community, Vespertine’s primary purpose is to support health and wellbeing with products designed for therapy, pleasure, and education all in a space that is safe, comfortable, and confidential, she said.

“We want to empower the women of Jefferson County, or beyond the Olympic Peninsula, to know that they’re worth it,” Jaynes added. 

Located at 914 Water St., the boutique’s grand opening to the public will be 10 a.m. Friday, July 9. Jaynes invites the community to come meet the team, experience the space, and learn more about their products. 

Comments

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Tom Thiersch

The COUNTY code, not just Port Townsend muni code, also restricts and requires licensing of S.O.B. (sexually oriented businesses).

Have the required permits been obtained?

Not opposed to this business, just recalling that the county commissioners spent several of their meetings debating this issue.

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JCC Chapter 18.10 DEFINITIONS

“Sexually oriented business” means:

(1) Any exhibition, performance or dance conducted in an sexually oriented business facility where such exhibition, performance or dance is distinguished or characterized by a predominant emphasis on matters depicting, describing, or simulating any specified sexual activities or any specified anatomical areas; or

(2) Any exhibition, performance or dance intended to sexually stimulate any patron and conducted in a sexually oriented business facility where such exhibition, performance or dance is performed for, arranged with, or engaged in with fewer than all patrons in the sexually oriented business facility at that time, with separate consideration paid, either directly or indirectly, for such performance, exhibition or dance. For purposes of example and not limitation, such exhibitions, performances or dances are commonly referred to as table dancing, couch dancing, taxi dancing, lap dancing, private dancing or straddle dancing; or

(3) Sexually oriented retail store, meaning an enclosed building, or any portion thereof, which, for money or any other form of consideration, devotes a significant or substantial portion of stock in trade to the sale, exchange, rental, loan, trade, transfer or viewing of sexually oriented materials. For purposes of this definition, a retail store devotes a significant or substantial portion of its stock in trade to sexually oriented materials if the sale, exchange, rental, loan, trade, transfer or viewing of such sexually oriented materials is clearly material to the economic viability of the business. It is rebuttably presumed that such sexually oriented materials are clearly material to the viability of the business if sexually oriented materials account for:

(a) Twenty-five percent or more of the retail dollar value of gross sales over any quarterly period;

(b) Twenty-five percent or more of the floor area of the store open to the public;

(c) Twenty-five percent or more of the retail dollar value of all merchandise displayed in the store;

(d) Twenty-five percent or more of the store’s inventory (whether measured by retail dollar value or number of items); or

(e) Twenty-five percent or more of the store’s stock in trade.

In no event shall a retailer whose transactions only incidentally or marginally relate to sexually oriented materials be considered a sexually oriented retail store.

JCC Chapter 5.10

LICENSING AND OPERATION OF SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS FACILITIES

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Thursday, July 1
HaHa the Wizard

This seems like a much safer business than any tavern, and they are always encouraged. Isn't it time that we stop judging women and their motives and what they want to do with their bodies? A store of this nature would benefit women young and old by giving them a safe place to discuss sexual issues of any nature, to get answers that are not easily obtained. We pride ourselves on our politics for "everyone" healthy food, clean air and water, safe abortions and health care for all.

I a working Vietnam Vet and after the embarrassment of the last 4 years lets open our arms to new business, encourage them, help them to realize their dreams. Don't forget "It takes a Village" lets be that Village have reasonable fees, and regulations, and open arms for these young women.

Thursday, July 1
Robert Gray

Agree with the wizard.

Friday, July 2