Jun
29

A Guide to Better Orgasms with Mikaya Heart

Wednesday, August 24th — 7:30pm — $25

Price of admission includes copy of The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women

Every woman has within her the energy, sensitivity and power to achieve fulfilling orgasms. Mikaya Heart, author of the new book The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women, teaches how to let go and be carried away by our own sexual energy without trying to control it. In this instructive, encouraging, and empowering workshop, Heart will cover the G-spot and other “bliss points,” the joy of sex toys, sex and spirit, and how to overcome trouble achieving orgasm. Mikaya Heart is an author, speaker, life coach and explorer.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Jun
27

Masturbation myths to blame for sex toy double standard

Female masturbation and sex toy use have become more mainstream in the past few years, yet there is still a pretty pervasive stigma when it comes to a man using a sex toy for masturbation. This thoughtful article by feminist blogger and gender studies professor Hugo Schwyzer examines this sex toy double standard — and why it continues to prevail.

It all traces back to myths about male and female masturbation. One such myth is that “real men have sex with real vaginas.” According to this myth,

. . . male masturbation — and especially a “penis sleeve” . . . signals a “lack of sexual success.” Male masturbation, in other words, is about relieving frustration — and for too many people, frustration is a consequence of failure. A sexually successful man should have enough sex (with women, of course, as our myths tend to exclude gay and bi men) that he only rarely gets “frustrated.”

But that’s not the only myth at play. Schwyzer spoke with sex educator Charlie Glickman to get his thoughts on the subject. Glickman believes that male sexuality is traditionally viewed as simple, whereas female sexuality is seen as complex, and this leads to a skewed perception of both.

Female sexuality is seen as complicated and mysterious, he told me, while male sexuality is seen as simple. Men learn to masturbate early, and usually quickly, worried that they’ll get caught. As a result, Charlie said, many of the men he works with still masturbate the same way at 40 that they did at 14. The focus is on “getting off” fast, not on drawing out ecstasy. Though many women do masturbate for quick relief . . . a focus on prolonged pleasure rather than simple release is still viewed as female.

Charlie pointed out that he’s never heard a gay man complain about a male lover who masturbates. But some women are threatened by their boyfriends or husbands masturbating, frequently because they’ve been raised to believe that it’s their job to be the pleasure provider in the relationship. As long as we believe that men masturbate out of a simple lack of opportunity for “real sex,” then women will believe that masturbation is a kind of rejection . . . On the other hand, plenty of folks believe that women’s sexuality is so intense and mysterious that men can rarely hope to satisfy it. So a woman masturbating with a wonderful toy she bought online is doing for herself something no man can — but a guy rubbing one out by himself is “depriving” his female partner of what is rightfully “hers.”

Read the whole post — it’s wonderful. There is not enough conversation surrounding this issue, so it’s good to see someone tackling it so eloquently.

It’s important for us to view these myths as what they are — to realize when they are influencing us, and to actively reject them. Sex toys for men are awesome, and they serve the exact same purpose as sex toys for women: to make sex with ourselves and with others more interesting and fun.

Jun
25

Rough Sex 2: Immediate Gratification

Sunday, July 17th — 7:30pm — $20

Face slapping, spanking, bondage, pounding penetration, role playing, talking smut? Sound like you? If you are already doing some of these things, here’s your chance to dive deeper into the sea of rough sex. In this hot, fun, new class sex and BDSM educator and coach Felice Shays works with individuals and couples addressing your specific questions answered through live demonstrations. A fast paced, interactive (optional) evening, this class assumes you are already delving into some (or a lot) of rough play during sex and are ready for the next level – whatever that is for you.

Possible topics include:

  • Fine tuning techniques for talking about what you want (and don’t want), hair pulling, face slapping, biting, choking, and more.
  • Ways to take hold of your sex and run the show.
  • Learning how to surrender into ecstatic submissive bliss.
  • Coming to peace with internal conflict or judgment.
  • (Consensual) ‘rape’ and other taboo sex games

Bring your questions, perverted thoughts, and concerns. All genders, sexual proclivities, singles, couples, and other relationship configurations welcome.

  Events      ,  
Jun
22

Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon

Wednesday, July 13th — 7:15 p.m. — $15

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 Portland’s Queen of the Tease, 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 beings while developing a greater appreciation of our feminine power!

