Nov
15

Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon

Wednesday, January 13th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

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 Orchestre L’Pow producer 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 being while developing a greater appreciation for our feminine power!

Students should dress in comfortable clothes such a yoga or dance wear. 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 7:20 p.m. — class will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., no late entrance after 7:45 p.m. No photographs are permitted. There will be time for shopping after the class!

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

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Oct
29

Bringing sex toys to Chileans

Illustration by Ivy Bradley

Illustration by Ivy Bradley

Here in the states, at-home sex toy parties have been around for decades — at least since the 1970s — and feminist sex shops have been in existence just as long. But in conservative Santiago, Chile, these are novel concepts.

Jane Morgan, a young woman from Missouri, is one driving force behind a recent shift in Chilean sexual culture. During her college years at Washington University, she spent a semester abroad studying Spanish in Santiago. After graduating, she settled there in an office job… but her business-oriented mind came up with a side gig: throwing private sex toy parties.

Morgan had noticed that none of her chilena friends owned vibrators. To help them, she ordered an array of sex toys from German manufacturer Fun Factory and invited folks into living rooms to see them in person. These parties, modeled after Tupperware parties popularized in America, quickly became her full-time job — bolstered in part by mentions in the press. One newspaper headline gleefully read, “Call now! Home delivery of erotic toys has arrived in Chile.”

Early on, Morgan realized something that everyone in the sex toy business knows: her job was more than just selling sex toys, it was about sex education. Women felt safe at her parties to talk about their sex lives. They shared details they had never told anyone before. To better help them, Morgan began taking human sexuality classes at Centro de la Sexualidad de Chile.

Then, in 2010, Morgan opened a brick-and-mortar sex shop. She called it Japi Jane. From the start, she refused to call vibrators by their traditional but problematic Spanish name: consoladores (“consolers”). Instead, she opted for a straightforward descriptor: juguetes para grandes (“adult toys”).

Her stores — of which there are now three — stock a range of items, from toys to lube to “artsy, hipster porn.”

“The biggest moment of pride in my life was when I overheard a girl talking on the street, and she said, ‘My boyfriend bought me a Japi Jane.’ Now, it’s not a consolador, it’s a Japi Jane. It’s like Kleenex.”

. . . “Before, people used to come in here really embarrassed, wearing sunglasses, asking for me to throw the box away and put what they bought in a dark plastic bag,” Jane explains. “Now, girls come with their friends, take a picture with their new vibrator and post it on Instagram. People are not scared anymore, and that’s huge.”

Now Morgan spends her time running her sex shops, appearing on radio and TV to normalize and dispel myths about sexuality, and conducting workshops for the curious folks of Chile. Unsurprisingly, the people have a lot of questions about sex — and Morgan is there with her vulva puppet to answer them all.

She credits her easygoing nature for her success. “People get less embarrassed with me,” she says, “because I’m a gringa, I talk funny, and I’m just like a regular person.”

Read the whole story at Narratively.

  Musings     
Oct
29

Modern Dating: A Safe, Practical, and Fun Approach

Sunday, December 6th — 7:30 pm — $15

This workshop will be ASL interpreted upon request. Please request this in the notes section of your order or email us at info@sheboptheshop.com.

Stella HarrisThis workshop will be ASL interpretedMaybe 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      ,  
Oct
28

Amory Jane tries the Womanizer

WomanizerThe Womanizer is a very strange sex toy. With its regrettable name and gaudy design, we weren’t sure what to think of it. It promises a unique functionality — gentle suction directly on the clitoris — but would it deliver? We sent a tester home with one of our staff to get the scoop.

I am pleasantly surprised by the Womanizer. I don’t really understand how it works as well as it does or how I could like it so much. I mean, just look at the thing. It looks like an ear thermometer. It is tacky as all get out. The name is terrible. The case is the Pepto-Bismol pink. The vibration is not strong, the suction is really mild (it reminds me of flowing air more than actual suction), and it sounds like a purring cat.

Yet, somehow, this air flow design works. In fact, the first time I used it, it worked a little too well. I turned it all the way up because when I tried it on my finger I could barely feel it, so I assumed it was going to be really light and need to be cranked up to do anything for me. Ha! That was an incorrect assumption. The Womanizer took me from zero to orgasm in under 45 seconds, and I barely even moved my hands or put in much effort.

Cool, but also… whoa.

In the Womanizer’s promo material, they describe it as having “pulsating pressure waves” and I think that is a pretty good description. It kind of reminds me of cunnilingus, when a partner gently applies suction to the clitoris and does so by very delicately holding the clit between their front teeth/with their lips. I’m talking about a super gentle and rhythmic suction, not a direct clit blowjob type of suction.

It’s quite a nice feeling, though. Unique. I am not sure how well it would work for people who require more intense stimulation, but since it is so different, it’s hard to say. For context: I’m good with most of my vibrators on a medium setting. I am one of those people who needs a layer of fabric between me and my Magic Wand or else it’s too much. I can get off easily with pretty much any toy and most kinds of stimulation from a human, as long as they are in the same neighborhood as my clitoris.

