Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s career as a sex educator began in the early 1980s, when she was enlisted to host a radio show called Sexually Speaking. NBC was worried about allowing live phone calls, so they began by taking listener questions via letters. Later, when the show went live with a 7-second digital delay, Dr. Ruth was already becoming a household name. Listeners were enamored with her jolly demeanor and frank answers.
Soon after, Dr. Ruth launched her own TV show, which was nationally syndicated and led to more and more TV appearances. She taught and lectured at colleges, wrote a whole host of books, endorsed a sex toy, and continued to dole out sex advice. With her relaxed approach, she helped usher in a new age of openly discussing sex.
What you may not know about Dr. Ruth is that she has transitioned into the digital age remarkably well. Not only does she have a website (which, of course, has a Q&A section), she also has a YouTube channel and Twitter account. And yes, they are just as delightful as you might imagine.
On her YouTube channel, which has over 1,500 subscribers, Dr. Ruth posts pithy, adorable answers to questions that online fans ask her:
The channel also includes footage from her old TV shows, movie and book reviews, musings about getting a kiss from President Obama, and more. Her video review of Fifty Shades of Grey is particularly good:
On Dr. Ruth’s Twitter account, she tweets about the latest sex-related news and studies. Reading through her timeline, you get the sense she just wants to encourage people to have more, satisfying sex. A valiant goal!
What's the best position for Valentine's sex? One that won't tire you out so you can have seconds!
— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) February 14, 2014
Notice the days are getting longer? No? That's good as I don't want you staring out the window but looking partner in the eyes
— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) January 7, 2014
Congrats to @jimmyfallon for reinvigorating The Tonight Show. Just don't let him ruin your sex life. If necessary have sex earlier.
— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) February 18, 2014
A writer from Gizmodo recently visited the factory of Crave, a small luxury sex toy company based in San Francisco. They are perhaps most known for the Duet and Solo, swanky USB-rechargeable clitoral vibes, but they also make high-end accessories such as nipple tassels, cuffs, and nipple vibrators.
Crave is one of the only vibrator companies that manufactures and assembles their toys in the US. They make almost all their components on-site. Without the need to acquire prototypes from an overseas facility, they are able to tweak their designs with much more specificity than other companies:
. . . each stage of the process is marked by lots and lots of hands-on trials with a wide range of real life women. Chang follows-up with volunteers with online surveys or one-on-one interviews to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Models get refined, and tested again. And again. And again.
“Factory,” it seems, may be a strong word, since Crave is still a small operation. Their machinery includes a CNC mill, which is used to machine parts and molds, and a hot pink compression molder (or “vibrator waffle maker”) which presses two heated plates around some silicone. A piece of paper taped to the side of the compression molder hilariously reads “FUCKING hot.”
Upstairs, in the workshop, the toys are assembled by hand. Each vibrator is charged, depleted (Gizmodo reports: “when all of the vibes are switched on, it sounds like a massive hive of amorous bees”), and re-charged, then vacuum-tested on a special device to confirm waterproof capabilities. Next comes a hit of antibacterial spray, a cloth wipe-down, and finally, each toy is tucked into its leather travel pouch and packaged up.
Crave also hosts Build-a-Vibe workshops around the country, letting folks get a hands-on look at the assembly process — and build a Duet in the process. A lot of meticulous work goes into the design, manufacture, and assembly of Crave’s toys. It’s really interesting to see all of the tiny steps involved with the creation of these beautiful vibrators.
The annual day of love is right around the corner — and you know we have the goods to help you celebrate in style! Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find just the right gift to woo someone with, or the perfect thing to splurge on for yourself. So we’ve rounded up our top recommendations for sexy items to make this Valentine’s Day memorable (and pleasurable!).
Spanish dildo-makers BS Atelier make some of the most fun and colorful silicone dildos we’ve ever seen. Which one best fits the personality of your gift recipient (or yourself) — Rainbow, Vaca, Custom Lines, or perhaps one of the new ones with hearts on them that we’ll be getting in time for Valentine’s Day? Harness compatible and topped with curved and pronounced heads, these dildos can be excellent G-spot stimulators or prostate stimulators — whatever you want them to be!