Students should dress in comfortable clothes such a yoga or dance wear. Please bring your favorite heels, your prettiest bra and a zip up or button down blouse for layering. 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 7:15pm – class will begin promptly at 7:30pm, no late entrance after 7:45pm. Also no photographs are permitted. There will be time for shopping after the class!

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

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Jun
21

Help fund a documentary about Buck Angel

We’re huge fans of transgender activist, educator, and porn performer Buck Angel. We welcomed Buck into our community in March of last year for a DVD signing, and we had a blast! We also proudly carry quite a few of his revolutionary movies: V for Vagina, Buckback Mountain, The Buck Stops Here, and Even More Bang for Your Buck.

For the past 6 years, a documentary film crew has followed Buck and documented his extraordinary life and work. The footage is wrapped up, but the crew needs to hire a talented editor in order to hopefully submit the film to festivals in the fall — so they created a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of gathering donations. They have already reached their original goal of $6,000 in donations, but would ideally love to have $9,000.

This exciting documentary, entitled Mr. Angel, explores important issues of gender identity, body image, sexuality, health, and survival. Here’s a portion of the description of the project, and you can view a trailer and more info on the campaign page (trailer begins at about 1:50).

‘Mr. Angel’ chronicles the extraordinary life of transgender advocate, educator and porn pioneer, Buck Angel. His in-your-face style of activism has audiences challenged and outraged by his insistence that he is simply “a man who happens to have a vagina.” Buck has spent a lifetime facing relentless opposition and yet lives his truth with no apology. This feature-length documentary explores the source of his unwavering message of self acceptance and his drive to publicly confront the male/female binary head on. This is a story of amazing perseverance, empowerment, and an unlikely hero.

For the past 6 years, we’ve followed Buck struggling to create a new genre in the adult industry and working as an advocate and educator who is passionate about health, body image, and basic human rights. We’ve also documented his relationship with his wife, Elayne, and their life together with their seven dogs in the Yucatan. From home, the film follows the couple on trips to Berlin’s Porn Festival, to Philly to conduct body image workshops, to Yale University for a safe sex presentation, and to the Porn Oscars in Las Vegas.

There are all kinds of goodies available as rewards for different donation levels; pledge $30 or more and you’ll receive a digital download of the film when it’s finished! The final day for donations is July 10.

Jun
15

We’ve been nominated for an ‘O’ Award and StorErotica Award! Vote for us!

Awesome news! We’ve been nominated for two different industry awards. For the ‘O’ Awards, we’ve been nominated under the category “Outstanding Boutique.” In the StorErotica Awards, we’ve been nominated for “Retailer of the Year (Independent).” We are truly honored to have been recognized by both of these nominations.

The winners of the ‘O’ Awards will be chosen by a special panel of voters, then announced in the awards show ceremony at the AVN Novelty Expo on July 8.

Winners of the StorErotica Awards will be announced during a cocktail party at the ANME Founders Show on July 11. These winners will be determined by public voting on StorErotica’s website. Registration is free and requires a name and a valid email address. Voting is open until June 24th.

And a big thank you to our amazing customers, who have supported us so much and helped us thrive!

Jun
7

10% Tuesdays in June for the Q Center

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!

Bonus: give the Q Center some social media love by following them on Facebook and Twitter! Also check out some video interviews with the people who make the Q Center tick on YouTube.

  Community, Sales      , ,  
Jun
5

Sex trivia at the Beauty Bar this Tuesday

Want to win some fantastic prizes from us? Come to Sex Trivia night at the Beauty Bar in downtown Portland!

Come test your knowledge about sex this Tuesday, June 7th at 8 p.m. We’ll be hosting the event and giving away prizes to those who prove the most knowledgeable in areas such as:

  • Sex in pop culture
  • Anatomy
  • Sex history

And much, much more!

The Beauty Bar is located on Ash St., between 1st and 2nd (here’s a map). We hope to see you there!

  Events      ,  
Jun
1

The history of sex toys

Have you ever wondered how sex toys came to be? Well, the story involves dubious medical conditions, goat eyelids, hilarious magazine ads, dragon tongues, and a cast of characters that ranges from a former police officer to a ventriloquist. Intrigued? Read on…

A long time ago — 1000 A.D.

