Dec
26

After Christmas sale — 15% off select items!

After Christmas sale — 15% off select items!

Did Santa forget to put a sexy gift in your stocking? Perhaps you received a She Bop gift certificate that’s burning a hole in your pocket? The holidays have gone by in a flash, but we still have some presents under the She Bop tree.

From today through Wednesday, December 31st, we’re putting some amazing toys, books, and other fun stuff on saleat 15% off. Come by the shop to get 15% off on:

Dec
25

Early Playboy pinups revisit the camera

Dolores Del Monte, Miss March 1954

The first issue of Playboy came out in December of 1953. The pioneering models who graced its pages in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s are now entering into their golden years. NY Mag caught up with a handful of them to ask them their thoughts on the experience — and take beautiful new photos of them.

Compared to other magazines of its day, and particularly compared to the landscape of erotic material these days, Playboy is pretty tame. In the early days, Playboy didn’t even publish full-frontal nudity, but competition from Penthouse and Hustler changed that:

In 1972, Playboy published its first full-frontal nudity, a shot of centerfold Marilyn Cole Lownes. But to Cole Lownes — and other Playmates of that era — the photographs didn’t feel like they were about getting men off so much as they were about celebrating women. Cole Lownes’s father told her the photograph that ran in Playboy was like a Rubens painting. Using the language of the era, she now describes the whole experience “liberating.” (At the time, she wrote to her parents that she’d be a rich old lady, since “every time they change the backdrop I make $300.”)

All the women interviewed for the piece echoed the same sentiment: modeling for Playboy made them more confident. They were drawn to the idea of being both the object and the objectifier, although there is debate about whether the end result was simply objectification. Candace Jordan, now age 60, was in Playboy in December of 1979. She’s now a society columnist. She says:

I was the valedictorian of my high school in Dupo, Illinois. I had a scholarship to St. Louis University but I was absolutely bored to death and swore I had to find a different path. A girlfriend of mine told me they were hiring at the St. Louis Playboy Club. I’m an only child so all these girls were like the sisters I never had. Feminists always say, “I can’t believe you’re objectifying yourself.” And I would say, “Do you think I was forced at gunpoint to do this centerfold? No, it was my free choice, and that’s what women’s lib is supposed to be about.” After Playboy, I worked as a model, and I was in Risky Business with Tom Cruise . . . A lot of us still go to these autograph shows. Playboy fans are very, very respectful.

Most of the early Playboy models did not continue modeling. Instead, they became stylists, journalists, public relations people, doggie-day-care counselors, and real estate agents. One gave birth to a daughter who would later become a Victoria’s Secret model. But their power as Playmates has not faded, and they remember those years fondly.

There is a grace that comes with aging. You can see it — a knowing look — in the eyes of the models in their new photos. Cole Lownes, the first full-frontal model for the magazine, put it this way: “When you look at pictures of yourself from long ago, you see this young girl. You look into the eyes of the model, and you realize she doesn’t know what she knows now.”

  Musings     
Dec
22

10% Tuesdays in January for In Other Words

In Other Words

Throughout the month of January, 10% of our proceeds made on Tuesdays will be donated to In Other Words, a non-profit, volunteer-run, feminist community center in NE Portland. Their mission is to support, enrich, and empower the feminist community through literature, art, and educational and cultural events.

In Other Words’ bookstore includes books on feminism, queer and transgender studies, sexuality, and activism/politics, as well as alternative children’s books that are not easily found at other bookstores. Their resource center offers information on topics such as health and wellness, therapy and counseling, sexual and reproductive help, transgender issues, LGBTQ support and advocacy, birth and parenting, education, housing, activism and social change, and places to contact in crisis situations.

In Other Words also supports local artists, craftspeople, musicians, performers, and writers by providing a venue for events and a space for selling art. They are one of the few spaces in Portland where artists and musicians can hold events for free and where people can attend all-ages events for low, sliding scale costs.

Most recently, In Other Words has created a free lending library, which enables everyone to find radical books in a space that is accessible to all economic demographics. Go sign up for a library card today, and come visit us on any Tuesday in January to support In Other Words!

In Other Words can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Dec
18

Tease a Peel: Classic Burlesque Peeling Techniques

Wednesday, March 11th– 7:15 p.m. — $20

Orchestre L’Pow! producer Madison Moone is back by popular demand with a sultry class sure to awaken your inner diva!

