Jul
28

Back That Ass Up!: Anal Sex 101

Thursday, September 24th — 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!

Jul
26

When dildos came out of the closet

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In the 1970s, dildos were a point of contention in the feminist movement. A 1974 issue of Lesbian Tide warned: “anyone admitting to using a dildo today would probably be verbally castigated for enjoying ‘phallic’ pleasure.” Some activists thought dildos were too reminiscent of the patriarchy. Others felt that since dildos specifically didn’t require men, using them could actually be a subversive act.

The debate was more about what the dildo represented than precisely how it looked, but looks mattered too. Hyper-realistic vein-ridden dildos were the order of the day, and they tended to emit a strong chemical scent. It would still be a long time before the harms of plasticizers such as phthalates would come to light, but it was obvious that rubber was not the highest quality of dildo materials.

In her thought-provoking piece for Bitch on the early history of silicone dildos, Hallie Lieberman explores not just the feminist debate about the dildo, but also how dildo innovation in the ’70s came from an unlikely place: a humble man named Gosnell Duncan. After becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident, Duncan began attending disability conferences and pondering how to enrich his (and others’) sex lives. Conference attendees were intrigued when he mentioned dildos as an option, and so began his journey into dildo-making.

Duncan had a hunch that he could improve upon the dildos of the time, because he was in talks with a chemist at General Electric to formulate the perfect formulation of silicone. Silicone was far more body-safe than rubber: it had no smell, no taste, and wouldn’t melt when exposed to heat — so it could be sterilized between partners. After 9 months of discussion, they discovered the ideal silicone and Duncan began making molds and manufacturing dildos in his basement.

Of course, manufacturing is only half the battle. Marketing was another hurdle. Duncan quickly found that placing ads in disability publications wasn’t enough to keep his business afloat. He renamed his company, from Paramount Therapeutic Products to Scorpio Products, and called up Dell Williams, founder of Eve’s Garden in NYC — the first ever feminist sex toy store.

But Eve’s Garden didn’t stock dildos. Only vibrators.

eves-garden

“Why did a dildo have to look like a cock at all, I asked Duncan,” Williams wrote in her memoir. “Did it have to have a well-defined, blushed-pink head, and blue veins in bas-relief?” Williams wasn’t sure that her customers would buy dildos, no matter what they looked like. But she was willing to find out. She sent out a customer survey asking her patrons what they would want in a dildo. Williams’s customers said that it wasn’t about size, it was about substance: They wanted “something not necessarily large, but definitely tapered. Not particularly wide but undulated at its midsection. Something pliable and easy to care for. Something in a pretty color.”

. . . When he poured his first vat of liquid silicone rubber into a penis-shaped mold, Duncan did not think of his dildo-making as a political act. He was seeking to solve a problem that he, and thousands of other disabled men and their lovers, faced. But in the 1970s dildos were imbued with politics, so to enter the dildo business was to make a political statement. Duncan could have refused to design nonrepresentational dildos in fanciful colors like blue and purple. But he chose to hear Williams out.

So Gosnell Duncan invented, for perhaps the first time, a dildo that represented what women actually wanted. It was called the Venus. Cast in chocolate brown or pink silicone, it resembled a finger — and it was made of a material that wasn’t toxic to the body.

Around that same time, in 1977, Good Vibrations opened in San Francisco. Founder Joani Blank only stocked 2-3 dildos and didn’t display them outright; they were hidden in a plain cabinet in the back. Customers were only shown the cabinet if they asked whether the shop carried “anything else.”

The dildos were brought out permanently in the early 1980s, when Susie Bright began working at the store. Bright was outspoken about dildos, writing in the inaugural edition of her lesbian erotica magazine On Our Backs, “ladies, the discreet, complete, and definitive information on dildos is this: penetration is as heterosexual as kissing!”

In small, feminist sex shops, the conversation around dildos was changing. They were coming out of the closet. And when Bright went to stock the store’s shelves, she knew just who to call: Gosnell Duncan.

Jul
21

Sales Associate and Educator Position

Join our team!

We are seeking a highly energetic and professional individual to fill a part-time to full-time position as a sales associate and educator. She Bop is a female friendly sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education with two locations in Portland OR. Duties include, but are not limited to: assisting and educating customers on the floor, ringing up customers, daily light cleaning, unpacking shipments and entering products into the POS system and website, answering the phone, assisting with after hours parties and classes, filling website orders, and twice yearly inventory.

