Trans-Queering your Sex

Sunday, September 11th — 7:30 pm — $15

Interested in a Trans person, gender queer person or gender non-conforming person? Wanna have fun and be respectful? Wanna experience “non-traditional” sex and desire that is not based on stereotypes? Well, this is the workshop for you! Open to all sexual orientations and genders.

Ignacio Rivera, aka Papí Coxxx, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” is a Black-Boricua, gender-fluid, Trans-Former, kinky, sex positive sex educator, sex worker, performance artist and filmmaker. They are one of the founding board members for Queers for Economic Justice and the creator of Poly Patao Productions. They can be seen in their debut performance in Pink and White Productions’ The Wild Search. They have worked with Morty Diamond of Tranny Fags on a Trans Entity: The Nasty Love of Papi and Wil. Papí Coxxx can also be seen on Queer Porn TV, Pink and White Productions’ Crash Pad Series, and in the soon to be released adult comedy by Cheryl Dunye and Sarah Schulman entitled Mommy is Coming.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!


Brain scans pinpoint female sexual response

This graphic just about says it all:

60 years after mapping out the male brain in response to sexual stimulation, scientists have finally scanned the female brain. The findings? Stimulation of the clitoris and stimulation of the vagina each activate different regions of the brain’s sensory cortex. And nipple stimulation causes the genital area of the cortex to light up, which scientifically explains the very obvious fact that nipple stimulation is erotic. Thank goodness!

The research was conducted first by a team at University Children’s Hospital in Switzerland, where the team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to pinpoint the area of the sensory cortex that responds to clitoral stimulation. The position of the clitoris on the sensory cortex corresponded pretty closely to the position of the penis in men.

A second team of researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey picked up where the others left off, determining the positions of the clitoris, vagina, and cervix on the sensory cortex as women stimulated themselves. Sadly, they only stimulated “the front wall of the vagina generally,” so no word yet on what G-spot stimulation does in the brain.

This is definitely a “well, duh” news item, but at least researchers are finally taking more interest in female sexual response!

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LGBT history coming to California school textbooks

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a groundbreaking bill that requires public schools to include the historical contributions of LGBT individuals in their social studies lessons. The law — entitled the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act — could begin taking effect as soon as the 2013-2014 school year.

California will be the first state in the nation to require schools to revise textbooks and procure teaching materials that cover the contributions and roles of sexual minorities throughout history. It will be up to the school boards to determine how — and at what grade level — to implement these changes.

Unsurprisingly, phrases like “homosexual agenda” and “sexual brainwashing” are being tossed about by critics of the bill, and opponents have already begun collecting signatures for a ballot referendum to overturn the bill.

Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, the author of the bill, had this to say about the bill’s critics:

There is a lot of distortion. Some people are saying we are trying to sexualize education. This is not about sex. This is about history. It’s about a chapter of civil rights that is currently being censored . . . We learn about Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for civil rights, but not about Harvey Milk, who also fought for civil rights and was also assassinated.

It is worth noting that California law already requires schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians, and entrepreneurs. Other topics, such as the Holocaust and the Irish potato famine, are also required by the Legislature.

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She Bop voted #2 porn shop in Portland

We’re on a roll! After being nominated for two industry awards and landing on AVN’s top 50 adult retailers list, we didn’t expect another victory so soon. But here it is: we snagged the #2 spot in the “porn shop” category of the Portland Mercury‘s PDX Approved: The Readers’ Choice Guide to Everything Awesome in Portland.

Although our shop certainly carries much more than porn, we are very proud of our porn selection. We stock many films directed by women, a large array of queer titles, some great instructional DVDs, and mainstream straight movies as well. We also believe in the importance of educational porn, so we rent out our instructional DVDs.

The entire PDX Approved guide can be accessed online here. Our listing is on the bottom of page 35.

To anyone who wrote our name on their ballot: THANK YOU! You are awesome! And congratulations to Fantasy, the megastore voted #1 this year!


10% Tuesdays in August for Bitch Media

10% Tuesdays are back! Throughout the month of August, 10% of our sales on Tuesdays will go to Bitch Media.

Currently, the people at Bitch are looking for more support to continue publishing their print magazine. They are hoping for 1,500 subscriptions ordered by August 8th. On their blog, they explain why the printed product is important:

. . . as people who care about providing a feminist response to pop culture (that’s you! and me too!), we want to reach out to as many people in as many ways as possible. Lots of people encounter Bitch Media through the magazine — in fact, maybe that’s how you discovered us. We want to keep that print train rolling and we want you to help. (Also, have you seen the print magazine? It’s gorgeous and super interesting and will make you look smart if you read it in public.)

So this is where the real talk comes in. Because I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this right now, online, do not subscribe to the magazine. We’d like to change that . . . If you want to Keep Bitch in Print, if you want to support the organization that brings you all the feminist response to pop culture that’s fit to print — online and off — subscribe, renew, or become a sustainer now.

