Browsing posts from the category Musings


Nov
11

Erika Lust turns anonymous fantasies into reality

We are longtime fans of erotic film director Erika Lust, and her latest endeavor, XConfessions, is just the cherry on top of why we love her. Originally launched three years ago as a place for users to share their anonymous sex fantasies and stories, XConfessions is getting even steamier. Now, Erika Lust is handpicking her favorite confessions and turning them into hot short films!

XConfessions has over 20,000 registered members and 250 confessions, of which 8 have already been filmed. In “Hold Me So Tight it Hurts,” a woman experiments with rope bondage. In “Let’s Make a Porno,” Lust helped a real-life couple achieve their dream of being filmed. “I Believe in Happy Endings” follows a masseuse who uses her whole body to massage her clients (this scene is also featured in Lust’s Life Love Lust).

Scenes that have yet to be posted include “Sadistic Trainer,” in which a confessor fantasizes about torturing their gym trainer, and “I Pegged My Boyfriend,” which is pretty self-explanatory. Erika Lust brings her usual stylish eye to all of these films, with brilliant casting, set design, music, and camera angles.

Register and confess anonymously today, and you can even watch some short clips for free.

We’ll leave you with a link to the trailer for “I Fucking Love IKEA,” a confession from a woman who really really loves watching her boyfriend build things.

  Musings      ,  
Nov
1

British Museum showcases shunga erotic art

Erotic figurines from the 18th and 19th centuries, photo by Suzanne Plunkett/ReutersIf you can make it out to London before January 5th, you’ll have the opportunity to see the most sexually explicit exhibition to grace the British Museum since its inception in 1753.

Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art is also the most extensive exhibition ever created on the subject.

Japanese shunga was a mainstream artistic genre from the 17th to the mid-19th century, during which time it was widely enjoyed and even presented to new brides as a form of instruction as well as arousal. Shunga is marked by exaggerated genitals, playfulness, luxury, and mutual pleasure.

Academics study the genre now, but for years starting in the 20th century, it was suppressed — even in the British Museum. It used to be confined to a cabinet of “obscene” artifacts. Finally, it is being given its rightful appreciation in the exhibition. And it sounds like a wonder to behold:

A woman is pleasured by an octopus, its tentacles teasing their way into her every orifice. A kitten paws eagerly at a man’s testicles while he is locked in an embrace with his lover. Two women dally together, a dildo fastened around a waist; one urges the other: “Hurry up and put it in.”

. . . Everywhere you look, your gaze is unambiguously directed toward the often oversized, luxuriantly depicted genitalia of both sexes. “It was a pictorial tradition not committed to naturalism, and so that permits selective emphasis,” said Clark. “Attention is focused on the sexual bliss on the faces – and the engines of that pleasure, the genitals. Other parts of the body are downplayed and then there are gorgeous textiles, lacquerware, food and drink, so there is a seamless continuum of luxury and pleasure.”

Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art runs through January 5th at the British Museum.

  Musings      ,  
Oct
20

Get ready for Fisting Day 2013!

Fisting Day logoHard to believe, but we’re coming up on the third annual International Fisting Day! Ahhh, it seems like just yesterday we were hailing the creation of this glorious occasion. Fisting Day is growing up!

Created to celebrate, educate, and normalize fisting, Fisting Day has become a joyful celebration of a beloved sex act, and a great way to spark conversation about obscenity. (In the porn industry, fisting is still considered “obscene” and therefore depicting it can be a prosecutable offense).

Last year, we interviewed one of Fisting Day’s illustrious creators, Jiz Lee, and asked them all about fisting. Jiz discussed myths, tips for beginners, their personal tools of the trade, their fondest fisting memory (it took place on a roof top in San Francisco!), and what they think about the anti-fisting stance of the mainstream porn industry. Still very relevant!

This year, Fisting Day promises to be jam-packed with fisting goodness. There’s the Tumblr, which you can submit your fisting appreciation art to right here. Then, on Twitter, follow the hashtag #FistingDay. Fisting Day also now has its own website, complete with a page explaining the origins of the day and a page dedicated to fisting-inclusive porn scenes.

But most of all, there will be LIVE online events to watch! Things kick off at 6:30 p.m. PST with the “opening ceremony” (ha!) hosted by Courtney Trouble, then continue from 7-9 with a live fisting demo, Q&A, and party. The grand finale, from 9-11, will be an explicit fisting threesome starring Courtney Trouble, Emma Claire, and Joey Minx.

