VIP Interview With Angela Lieben – Brand Ambassador Liberator!

The adultsmart lifestyle community blog is proud to have with us today Angela Lieben.  Angela is a ‘pleasure activist’ who is in charge of Public Relations and Marketing for the world famous Liberator Brand that creates Bedroom Adventure Gear.  Liberator is well-known for their hand-crafted USA made intimacy furniture that enhances love-making for the ability to innovate positional lovemaking.  The brand focuses on bettering sexual relations and is highly recommended as an aid for people with mobility or physical impairments.

 

A big hello to you Angela.  We will start with the big questions first.  Tell me something that not everyone knows about you?

It’s my pleasure to take part in your interview. Thank you for inviting me to share my story.

A lot of people think my life revolves around sex, sex, sex and it does. But my first true passion and pleasure is cars, especially vintage! My dad was an import car specialist and he taught me all about foreign automobiles. I spent a lot of my summer vacations hanging around his shop. He eventually taught me how to change the oil in a 1972 Ferrari 365 Daytona. My husband is amazed at my ability to clock any car’s make and model at a glance.

I would love to get my hands on a vintage VW Karmann Ghia (or a 1969 Camaro RS) and do part of the restoration myself. There’s is something about the smell of gasoline and whir of an engine that really turns me on!

You have had quite a history in the adult industry.  I would love to explore some of them in more detail? You are a filmmaker, produced documentaries and also done the make-up for adult movies.  What motivated you to get into this genre?

My dream of working in the adult industry started an early age.

In 6th grade, I was assigned a project of “What You Want to Do When You Grow Up.” It was one of the most exciting projects ever in my young life. My first plan of action was to scour through my dad’s collection “girly” magazines—like Easy Rider, Playboy, Oui, and Penthouse. I spent days methodically cutting and pasting all the pretty, naked women posing with their products on my colorful poster board. The ladies were well-placed and represented my idea of working in the sex industry. But dad was not so pleased when he noticed his magazines were missing a few pages.

I was excited about sharing my hopes and dreams with my class and teacher. Sitting through what felt like hours, my classmates showed off their pursuits of working for the State Department or the FBI or the CIA. (I went to a State Department school.) Bemused, I sat patiently for my turn. I was confident and self-assured that everyone would be happy to see that I was different and going places other than the police academy.

Finally, my name was called. Standing in front of the class, I took a deep breath and shamelessly unfurled my poster and held it up proudly! “I want to work with sexy people,” I stated. (Audible gasps!)

First—nothing but silence. Then suddenly a torrent of nervous, tittering laughter. My poster of beautiful women was instantly snatched from my hands and I was roughly escorted from the classroom. My teacher was not amused, and to find out, neither was the school principal.

My mother, however; was proud of my project and defended my right to dream.

She said to me afterward, “If you’re going to work in the sex industry, then be the best you can be!” She recently told me that she is proud of all the work I’ve been doing.

Here is a chance for a bit of a plug!  Can you give us a list of some of the productions you were involved in?

I was the executive producer for a documentary called the Art of Fetish by Laurence Gartel. It was supposed to air on HBO, but nothing ever happened. From what I understand, the production is still in the can. I spent hours with the artist lining up people who live the BDSM lifestyle in Atlanta and we filmed scenes that featured everything from sploshing to bloodletting to flogging and orgies. People were really eager to share their kinks on film. There was a book released called the Art of Fetish which is available online at Schiffer books.

Angela Lieben Fetish
Fetish Book

I also produced, shot and edited a short documentary called Lightworship. It was for an art opening that I was curating at the Paradigm Art Space in Atlanta. I followed the renowned fetish photographer Victor around for a few months and filmed him working in the studio and darkroom. I’m very proud of that documentary—although I have no idea where the footage is today. I was one of the first people to ever “live-stream” the Lightworship event on the internet. (This was back when we were still using dial-up services.)

You also have owned your own erotic art gallery (Friction Art Gallery) in Atlanta.  Tell us a bit more about that?

I live for erotic art and being around creative people. The financial success and media coverage of Lightworship was the impetus for opening Friction Gallery. There were so many amazing fetish artists and photographers not being represented because they were deemed too dark. So, I thought, “what the fuck! I’m going to create a space.” Friction Gallery not only had a monthly art show, we also hosted a series of seminars focused on the BDSM community. Even back in 1999, I knew that BDSM and bondage would one day become mainstream. So, I was not surprised when 50 Shades hit the market.

Friction Gallery was unique in that the shows were invitation only. This concept worked in getting people interested in coming to not only see the art but purchase it too. I created a private space where people would not feel judged for looking at “dirty pictures.”

 

And to top it all off a sex educator and sex toy tester.  Which do you enjoy more?

I never thought in a million years that I would be a sex toy tester! That’s partly because sex toys were not as evolved as they are today when I first started writing about sex. I first started with Liberator five years ago and owned two vibrators (you know the plastic/jelly kind that takes batteries). Now, I have a collection of 200 sex toys altogether. You name it—I have it!  I enjoy testing sex toys and then sharing my experiences with others in an educational way.

 

Podcast Interview Liberator
Angela Lieben Podcast Interview

 

You are vocal about sex-positivity yet so many people get confused with its meaning.  What does it mean to you?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the sex-positive movement. For me, being sex positive simply means being open to all expressions of sexual pleasure. Basically not yucking someone else’s yum.  What may feel good to one person may not do it for the next. Just because someone gets off on sucking on their partner’s toes does not mean they are deviant or bad. We should never be labeled or judged for enjoying the things that make us feel good. Also, I believe respecting our partner’s boundaries, as well as our own, is an essential component to being sex positive. And that also means getting and confirming consent!