We are hiring for 24-32 hours/week. Applicants must be available to work weekends and to work at both our North Beech and SE Division locations. Extra hours are required around the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day) and for Pride weekend and Street Fairs. This position starts at $11/hour or DOE. At least 2 years retail/customer service experience required. Previous sex toy sales experience or knowledge preferred. Sexuality education background/knowledge preferred. You must be 18 years or older to apply for this position.

If you are interested in joining our team please call 503-450-9901 and leave a message telling us why you think you would be a good fit for this position. You will only have 60 seconds so keep it brief and to the point. In addition, please email your resume to admin@sheboptheshop.com – be sure to put your name as the first thing in the subject line. Thanks!

  Community     
Jun
27

Re-learning orgasm

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Headlines are funny sometimes. “A Trans Woman Learns To Masturbate” is the title the piece was given on Eros Media, yet such a statement ignores the unique, languid writing style of author Jetta Rae. It also simplifies the myriad issues Rae explores — beyond just masturbation, beyond just being trans.

Rae begins by addressing the societal assumptions surrounding masturbation. Masturbation is a safe, healthy time for personal exploration and fantasy — in fact, a time that can be transformative — yet the act is often derided and misrepresented in ways small and large. For instance, the word “masturbatory” is used when someone is acting self-absorbed, relying on the (incorrect) belief that masturbation comes easily for everyone.

The disparagement of masturbation as a simple, mindless game you always win trickles down from the office to the bedroom, and not everyone is able to get off from jerking off. Some of us aren’t able to find “spank material” that treats our sexual and gender identities with respect. Others still are struggling with the idea of being sexual–when we prop up, with our language, this notion of masturbating as foolproof, we risk eclipsing people who could heal the most from self-love in anxiety, fear, and resentment at their own bodies for not being able to “keep up” with those of us able to jokebrag about taking the day off from work to lay in bed and touch ourselves.

After years of hormone replacement therapy, Rae’s cock responded differently to stimulation — it took her longer to become erect, and orgasm began slipping further and further out of reach. Despite happy relationships and sexual forays, the lack of genital response was disheartening. She struggled with anxiety over orgasm.

Having an orgasm in front of another person is a special sort of experience, one that takes us out of our masturbatory comfort zones. Rae wanted it to be easier, and, having seen many partners respond to vibrators, set out to re-train her body to do the same. She bought a Hitachi Magic Wand.

God, I remember those first few nights with my new toy. I swore I could literally taste the electricity in the back of my throat as I tearfully buckled in my bed . . . The ceaseless mechanical quivering sent pulses, both overwhelming and liberating, through my body. I could feel it, not just in my tits, but somehow through my tits, like steam escaping from the sewers to the street.

Yet orgasm remained difficult. Rae often found herself at the edge, overly stimulated, unable to come without experiencing discomfort. What happened next was a happy accident: one night, she gave up her usual routine with the wand and instead rested it at the base of her cock, over her prostate.

It was just the shift in stimulation and thinking that her body and brain needed. Without orgasm as the primary goal, without trying to stick to the same old motions, she was able to relax and get off — in a new way.

All her life, Rae writes, “society had instructed people born with bodies like mine that there is a singular ‘right way’ to masturbate.” Society had also placed a premium on orgasm. Letting go of these assumptions, it turns out, was everything she needed.

Read the whole piece at Eros Media.

Jun
26

Modern Dating: A Safe, Practical, and Fun Approach

Wednesday, August 12th — 7:30 pm — $15

Stella HarrisMaybe you’re getting back into the dating game after a long break, or maybe dating has always seemed tricky — either way, this class will give you the knowledge and tools to dive in!

These days, everyone has heard of online dating, even if they’ve never tried it. For a variety of reasons, online dating sites are increasingly the way people meet each other. With everyone working more and more, meeting people the old fashioned way, through friends or social gatherings, isn’t always practical.

So what are the considerations when meeting someone online? We’ll talk about how to write a compelling profile and present yourself in a flattering (and honest!) way, as well as ways to stay safe when meeting someone for the first (or second, or third) time. You’ll also learn current information about STIs, ways to protect yourself, and communication skills for bringing up the conversation with potential partners.

This class will also include a brief overview of different relationship styles, such as open relationships, polyamory, and swinging, so that you can have the information you need to decide what you’re looking for, and you’ll know what other people mean if they say that’s what they’re into. By the end of this class there will be nothing stopping you from creating an awesome profile and going out to meet new people!

Stella Harris is an author, educator, and coach who focuses on intimacy and connection. As a certified Intimacy Educator, she uses a variety of tools to guide and empower her clients and she teaches everything from pleasure anatomy, to communication skills, to kink and BDSM. She has presented classes for a variety of organizations including the Portland Leather Alliance, the Portland Academy of Sex Ed, Sex Positive Portland, and more, and has spoken at Portland State University, Reed College, and Pacific University. Stella is widely published in print and online, from erotic fiction to educational and lifestyle pieces on sex and kink.