Nobody knows quite when the dildo was invented. It likely dates all the way back to the Upper Paleolithic period. Phallic objects from this period are sometimes labeled by archaeologists as “batons,” but they might very well have been used for sexual stimulation. One particular 20-centimeter siltstone phallus, estimated to be about 28,000 years old, was discovered in a cave in Germany.

Dildos can also be found in Greek vase art from the 6th century B.C., in depictions of both group sex and solitary female masturbation. Around this time, an early version of the dildo called the “olisbos” was invented in the Greek port of Miletus. Olisbos were sold by traders around the Mediterranean.

Olive oil may have been one of the first lubricants. It was promoted for contraception starting in about 350 B.C.

Ben wa balls were invented around 500 A.D. These little balls — some solid, some hollow with “clappers” inside that created a ringing sound — were inserted into the vagina. They were originally meant to provide pleasure to a man during intercourse, but their ability to improve the pelvic floor muscles was eventually discovered.

1000 — 1800

Cock rings first appeared around 1200 in China. They were made from the eyelids of goats… with the eyelashes still intact. These cock rings were flexible and had to be tied around a man’s erection. Why the eyelashes? Well, they were thought to amplify the pleasure of sex.

Around 1400, the word “dildo” was coined — perhaps from the Latin dilatare, “to open wide,” or maybe from the Italian diletto, “to delight.” Dildos in this period were made of wood, stone, leather, tar, and other firm materials, and required a copious amount of lubrication (again, olive oil) for pleasurable use.

By 1600 or so, cock rings had evolved quite a bit. They were now stiff ivory rings that Chinese men used to maintain their erections. The rings were ornately carved, usually with depictions of dragons. Over time, the dragon design became more and more intricate, until finally the dragon’s tongue extended beyond the ring, creating a nub that stimulated a woman’s clitoris during intercourse.

A primitive version of the vibrator popped up in 1734; it was powered by a hand crank.

1800s

Not much is known about the history of the butt plug, but during the Victorian era, one European doctor suggested that his patients insert a wooden egg anally. It was believed that pressure against the prostate gland would guide semen back to the bladder, thereby preventing “wasteful ejaculation.”

1869 was a landmark year in the history of sex toys. For centuries, doctors had been treating women for a plethora of illnesses (most notably hysteria, which had symptoms very similar to those of sexual arousal) with what they politely called “pelvic massage.” The point was to induce “hysterical paroxysm” — yes, orgasm — in the patient.

Hysteria was a recurring condition, of course, and doctors grew tired of the time-consuming treatment, complaining of fatigued wrists and hands. In an effort to aid them, an American physician named George Taylor, M.D. invented a hulking, steam-powered device called the Manipulator. The engine of the machine was so monstrous that it was hidden in another room, while the apparatus was threaded through a hole in the wall.

Thankfully, the Manipulator was usurped by the first electromechanical vibrator, invented in 1882 by British physician Joseph Mortimer Granville. This vibrator was battery-powered and came with several attachments with which to vary the sensation. Granville did not approve of his device being used on women; he insisted it was for massaging men’s skeletal muscles. But it was too late; the vibrator was off to a running start.

1900 — 1952

As electricity entered homes around the U.S., the plug-in home vibrator experienced a surge in popularity. In fact, vibrators were the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified, right behind the sewing machine, fan, tea kettle, and toaster, and about a decade prior to the vacuum cleaner.

Consumer magazines such as Home Needlework Journal and Woman’s Home Companion featured advertisements for vibrators, touting them as wonderful health and relaxation tools that could cure headaches, wrinkles, and nerve pain. Yet there was an element of playfulness to some of the copy — for example, “all the pleasures of youth… will throb within you.”

Sadly, all of that cheerfulness came crashing down in the 1930s. The vibrator had become more and more prevalent in pornographic films, and manufacturers could no longer pretend that their products were innocent “massagers.” Vibrator advertisements vanished.

In 1952, the American Medical Association concluded that hysteria was not a true ailment. This was the final turning point — the vibrator could no longer hide behind its medical use.

1960 — 1990

In 1966, a middle-aged ventriloquist named Ted Marche pioneered the manufacture and distribution of rubber dildos and other sex toys. By 1976, Marche Manufacturing had sold nearly five million toys — and paved the way for countless others.