You have your own blog called the pleasure activist.  Do you enjoy sharing your journey and advice on it?

 

The Liberator UnZipped blog was what started it for me. I thought, “why should I give my best ideas out when I can write them on my own blog.” When I first started my blog, I was a bit reticent about sharing my experiences. Part of that reason was that I went through a terrible breakup with a man who used my sexual history against me in court. But then I realized—who the fuck cares? My journey could actually help someone. There was another reason too—there are so many sex blogs now regurgitating the same information over and over. To stand out amongst the noise, I had to start incorporating personal anecdotes into my narrative. I love being authentic and laying it all out there. The writing is cathartic for me and has really helped me heal through some personal traumas.

Angela Lieben
Pleasure Activist Blog

 

What is the best piece of sexual advice you would give?

Please, get out of your head! As humans, we are our own worst critic. Stop listening to that judgemental inner-voice that says —Ewww! Sex is the one area of your life where you can be creative—whether it’s playing out fantasies or trying something you saw in a porn video. Release your inner critic and throw caution to the wind. You never know what pleasure you’ll find lurking inside your imagination. Do what makes your tail wag!

 

 

A career with the established and esteemed Liberator brand.  How did that come about?

I was working at a neuropsychology center and was extremely unsatisfied. I felt like an imposter because I could not be myself. But living in Atlanta, careers in the sexual wellness industry are limited. So, one day I called the CEO (Louis Friedman) and left him a voicemail saying, “you should hire me because your company needs it!” He called me back about an hour later and asked, “when can you come in?” I sat with him for about two hours sharing my ideas on content and marketing strategies. He and I clicked and have been working together ever since.

 

What is the best thing about being Liberators PR and Marketing manager?

Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask, “is this real?” I love having a career in this industry and being able to use my marketing background. Every day is different and I am honored being the voice of such a famous brand! The main part of my job is developing content for the blog, copy for the website, and our email newsletters. I basically have my hands in everything from web development, content creation, art direction, erotic workshops—you name it, I do it. But the best part connecting with Liberator customers via social media. I feel that in order for any brand to be successful, you have to connect with customers on a personal level and communicate with them and share ideas. An added bonus, however; is I get to help with product new designs and testing them with my husband.

If you could describe what it is that makes Liberator a much loved (pardon the pun) company to consumers?

We put a lot of love into all of our products. Everyone who works here counts and plays an integral role in creating a product that is meant to enhance sex on all levels. There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into every collection. For Liberator, we want to truly make a difference in people’s sex lives. Whether it’s helping with mobility or having a deeper, intimate connection with a lover, our products truly stand the test of time. Manufacturing Liberator in the USA gives us greater control over the product quality.

 

You were bullied as a teenager.  How did you overcome that?

Bullying is no joke! I am thankful for coming of age at a time when the internet and social media did not exist. There were days when I truly wanted to become invisible. My mother was the one person who helped me overcome the pain and trauma of being relentlessly bullied. She empathized with what was happening because she too was bullied when she was a teenager for being a refugee from East Germany. She taught me that it does not matter what anyone thinks and that I was meant to do great things with my life. She said that “the Lieben’s are tough and strong —and this time is only temporary.” Being reminded of the impermanence of life helped me push through and become the strong woman I am today.

Ange on Porn Set
Angie Lieben

Being labeled ‘a slut’ in your earlier years must have been difficult.  How has that motivated you being an advocate for women’s issues?

The word SLUT, when said out loud, has a very powerful effect. That one syllable word feels like a gut punch it’s being hurled at you! Whether it’s being whispered or yelled, the impact is always the same. It’s even more challenging for teenager girls who are still trying to figure out sexuality.

What I realize now, and wish I knew back then, is that slut used to demean—make someone feel small and bad for exploring sexuality. What I find appalling is men can sleep with a shit ton of women and they are labeled as STUD!

I want young girls and women to know there is absolutely nothing wrong in exploring sexuality. There is nothing wrong in having control over your own sexuality. Sex is power, especially for women. The ancient Greeks honored women for possessing sexual power! They held them to a higher standard. So, now when someone slut shames a woman—they are basically recognizing and acknowledging that inner power.

 

So, now when anyone calls me a slut—I tell them “thank you!”

Who do you most admire and why?

Hands down—Amber Rose. She’s a powerhouse and is unapologetic for the choices she’s made throughout her career. On top of that, she is extremely intelligent and not afraid to speak out about issues facing women today. There is a spark in her eye and personality that says, “don’t mess with me.” What I also love about her most the massive call-to-action with the Los Angeles SlutWalk. I went a few years ago and the energy was positively overwhelming. She is a warrior and is leading the charge for change in the way we view slut-shaming. God, I wish I could be more like her and not be so introverted.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

That’s really hard to say! I’m working on a few projects right now. One is a book aimed at teenage girls and sexual self-discovery. The other a podcast with my husband. A lot can happen between now and 10 years—I see myself being surprised and grateful for all the opportunities. But in all honesty, I see myself being the CEO of a luxury sex to brand!

 

Once again thanks again for taking the time to do this interview with us.  I know that your time is extremely tight and valuable being the busy woman that you are.  We hope to catch up again with you sometime in the near future as your answers are both enlightening and honest.

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