May
27

Beyond Monogamy

Thursday, July 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!

May
19

How Oh Joy Sex Toy came to be (awesome)

Oh Joy Sex Toy featuring the LELO Ina 2

It’s been just over a year since Portland artist Erika Moen launched Oh Joy Sex Toy, and to say it has been a roaring success would be putting it lightly. This playful, hilarious, and informative sex-themed comic has become very popular, and the work that it has done as a sex education resource is probably immeasurable.

Bite-sized sex education is exactly what Moen hoped to achieve with the comic, she explains in this great article at The Daily Beast. Her own sex education was minimal at best, and the scare tactics it utilized left her “super, super terrified of sex and naked bodies.” For a long time, Moen dreamed of addressing the huge holes in American sex education. After 15 years of making webcomics, and after participating in a comic strip reality show called Strip Search, she decided to take the plunge and turn that idea into a reality.

Moen explains to The Daily Beast:

While I don’t think every artist everywhere has a responsibility to educate their audience, it’s a role that works for me. People online spend so much time criticizing the things they don’t like about the world, about the media, about our society. That’s valuable. Now I want to see people creating the media they want to exist. My sex education was horrific and scarring, so now I’m trying to make a resource that I personally needed back then and it just so happens that it’s still needed today.

The comic format is appealing, Moen says, because pictures make readers more receptive to new information. Especially when it comes to sex, visual material is easier to understand. Drawings have always been used as sex education — to warn against venereal disease during war, in pamphlets at Planned Parenthood — but Moen’s take is much more progressive.

Moen spends a week developing each strip, and she is the cog in each step of the process — a single person acting as writer, penciler, inker, colorist, and letterist. Guest illustrators step in from time to time, to provide variety and discuss topics outside Moen’s areas of expertise. For example, Emi Gennis contributed a strip about the history of the vibrator, while Amanda Lafrenais recounted “Dildo Misadventures” and Lucy Knisley shared her experience with the birth control implant.

Since the inception of the site, Moen has published tons of comics, from reviews of some of our favorite things (like the Ina 2, Bandit, Pure Plugs, Moon Cup, Sliquid H2O, and Delight) to guides on anal sex, cock ringscunnilingus, and introducing sex toys into relationships, and even illustrated interviews with porn stars Jiz Lee and Stoya.

No matter the topic, Oh Joy Sex Toy is always a treat. New strips are published each Tuesday, and the comic is serialized at Bitch. You can follow Erika Moen on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and her main site.

  Community, Musings      , , ,  
May
7

Win tickets to Derby Crazy Love at QDoc!

DerbyCrazyLoveQDoc, Portland’s queer documentary film festival, is coming up next weekend (May 15-18), and we have a couple pairs of tickets to one of the screenings to give away! Since 2007, QDoc has shown award-winning historical films, personal stories, artist biographies, experimental work and topical films fresh from top-tier festivals.

One of our picks from this year’s line-up? Derby Crazy Love, which takes viewers into the heart of the emerging roller derby phenomenon, a vibrant DIY community of third wave feminist empowerment where athletics and spectacle combine for an adrenaline-inducing experience. Go behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated rematches in derby history as Montreal’s New Skids on the Block, a team of tattooed misfits, take on UK powerhouse London Rollergirls, while reigning world champions New York’s Gotham Girls defend their title.

Do you want to see Derby Crazy Love on Friday, May 16th at 9 p.m. at McMenamins Kennedy School Theater? Enter our giveaway for a pair of tickets using the widget below!

Deadline for entries is Sunday, May 11th at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winners will be notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Giveaways      , ,  
Apr
30

New product round-up for April

New books for April 2014

April showers bring May… books? 50 Shades of Kink, Tristan Taormino’s latest guidebook, is here and it’s everything you’d expect from her: snappy, smart, and accessible. We also added Smut Peddler, a collection of 24 dirty comics featuring Portland’s own Erika Moen (of Oh Joy Sex Toy fame), and The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships.

For our Gender / Politics section, we picked up the classic Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein, Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity, and a book with the most adorable child we’ve ever seen on the cover, Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender Non-Conforming Children.

We added two more of whirlwind porn performer Madison Young‘s creations to our shelves: Tail of a Bondage Model and Bondage Boob Tube. Both feature an array of hot bondage activities, such as rope suspensions, medical play, cupping, face smacking, female domination, spankings, and much more.

Vixen Creations GemstonesBecause your butt deserves the best, take a look at Vixen Creations’ Gemstones, 100% silicone anal beads in a variety of sizes for any experience level. They’re perfect for fans of traditional anal beads, with enough space between each bulb to produce a glorious popping sensation as you pull them out. And because they’re made of medical grade silicone, they can be boiled or tossed in the dishwasher for cleaning.

