Capitol Hill’s pioneering sex-toys retailer is being acquired by a like-minded California retailer that vows to continue its ‘feminist-sex-positive’ approach.

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Babeland, the sex-toys retailer founded on Capitol Hill in 1993 that helped usher in a more open, positive attitude toward sexuality, is being sold to Bay Area adult-toys purveyor Good Vibrations.

Babeland’s stores, which now include three locations in New York City as well as the flagship Seattle store, and its online site babeland.com, will retain their names and brand identities, according to the two companies. There will be no layoffs of store employees.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close next month, were not disclosed.

Babeland, originally called Toys in Babeland, was founded by Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah as a safe, welcoming place for women and customers of all genders and orientations to discover more about sexual health and pleasure.

After nearly 25 years owning Babeland, Venning and Cavanah “feel ready to do the next thing,” Venning, who now lives in Oakland, said in a phone interview. (Cavanah now lives in New York City.)

“It’s a little bittersweet,” Venning said. “I feel proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

When the store was first founded, she recalls, “sex toys” was still a relatively new phrase for many people. Such products used to be referred to, delicately, as “marital aids.”

“I think Babeland has been part of a significant cultural change around sexuality,” she said. “I feel really good about that.”

Indeed, Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington professor specializing in the sociology of sexuality and relationships, said Babeland was “part of the rise of the friendly sex shop — safe for women to go to” and providing information about the products, “how to use them and why you might want to.”

“Babeland was very forward thinking and very accessible,” Schwartz said. “In these days of internet ability, that might sound not so radical, but there weren’t many other choices for a very long time. I think they’re very important nationally and even more important locally because, for a while, there were no other options that I know of.”

Since that time, Babeland has grown into a $10 million-a-year business with profits each year that have been healthy, though not lucrative, Venning said.

The company now has 60 employees, about 10 of them in Seattle.

Even after the acquisition, the stores will continue to run “seamlessly,” with people in the stores keeping their jobs, Venning said. About five people working administrative jobs with the company may be laid off.

Both Babeland and Good Vibrations say the merging of the companies makes sense, with both companies founded by women, having similar missions, and hosting similar education programs.

Good Vibrations, founded in 1977 in San Francisco, today has nine stores in five cities and the goodvibes.com online site. It’s gone through several ownership changes and today is owned by Concord, Calif.-based Barnaby Ltd.

“I’ve been calling it ‘coming full feminist-sex-positive circle,’ ” said Jackie Rednour-Bruckman, executive vice president of Good Vibrations.

Babeland co-founder Cavanah had trained at Good Vibrations shortly before the opening of Babeland, learning more about sex positivity, how to talk with customers, and getting access to Good Vibration’s vendor list, Rednour-Bruckman said.

“We’re really excited and want to see both companies continue to grow,” she said. “We share the same mission: to help people live life as their authentic sexual selves.”