Still, I think this toy could be really nice for some folks. Especially folks who like clit stimulation but don’t like or want a lot of pressure or movement or a rumbling electronic feel. It is easy to hold and doesn’t require a lot of movement, so I wonder if it could work well for some people with limited mobility. The buttons also make sense and are easy to figure out during use, instead of having to bring the toy up to your face and put on reading glasses to see what the hell you’re supposed to be clicking.

I tried the Womanizer in a variety of ways, and I personally found it worked best when I was solo and on my back or standing. It did work during penetration, which I didn’t expect, but it isn’t a cute small thing that can fit easily between partners. It required partners to be on their knees with their back upright or for me to be really upright when on top, in order to have room to hold the toy and keep it in the right place for the most secure seal. Getting that good “seal” seems to be the key, and without it the purring noise gets louder (and that was definitely distracting for one of my partners).

My experience with the Womanizer reminds me of falling in love with an unexpected person. “You don’t have the qualities I usually look for in a partner. I don’t really understand my fond feelings toward you. You don’t look like ‘my type’… but maybe I was being too limiting with ‘my type.’ All I know is that you make me feel good and the things I first thought were going to be unattractive are things that I now think are charming.”

Like that purring noise and giant craft store jewel they call a button.

  Musings, Reviews      ,  
Oct
26

Win tickets to HUMP! 2015

hump-logo-2015

HUMP!, the Pacific Northwest’s lovable amateur porn film festival, is right on the horizon! Showings are taking place over two weekends in November at Revolution Hall in Portland, and some showtimes have already sold out!

We want to help you experience the hot, laugh-out-loud fun of HUMP!, so as in years past, we have some tickets to give away. Two pairs, to be precise! (So each winner can bring a friend.) We have a pair of tickets to each of the following showtimes during HUMP’s opening weekend:

  • Friday, November 6th at 11:30 p.m. (21+)
  • Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 p.m. (18+)

In case you aren’t already pumped, the line-up of films have names such as “Film Bonoir,” “Two Boys and Some Rope,” and “I Fist a Grrrl,” and the trailer below is full of sexy, strange, and intriguing moments!

 

Enter now!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. The first two entry options are mandatory, and the rest are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Sunday, November 1st at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Winners will be chosen randomly and tickets will be emailed to them.

  Giveaways      , ,  
Oct
20

The Joys of Toys!

Wednesday, December 10th — 7:30 p.m. — $15

This workshop will be ASL interpreted upon request. Please request this in the notes section of your order or email us at info@sheboptheshop.com.

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

In this class you will learn how sex toys originated and have advanced throughout history. AJ and Gretchen will explain the different types of toys, This workshop will be ASL interpretedwhat 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 and Gretchen 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.

Additionally, in case your loved one didn’t leave a detailed wish list for Santa, AJ and Gretchen will give pointers on how to select a toy or gift for someone else — just in time for your holiday shopping!

As a special bonus, class attendees get 10% off their purchases in She Bop the night of the Joys of Toys class!

This workshop is open to all genders and sexual appetites!

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Oct
9

Beyond Monogamy

AJ (aka Amory Jane) Sunday, November 29th — 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!

Oct
1

Industry Spotlight: Candida Royalle

While I never knew Ms. Royalle personally, in many ways, I owe my career to her. I got my start in the adult industry by making films that asked for an approachable, authentic, pornographic performance that would appeal to women and couples — a niche that may have never existed had it not been for Royalle’s influential work.

Siousxie Q

Candida RoyalleArt and entrepreneurship were in Candida Royalle’s blood. Born in Brooklyn in the fall of 1950, she grew up performing and training in dance, art, and music. The daughter of a professional jazz drummer, she was active in the women’s moment and attended prestigious schools such as Parsons School of Design. After a few bouts of clerical work, Royalle knew she was destined for more creative, free-wheeling endeavors — so at the age of 22, she moved across the country to San Francisco.

In her new city, Royalle led a bohemian lifestyle. She sang in jazz clubs, made art, and helped put on experimental theater productions with her new drag queen friends (including some of the original members of the Cockettes). To scrape up money for rent, she worked as an artist’s model.

Then, one day, her boyfriend landed a lead role in a big-budget porn movie. Royalle visited the set and was surprised to find it populated with attractive performers and professional crew — not a single sleazeball. The director was none other than Anthony Spinelli, a well-loved director during what was later coined the “Golden Age of Porn.”

It was not what she had expected from a porn set.

As her understanding of porn movies evolved, performing in them seemed more and more enticing. The money was great, especially for a struggling artist. It was the height of the sexual revolution, and cultural attitudes around sex were relaxed. Plus, Royalle was a born performer. We make love behind closed doors, she thought. Why not for others to view and enjoy?

In the span of several years, Royalle performed in about 25 adult feature films including Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls (for which she learned to skateboard) and Hot Rackets (in a sensual massage scene with her close friend Laurien Dominique). She loved being pampered and playing different roles, but overall, she found the experience predictable and uninspiring. Her creativity was not being stoked.