Tenga 3DWe also have two new items for penises that we’re pretty excited about. The Tenga 3D sleeve is a sleek, less expensive alternative to Tenga’s popular Flip Hole series. It’s soft and flexible, with a couple internal texture options, and a display case that also serves as a drying rack. The CB-6000 is a well-loved, sturdy polycarbonate chastity device that comes with a brass padlock and five different rings and spacers for optimum fit.

Last but not least, sometimes it’s good when things suck. Case in point: our new See-Thru Nipple Boosters, Max Twist Nipple Suckers, and Max Twist Clit & Nipple Triple Sucker Set. Each set offers pleasurable suction in a compact package. So get to sucking!

Apr
30

10% Tuesdays in May for TransActive’s In A Bind program

Throughout the month of May, 10% of all purchases made at She Bop on Tuesdays will go to TransActive’s In A Bind program! TransActive is a Portland-based non-profit that provides a wide range of services to transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth, and their families. Their In A Bind program provides chest binders to trans-masculine youth in need. It is the first national chest binder donation/distribution program, with over 1,300 people on the waiting list for a binder.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to purchase binders from our distributor and donate them to TransActive. You are also welcome to visit the shop to donate binders.

So come on down to the shop on any Tuesday in May to support this amazing program. Be sure to follow TransActive on Facebook and Twitter, and check out this interview with the Program Coordinator for In A Bind, conducted by our very own sales associate and educator, Wyatt Riot!

Apr
27

These products are not just for sex, folks

photo via Animal Protection AgencyWhy is there a vibrator strapped to this tortoise’s underbelly? Because: vibration helps with constipation.

Poor tortoises tend to eat the tiny, indigestible pebbles at the bottom of their tanks, which can get stuck in the intestinal tract and cause a blockage. Previously, the solution to this problem was surgery, but in 2011, vets at a London animal hospital had a different (and much simpler) idea: they taped a vibrator to the tortoise’s stomach.

As it turns out, vibrations work very well at breaking up intestinal blockages. That is just one thing we learned from Cracked’s 5 Weird but Effective Alternate Uses for Sex Products.

Two of the alternative uses on Cracked’s list were discovered in World War II. The first: condoms prevent water and dirt from getting in the barrels of guns and damaging them. Condoms were easy to come by thanks to the wartime panic about venereal disease, so it was a perfect solution. The second: semen makes great invisible ink. It doesn’t react to iodine vapor, the common detection method during the war. It does, however, have a distinctive odor… so its presence on paper might not be 100% discreet.

Oh, and if you’re ever trying to protect a microphone from a rainstorm, just roll a condom over it. This is standard practice for the BBC and other sound technicians.

But perhaps the most versatile sex product is lube. We’ve written about alternative uses for silicone-based lube, but water-based lube is perfect for movie special effects. It helps remove latex prosthetics and makes wounds looks fresh. In movies such as Alien and The Thing, K-Y Jelly is responsible for all the terrifying goo dripping from the monsters. Specifically, the bright green blood from Predator was a concoction of K-Y Jelly and the liquid from glow sticks.

K-Y was even used as a substitute for Kate Winslet’s spit in Titanic‘s famous “spit like a man” scene.

One thing not mentioned in the Cracked article is that vibrators can be used to improve singers’ vocal performance. A Canadian vocal coach caused a ruckus last year when he explained that he uses vibrators to massage the throats of his students. It relaxes tension in the larynx and improves range and projection, he says.

  Musings     
Apr
18

A little kink, a lot of confidence

kink-sex-cerebral-palsy“Sex with a disability is a tough sell,” writes a queer woman named Carrie, “but not (just) for the reasons people assume. In my experience, the hardest part isn’t convincing someone else you’re desirable — it’s convincing yourself that your body is worth pleasing.”

For her, one small act of kink gave her more permission for pleasure than she’d ever given herself.

Carrie has cerebral palsy, which manifests itself in a walk that resembles the cover of Cat Power’s Jukebox, foot braces adorned with rainbow straps, and various bodily aches and pains.

More broadly, her CP makes others treat her like an object of pity, like a child unable to make her own decisions and take her own risks. On top of this, she rarely sees bodies like hers — especially bodies like hers depicted as beautiful.

After college, Carrie met a woman named Alex online, and they began having sex. After a month or two, Alex proposed delving into some bondage. Carrie was intrigued; it was unusual for someone to ask her to take a physical risk. But, there was a problem. Alex admitted, “I’m afraid I’m going to hurt you.”

Carrie was upset.

What that said to me was, “this woman still thinks I’m a little girl.”

