Sunday, September 14th — 7:30 p.m. — FREE
Vancouver, BC author Eve Rickert, together with her partner and co-author Franklin Veaux, of Portland, Oregon, will be reading from their forthcoming book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory and answering reader questions on the book and on polyamory in general.
More Than Two is a comprehensive guide to the polyamorous lifestyle. Challenging the notion of what society considers a healthy and successful relationship, Rickert and Veaux offer up personal stories from their own lives as well as of those in the wider poly world, emphasizing that this lifestyle choice isn’t for the noncommittal. Polyamory is all about the relationships and the individuals participating.
Charting a Relationship Bill of Rights, the authors underscore the importance of engaging in ethical polyamory and guide readers through the thorny issues of jealousy and insecurity with the aim of encouraging readers to work consistently and conscientiously on both their relationships and themselves.
This event is free — please RSVP on Facebook!
America’s first sex ed movie was called Damaged Goods. Screened in theaters in 1914, it followed the sad life of a man who contracted syphilis from a sex worker and subsequently committed suicide.
Unsurprisingly, the characters in early sex ed films were stereotypes. Men — whom the films were aimed at — were like stallions, easily overtaken by their sexual urges. Women fell into two categories: harlots out to infect young men with venereal diseases, and virginal “nice girls” with no sexual desire at all.
This account comes to us courtesy of Bitch, where Sarah Mirk has tirelessly deconstructed The Dramatic History of American Sex-Ed Films. In her research, Mirk found an odd and unexpected trajectory:
Instead of becoming steadily better in quality over time, the content, messages, and accuracy of sex-ed films have fluctuated with the moral and political forces of each era. What’s especially surprising in looking at the history of sex-ed films is how the medium has changed in its approach to contraception. Condoms, over time, have gone from being framed as a straightforward way to prevent disease to a failure-prone and risky option.
The first sex ed film to be screened in an American public school was called Human Growth. Funded by a physician and educator who left $500,000 in his will specifically for its creation, the anatomy-focused 20-minute film caused a great stir when it was shown in a seventh grade classroom in Eugene, Oregon in 1948. National magazines even wrote about the event.
The ’60s brought homophobic “stranger danger” public safety movies, then, oddly enough, fearless movies in the ’70s featured full nudity. Contraception made its debut in sex ed films starting in the early ’80s… but the AIDS epidemic quickly cast a dark shadow over the topic.
As the decades went by, films continued to ignore female sexual desire. The clitoris as a pleasurable part of the anatomy was not mentioned until the ’80s, while male masturbation and wet dreams were common topics. Most of the information dispensed to young girls was about menstruation. In fact, Disney once partnered with Kotex to produce an animated short urging girls to “keep smiling and even-tempered” during their periods.
A large shift took place in the 1990s, when the federal government began funding abstinence-only education. Religious groups began visiting schools — they used shame and fear tactics, centering their lessons on morality and virginity. The films made by religious organizations followed the same line of thinking, even including bogus “facts” about condom failure rates. No Second Chance, from 1991, was one of those films:
In the video, a woman extolls students to be abstinent while imagery of a kid playing with a gun rolls onscreen.
“When you use a condom, it’s like playing Russian Roulette. There’s less chance that when you pull the trigger, you’re going to get a bullet in your head,” she tells a class of students. One teen boy pipes up.
“What if I want to have sex before I get married?” he asks.
“Well, I guess you just have to be prepared to die,” she responds.
The upcoming documentary Sex(ED) The Movie (trailer below) estimates that 100,000 sex ed films have been produced in the past century, but the state of American sex ed remains grim. Although 80% of Americans favor comprehensive sex education, only 22 states require sex ed, with only 19 requiring the lessons to be medically accurate. There are no national standards for how sex ed should be taught.
Here in Oregon, where our sex ed policies are considered “progressive,” we’ve updated our sex ed video My Future, My Choice to include gender-neutral language about relationships and a racially diverse cast. But the video strongly recommends abstinence, fails to mention birth control aside from a brief blip about condoms, and, by all accounts, does not address pleasure in the slightest.
We do have the internet, where Scarleteen dispenses accurate and in-depth sex ed information, Laci Green uploads friendly and frank videos, and Go Ask Alice answers an avalanche of questions. But this puts the onus on kids to ask those questions and find the information they need. Films shown in classrooms have an air of authority that the internet will never have. Although we’ve come a long way since Damaged Goods, sex ed films still have room for improvement.
