Oct
10

Ms. GK ladies’ night at Ground Kontrol

Do you have plans on Sunday, October 16th? We hope not, because you should attend ladies’ night at retro arcade and bar Ground Kontrol!

From 7 p.m. to close, Ground Kontrol will be hosting a night of free play and lady-centric gaming, complete with DJs, food and drinks, tournaments, a raffle, and a geek craft swap!

We have donated a few sexy things — tickets to our sex toy class and a goodie bag — to the raffle, so that’s even more incentive!

Ground Kontrol is located at 511 NW Couch St. Admission is $3 for ladies, $8 for gents.

 

  Community, Events       
Oct
7

New costume aprons from Naughty Autie!

In addition to our usual handmade aprons from local designer Naughty Autie, we now have three costume aprons available in the shop!

Here we have a French maid, beer girl, and pirate! These costume aprons are one-of-a-kind and were made exclusively for She Bop. They can be worn for Halloween, for roleplaying, or just as regular ol’ aprons. They are equipped with long ties, so they fit all different sizes. Each is $62 and comes with wrist cuffs and a hat.

Come visit us to see these adorable aprons in person!

Oct
4

HUMP! 2011 submission deadline this Friday

It’s my favorite time of year: the time of apple cider, pumpkin pie, and amazing amateur porn! The Pacific Northwest’s only locally-produced adult film festival, HUMP!, is back for its seventh year, and we’re sponsoring again. With a cute tagline of “The film festival that allows you to be a porn star for a weekend — not for life,” HUMP! promises the usual hotness and hilarity of years past.

This is the final week to submit films for consideration at HUMP! 2011. The deadline is this Friday.

The Mercury and the HUMP! 2011 jury invite local filmmakers, actors, kinksters, exhibitionists, and notorious sex-havers to get to work on their films for HUMP! 2011. The HUMP! jury is composed of local sex experts (ahem), sex-positive film critics, and sex-obsessed porn fans. The HUMP! jury looks for hotness, humor, and originality. Films do not have to be slick or professionally produced. They do have to be hot or funny or hot and funny.

Films selected for HUMP! are screened over two weekends in Seattle and Portland. The Mercury returns or destroys all copies of the films after the festival. Films are not released on the internet, and all screenings are monitored to prevent bootleg copies of HUMP! films from being made.

. . . Entries can be erotica, hardcore, softcore, live-action, BDSM, animation, gay, straight, bi — whatever turns your crank!

To sweeten the deal, the prize packages have been bumped up from last year! The runners-up in the Humor, Kink, and Sex categories will get $500 this year, and the “Best in Show” grand prize is now $4,000! Winners, as always, will be determined by audience vote.

To submit to HUMP!, drop off your entry at the Mercury offices by 5:00 p.m. this Friday, October 7th.

HUMP! will be taking place at Cinema 21, November 17-19. Tickets go on sale this Thursday.

  Community      , ,  
Sep
30

How to choose an anal toy

Anal play can add variety to your sexual repertoire, not to mention awesome pleasure and enhanced orgasms. And you know what especially rocks about anal play? Anyone can enjoy it! The anal opening is full of sensitive nerve endings that just love to be stimulated. Inside the butt, there is even more fun to be had. Folks with vaginas experience anal pleasure because the clitoral legs extend to the anus. Folks with penises are blessed with a prostate gland, which can facilitate intense orgasms when stimulated.

Of course, we are big fans of utilizing sex toys during anal play. Introducing toys is a good way to experiment with the many sensations of anal stimulation. Selecting an anal toy can seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to take the guesswork out of the process. Don’t worry; it won’t take too long, and you can get to playing with your butt very soon!

Before we get started on helping you find the butt toy of your dreams, here are a few important rules for anal play.