Up to that point, I thought I’d done everything “right”: cultivated a functional relationship, finally let someone see me with my clothes off, said yes to sex, talked about my body, listened about hers, been willing to try new things, behaved like an adult. But it turns out it hadn’t worked . . . she still saw me as vulnerable. Not in the way that brings people closer, mind you, but in the way that makes them afraid to touch you. Makes them think you’re breakable.

Instead of screaming in her face, which is what I really wanted, I turned her question back on her and asked: “Who’s better at pain than I am?”

It was a choice that paid off.

The next time they had sex, Alex blindfolded Carrie, then handcuffed her hands above her head. She pinched Carrie’s skin until her chest was covered in clothespins. Sitting back, Alex admired her partner and mused, “I’ve never been able to do that before. Nobody has been able to take that many.”

That was Carrie’s breakthrough.

It’s not often (i.e., almost never) that I get told I’m good at a physical activity. But now my body, which had spent so many years letting me down and making decisions without my consent, had gone and done something absolutely right — and done it better. It had done something other people’s bodies, “healthy” bodies, hadn’t been able to . . . that night, I realized that my pain tolerance and the things my body did well were assets rather than things to be run from or ashamed of. To know that what had been perceived (especially by me) as defective about my body was actually what made me desirable, powerful and sexy for the first time ever — that moment was beautiful.

Carrie’s experience of kink with her partner had a strong impact on how she viewed herself and her body. For once, her cerebral palsy was not overlooked. It was, instead, acknowledged and honored as an integral and unique part of her. Pleasure mixed with pain — and best of all, it was a pain that could be controlled. A pain that was purposeful. And a pain that felt good.

  Musings      , , ,  
Apr
18

Full-Bodied Fellatio

Thursday, June 26th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

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!

This class is full — but there’s another in August!

Apr
18

Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon

Wednesday, June 18th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

Have you ever wanted to rock your boa? Peel your stocking? Shimmy your hips? Get your glamour puss on because this class is for you! Join Orchestre L’Pow producer Madison Moone for Striptease Salon, a flirty evening of classic bump and grind perfect for beginners or just the curious.

Students will be guided through a sexy burlesque movement study including bumps, grinds and struts, followed by a tantalizing round of peeling techniques and prop dancing. We will also explore classic burlesque characters before constructing a series of short teases as a group. Together, we will discover a deeper sense of our personal erotic being while developing a greater appreciation for our feminine power!

Students should dress in comfortable clothes such a yoga or dance wear. Music and demo props will be provided by Miss Moone. All levels of fitness welcome, no dance experience or nudity required. Please avoid alcohol consumption before attending and arrive by 7:20 p.m. — class will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., no late entrance after 7:45 p.m. No photographs are permitted. There will be time for shopping after the class!

Grab your best girlfriends and join Miss Moone for an evening of fun, laughs and celebration of the female spirit. See you in class!

Limited space available — sign up online!

  Events      ,  
Apr
18

Good in Bed/Good in Birth: Science and Celebration of Oxytocin

Samantha ZipporahSunday, June 1st — 7:30 p.m. — $15

Did you know the act of giving birth naturally is the height of the human body’s ability to release ecstasy inducing levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin? Orgasm is a step below birth on the spectrum of human experiences that release this amazing hormone. The step below orgasm is nipple stimulation.

The environmental, emotional, and physical factors that create the circumstances in which a person can surrender their ego and intellectual identity to enjoy an ecstatic orgasm also facilitate ecstatic empowered natural birth. The release of intellectual and ego identity, feelings of safety, intimacy, and surrender are crucial to healthy and complete release of oxytocin. Relaxation, rhythm, and ritual all help stimulate it as well.

In this workshop, full spectrum doula and sensualist Samantha Zipporah will offer a lecture and experiential exercises exploring the human mind, body, and spirit during the release of oxytocin. Her intention is to empower not just birthing folks, but any person who is seeking to understand the physiology of intimacy, connection, and ecstatic embodiment. Participants will leave with practical tips to support oxytocin release throughout the human experience, including but not limited to birth and sexuality.

Samantha Zipporah supports people through a full spectrum of experiences with sexual health and fertility as a full spectrum doula, revel rouser, and ovulation awareness aficionado. She has been attending birth since 2006, and studied midwifery with luminary Elizabeth Davis who literally wrote the book on Orgasmic Birth. She spent years as a peer mediator, sex-educator, and patient advocate at Planned Parenthood, and in 2011 created The Happy Hysteria Health Collective. In her work she hopes to inspire reverence and respect for the sacred cycles of nature within the human body, and believes the practical is radical: we can empower ourselves through education, discovery, and manifesting our own unique experience as sexual creatures.

Limited space available — sign up online!

  Events       
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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.
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