The Hitachi Magic Wand, made by Japanese manufacturing firm Hitachi, first appeared on the North American market in the 1970s. The Magic Wand’s stated purpose is to massage sore muscles and nerves, but its use in porn eventually made it famous among sex toy users. To this day, few sex toys are as well-known and well-loved as the Hitachi (although it underwent a name change and now has competition).

In 1980, KY jelly finally went over the counter as a sexual lubricant. Since its inception in 1927, it had been used by physicians during pelvic exams. This opened the flood gates, and a huge variety of lube is available today, including special flavored and stimulating gels.

1990s

Things really began speeding up in the ’90s. Vixen Creations, San Francisco-based manufacturer of 100% silicone sex toys, was founded in 1992. German company Fun Factory, known today as the company that makes cute, brightly-colored toys, came along in 1996. Tantus joined the party in 1998.

The rabbit vibrator, a type of dual-action toy named after the shape of its clitoral stimulator, experienced an explosion in popularity in 1998 when it starred in HBO’s multi-award winning TV show, Sex and the City. Even recent interest in this type of toy can be attributed to the single episode in which Charlotte becomes obsessed with her rabbit.

1998 was also the year the Fleshlight male masturbation sleeve was patented (hilariously, the patent calls it a “device for discreet semen collection”). A former police officer named Steve Shubin came up with the idea when his wife had a high-risk pregnancy and the couple was advised not to have intercourse. Shubin hired models, took casts of their genitalia, then re-created them in a flesh-like material. He disguised each realistic sleeve in a faux flashlight case, and the name “Fleshlight” was born. The Fleshlight is now the best-selling male toy of all time.

2000s — today

Business is booming! Luxury Swedish sex toy company LELO was founded in 2003, and they were the first to create a rechargeable vibrating cock ring, as well as a USB-rechargeable clitoral vibe. Jimmyjane, another manufacturer of high-end toys, was founded in 2004. Stainless steel sex toy manufacturer njoy and wooden sex toy company NobEssence followed in 2005. In 2006, a former Apple employee partnered with her husband to create the world’s first music-driven vibrators.

In 2008, the public was introduced to the first sex toy that remembers what its user likes, the now-discontinued Je Joue SaSi, causing awe among consumers at how advanced sex toys have become.

Now, the market for luxury sex toys is fierce, and innovative toys (such as the Sqweel, Cobra Libre, and Stronic Eins) are being released often. The traditional rabbit vibrator has evolved and been re-imagined. Many vibrators are rechargeable, waterproof, and powerful, all at the same time. And dildos now come in a vast variety of materials, although they always have — but supple pure silicone is definitely an improvement over tar.

Where are sex toys headed next? Some predict advanced phone apps, virtual sex, and biometric controls that respond to moods, body heat, and even brainwaves. Others simply imagine an increase in hygienic materials and eco-friendly options. What would you like to see?

May
30

New product round-up for May

Here’s what we added to the shop and our online store in the month of May!

The spunky people at Tickler have re-invented the rabbit! Check out the innovative Double Toyfriend Bossy and Double Toyfriend Shorty. Both are 100% silicone vibrators with insertable shafts and long-eared rabbits for clitoral stimulation. Shorty is quite a bit smaller than Bossy, so check the dimensions to find the right one for you.

Pjur Original Bodyglide is one of the most popular silicone lubes of all time, so we’re excited to add it to our catalog. A little goes a long way with silicone lube, so this 3.4-ounce bottle will last a while! (Read more about lube in our Lube 101 guide.)

The flower-shaped Gossip Ring has to be one of the cutest toys we’ve ever seen — it’s a finger vibe that doubles as a cock ring. It can also be worn out on the town as an incognito fashion accessory.

And this is a first for us: we’re stocking our first strap-on vibe! It’s called the Wing Fling, and the stimulator is a butterfly made of phthalate-free TPE. We do carry some awesome hands-free vibes (like the Cleo, Snuggle Puss and We-Vibe), but the Wing Fling is the first product that attaches to the body with straps and is controlled by a remote.

Last but not least, we’ve added two amusing and boob-centric products to our Party Fun category: Gummy Boobs and a Boobie Mug.

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.
eGift Cards are here!
Staff picks
Toys for two

We tweet!

Follow She Bop on Twitter