How ‘Oh Joy Sex Toy’ Does Money

Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan.

Erika Moen’s webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy (NSFW link) has been running for nearly two years. It started off with a bang (PUN INTENDED) and built its audience because of Moen’s straightforward, sex-positive reviews of popular sex toys, as well as Moen’s commitment to drawing characters that represent the full spectrum of gender, race, ability, sexuality, and sexual partnership.

Last year, I interviewed Moen about her success at Boing Boing. As she explained then:

It felt like the Right Project Right Now for me to do as a creator, but I did not predict at all that it would resonate as many people as it has. I’ve been really blown away by the response it’s received. It’s overwhelming and humbling and I feel so goddamn lucky I can’t even believe it.

Now, Moen’s husband and business partner Matthew Nolan has released information about how Oh Joy Sex Toy functions as a business (also probably a NSFW link).

You should read the whole thing, but here’s a quick teaser:

I see a lot of people take note of just one or two of our revenue steams and then make assumptions. The reality is we make our living from a BUNCH of different avenues, our business succeeds on a hundred small checks each month instead of any one big check.

Sounds familiar to those of us who have been following the Business of Creative Careers series, right? (It also sounds a bit like my life. Gobs of small checks and PayPal transfers making up a living.)

Nolan also lists all the work it takes to keep OJST running, noting that he and Moen are both “overworked, even after I quit my day job!” Nolan writes, for example, that he spends 3–4 hours a day on business-related emails. (How much time do you spend every day on email? I feel like I do about 90 minutes of emailing, though I haven’t officially timed it.)

Read Nolan’s entire piece, then check out the Oh Joy Sex Toy comic. (After work, of course.) I’ve enjoyed reading OJST since it launched and I am so glad to learn more about Moen and Nolan’s success and how they keep the business going.

Photo credit: Joshin Yamada (photo cropped from original)

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