Students will be guided through a sexy burlesque movement study including bumps, grinds and struts, followed by a tantalizing round of peeling techniques. We will explore classic tools of the trade such as nylon stockings and opera length gloves while learning graceful transitions to help you tease with ease! Class will conclude with a sassy group striptease, leaving you and your girlfriends feeling like glamazons!

Students should dress in comfortable clothes; shorts or a skirt are preferred. Please bring your favorite heels (slip ons are best), nylon stockings, and elbow length gloves for peeling. Miss Moone will have extras on hand. All levels of fitness welcome; no dance experience or nudity required. Please avoid alcohol consumption before attending and arrive by 7:15 p.m. Class will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m, with no late entrance after 7:45 p.m. No photographs are permitted.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

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Dec
18

Back That Ass Up!: Anal Sex 101

Wednesday, February 25th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

AJ (aka Amory Jane)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.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

Dec
18

Even More Pleasure, Power, and Pain: Expanding Your BDSM Experiences

AnnamarieThursday, February 19th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

Do you have a basic understanding of BDSM play? Perhaps you’ve read some of the how-to manuals, own some kinky toys, took a class or two, or have explored some sexy role play in the bedroom. Where do you go from here?

In this class, you’ll learn skills to help you build hot, intense scenes no matter what you’re into. We’ll cover how to take some of the BDSM basics a bit farther, plus learn some edgier types of play such as CBT, nipple/breast torment, and orgasm control. There will also be a discussion of public play — how to get invited to a party, what to expect, good etiquette, and more!

Be ready to try things out (optional, but so much fun!), ask questions, and share your experiences!

Annamarie is a passionate sex educator with a knowledge fetish. Sexuality has been a life-long interest, with a focus on embracing our entire sexual selves, growing as erotic beings, and creating community. She has been presenting and teaching workshops on sexuality, polyamory, and BDSM in the Portland area and around the west coast since 2006. You can learn more at her websites, Fierce Grace and PDX Kink Events.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

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Dec
18

The Joys of Toys!

Thursday, February 5th — 7:30 p.m. — $15

AJ (aka Amory Jane) as a sex toy superhero!Join She Bop’s very own AJ (aka Amory Jane, pictured here as a sex toy superhero!) for an evening of education and fun. Ever wandered around a sex toy shop and wondered “what the heck is that?” Never fear, AJ will answer those burning (in a good way) questions and then some!

In this class you will learn how sex toys originated and have advanced throughout history. AJ will explain the different types of toys, what they are used for and what they are made from, including vibrators, dildos, kegel exercisers, anal toys, toys for BDSM and more. Of course, don’t forget one of the most important things of all… yes, that would be lube! AJ will go over the different types of lube, as well as the ingredients to be aware of when selecting the best product for you. She will also address how to clean and store your toys so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Additionally, just in time for Valentine’s Day, AJ will give pointers on how to select a toy or gift for someone else!

As a special bonus, class attendees get 10% off their purchases in She Bop the night of the Joys of Toys class!

This workshop is open to all genders and sexual appetites!

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events       
Dec
18

Pleasure, Power, and Pain: An Introduction to BDSM

Wednesday, January 28th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

BDSM — whips, chains, and lots of black leather, right? Well… sometimes! But the world of kink and BDSM covers so much more, from a little rough sex to the opportunity to explore your personal boundaries, both emotional and physical.

If you’ve been curious about something you’ve read, or turned on by a scene in a movie that’s a little rougher than the usual fare, this class is for you! You’ll learn how to use those amazing toys and have the chance to see what they feel like. We’ll also be discussing role play, power dynamics, and resources for finding the local BDSM community.

Bring your fantasies, your questions, and your curiosity and get ready for a hot evening!

Annamarie is a passionate sex educator with a knowledge fetish. Sexuality has been a life-long interest, with a focus on embracing our entire sexual selves, growing as erotic beings, and creating community. She has been presenting and teaching workshops on sexuality, polyamory, and BDSM in the Portland area and around the west coast since 2006. You can learn more at her website.

LThis class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

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Dec
17

Thrills and mundanities on a queer porn set

 Nic Switch and Iona Grace with Shine Louise HoustonWhat goes on behind the scenes of a queer feminist porn shoot? According to Anna Pulley, writing for Alternet, performers ogle cat photos, knit scarves in the colors of the bisexual flag, and shoot the breeze about fisting censorship and breast milk pumping. The kitchen is well-stocked with coffee, fruit, and chips, and Feminist Porn Awards line the walls.