Wednesday, September 10th — 7:30 p.m. — FREE
Join erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel with readings from her latest anthologies, Hungry for More: Romantic Fantasies for Women and The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales. Joining her will be contributors Tiffany Reisz, author of the popular Original Sinners series, as well as Stella Harris, Emily Bingham, Laurel Isaac, and Marievie.
Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York-based author, editor, blogger and event organizer. She has edited 40+ anthologies, including Women in Lust, Bottoms Up, Spanked, Tasting Her, Gotta Have It, The Mile High Club, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Best Bondage Erotica 2011 and 2012. Rachel conducts reading and erotic writing workshops worldwide.
Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books. Her first novel, The Siren, won the RT Editor’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance of 2012.
Stella Harris is an active volunteer in her local BDSM and sex-positive communities and writes erotic fiction as well as lifestyle and educational pieces on sex and kink. Publication highlights include several anthologies by Cleis Press and a series of tantalizing and informative articles on kinkly.com.
Emily Bingham is a writer, model, rope enthusiast, and seeker of adventure.
This event is free — please RSVP on Facebook!
This week in San Francisco, four groundbreaking women will be awarded honorary Doctor of Human Sexuality degrees from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).
Jane Hamilton (aka Veronica Hart), Candida Royalle, Veronica Vera, and Gloria Leonard (now deceased) are former “Golden Age” porn performers as well as pioneers in the adult industry. All four women were involved in Club 90, the first ever pornstar support group, which launched in 1983 and is still running today.
Jane Hamilton performed in porn movies in the early 80s, then graduated to directing, editing, and producing, eventually earning a spot in the AVN Hall of Fame. Now she educates women all over the world about self-esteem, pleasure, and aging.
Candida Royalle was one of the first female porn directors. She created Femme Productions in 1984, focusing on directing films based on female desire, such as Stud Hunters, Caribbean Heat, Eyes of Desire, and Afrodite Superstar. She wrote How to Tell a Naked Man What To Do and contributed an essay to The Feminist Porn Book. She now lectures and mentors young female porn directors.
Veronica Vera, aside from her work in adult films, founded Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want To Be Girls, the world’s first crossdressing academy.
Gloria Leonard, best known for her role in The Opening of Misty Beethoven, also directed several porn films and published High Society, a pornographic magazine. Her home at 90 Lexington Avenue was the inspiration for the name of Club 90. She was the first president of the Free Speech Coalition, a non-profit industry association which opposes obscenity and censorship laws. As a proponent of free speech, she bravely debated staunch anti-porn activists and visited college campuses to educate students on the First Amendment.
The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality was founded in 1976 by Rev. Dr. Ted McIlvenna, and it was the first organization to award advanced degrees in what is still a growing field of sexology. Annie Sprinkle was the first person to be awarded a Ph.D. from IASHS in 2002. She will host the investiture and awards ceremony next week. There will also be a display of Club 90 archival materials that will be open to the public.
Ready to learn the foundations of fantastic sex? Whether you’re a nookie ninja or never been kissed, join the Nerdist Industries podcaster Sex Nerd Sandra for an eye-opening look at the spectrum of pleasure! She’ll share universal skills for using your mouth, hands, and hips to seduce, play, and initiate effective foreplay, create surprising sensations, and unlock orgasm for everyone! This class is open to all genders and sexual appetites.
Sandra Daugherty punches sexual shame in the face! Brimming with book smarts and street smarts, the professional sex nerd’s methodology includes heavy doses of physical comedy, playful curiosity and emotional honesty.
Known the world over for her podcast, “Sex Nerd Sandra,” the Nerdist network show continues to earn a top spot on iTunes. Its loyal listenership (over 7 million downloads) is vocal about Sandra’s impact, describing her as “inspiring,” with “contagious enthusiasm” and an “awesome nerd-like ability that [she's] not afraid to show.”
Sandra is a trained sex educator, attending professional conferences and workshops regularly and devouring literature on all related topics with retention equal to her curiosity. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is an avid traveler and lover of big questions.
Limited space available — sign up online!