  • Always use lube when playing anally! We recommend a thick, cushioning lube, such as Sliquid SassyAlmost Naked, or Sliquid Organics Gel. For a super targeted lube experience, pick up some Lube Tubes. If you are using a toy that is not made of silicone, you can use a silicone lube such as Pjur. Lube is absolutely necessary because the butt does not self-lubricate. The walls of the rectum are sensitive and thin, and they can be irritated by too much friction. Lube greatly reduces the amount of friction, making for a smooth and pleasurable experience.
  • Make it a rule that only toys with flared bases are welcome in your ass. Without a flared base, the toy could get lost in your colon, resulting in a trip to the emergency room.
  • Relax and don’t rush. If you’re new to anal play, try having an orgasm first, or have someone give you a massage, so your anal sphincter muscles will be more relaxed. If someone is using an anal toy on you, communicate with them constantly. If, in the midst of using your toy, you begin to feel pain: stop.
  • To avoid vaginal infection, never take a toy that has been in the ass and put it in the vagina. If you want to do this, use a condom on the toy and replace it when switching orifices.

Gauge your experience level — and be honest

Above everything else, size is the most important factor when it comes to anal toys. It can be tempting to get all gung-ho about things and try to challenge your ass, but you must resist. The butt is delicate, and toys often feel bigger than they appear. A few of our anal toys come in multiple sizes, so you can graduate to bigger diameters on your anal journey. If you’re interested in that, take a look at the Pleasure PlugsSilks, and Pure Plugs.

If you’ve used fingers for anal penetration before, that is a good way to determine what size of anal toy you’ll want (toys are usually measured by diameter, so try to estimate diameter). Here are some guidelines for choosing a size based on your experience level.

Beginner: You’ve never used an anal toy, or have only used small anal toys or a finger for anal penetration. Stick with a diameter of 0-1″ or so, and a lightweight or pliable material (hard plastic or silicone). Don’t get a toy that looks especially long. Avoid crazy shapes or textures, or toys that bulge out a lot in the middle. Ultimately, just keep it simple! Our favorite beginner toys are the Bootie, small Pleasure PlugBobAneros Helix, and small Silk. You’ll probably want a butt plug (more on them below), as they allow your body to adjust to the sensation of anal penetration.

Intermediate: You’ve had experience with anal toys and feel ready to try something new, or something a bit larger. Stay in the 1-1.5″ diameter range, roughly. You can graduate to heavier materials, like glass, or introduce some texture or vibration (or both!). Perhaps anal beads sound interesting?

Advanced: You know who you are. You want something large and in charge, with a diameter of 1.5″+. The large Pure Plug is probably right up your alley, with both its weight and size (not to mention its shininess!). If you can handle more length, you can look into dildos with flared bases. If you would consider yourself a very advanced player, check out the Tristan 2 or Pure Plug 2.0.

What do you want it to do?

Moment of truth — do you want this toy to stay put in your ass, or do you want it to move around? Keep this answer in mind. If you have a prostate, you may want a toy that is built specifically for stimulating it. Or perhaps you’re looking for something to penetrate a partner with, so you may want a harness-compatible and butt-compatible dildo. There are several types of anal toy, all meant to stimulate in different ways.

Butt plugs: Butt plugs are the most popular type of anal toy, for both beginners and veterans. They are meant to be inserted and then left inside. Butt plugs come in all shapes and sizes, but they generally have a narrow “neck,” which the sphincter naturally closes around, right before their flared base. Because butt plugs stay inside, they help to relax and open up the anus. They can be worn during virtually any activity, from intercourse to masturbation to grocery shopping, to create a sensation of fullness. During sexual activity, a butt plug may even intensify your orgasms, as your muscles contract around the plug.

Anal beads: Anal beads are a series of connected, often graduated spheres, and they’ve come a long way in recent years. They used to be horrifying little PVC beads on strings (yes, actual strings). Now, there are body-safe options such as the Flexi Felix and Bendybeads, which are made entirely of pure silicone. They’re floppy and can be manipulated any which way. Anal beads are meant to be inserted one by one, so you can take your time and allow your body to get used to the feeling before inserting more beads. The best part is, you are in control of the amount of fullness you feel!

When used during vaginal intercourse, anal beads may shift around and stimulate you that way. They can also be gently tugged on before or during orgasm, so that the popping of the beads pairs with your muscle contractions for an enhanced climax.