Once you try the Jaz Motion, you’ll never go back to using pillows to prop yourself up during sex. This half-circle-shaped positioning pillow is made of furniture-grade polyurethane foam, which enables it to strike the perfect balance between comfort and support. Used with the flat side down, it can open up and enhance a variety of positions; used with the curved side down, it will gently rock back and forth with your motions. The Jaz Motion’s microsuede cover is removable and machine washable, and it even features a moisture-proof liner.
Cock rings can help a penis stay erect, add vibration for a partner, and even enhance orgasm. One of our latest cock rings is this adorable one from the Wonderland series. Not only is it made of silky 100% silicone, but the included bullet vibe has 10 (count ‘em! 10!) functions.
An array of small things
Here’s an idea! What about combining several smaller gifts into a night of fun?
First, start with a card from Unusual Occasion — we love their straightforward format of a single word plus an illustration (such as “sex kitten” and “sweetie pie”). Then, pick out something for the sweet tooth: X-Rated Valentine Hearts or Risque Valentine Hearts come with phrases you won’t find on typical candy hearts. Follow that up with a Feather Tickler, then top the night off with the a massage, using the melted oil from a candle in the Seasonal Massage Candle Trio, which contains special edition romantic scents.
Now in its fourth generation, the remote-controlled We-Vibe remains a top choice for wearable couples’ vibrators. Meant to be worn vaginally during penetrative play, the We-Vibe 4 also makes an excellent discreet underwear vibe. Either way, it hugs the vulva, sending vibrations to the clitoris and the G-spot — and anything else that joins the penetration party. New in this edition of the toy? A re-imagined tighter and smaller shape, more power, and a more adjustable remote control equipped with 6 vibration modes.
Whether you already enjoy anal play or are simply interested in trying it out, we love these solid stainless steel butt plugs made by njoy. Stainless steel is both weighty and very receptive to temperature, and the Pure Plug comes in three sizes to suit every taste. Each has a tapered neck and a looped base that sits between the cheeks for comfortable wear. Want something more prostate-focused? Try the Pfun. Want something bigger? Check out the Pure Plug 2.0.
Need a toy for someone who loves new gadgets? The Stronic Drei is part of Fun Factory’s Pulsator line, arguably one of the most innovative sex toy lines to be released in recent years. Rather than vibrating like other toys, Pulsators thrust, in a motion that is both incredibly unique and highly stimulating for those who like the sensation of movement. The rechargeable Stronic Drei is the latest shape in the line, featuring a ribbed shaft and curved tip for added sensation.
An erotic DVD
It’s hard to pick just one DVD, since tastes vary so much from person to person. But we can tell you what’s new an exciting in the world of hot videos!
After taking anonymous sex fantasy submissions on her site X Confessions, erotic filmmaker Erika Lust turned them into explicit short films. X Confessions, which just came out, showcases the first 10 short films, with tantalizing titles such as “Hold Me So Tight it Hurts,” “I Pegged My Boyfriend,” and “A Blowjob is Always a Great Last Minute Gift Idea,” and themes including group sex, roleplay, erotic games, and bondage.
Finally! An attachment that harnesses the power of a wand-style vibrator and concentrates it on the penis! This stretchy TPR sleeve will fit over the head of any large wand vibrator, such as the Magic Wand, Bodywand Original, or Acuvibe, transmitting intense vibration as well as texture to the penis that slides into it. Bonus: the transparent material gives you a peek at the action!
Need a hefty double-ended dildo? Look no further than the Fun Factory Sonic. Made of silky 100% silicone and super easy to clean, it is incredibly flexible, long enough to reach all the good spots, and best of all — meant to be shared. Now the question is, who gets the smaller end and who wants the bigger more bulbous end?
Wondering what’s new in the shop this month? For starters, we got the Bliss Tips Wand Attachment, which can turn your wand vibe into a double pronged stimulator, and the remote-controlled LELO Hula Beads – which can turn a night on the town into a playful, interactive bit of foreplay. These beads create a unique internal sensation by rotating and vibrating, while the remote control lets a partner in on the action.
In the shop you can also find a special Red edition variety pack of Sir Richard’s condoms — 5% of their proceeds will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS (and, as always, they donate a condom to a developing country for each one you purchase). We also have the silicone Charm 2 dildo, which is perfect for those looking for length without added girth.
