Sex Toys: How on Earth did she end up in this industry?

by Chrystal Bougon on January 10, 2010

Have you ever wondered “How on Earth did Chrystal end up selling sex toys for a living?”  Well, it’s kind of a long story, but I will do my best to be succint. (Stop laughing. Seriously. I am going to try to keep this semi-short.)

Chrystal Bougon, Founder of Bliss

Chrystal Bougon, Founder of Bliss

For starters, I worked in High Tech for 15 years. I worked at a company called Cornerstone Imaging for 10 years. In fact, I was there from the age of 20 to right before my 30th birthday. I volunteered to get laid off – partially because I had another job already lined up at Nielsen//NetRatings thanks to some of my friends who left Cornerstone to work at NNR.  Cornerstone was going through some lay offs and with the 10 years of tenure, I was offered a very generous severance package (remember those?). Since I had another job lined up with a “dot com”- I was very excited!

So, in 1998 I went to work for Nielsen//Netratings which eventually turned into and worked with them as an Engineering Program Manager (mostly with Oracle d.b. programmers from New Zealad) until September 2002 when I got laid off. (After about 6 rounds of lay offs and with a VP who was preggo – the writing was on the wall.) I was next and I couldn’t be happier.  For those of you who have survived layoffs,  you know it sucks to be the last few men standing. For one thing, you have to do the work of about 5 people. And, it’s very depressing to see your old work buddies empty cubicles, empty chairs and their sad name plates on their old offices.

So, I got laid off during the “dot com bomb” and it was one of the best days of my life.  It was all I had in me not to say “THANK YOU!” I was miserable and could not wait to be out of there. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I went on unemployment and started looking for another job in the corporate world. It was pretty ugly (kind of like now) out there, so I went on like two interviews in 3 months. Yuck.

Then, Martin Luther Kind Day Weekend, the following January, I got invited to go to a home Pleasure Party from some young girlfriends of mine. In fact, they were under age. I think they may have invited me so I could bring the booze. I brought my girlfriend Dawn and Erin with me and we sat in the back. We were very excited to learn a few new tricks, maybe buy a new product or two and just excited to get all worked up for a few hours and learn from the consultant.

Well, this is where it gets interesting. The woman who showed up to do the presentation insipred me. But, mostly because she was REALLY bad at her job. She could not say important words like “penis” or “vagina.” She was describing the oils, the books, the rings, the toys, etc but when she talked about HOW to use the products, she would use words like “you know, down there.”  Um, ok, lady. I think if you own a vag, you should be able to articulate the word “vagina” in front of a group of adult women. I mean, seriously, that is what it is called. And, if you sling dildos for a living, it’s kinda important.

So, my brain went into motion. We had fun, despite her terrible presentation. The vodka and the Smirnoff Ice’s might have contributed to the fun. (This was 2003, Smirnoff Ice was kind of new and yummy.) But, it was FUN. Cool women, talking about sex, laughing, giggling, getting all worked up. Loved it even though the presentation was sort of crazy.

The next day, I went to a dinner with my book club and Dawn and I were telling the girls all about the party and the crazy presentation. Right away, my book club friends started saying to me “Chrystal, you can talk about sex without getting embarassed.” My whole life, people have confided their deepest darkest secrets to me and I think that is possibly because I NEVER judge. I have always been told I am easy to talk to and I am a “safe” person to share things with. And, my book club was right. Nothing about sex embarasses me. Why should it? We all do it? EVERYONE got here the same way. Why should there be any SHAME tied to something every single person on this planet engages in. (Even if they only do it alone.)

I always say it’s hard to shock me. (Though a few of you have!) I feel strongly that if you keep kids and animals out of the equation, you should do what feels good to you. Go for it. It may not be for me, but I would never judge you for what works for you. I find it extremely interesting the various things that get people excited. It’s fascinating and I love them with the right product or idea, to help if I can.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. In some weird way, this is my version of  “teacher.” I love talking with women at our home parties and couples at our co-ed pleasure parties. I love listening to them and what is going on in their own love life and trying to find ways to help them. I love finding the right toy or the right lubricant for each person and each situation. I love teaching women how easy it can be to have an orgasm and how incorporating a small vibe can improve their partner play and their alone play.

I know it’s a strange job to have and a strange path to get here, but I LOVE IT. It never feels like work and I love that sometimes I really do get to help people with some of their most intimate issues. It’s very rewarding and OH SO FUN, too.

Blissfully, Chrystal

Sex Expert, Pleasure Coach & Host of Better Sex Radio

We do Sex Toy / Pleasure Parties all over the Bay Area. You can also join us on Facebook

Tel: 408-826-9087


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine Toyooka November 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Love the story and totally agree about the fit.
There are too few people out there where people can talk openly and without shame about the kind of sex they are having or want to have…kudos for making it happen!

Cassandra Rae November 4, 2009 at 11:05 pm

*LOVED* reading about your personal history. And talking about sex, pleasure, bodies, etc. does feel very natural and safe with you. Thank you for doing what you do!

Chrystal Bougon November 4, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Thanks, Cassandra. That is a huge compliment. I really appreciate you saying that.

Rowena January 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Wonderful segway into a new career/business.   I love that you articulate what I think about all of this puritan crap around ‘words’…perfectly perfect words.  This is your ‘calling’.

Leslie Lang January 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Well…you’ve come a long way to get here, and I’m glad you did! Your confidence and expertise put peope at ease about their sexual wants and needs… You are approachable and kind, making it easy to ask you questions that I may not be able to ask anyone else! Keep up the good work “at play!” There’s so much positive BUZZzzzzzzzz going around because of you! Thanks!!!

Shawngal January 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

What a great story of getting to your real purpose! You are an inspiration. I’m sure that you have made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives, spreading the happiness that good sex brings. You are one talented gal, Chrystal, and I’m so glad that you found your dream job!

Kathy S. January 16, 2012 at 8:22 am

I always find your story inspiring, every time I hear it!  It’s not easy to just step away from the security of a corporate job and venture out on your own.  You’ve got some balls, Chrystal! : )  This is your true calling in life, and your fun and approachable personality has helped and inspired many of your fans get their Bliss on!

Betty Kaufman January 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Love your story. Isn’t it  great to get to do exactly what you want to do, not exactly what your company wants you to do? Woo hoo. And what a pleasure for all of us that you do what you do!

Erika Taylor Montgomery January 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I love that you were inspired by a bad presenter and that you were able to turn that into an incredible positive in your life! Way to go Chrystal!

Lindsay January 18, 2012 at 5:16 am

You inspire me in so many ways.  Thanks for sharing your story. 

Anne J January 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

It’s always so much fun to hear how people have turned their strengths and ‘passions’ into a business!  Congratulations on a brand and a business that brings people together and enriches the lives of those around you!

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