Aug
21

Pleasure, Power, and Pain: An Introduction to BDSM

Sunday, October 18th — 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.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      , ,  
Aug
1

New product round-up for July

new-products-july-2015

The most exciting vibrator release of the month is the Fun Factory Tiger G5, an updated version of the company’s popular G4 toy. This textured, perfectly-curved wonder has a revamped button interface and more pliable shaft. What didn’t change? It’s still jam-packed with power!

Our other new toys this month come from Tantus. They just released the Uncut #1 and Uncut #2, some of the world’s first body-safe uncircumcised dildos. Cast in the company’s signature dual-density silicone, these toys feel incredibly life-like! We also grabbed Tantus’ Vibrating Progressive Pleasure Beads (finally, vibrating silicone anal beads!) and Vibrating Super Soft C Ring.

new-books-dvds-july-2015

We have so much new media for you to enjoy! From local Microcosm Publishing, Hot Pants: Do It Yourself Gynecology and Herbal Remedies contains all sorts of useful info on at-home remedies for cramps, PMS, and infections, while Consensuality: Navigating Feminism, Gender, and Boundaries Towards Loving Relationships details feminist lessons in healthy partnerships. We also picked up Best Bondage Erotica 2015, a curated selection of kinky stories, and My Life on the Swingset, a collection of personal essays about non-monogamy, sex toys, and other escapades.

Many porn additions to our shelves this month, as the top feminist porn directors of modern times continue cranking out excellent work! There’s Doing it Again, Vol. 2the follow-up to Tobi Hill-Meyer’s trans-women-focused Doing It Ourselves, plus James Darling’s FTM Fucker, Volume 1 and Courtney Trouble’s Lesbian Curves 3 (you guessed it — the latest in their Lesbian Curves series). Renowned director Erika Lust even added another DVD to her popular series which brings anonymous fantasies to life: X Confessions Vol. 4.

Adding to our collection of locally-made bath products from Sea Grape, we now have their delicious-smelling massage candles. We also picked up Earthly Body’s Miracle Oil Tea Tree Shave Cream, which is infused with natural hemp seed oil.

Jul
30

10% Tuesdays in August for Bitch Media

Bitch: the Blue Issue10% Tuesdays for Bitch are back! Throughout the month of August, 10% of our sales on Tuesdays will go to the non-profit organization Bitch Media. Bitch’s mission is to encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.

Check out Bitch’s toy, lube, and book recommendations for some ideas on what to snag!

We are big fans of Bitch. They’re an invaluable voice in the feminist discourse. We constantly find ourselves wanting to signal boost the stuff they publish — like their account of dildo innovation, their history of American sex ed films, their interview with the author of Big Big Love, their sex worker series “The H-Word,” their interview with sex diary purveyor Arianne Cohen, and their BDSM series “Thinking Kink.”

But it’s not just their blog that’s amazing; their print magazine, which has been in circulation since 1996, is still going strong. Bitch also hosts awesome events, fosters a community lending library at their headquarters in NE Portland, and publishes an array of fun podcasts for your listening pleasure. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute tidbits!

Whether you are a long-time devotee or a newbie to this awesome magazine and non-profit organization, you can now be a supporter and get some fabulous sex toys to boot. Drop by She Bop or shop online on any Tuesday in August to support Bitch!

Jul
28

Communication in the Bedroom: Asking For What You Want

Stella HarrisWednesday, September 30th — 7:30 p.m. — $15

Knowing what you want isn’t as easy as it sounds, and asking for it can be even trickier. Honesty puts us in a vulnerable place, opening us up to rejection or shame. People of all genders and sexualities have a lot of cultural baggage to work through, from messages implying that wanting sex or pleasure is slutty (and that that’s a bad thing) to ubiquitous sex tips that make it sound like we’re supposed to read our partners’ minds.

All of this sets us up for failure, and many people never take the chance to open a dialogue with their partner(s). But being able to talk about your wants and needs is the only way to get them met.

In this class we’ll talk about styles of communication, ways to put yourself and your partner at ease, and specific examples of tools and phrases to try. We’ll discuss how to start the conversation and how to incorporate communication into dirty talk. Not sure what to ask for? We’ll talk about some common fantasies you might want to try.

As always, there will be time for Q&A, and all genders and orientations are welcome.

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!

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

sex-aids-for-women

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

hitachi-magic-wand-she-bop

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!

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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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