We are seeking some highly energetic and professional individuals to fill full-time and part-time positions as sales associates and educators. She Bop is a female friendly sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. We offer a fun, safe, comfortable and sex-positive environment for people of all genders, sexual orientations and social backgrounds. Duties include, but are not limited to: assisting and educating customers on the floor, ringing up customers, daily light cleaning, unpacking shipments and entering products into the POS system and website, answering the phone, assisting with afterhours parties and classes, filling website orders, and twice yearly inventory.
We are hiring for 24-32 hours/week. Applicant must be available to work weekend hours. This position starts at $10/hr. At least 2 years retail/customer service experience required. Previous sex toy sales experience or knowledge preferred. Sexuality education background/knowledge preferred. You must be 18 years or older to apply for this position.
If you are interested in joining our little team please call 503-450-9901 and leave a message telling us why you think you would be a good fit for this position. You will only have 60 seconds so keep it brief and to the point. In addition, please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org — be sure to put your name as the first thing in the subject line. Thanks!
The world is a much sparklier place now with the addition of many different butt plugs from Crystal Delights! We have their basic yet gorgeous short stem and long stem plugs with Swarovski crystals, a frosted plug with a vintage medallion in the base, a clear plug with a white air bubble marble base, and plugs with faux fur and rainbow pony tails. Tails!
Our newest vibrator is the Blush Purity, which stands out as an inexpensive silicone vibe. We like its somewhat realistic shape and its simple turn dial base. Not to mention its price — only $32!
Our bookshelves are now stocked with the latest issue of Original Plumbing: Trans Male Quarterly (the Atlanta issue, featuring James Darling on the cover!), as well as Best Bondage Erotica 2014, The Gender Book, and Little Penis: A Finger Puppet Parody Book.
We also grabbed some more queer fetish films from Maria Beatty: The Boiler Room, Ecstasy in Berlin 1926, Sex Mannequin (starring the incomparable Dylan Ryan), and The Return of Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls. Plus, a new gay porn DVD we couldn’t resist based on the name alone: Bromance. Seriously, though, we’ve heard good things about the studio that makes it — Cocky Boys — so we’re not completely superficial!
Coming to us from #1 Laboratory are these awesome realistic STPs! The Model D is 4.5″ long and the Model D Sport is 4.25″ long, with a shorter receptacle cup. Both are designed and manufactured by hand with 100% platinum silicone, including the painted heads. With no tubes or attachments, these STPs are long-lasting and very easy to use.
Come on down to the shop to see all of these great new products in person!
On each Tuesday in June, 10% of our sales will go to the Q Center, the wonderful LGBTQ community center just around the corner from us in North Portland. The Q Center is an absolute gem of an organization; here’s their description of what they do:
Q Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to increase the visibility of and foster connection within metropolitan Portland’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ) community. The center builds public awareness and support, and celebrates LGBTQ diversity through art, culture, and collaborative community programming.
There are dozens of events and groups that meet here, some focused on specific topics (like coming out or gender identity) and others aimed at fun social interactions (like sing-along piano cabarets or craft nights). Entry to most of these is sliding-scale and run by dedicated volunteers, keeping Q Center truly community-driven and accessible.
In addition to our programmatic offerings, our 5,000 sq/ft facility is also a safe and friendly place to spend an afternoon. With our monthly art exhibits, extensive library collection, Resource Wall, and free WiFi access, there’s always something to see and learn here at Q Center.
Come visit us and find a new toy on any Tuesday in June, and 10% of your purchase will go to the Q Center!
Amy Dentata is a writer, game designer, and performer who touches on topics including trauma recovery, mental illness, sexuality, and transgender issues on her website and elsewhere. Recently she wrote something amazing on PinkLabel.tv: “Fumbling Towards Humanity: How Trans Grrrls Helped Me Open Up to My Partner.”
We knew Courtney Trouble’s Trans Grrrls was a very special porn film, but Dentata’s piece illuminates just how transformative it can be to see someone like yourself in erotic imagery.
As a trans woman, Dentata encounters many difficulties when it comes to not just dating, but simply existing in the world. When dating, she has to worry about a lack of chemistry, the challenges of physical intimacy, and her personal safety. Sex, even masturbation, is a minefield — Dentata can feel uncomfortable, anxious, detached from her body. It doesn’t help that in both mainstream media and mainstream porn, trans people are made to be punchlines, victims of violence, or taboo sex objects. Genuine, compassionate representation is almost impossible to find.