Need some tools of your own to celebrate Fisting Day? We carry a great how-to guide on vaginal fisting called A Hand in the Bush. You may want to work your way up to a large toy first, like RandyGloves are perfect for fisting, as they can make your hand feel slicker, and they don’t absorb lube the way skin can. Of course, you’ll still need lots and lots of lube!

We also stock a couple DVDs that bravely include fisting scenes: Live Sex Show and Hella Brown: Real Sex in the City. For, you know, inspiration. Happy Fisting Day!

Sep
26

AVN salutes female entrepreneurs in adult industry

A recent article from AVN caught our eye: “Game Changers: 30 Women Power Players in the Adult Industry.” Long overdue? Probably! With so many highly accomplished women in the adult industry, it’s no wonder they found it difficult to narrow the list down to just 30:

The whittling-down process turned out to be tougher than we thought — but also very inspiring. At virtually every major adult studio, there are female directors making movies informed by aesthetics that may not always be feminist, but are certainly feminine. And there are the superstars who are such natural entrepreneurs that they’ve made themselves into brand names, creating their own lucrative deals. Add to that the dozens of women who were “founding mothers” but have since gone on to other endeavors, and you end up — as we did — with a list of some 100 talented, ambitious and tenacious businesswomen.

The final list includes many folks we really love, such as Joanna Angel (“porn’s female counterpart to Mark Zuckerberg”), Tristan Taormino (credited with, among quite a few other things, “put[ting] the phrase ‘feminist porn’ on many mainstream lips”), Courtney Trouble, Nina Hartley (“a force of nature”), and Carol Queen. Another unsurprising inclusion is E.L. James, author of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

The list also includes several sex toy gurus such as Metis Black (president of Tantus) and Suki Dunham (founder of OhMiBod). Black has been instrumental in shifting the industry focus toward 100% silicone, non-porous sex toys, starting her company in 1998 when there were fewer than ten manufacturers of silicone sex toys worldwide — and very little knowledge about toxic toys.

Dunham did something else: she paired sex with music, creating arguably one of the most innovative sex toy lines in the industry. AVN writes:

Some might think it was fate that Suki Dunham got the idea for OhMiBod after one Christmas morning. Her husband and company co-founder, Brian, got her two significant gifts that year: An iPod and a vibrator. Dunham knew that music impacts so many areas of people lives, so why not their sex lives? A former Apple employee, Dunham not only revolutionized the technological aspect of sex toys — OhMiBod has created products that vibrate when hooked up to MP3 players, as well as respond to ambient sound, such as music in clubs — but also the look. OhMiBod was a company that dared to break away from the traditional pink and purple color scheme and offer items in bright greens, blues and even white.

One thing’s for sure: female entrepreneurs have been pivotal in moving the adult industry forward, and this article illustrates exactly how pivotal. We only wish the list hadn’t been narrowed down to just 30!

Sep
23

Girl Sex 101 needs your support!

Illustration from Girl Sex 101What could be better than road trips, queer folks, sex ed, and comics? How about all of those things rolled into one?!

It is a collaboration of epic proportions: author and sex educator Allison Moon has teamed up with artist kd diamond to create Girl Sex 101 — a road trip-themed book featuring amazing color illustrations and an entertaining yet educational narrative all about queer sex.

Currently in the crowdfunding stage on Kickstarter, Girl Sex 101 promises to be informative, hot, engaging, and inclusive:

Girl Sex 101 features over 14 sexy and educational stories featuring our diverse cast of characters that illustrate the rest of the info in the chapter. For example, in the first chapter, Layla has a hard time speaking up about what she likes in bed with a hot femme she picks up. Later on, Jamie finds herself in bed with a trans guy and doesn’t quite know how to ask him about his body. Meanwhile, Layla has to figure out how to communicate about her STI status with a new flame, while Jamie navigates fooling around with an old crush with a disability. There’s plenty of fuel for your own girl sex tanks!

Girl Sex 101 presents feminist, pleasure-positive, and consent-oriented sex education to help women of all orientations and experience levels understand their bodies and those of their partners.

Best of all, Girl Sex 101 will include “scenic viewpoints” (adorable!) from sex experts such as Ducky DooLittle, Tristan Taormino, Carol Queen, Nina Hartley, Sex Nerd Sandra, Reid Mihalko, Kelly Shibari, and trans and genderqueer activists such as Julia Serano, Ignacio Rivera, Mira Bellwether, and Jiz Lee.