We wholeheartedly agree with the need for feminist media, especially Bitch, which has been in print since 1996. Drop by the shop on any Tuesday in August to support this great organization.


New product round-up for July

Here are the products we added to our catalog in the month of July! First up: the Slimline G, an inexpensive plastic vibe designed for superb G-spot stimulation. This toy would make a great introduction to G-spot exploration.

That snazzy box you see is a pack of Sir Richard’s condoms. Aside from having really hip packaging, Sir Richard’s believes that safe sex is a human right. So, for every Sir Richard’s condom you buy, they will donate one condom to a country in need. Pretty neat, eh?

Then there’s Furverts, an amusing (and interactive: it has a fuzzy peek-a-boo cover!) photographic look at the furry subculture. We also added three other books: The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women, Woman Cancer Sex, and Man Cancer Sex.

Last but not least: porn! We now stock these hot lesbian movies: Take Her Down! Lesbian Erotic Oil Wrestling Party and a two-pack of Afterschool Special and Turn Me Up Over and On. And finally, to bulk up our Classic/Vintage DVD category, we’ve added one DVD of softcore burlesque nudes from the ’40s and ’50s, and one DVD of softcore nudes from the ’50s and ’60s.


The Joys of Toys!

Thursday, September 1st — 7:30 p.m. — $10

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

In this class you will learn about 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.

This workshop is open to all genders and sexual appetites!

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!


AVN selects She Bop as one of top 50 adult retailers

Well, hey! AVN (Adult Video News) has compiled their first ever list of the adult industry’s top 50 retailers, and we’re on it!

According to AVN, the chosen retailers all express a “willingness to be active partners in their customers’ quest for sexual satisfaction.” But of course!

We’re listed under “single-store brick-and-mortars,” and our blurb goes like this:

Evy Cowan and Jeneen Doumitt opened She Bop in 2009, allied to create a boutique specializing in non-toxic toys, female-friendly DVDs and gifts focused on sexuality. Recent events have included classes on “Full-Bodied Fellatio” and “Rough Sex for Beginners: Consent and Desire,” and blog posts cover local events, new products in the shop, and general musings on pleasure and sexuality.

We were honored to have been listed at all, but to be listed alongside some amazing shops such as Early to Bed, Good for Her, Come As You Are, and The Tool Shed is even sweeter. Thanks, AVN!


Sex toy cleaning guide

Cleaning may not be the most glamorous thing a person can do with a sex toy, but the cleaning process is vital to keeping a toy in tip-top condition! If your toys are not cleaned properly, you run the risk of developing a bacterial infection. But don’t worry — it takes mere minutes to clean a sex toy, and the techniques are about as simple as washing your hands.

Nearly all sex toys can be washed with good old antibacterial soap and warm water. There are also some products made specifically for sex toy cleaning, such as Pjur Med Clean Spray and Afterglow Toy Tissues. These products are gentle, can be used in lieu of soap, and rinse/wipe off easily.

If you have ultrasensitive skin or are unable to use antibacterial soap for any reason, we highly recommend that you only use sex toys made of non-porous materials. Non-porous toys are completely body-safe and will not trap bacteria on their surfaces, so they can be cleaned much more thoroughly than porous toys, and in a wider variety of ways. The majority of the toys we carry are non-porous.

This guide will tackle the different sex toy materials and how each should be cleaned. There are four basic cleaning techniques. Not every technique can be applied to every toy — be sure to read about specific materials below. Here are the basic instructions for each technique.

  • Soap and water: Lather the toy with antibacterial soap and warm water. Let the soap sit on the surface of the toy for 2-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Dry.
  • Boiling: After a preliminary soap and water scrubbing, submerge the toy slowly in a pot of boiling water and allow it to boil for 10 minutes. Ensure that it stays submerged as it boils. Carefully remove the toy and dry.
  • Bleaching: Mix together a solution of 10% bleach and 90% water. Wash the toy with soap and water first, then submerge the toy in the bleach solution, or spray/wipe the toy with the solution. Let it sit momentarily, then rinse and dry.
  • Dishwasher: Place the toy in the top rack of your dishwasher and run the dishwasher on a gentle cycle without any soap. Dry.

In each case, toys can be air-dried or dried with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. Let your toys dry completely before storing them; otherwise the leftover moisture could encourage mold and mildew.

When should sex toys be cleaned? Well, toys should definitely be washed when you first take them out of their package. They should also be cleaned as soon as possible after use, and sometimes even before use (if they have been stored away for a while).

Here are a few more general rules to keep in mind.