When Dentata started dating a cisgender woman named Kate, she found a partner who was willing to take the time to learn how to pleasure her. Still, during their first couple of sexual encounters, Dentata couldn’t orgasm. One night ended in tears when Dentata was overcome by body dysphoria and upsetting anti-trans thoughts.
But the third time was different. That night, they popped in Trans Grrrls and began touching each other while watching the first scene, featuring Chelsea Poe and Maxine Holloway. Dentata writes:
. . . the scene cut to an apartment, and Chelsea and Maxine tore off each other’s clothes. There on the screen was someone like me, having sex with someone like Kate. They were both happy, enthusiastic, and into each other. No “surprise reveal”, no horrified reaction shots, no cis gaze ruminating on how a trans partner might affect a cis person’s feelings about their sexual orientation. Just two women fucking.
It made me feel human. And naked, even though my clothes were already off. A layer of psychic armor hardened by slurs, stereotypes, and violence melted off my body. It felt like the universe said to me, “We have a place for you. You belong here.”
I said to Kate, “In a little bit you’re going to find out something I love about Maxine.” Maxine laughs when she comes, and it is so adorable. Kate agreed. Sometime after the second scene of the film, I had an amazing orgasm, all thanks to Kate. The isolation I felt during our previous encounters washed away. That orgasm was a revelation, a moment of healing, and I laughed like Maxine through the intense torrent of emotions. That was the first time I’ve ever laughed while coming instead of crying.
That was the night Amy Dentata felt like she belonged. Like there was a place in the world for her body, her identity, her sexuality. Her partner confirmed it — along with the performers in Trans Grrrls – and she was able to experience the pleasure everyone deserves.
Read the whole piece at PinkLabel.tv.
Wednesday, August 20th — 7:30 p.m. — $20
Are you interested in anal pleasure but not sure where to get started? Already tried anal play but wanting to learn some fun tricks and techniques? Whether you’re brand new to the wonderful world of anal or already have some backdoor experience, this class is sure to teach you something new!
In this educational and humorous workshop, AJ will confront taboos, go over anal anatomy, prostate, and the G-spot, discuss anal penetration for beginners, and show great positions for anal sex. She’ll also cover safety and hygiene and give you the inside scoop on all the best lubes and anal toys! This class is open to all genders and sexual appetites.
AJ (aka Amory Jane) is one of She Bop’s in-house sex educators. She graduated with a master’s degree from Lewis & Clark College, where she studied Sex Therapy and Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling. She has facilitated multiple discussion groups and taught dozens of sex education workshops around Portland and the Midwest. She also moonlights as a sex-positive relationship coach.
Limited space available — sign up online!
Welcome to She Bop’s blog!
She Bop is a women-owned sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. Our mission is to promote healthy and safe sexuality by offering quality products and educational workshops in a fun and comfortable environment. She Bop welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations.
- July 27, 2014 – Let's Play with Rope Tonight!: A Friendly Introduction to Bondage
- August 7, 2014 – Full-Bodied Fellatio
- August 20, 2014 – Back That Ass Up!: Anal Sex 101
- September 10, 2014 – Erotica reading with Rachel Kramer Bussel!
- September 14, 2014 – More Than Two Reading with Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
- We're hosting 2 FREE book readings — 1 erotica hosted by @raquelita, 1 for @FranklinVeaux & @EveRickert's poly book! http://t.co/MzrP5UUNYb
- The fist bump heard 'round the world — and for good reason!! Check it: http://t.co/21F0FW4hMZ
- Oh Joy Sex Toy creator @ErikaMoen attended two of our classes and immortalized her experience in digital comic form!! http://t.co/nqG4R6htCL
- Did you know the first sex ed film to be screened in an American public school was shown in Eugene, Oregon in 1948? http://t.co/bWwPzJzqaD
- Basic Rights Oregon
- Bitch Magazine
- Bradley Angle
- BUST Magazine
- Dirty Playground
- In Other Words
- Mississippi Studios
- Orchestre L'Pow!
- Pants-Off Productions
- Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival
- Portland Women's Crisis Line
- Progressive Pleasure Club
- Pucker Up
- Q Center
- Queer Resource Center
- Quest Center for Integrative Health
- Raphael House
- Sex Worker Outreach Coalition
- The Portland Mercury