We were fortunate enough to have Allison Moon visit us and conduct workshops back in 2012 and again this year, and we think she’s awesome. kd diamond’s comic art and illustrations have been featured in Gender Outlaws: The Next GenerationThe Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation, and The Ultimate Guide to Kink.

Incredibly, with 25 days still left to go, the project has exceeded its original funding goal of $13,500. That means it is definitely happening — hooray! But there are other milestones to reach. At $20,000, Girl Sex 201 (including more advanced topics such as kink, non-monogamy, and fisting) will become a reality. And if they reach $35,000, Moon and diamond will go on a road trip and film a Girl Sex 101 documentary!

Another reason to back this project? Pledge rewards include stickers, Girl Sex 101 in several forms (both electronic and physical), bookmarks, t-shirts, your name in the acknowledgements, signed art, and more. Plus, they’re crowd-sourcing answers to some popular questions on Twitter and Tumblr. So let your voice be heard and you could be included in the book!

We cannot wait to see the finished product!

  Musings      , ,  
Aug
29

The havoc toxic toys can wreak on the body

Toxic jelly toys, photo by Pantophile PanicThe sex toy industry is largely void of any sort of regulation, so unless you shop with a trusted retailer like us, you don’t know what kinds of chemicals might be lurking in your toys.

We know that unsafe materials like jelly can degrade, melt, off-gas, and harbor bacteria. And we’ve definitely heard horror stories about reactions people have had to toxic toys: burning, rashes, bacterial infections, and more. But even we were surprised by the severity of the health problems that sex blogger Pantophile Panic experienced due to use of unsafe sex toys.

Here’s what happened: PP didn’t know about phthalates or the dangers of toxic toys. She had amassed a sex toy collection of over 100 toys and accessories, but she hadn’t spent more than $20 on any single toy. All the money she saved, though, “made up for itself in hospital bills”:

That year, through early 2013, I developed extreme headaches, nausea, lower back pain, and severe discomfort when urinating. This was unbearable when experienced on top of my pre-existing PGAD and chronic pelvic pain. I spent most of my time (and money) at urgent care, where they dismissed me as just imagining the symptoms, and told me to check with my PCP if the pain persisted. My regular doctor was unavailable at the time, and the pain just kept getting worse. Eventually, it got to the point that I couldn’t walk or hold down food because of the pain.

I had to go to the hospital.

As it turns out, I had a urinary tract infection that had spread to my kidneys. I was also suffering from what seemed to be an extreme allergic reaction in my vaginal walls that the doctors mistakenly suspected to be from using latex condoms. I like to think of myself as an extremely hygienic person, I am not prone to UTIs either, and I am certainly not allergic to latex or any spermicides. It wasn’t until I started using jelly toys that I started getting infections on a regular basis. After doing some research, I also learned that my “allergic reaction” was actually chemical burn.

The toxic sex toys were to blame for PP’s urinary tract infection. They were almost all porous jelly toys that could not be properly sanitized. Bacteria, which had become trapped on the surfaces of the toys, had caused the infection.

As a temporary solution, PP used condoms over her toys…  but the mere smell of the toys gave her migraines. So finally, she decided to rid herself of most of her collection, save for a We-Vibe 2 and a handful of hard plastic vibes. She also discovered a wealth of information online, such as sex toy reviewers and sex educators. Now, thank goodness, her collection is comprised solely of safe toys.

This is quite the cautionary tale, and we appreciate Pantophile Panic so much for taking the time to tell it. This story is exactly why part of our mission is to educate consumers about unsafe sex toys. Fill your toybox, as Pantophile Panic now has, with body-safe toys that will last a lifetime. It may cost more up-front, but your health is worth it.

Have you had a reaction to a sex toy before?

  Musings       
Aug
27

Orgasms better for your brain than puzzles

Photo via GettyNext time you find yourself reaching for your book of Sudoku puzzles, perhaps you should be reaching for a partner or a sex toy instead.

Researchers Barry Komisaruk and Nan Wise at Rutgers have discovered that orgasms increase blood flow to more parts of the brain than mental exercises. Orgasms even bring nutrients and oxygen to the brain to keep it healthy! Those measly little puzzles, on the other hand, only increase brain activity in certain regions.