So, after 8 years in San Francisco, she returned to New York City and retired from porn performing. There, she flexed her writing talents by penning columns for men’s magazines such as High Times and Cheri. In 1983 she formed the world’s first porn star support group, Club 90. During one meeting, the enterprising women discussed how best to utilize the names they had built for themselves in the industry.

No longer wishing to perform in front of someone else’s lens, Royalle came up with a new plan. In 1984, she made her biggest and most lasting career move — she founded Femme Productions, Inc., the first adult production company owned solely by a woman. She explained:

Humans have been curious to look at erotic art and explicit sexual art forever since they etched and carved images into caves on walls, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. What I did feel was that these movies were being sold on the backs of women, and there was nothing about women’s sexuality . . .

At the same time I could tell women were becoming more curious and felt permission to explore their sexuality due to the woman’s movement of the late ’60’s, early ’70’s. With the advent of home video they had a safe place to look, but there was nothing out there for them . . . I saw a challenging new market that no one was paying attention to and I felt I would be a perfect person to provide content for it: my whole education had been in the arts, I had been a performer in adult movies and had first-hand experience on the set, and, having been a feminist activist in college, I liked the political challenge of putting a woman’s voice to a genre everyone assumed was for men only.

Before shooting the first movie for her company, Candida Royalle met with a successful porn producer to pick his brain. When she mentioned that there would not be facial money shots in her films, the man was so appalled that he called her investors to warn them they were going to lose money.

But they didn’t lose money — they made money. The world was ready for Royalle’s fresh style of filmmaking. Unlike most movies of the past, Royalle’s depicted genuine female desire. Using her own turn-ons as inspiration, Royalle crafted films featuring believable storylines, dynamic characters, and of course, sizzling sex. Above all, there was nuance.

Candida Royalle

In her career as an erotic filmmaker Royalle produced and directed 19 films in a range of genres, from drama to mystery and even satire. Stud Hunters hilariously spoofed the porn industry, while Eyes of Desire and Eyes of Desire 2 explored themes of voyeurism and soul-searching. Royalle also mentored other female directors, often giving them the directorial reins — as in the case of Afrodite Superstar and Caribbean Heat.

In 1999, Royalle released a line of sex toys called Natural Contours. A collaboration between Royalle and Dutch industrial designer Jandirk Groet, the toys were tasteful, ergonomic, and innocuous enough to appeal to mainstream sensibilities. The line was ahead of its time, coming out before now-ubiquitous sex toy companies such as LELOJimmyjane, and We-Vibe were even founded. The line’s Energie kegel exerciser remains a great option for PC muscle strengthening.

As a revolutionary in the feminist porn movement, Royalle spoke and lectured at universities and prestigious locales such as the Smithsonian Institute and the American Psychiatric Association. In 2004, she published her first book, How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do, and later contributed essays to The Feminist Porn Book and Coming Out Like a Porn Star.

In interviews, Candida Royalle often joked about her unlikely career. When asked what are you wearing? in a 20-questions style interview, she answered, “I’m wearing a lacy black push-up bra and the skimpiest black panties . . . okay, reality check: I’m wearing a turtleneck sweater with a pair of ultra-warm leggings over organic cotton tights.” More a homebody than a seductress, Royalle loved yoga, gardening, decorating her house, and spending time with family, friends, and her cats.

In 2006, Royalle won one of the first Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Feminist Porn Awards. She also received an honorary Doctor of Human Sexuality degree from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. In 2014, production began on a documentary called While You Were Gone: The Untold Story of Candida Royalle, a movie about Royalle’s search for her birth mother.

Royalle was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the summer of 2010. She fought the disease for years until, a few weeks ago, she died at the age of 64. Many would point to her awards and accolades as evidence of a life well-lived, but in a recent interview, Candida Royalle asked instead to be remembered for her independence, perseverance, and compassion for animals.

Sep
29

Halloween Happy Hour with Clone-a-Willy!

Halloween Happy Hour with Clone-a-Willy!

Thursday, October 29th — 7:00 pm — FREE — She Bop DivisionRSVP on Facebook

Empire Labs is a sex-positive, locally based company that makes the world famous Clone-A-Willy Kit right here in Portland, Oregon! The Clone-A-Willy Kit comes with everything you need to create a vibrating, silicone replica of any penis in the comfort of your own home. Clone-A-Willy is 100% body safe, with Platinum Cure Silicone and Algae-based molding powder.

Join Empire Labs at our SE Division street location on October 29th for a fun night of libations and spooky finger molding. Get a glimpse of how Clone-A-Willy works by making a silicone replica of your finger! It’s more than a sex toy, it’s an experience. We will be serving tasty spirits and spooky snacks. There will also be a raffle for free Clone-A-Willy Kits being given away that night!

RSVP on Facebook or in the shop. You don’t wanna miss out on this spooky & sexy happy hour experience.

This event has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Sep
27

10% Tuesdays in October for Bradley Angle

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we 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.

Hear the powerful stories of survivors who have been helped by Bradley Angle in the video below.

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

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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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