What do you do when your partner lacks blowjob skills? Where do you go for training when you wish to improve your own? Here!
M. Makael Newby is a relationship coach and dance instructor with a particular skill for breaking physical action into components and teaching them with enthusiasm… and blowjobs are one of her favorite things. This class will educate both the givers and receivers. Come learn about creating anticipation, communication, preparing for success, hand skills, tongue tricks, prostate massage, deep throating, sloppy BJs, choking and forced gagging for both bio and strap-on penises. Live demo (on dildo) included.
Many of these techniques are included in My Erotic Adventure, her choose-your-own styled erotic novel. Get empowered to give and receive extraordinary head!
Limited space available — sign up online!
Thursday, April 17th — 7:30 p.m. — $20
A growing number of people are exploring alternatives to monogamy, through swinging, polyamory, and other types of open relationships. If you or someone you know are one of those people, this might be the workshop for you!
Whether you are curious about opening up, already enjoying polyamory and wanting to do it even better, or facing obstacles in your non-monogamous relationship, AJ will help walk you through the challenges and benefits of ethical non-monogamy. She will discuss different styles of open relationships, talk about how to deal with common issues such as jealousy, resentment, time management, miscommunication, and New Relationship Energy (NRE), and will offer tips on dating/meeting new people, navigating different relationship structures and hierarchies, and coming out poly.
In this interactive workshop, AJ will guide participants through exercises that help them negotiate agreements/boundaries, design their own ideal open relationships, and practice nonviolent communication for deeper, more fulfilling connections. There will also be the option to hear about real-life triumphs and tribulations of other non-mono people in addition to learning how to find and build community. This is a 2-hour class.
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 relationship coach, working with polyamorous individuals and couples in open relationships. AJ is an active member of the Portland poly community.
Limited space available — sign up online!
Breath is an anchor, a vehicle, a springboard. Breath connects us deeply to those around us, and erotic breathwork is a way to raise and circulate sexual energy. In this workshop, you will learn fundamental breathing techniques that will not only increase your connection to your own erotic power, but allow you to more easily share erotic energy with others. Participants will be doing a series of guided breathing exercises, individually and with class partners. This will be a lively and interactive class; this work is fun and energizing.
Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing and to bring water. Although erotic breathwork can be used during physical intimacy, this is not a sexual techniques class — there is no nudity or sexual interaction/touching involved.
Mkali-Hashiki has facilitated and co-facilitated numerous workshops and panels on sexuality and politics across the country: at clinics, festivals, conferences, and universities. Her essays on various aspects of sexuality have been published in ‘zines, feminist journals, and popular anthologies. Hashiki believes that we are all entitled to have passion in our lives, and to understand how being connected to our passion and creativity enhances our lives and the lives of those around us. She has personal experience with polyamory, nonmonogamy, BDSM, and achieving sexual mystical states. It is her fierce passion for a happy, healthy, world that compels her to do this work.
Limited space available — sign up online!
Great sex and lasting relationships are mutual undertakings that are nurtured by selflessness, the deliberate cultivation of what we call profound interest in one’s partner, a determination to be as kind as possible, even during difficult times, and a recognition that, while openness and honesty are important, discernment about when and how to be open and honest is equally important. Verbal communication plays a major role in developing the capacity to relate in this way; however, nonverbal skills are even more important.
In this workshop, Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson will explore an approach to love and sex that differs dramatically from beliefs that are current both in popular culture and in much of the therapeutic community and provide you with both a theoretical perspective and practical tools for inventing or reinventing your relationship as a collaboration, a joint venture.
Authors Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson have devoted their lives to studying and teaching the art of creating intimacy and to showing couples how to maintain and sustain exciting relationships. “Partners in Passion” themselves, they are critically acclaimed collaborators as well as respected and highly sought after teachers who have traveled the world sharing their insights, knowledge, and secrets — helping thousands of people to create enduring and satisfying relationships.
Limited space available — sign up online!
For the first time in all the twelve years I’ve been producing porn and making art my business with QueerPorn.TV and IndiePornRevolution.com, I will FINALLY have my very own art studio and place of business!! A REAL STUDIO!!! A place for screenings, performances, workshops, meetings, salons, play parties, readings, photo shoots, and art receptions. A place where new pornographers can come and shoot, a place where queer porn can be made every day, a place where my DVDs can be stored, my sets built, my paperwork kept safe. A place where people can learn and play and be safe and have fun and be serious and make money and build projects and keep this queer porn movement going strong in Oakland!