The study involved female subjects lying down in fMRI machines and bringing themselves to orgasm, which obviously presented some challenges for participants. Kayt Sukel, a volunteer for the study, has written a few pieces about her experience, complete with a picture of the “Orgasm Mask” she had to wear:

Komisaruk’s associate, PhD student and sex therapist Nan Wise, walked me through the procedure. She said to help keep movement to a minimum (and the data clean), I would be fitted with a breathable plastic mesh helmet that would be screwed to the scanner bed. I’d be locked in and need the assistance of others to get out of the contraption.

. . . “I know you can do it. Just practice,” she said. “You know what they say. Practice makes perfect!”

For the next two weeks, I did just that. To help optimise my body movement for fMRI, I attached a small bell – an ornament belonging to my cat – to my forehead with some duct tape.

Wise was right. With practice I diminished any jingling sound to something manageable, no matter how raucous I may have felt on the inside. And once she and Komisaruk had bolted me to the scanner bed, while it wasn’t easy to work up to an orgasm, I found it wasn’t quite as difficult as I had imagined.

We thank you for your public service, Kayt! And are impressed with your ingenuity.

Of course, it probably takes a lot longer to solve a crossword puzzle than an orgasm lasts, but… that’s just a good reason to have more and more of them.

  Musings      , ,  
Aug
14

August is Anal Pleasure Month!

Good Vibrations has declared August Anal Pleasure Month, and who are we to argue?!

Together with Tristan Taormino, the staff at Good Vibes put together an anal pleasure timeline that recounts milestones and depictions of anal pleasure in pop culture, media, and society, with nods to many groundbreaking books, DVDs, and toys we carry: Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to PeggingThe Ultimate Guide to Prostate PleasureThe Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Strap-On SexTristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men, and the Aneros line of prostate toys.

This milestone is also great, from 1977:

On an episode of the popular game show The Newlywed Game, host Bob Eubanks asks, “Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had the urge to make whoopee?” A contestant named Olga replies: “In the ass.” Her answer is bleeped when it airs on television…

If you want to read chronologically, start at the bottom and work your way up.

Anal History Timeline

Want to celebrate Anal Pleasure Month in style? Peruse our anal toys and books on anal sex!

Jul
23

Ageless Erotica: more than added wrinkles

Ageless EroticaAs big fans of senior sex educator Joan Price (author of Better Than I Ever Expected and Naked at Our Age), we were excited when she posted a call for submisssions for a senior erotica anthology in November of 2011. A book like that was desperately needed, and we knew Price was just the person to make it happen!

Well, the fruits of Price’s labor are finally here in the form of Ageless Erotica. We love it. Just look at that cover!

In an article for The Daily Beast, erotica extraordinaire Rachel Kramer Bussel details the story behind Ageless Erotica while also exploring the latest sex writing from older sex educators, sex surrogates, and even a Colorado State Senate candidate.

With Ageless Erotica, the minimum age of contributors was 50, ensuring that the stories were relevant and believable — not just “slapping wrinkles and an arbitrary age on the same old youth-oriented erotica.” Price explains:

Youth-oriented erotica doesn’t offend me in the least, but I have trouble relating to it — the instant arousal, instant lubrication, instant erections, instant orgasms. I know erotica is fantasy — but my fantasies have nothing to do with recapturing my youth.

The stories in Ageless Erotica are diverse in their topics and couplings: an HIV positive gay couple, a sexual healer and her client, a late-in-life lesbian awakening, a wife who buys her husband a session with a dominatrix for his 55th birthday (complete with kneepads for his arthritis!) — to name just a few.

Price did an awesome job curating this anthology. Pick it up; you won’t be disappointed.

Jun
30

SEXTadvice: bite-sized sex advice!

We love to follow the ongoing sex-positive adventures of our awesome employees. We’ve written previously about our former sales associate and educator Yana, who moved back east but continues to pen sassy expertise for the likes of Curve magazine and The Valley Advocate.

Yana’s latest foray is so cool we just had to mention it. The project is called SEXTadvice. Folks can text Yana with their anonymous sex questions, she’ll reply, and then she posts a screenshot of the exchange to enlighten others.

Sometimes you don’t want a long, Wikipedia-length answer to a sex question — you just want to get the info quickly, reliably, and get on your way. That’s what’s great about SEXTadvice. It’s ingenious!

  Musings     

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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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