by Alana Hackman
Nestled away in Old Town Eureka on 2nd and D street is Good Relations, Humboldt County’s very own independent lingerie and sex store. Founder Linda Meyers began the company in 1983 while attending Humboldt State University for mathematics before changing her focus to psychology.
“I was going to be a junior high school math teacher way back then, and then I realized I would probably wind up getting fired because I would drive a kid to the [sexual health] clinic,” Meyers said. “So I just decided to skip that part and go immediately to the next career.”
Meyers is a fourth-generation Humboldt State graduate. She attended elementary school in Gist Hall because her father taught at Humboldt State. Meyers graduated from Humboldt State in 1988 with a bachelor’s in psychology and got her Doctorate in psychology in 1994. She also lectured for 25 years in the psychology and Multicultural Queer studies department up until 2017.
Adorned in a golden labia necklace and sporting dark red painted nails, Meyers welcomes all customers in her Eureka store with her beaming smile. Good Relations opened its first store in the early 90s after Meyers wrapped up nearly 1000 of her own “pleasure parties”. Meyers compares these parties to the Tupperware parties of the 1980s, where she would bring her basket of sexual health goodies to different houses for those attending to buy.
“It was all word of mouth,” Meyers said. “Usually I knew somebody who had referred me.”
Good Relations was an at-home company in its foundational years until the first storefront opened in Arcata in 1995. A second location was opened in Eureka in 1998, and is now the only open location. This year, the store will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Meyers is grateful for Good Relations giving her the ability to have a free schedule within her work life, especially when she was still attending school and raising her children. Meyers mentions opening her first store was the result of her eldest son asking why there were penises on a shelf in their spare bedroom that Meyers worked out of.
Good Relations is focused on sexual education and creating a welcoming atmosphere for any curious or experienced customers that walk in. Meyers mentioned accessibility and diversity is the main focus within the company from differing skin tone options for lingerie, custom corsets, and lingerie sizes up to 5x and up if needed.
“Auntie-ing people is in my nature, it’s in my culture, it’s in every cell of my body, and the nice thing about having a place like this is it’s very appropriate to auntie people, right,” Meyers said. “Aunties will kind of tell you what you need to know, even sometimes if you don’t really want to hear it, so we tell the truth. We educate the stores as a front for sex-ed and always has been.”
Good Relation’s success for the past 40 years can be attributed to Meyer’s efforts to bring in a well-trained staff and make sure they are knowledgeable in all topics around sexual wellness and education, as well as consent.
Abby Beha, an employee of Good Relations, mentions the three-month-long training of videos, pamphlets and tests is a crucial part of employment, but is necessary for trying to help people have better sex lives.
“I just want them to feel welcomed, and that they can ask any question without feeling that they’re gonna get made fun of or ridiculed,” Beha said. “Everyone starts somewhere and we’re just here to help.”
A new employee, Gabrielle Castro, has only been working at Good Relations for a month after a second try at applying for the position and is grateful for the opportunity to help others.
“I really do believe that personal human pleasure is a basic right,” Castro said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience what they want to experience before their deathbed and shouldn’t have to wait till they’re in a retirement home partying their ass to be able to do it.”
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