Prostate toys: Prostate toys have a specific goal in mind: to stimulate the prostate gland in folks who have one. The prostate is located about 2 inches into the anus and, when stimulated, can produce unique pleasure and powerful orgasms. Like the G-spot, the prostate responds best to curved toys. Many toys that were designed for prostate stimulation — like the Duke and Rude Boy — are meant to work their magic hands-free. G-spot toys may also be used as prostate massagers, but only if they have flared/pronounced bases. (Hint: if you’re an advanced player, the Pure Wand might just blow your mind.)

Dildos: As long as a dildo has a flared base, it will work for anal play. Anything labeled “harness compatible” (vibrating and non-vibrating) is safe. Dildos are often longer than butt plugs, so ensure that you can handle length first. Dildos can be hand-held, or used in a harness. If you’ll be anally penetrating someone with a strap-on, look for a dildo with a gentle curve, a smooth texture, and a diameter that your partner can handle. We like the Mistress and Silk series, or if you’re looking for realism, Spur or Mustang. Double-ended dildos like the Share XS can be used in a similar way, with or without a harness.

Just a couple more questions!

You probably have a good idea of what you want at this point! You know what size and type of toy sound good to you. Now there are just two more questions to ask yourself. These should seal the deal.

Which material do I want? Silicone is a pliable, all-purpose material that warms quickly to body temperature. Then there are smooth, hard materials — wood, stainless steel, plastic, and glass — which are best for targeted stimulation. The weight of a material can also add intensity to the stimulation. Stainless steel is the heaviest (most intense), followed by glass, silicone, wood, and plastic. All of these materials are non-porous and body-safe, but the heavier materials should be used with extra care.

Do I want it to vibrate? Vibrations can help your butt relax, but they may also tickle! Still, one of the great things about vibrating toys is that you don’t have to turn on the vibrations if you don’t want to, so if you’re intrigued, check out our vibrating plugs, vibrating prostate massagers, and vibrating dildos. Most of these offerings use regular batteries, with the exception of the high-tech Billy and Duke — they’re rechargeable!

What now?

Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the perfect anal toy for you! For more in-depth information on everything anal, we carry several books about anal sex, such as Anal Pleasure & HealthThe Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, and The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men. These are great for a comprehensive look at pleasure, anatomy, and safety.

If you’re a visual learner, check out Tristan Taormino’s educational porn DVDs: Expert Guide to Anal SexExpert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men, and Expert Guide to Pegging.

And of course, if you have more questions, stop in the shop and ask us. We’d be happy to help.

Sep
29

New product round-up for September

   

Hey hey! Wondering what’s new in our shop?

Well, on the dildo front, we have two awesome additions. The first, Tango, is a fantastic double-ended dildo that just made its U.S. debut. We’re excited about this toy because its unique bulb shape will help it stay put inside the wearer. Plus, the vibrating bullet is angled so that the wearer gets good vibration!

Then there’s Harmony, a gently-rippled dildo with a textured handle. It can be used solo, but it is meant to excel in a harness — providing stimulation to the harness-wearer by way of its ridges!

After much anticipation, we are proud to carry Tristan Taormino’s new erotica collection, Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica. And in time for Halloween, we’ve picked up two spooky erotica books: Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance and Girls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica.

And of course, we could not resist picking up two new vibrating things: the Big Ben cock ring and the Acuvibe Mini 2-speed (a rechargeable wand-style vibe that is a step up from its one-speed predecessor).

Psst, one more thing: very soon, we’ll be adding some new LELO toys to our collection! Keep an eye out for a post about them.

Sep
28

10% Tuesdays in October for Bradley Angle

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and She Bop will be donating 10% of all in-store sales on Tuesdays this month to Bradley Angle, an organization whose mission is to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with local communities to create social change.

In 1975, Bradley Angle became the first domestic violence shelter on the West Coast (and only the 4th in the United States). Over the years, their services have expanded to include a 24-hour crisis line, transitional housing, support groups, community-based advocacy, and three programs unique to Oregon: culturally specific programming for African and African-American survivors, an economic empowerment program called Making Cent$, and support for LGBTQ survivors.