Stella hopes to build a world where everyone has the tools and confidence to explore their sexuality safely and free of shame.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Jun
21

Full-Bodied Fellatio

Thursday, September 17th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

What do you do when your partner lacks blowjob skills? Where do you go for training when you wish to improve your own? Here!

M. Makael Newby is a relationship coach and dance instructor with a particular skill for breaking physical action into components and teaching them with enthusiasm… and blowjobs are one of her favorite things. This class will educate both the givers and receivers. Come learn about creating anticipation, communication, preparing for success, hand skills, tongue tricks, prostate massage, deep throating, sloppy BJs, choking and forced gagging for both bio and strap-on penises. Live demo (on dildo) included.

Many of these techniques are included in My Erotic Adventure, her choose-your-own styled erotic novel. Get empowered to give and receive extraordinary head!

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

Jun
11

Bon Appetit!: The Fine Art of Cunnilingus

Sunday, August 23rd — 7:30 pm — $20

You asked and we answered—She Bop presents a cunnilingus class for anyone and everyone who wants to learn how to give (or receive!) phenomenal oral pleasure.

She Bop educators, Amory Jane and Sid Need, will teach you everything you want to know about anatomy, arousal, hand tricks, and tongue techniques. They will discuss foreplay, communication, and finding your own cunnilingus style, as well as give pointers on how to incorporate toys, temperature, and g-spot stimulation. Additionally, our educators will talk about fun ways to kick it up a notch if you’re stuck in a muff diving rut (face sitting, anyone?)!

This class is open to all genders, experience levels, and identities.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      , , ,  
Jun
11

Beyond Monogamy

AJ (aka Amory Jane) Thursday, August 6th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

A growing number of people are exploring alternatives to monogamy, through swinging, polyamory, and other types of open relationships. If you or someone you know are one of those people, this might be the workshop for you!

Whether you are curious about opening up, already enjoying polyamory and wanting to do it even better, or facing obstacles in your non-monogamous relationship, AJ will help walk you through the challenges and benefits of ethical non-monogamy. She will discuss different styles of open relationships, talk about how to deal with common issues such as jealousy, resentment, time management, miscommunication, and New Relationship Energy (NRE), and will offer tips on dating/meeting new people, navigating different relationship structures and hierarchies, and coming out poly.

In this interactive workshop, AJ will guide participants through exercises that help them negotiate agreements/boundaries, design their own ideal open relationships, and practice nonviolent communication for deeper, more fulfilling connections. There will also be the option to hear about real-life triumphs and tribulations of other non-mono people in addition to learning how to find and build community. This is a 2-hour class.

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 relationship coach, working with polyamorous individuals and couples in open relationships. AJ is an active member of the Portland poly community.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

May
31

Rough Sex for Everyone: Consent and Desire

Sunday, July 19th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

The sweet intersection of a slap and a kiss. The rough and tumble of a spank and caress, of a commanding voice and a gentle stroke, of a laugh and a growl.

Does this sound like you? Or do you wish it could?

We’re stoked to welcome beloved sex and BDSM educator Felice Shays, visiting from New York, to teach her most popular class for us once again! In this class, Felice will teach you to use your hands, mouth, toys, and imagination to delve deep into what is often taboo and always crazy hot. Felice will address what it is to take and give power, and how we can lose society’s prescriptions as we cross the bedroom threshold.

Throughout the workshop, with levity and straight talk, Felice will share provocative techniques on how to find and express your own desire, how to push through fears that might be preventing you from discovering new sexual and sensual highs, and of course, how to spank, slap, restrain, and more. We will explore communication, emotional limits and release, safety, partnered positions, head space, anatomy, dirty talk, and helpful items.

All genders, sexual proclivities, singles, couples, and other relationship configurations always welcome.

Where respect, humor, straight talk, and sex collide is where you’ll find Felice Shays. Providing sexual and BDSM education and counseling for a dozen years in the US and Canada to thousands of people, Felice has been featured in print and on T.V. and has presented at a plethora of conferences, sex toy stores, universities, and private functions. Felice is working on her new book on rough sex, Brutal Affection: The Joys of Rough Sex, an excerpt of which is in Tristan Taromino’s anthology The Ultimate Guide to Kink. Felice also teaches Deaf people in ASL about sex, sensual technique and creativity, self-discovery, rough sex, and various aspects of BDSM.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      , , ,  
May
31

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       
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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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