  • Unplug and remove batteries from toys prior to washing them.
  • If an electronic toy is not fully waterproof, take special care to avoid getting water in the charger socket, on the interface, or inside the casing.
  • Remember that for any toy with mechanical parts, boiling and dishwasher cleaning are out of the question.
  • Use condoms on toys that will be shared, and toys that are made of porous materials. After removing the condom, wash the toy as usual.

Now, onto the materials!

Pure silicone

Such as Ella, Form 4, Naughty Boy, Silicone Cock Ring.

100% silicone is a very hygienic material, as it is completely non-porous. You have quite a few options for how to wash a silicone toy, especially if it does not have electronic parts. You can wash it with warm, soapy water. Or you can boil it, put it in the dishwasher, or clean it with a bleach solution. Remember, never boil a toy or put it in the dishwasher if it has any mechanical parts.


Such as Mia, Freestyle WAneros Helix, Energie.

Plastic is rigid and non-porous. Wash it with warm, soapy water, or wipe down with sex toy cleaner. Bleaching is also acceptable. Do not boil.

Glass, metal, wood, ceramic

All of these hard materials are non-porous.

Glass toys, such as Athena, can be washed with soap and water. Do not use an abrasive cleaner — it may scratch or dull the surface of the glass. Glass toys may also be boiled, bleached, or placed in the dishwasher. However, depending on the type of glass, the toy may be sensitive to extreme temperatures, so only boil it or place it in the dishwasher if you are certain it is made of sturdy borosilicate glass.

Metal toys, such as the Pure Wand, can be treated with a bleach solution, boiled, or washed with soap and water. The dishwasher is not recommended for these toys, as some rinse agents are bad for some metals. Do not use jewelry cleaners on metal toys.

Wooden toys, such as Romp, are non-porous and sealed with a special, body-safe coating. They can be washed with warm water and non-abrasive soap, or wiped down with toy cleaner. They should not be boiled or placed in the dishwasher.

Ceramic toys should be cleaned with soap and water, or they can be bleached.


Such as Rabbit HabitSilky, Maven, Neo Ring.

Elastomer is a soft material that comes in different degrees of porousity. Because of this, we suggest it be cleaned with warm, soapy water, then rinsed. Toy cleaning spray may also b”>Fleshlights.

These materials mimic skin and are very porous, so they can harbor bacteria and are one of the most difficult materials to keep clean. Real-feel materials are also quite delicate and can tear easily, so be gentle when cleaning them. Fleshlights specifically should be cleaned with water only — no soap. Other real-feel materials may be able to withstand mild soap, but be sure to fully rinse it away.

Toys made of real-feel materials should be left out to air dry completely before being stored. Because of the porousness of the material, it is very important that residual water is not left on the toy. You may speed up the drying process with Fleshlights by threading a soft cloth through them.

If, over time, you find your toy becoming sticky to the touch, you can dust it with some cornstarch (not talcum powder, as it has been linked to cervical cancer) prior to storage. This will give it a softer feel. Wash off the cornstarch before using the toy again.


Jelly is a porous material that is often accompanied by a synthetic, new-shower-curtain type of smell. We do not stock any jelly toys because we are concerned about the potential health risks of the chemicals in many of them. If you own a jelly toy, cover it with a condom before use. Clean it with warm, soapy water, and rinse very thoroughly. Keep an eye out for deterioration in the surface of the material. If the material begins to degrade, throw out the toy immediately.


TSA a-okay with sex toys

Two emotions I felt while reading this article: relief and amusement. Finally, acknowledgement from the Transportation Safety Administation (TSA) that, for them, sex toys are no big deal! Even BDSM toys — whips, floggers, chains, leashes, cuffs, and restraints — are fine to pack in a carry-on bag.

Sex toys are not only legal to travel with; they’re expected. Inspectors know a vibrator when they see one, and they will not confiscate it. However, travelers should remember that inspectors are trained to keep an eye out for electronic devices.

The best solution? Just don’t be nervous. If you need a little pep talk, remind yourself that vibrators are common — roughly half the women in the U.S. own one, and vibrators have been around longer than airplanes. If asked about your toy, stay calm and give a straightforward answer; “that’s my dildo” is perfect. Don’t lie about what the toy is.

There is one ominous category of items that is acceptable only for checked luggage, but not carry-on luggage: “billy clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles, nunchakus and martial arts weapons.” This category includes “anatomically correct cylinders of roughly a foot or so in length,” or any sex toy that could be defined as “club-like.”

A prime example of such a thing would be the njoy Eleven, a massive, 2-pound stainless steel dildo. Hilariously, the TSA spokesman was asked specifically about this toy, and he said (presumably in a very official tone of voice), “We would call that a baton-like item. It could be considered a weapon.”

Generally, anything under 7 inches in length does not fall into this category, and thus is fine to bring in carry-ons. Just be sure to remove the batteries from your vibrator and follow the 3-1-1 rule with lube.

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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.

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