Scenes for queer porn site Crash Pad Series are shot in an unassuming neighborhood in San Francisco by filmmaker and director Shine Louise Houston, production assistant Jiz Lee, videographer Alexa Shae, and photographer Tristan Crane. The room is equipped with a “voyeur cam,” which allows members of the site to watch the scene in real time. The best scenes are compiled for DVD releases.

Anna Pulley visited the set to watch two scenes unfold: Nic Switch and Iona Grace, followed by Ray and Maggie Mayhem. As is always the case with Crash Pad scenes, performers first discussed their vision for the scene with Houston. Performers’ desires and limits are steadfastly respected and followed; the only true rules are no blood, no poop, and… no glitter. (It’s far too difficult to clean up!).

Then, the scene began. Pulley writes,

Since the room was small and crowded, I tried to flatten myself against the wall as much as possible, but even then I could’ve reached out and touched the performers, they were so close. I briefly considered the possibility of being in the line of fire should ejaculation occur, but mostly pushed that thought out of my mind and enjoyed my front-row seat. Luckily, I remained dry through both shoots…at least outwardly.

As a feminist, I’ve found there’s often a negotiation that occurs when watching most porn, especially if it involves any kind of heavy aggression or degradation. Because, let’s face it, our desires are hardly ever politically correct. When a woman in porn is tied up and being called a dirty whore, the last thing you want to be thinking is, “Does liking this make me a bad person?” With “Crash Pad,” there was no such negotiation. The performers genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. Nothing about the sex seemed contrived or for the benefit of an audience. Pleasure was the central tenet, and it worked. It was hot.

When all was said and done, several hours later, Pulley had witnessed a litany of sex acts, from strap-on play to Magic Wand buzzing to squirting — and a whole bunch of intense orgasms. Pulley commented on the large wet spot left on the bed afterward; her fascination was met with “oh, that’s nothing.”

After the scene, Houston interviewed the performers again to debrief. Grace explained why she does porn: it’s way more fun than being a cashier. Switch was more philosophical: she enjoys learning about herself and representing the queer community.

Pulley left the set with an armful of queer porn DVDs and a new outlook on feminist porn. She concluded, “it was certainly refreshing to witness Houston’s work, and to experience the kind of frank, pleasure-focused, authentic sex that rarely exists outside the mainstream.” Amen.

Dec
1

The glory of sex-positive emojis

Flirtmoji

Gone are the phallic fruits and suggestive winky faces — four designers in California have just upped the ante on sexy emojis. Their project, Flirtmoji, consists of tons of adorable yet provocative icons that can be pasted into any phone messaging app. In it, you’ll find everything from wiggling Jell-O and heart-shaped hot tubs to chastity devices and a drill with a dildo attachment.

The Verge interviewed Katy McCarthy, one of the two artists involved in the project, who explained that Flirtmoji was born after many frustrating attempts at using existing emojis to communicate about sex. Behind the project at all times: inclusivity and sex-positivity. Many of the emojis were shown to the designers’ friends for feedback first.

We wanted to be able to show this to all of our friends and have them all feel comfortable. We wanted them to be able pick their own body parts in the Emoji — within the limits of size and colors. So we invited a ton of people to come look at them and to provide feedback. We wanted them to tear it apart, or say “yes, this is good and I feel safe.” It’s not supposed to be college frat humor, although part of being inclusive is making it funny. It’s just not that hard to have everybody feel represented.

Flirtmoji: "booty call"Even the name of the project was deliberate. The team went with Flirtmoji to make the icons feel light, funny, and accessible to even folks not necessarily having sex. They wanted to represent everybody — including many skin tones and kinks — without judgment.

There are some challenges to drawing sex emojis that you may not realize. For instance: hair. Hair is very difficult to depict in the simple line stroke style of tiny icons. McCarthy agrees that hair representation is important, and the team is working on some new icons including it.

Although lighthearted, McCarthy believes sex emojis can help folks communicate in new and interesting ways.

What’s really beautiful about sex, and emoji, is that sex is really playful and also really difficult. And at the core of good sex is good communication. So to that end, I think that whatever it takes for you to be able to communicate what you want or need, or what you don’t want and don’t need is fine . . . with sex there are things that are really hard to say and hard to ask for, and that’s such a beautiful window to be able to provide someone with language.

Flirtmoji is not available in the iTunes store — on purpose. The team read too many horror stories about sexually explicit apps being rejected, and they chose not to be involved in a sex-negative platform. Instead, you can download some emojis for free, and others for 99 cents, on their website.

  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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