To furnish the studio with all the necessary accouterments of queer porn (such as the extremely important espresso machine — oh, and beds…), Trouble is running her own indie crowdfunding campaign. Chip in, and you can get rewards such as membership to her sites, digital downloads/DVDs, and banner advertising. The big ticket rewards include spending a night in the studio, a Skype date with Courtney Trouble, and having your name painted on the wall of the studio.
Here are the ways you can contribute:
- Purchase something off the Amazon wishlist
- Buy a gift card to CB2 (towards a bed and couch) – use email courtneytrouble at gmail
- Buy a West Elm gift card (towards a bed and shelving) – use email courtneytrouble at gmail
- Send a PayPal donation to email@example.com (just don’t mention porn!)
Once you’ve made your purchase, email courtneytrouble at gmail dot com with the receipt and which reward tier you’d like.
We can’t wait to see the porn that is yet to be made in this exciting new space!
Having worked in the industry for 13 years, Ms Naughty is a strong voice in the landscape of female-produced porn. Recently she published her yearly Porn for Women Retrospective, which tirelessly tracks all the developments in the world of female-friendly porn in the past year.
In her retrospective, Ms Naughty notes a boom in feminist porn specifically, including the publication of The Feminist Porn Book, the eighth annual Feminist Porn Awards (and other great awards shows honoring feminist and queer porn), the inaugural Feminist Porn Conference, and the addition of Feminist Porn Release of the Year to the roster in the mainstream Xbiz Awards.
2013 also saw the untimely passing of Carlos Batts; the release of Courtney Trouble’s Lesbian Curves and Come Find Me, Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples and Guide to Bondage for Couples, and Erika Lust’s X-Confessions; the publication of What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire; and the launch of a new academic journal called Porn Studies. Meanwhile, several surveys attempted to discern how many women watch porn — with no clear-cut answer.
In addition to the retrospective, check out this compilation video about the Feminist Porn Awards and Conference, with many clips from Ms Naughty’s work as well as Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Pegging:
Can’t get enough or want to delve further into the past? Read the rest of Ms Naughty’s retrospectives, dating all the way back to 2006!
2012 – Fifty Shades of Grey, romance porn, After Pornified and the growth of feminist porn.
2011 – Younger women using porn, more hot movies, sites and festivals.
2010 – “Hello Ladies,” queer fun, more hot movies and anti-porn crusades.
2009 – Oprah, awards, and increasing censorship.
2008 – Goodbye Playgirl, more queer porn, erotica book covers, The Porn Report and more.
2007 – That housework book, Daniel Craig in togs and blowjob debates.
2006 – Inaugural Feminist Porn Awards, CAKE and Ellora’s Cave.
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.
- March 12, 2014 – Partners in Passion: Becoming More Than Soul Mates
- March 23, 2014 – Let's Play with Rope Tonight!: A Friendly Introduction to Bondage
- March 30, 2014 – Erotic Breathwork
- April 2, 2014 – Tease a Peel: Classic Burlesque Peeling Techniques
- April 17, 2014 – Beyond Monogamy
- April 23, 2014 – Full-Bodied Fellatio
- Need something fun to do tonight? @duckyduckydoo is in town and there are still spots left in her G-spot class! http://t.co/xqPeNXG2Se
- Hard work but somebody has to do it — we watch @ErikaLust's X Confessions & report on what each scene has to offer: http://t.co/MPzt6jyfmG
- March newsletter: cute new toys, blog posts about @followcrave + @AskDrRuth, @ErikaLust's latest, tons of classes! http://t.co/AVBPFZ7U0G
- You've probably heard of @AskDrRuth, but did you know that she has transitioned into the digital age remarkably well? http://t.co/FlsVxmqOLn
- You'd think the penises would get boring... but they only get better and better. http://t.co/LWeamJLXck
- How, exactly, are vibrators made? Gizmodo visited the San Francisco factory of luxury vibrator company @followcrave: http://t.co/IRouB2ztu4
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