Visit us on any Tuesday in October to help out this vital organization. Bradley Angle can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Sep
24

Porn myths, debunked

There sure is a lot to discuss when it comes to porn, and no shortage of posts on the internet about it. However, when I came across a porn myth series by Dr. Brooke Magnanti, a forensic scientist, statistician, and former sex worker, I knew it was something special.

The five-part series of posts looks at various questions that many folks have when it comes to porn, examining the research that has been done, both credible and questionable. Best of all, there are links to many of the studies/papers, so you can read them in full and form your own opinion on the research. Here are the five posts.

If nothing else, Magnanti’s posts confirm that sweeping generalizations about porn are not useful. There are so many varieties of porn out there, and the industry cannot be pinned down easily. At She Bop we’re discerning with our porn selection for this very reason.

In a similar vein, I found a post by Dr. Marty Klein (sex therapist and author) about his experience at a porn shoot. The post — Deep in the Valley: Going to a Porn Shoot — makes a very poignant point about watching porn.

Sooner or later, watching the same people having sex is repetitive and boring — unless, of course, you’re adding to it via fantasy, imagination, arousal, and voyeurism. I didn’t do much of that, because I was there working (yeah, I know — nice gig). So yes, watching the shoot did reduce the sex (along with the filming itself) to a technical craft. She used her left hand when the camera needed it, even though she’s right-handed. He stopped right in the middle of licking her when some sweat dripped into a bowl of fruit.

Some people condemn how watching porn at home supposedly does the same thing — it reduces sex to “mechanics.” But the critical difference between watching a film being made and watching it at home is what the consumer brings to the experience. And that transforms the “mechanics” into something stimulating . . .

What a consumer brings to a porn film is imagination, privacy, a little time, maybe lube or a toy. And that gives the images meaning — erotic meaning. When anti-porn crusaders take the same film and add fear, anger, and a sense of helplessness, they also give the images meaning — but distinctly un-sexy ones (such as “exploitation” and “immorality”). So:

Porn + nothing = neutral meaning
Porn + privacy + time + imagination = positive meaning
Porn + fear, loneliness + anger = negative meaning

I’d never thought of it this way, but it makes so much sense. Porn is given meaning by the viewer. Makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it?

  Musings      ,  
Sep
20

The Joys of Toys!

Wednesday, October 19th — 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!

  Events       
Sep
17

Back to school giveaway winners

Well, it’s mid-September now, and our back to school giveaway has come to a close. Thank you all for sharing your fun back-to-school memories in the comments section! We loved reading them.

Our winners were chosen by random draw. The winner of the clit kit is Elle M., whose back-to-school memory was this heart-warming story:

I took the bus in to campus, and on the second day, I got off the bus and almost walked into an old friend I had fallen out of touch with. We’re closer now than we were back in the day, and but for the timing on my morning commute, we might never have rekindled our friendship. Thanks, 8 AM college class!

And the winner of the G-spot kit is Cort, who shared with us this familiar memory:

My fav back to school memory is always that nervous feeling in the lunch room when you enter, the panic when you can’t find your friends & the smile when you hear your name being called by your group & the 25 min you have to catch up on the past 3 months!

Congrats to both of you and thanks to everyone for participating!

  Giveaways     
Sep
10

Would you buy a vibrator from a sex toy truck?

Here in Portland, we’re no strangers to food trucks (have you experienced the glory that is Potato Champion?!), but this is something new: a truck that promotes vibrators.

For a few days in July, a Trojan “Good Vibrations” truck parked itself in various spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn, drawing in passersby and engaging them in discussion about masturbation and sex toys.

Trojan’s first order of business was to promote its new vibrator to young people, and they did so by having folks take a “What’s Your Vibe” quiz on an iPad, and by holding a Facebook check-in raffle for a free vibrator. They also gave out condoms and disposable vibrating cock rings.

Although this was a short-lived event based on blatant product promotion, it brings up a pivotal question: what if a sex-toy-peddling truck popped up on the streets of Portland? Would you buy a toy from it? Which food cart pod would it most thrive in? And would the world explode with awesomeness if this truck were set up next to the place selling fried pies?

  Musings     
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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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