Journal

The Other B Word

SHOP VISIT SATURDAYS: TROLL HOLE NYC

 

Looking for some new reading material?  What about poppers?  Need any tee shirts or jock straps?  How about all those things at the exact same time?

Naturally, we got you.

Troll Hole NYC is what I'm talking about y'all.  This mini, wonderfully intimate safe haven for the voices who are not heard as much as they should be occupies a corner in the La Blaquinta laundromat at 226 Knickerbocker Avenue.  It is independently owned by three besties Hayley Blatte, Monica Yi, and Justin Shock whose mission was to (and I think they successfully have) create a pro-intersectional feminist and sex-positive space.  This was a dream they all shared; of making it part bookstore, part community/resource space, and "part 70's Times Square sex shop".  Sounds great, right?  Well, trust your girl IT IS!  It's so great that I had to know more.  Naturally, I chose to conduct a little interview to find out where it all came from.  Check out the little Q&A below and some photos of my favorite publications/favorite authors, collectives, and illustrator.  Afterward you betta VISIT! THE! SHOP! 

Q:  What are the personal experiences that led you all to create this space? 


A: We all have been involved in the arts and activism for a long time. We were concerned by the under-representation of people of color, female identified people and the LGBTQIA community in the Arts, especially somewhere as diverse and multicultural as New York City. There's enough artisanal coffee shops, white space galleries, and new-American themed bars. Another concern was overcoming the sterility and joylessness of other sex/adult gift stores. We wanted to create a space that is accessible to everyone, not just cis-hetero white folks. Troll Hole is under 100 sq. ft., and while it is small the size creates a very intimate environment. We are hoping that this intimacy can spark conversation and result in the space being a platform for change to take place. A customer said it best recently, "must be a pretty sweet job to hang out with good reading material and talk about sex and politics all day." We can't argue with that!

Q:  What are the personal experiences that led you all to create this space? 


A: We all have been involved in the arts and activism for a long time. We were concerned by the under-representation of people of color, female identified people and the LGBTQIA community in the Arts, especially somewhere as diverse and multicultural as New York City. There's enough artisanal coffee shops, white space galleries, and new-American themed bars. Another concern was overcoming the sterility and joylessness of other sex/adult gift stores. We wanted to create a space that is accessible to everyone, not just cis-hetero white folks. Troll Hole is under 100 sq. ft., and while it is small the size creates a very intimate environment. We are hoping that this intimacy can spark conversation and result in the space being a platform for change to take place. A customer said it best recently, "must be a pretty sweet job to hang out with good reading material and talk about sex and politics all day." We can't argue with that!

Q: What are you looking to expand on or bring in, content wise?

A: We would like to expand our selection of zines and chapbooks. We are hoping to provide a resource of free zines and a sharing library. Donations are kindly accepted. We are always looking for new zines, self-published books and other printed materials (we give priority to women of color). We're exploring the lack of kink items available in Brooklyn, and trying to make things available that are fun and functional in the realm of fantasy. 

Q: Can you tell us your goals for the long run of the business?

A: More involvement with the immediate community, sex-positive workshops, fundraisers, letter writing. We hope that down the road we’ll be able to move to a larger space and be able to host an open community space for workshops, lectures, and gatherings. We are also interested in collaborating with artists and object makers and hope to incorporate ecosexual lifestyle options like refillable lube or locally sourced/produced toys...

Q: Please let our readers know anything else you want to share!!!

A: Troll Hole has given us renewed faith and perspective on community building and local activism in a way none of us really expected. We have had some of the most meaningful and personal conversations with strangers while working the shop but have also been exposed to more resistance and confusion from cis- hetero- men than we've experienced in awhile. We have definitely placed ourselves in bubbles where we rarely interact with that demographic, and being forced to on a daily basis has reconfirmed how much work still needs to be done with feminism. We also would like to thank the employees and owners of La Blanquita (Formerly The Mermaid Laundromat) for letting us set up shop in their space, we are so grateful.

Hayley, Monica, and Justin, The Bettys are also grateful for your contribution for the arts, for the voices that should damn well be heard, and towards the community.  WE LOVE YOU!

TROLL HOLE FOREVAAAAAAAAAAA

"Boss" - Kevin Harry $20

Top row: "Twink", Brett Suemnicht $5, Kevin Harry $20, Pink Mince V.10 - $5

Bottom Row: Work it, 5$ - Sold Out, Fabulous Topless Woman, Derek Marks - $7

Pig Pup Pose, Jeromy Velasco - $5

Good Girl, Get Selfish - $20

 

Romantic Story, Heather Benjamin - $15

Bookmarking Da Sipirit, Monica Yi - 5$, Hirsute Heroines Postcards, Hayley Blatte - Free, Hirsute Heroines V1 - $10, Casual Encounters V1 - $5

Justin, Monica, and Hayley are three of the GREATEST humans you'll ever meet!!

Major shoutouts to the security system/Monica's precious pup, Francis <3

 

http://www.trollholenyc.com/

http://www.trollholenyc.com/

http://www.trollholenyc.com/