Browsing posts tagged with erotica
Dec
23

Writing a disabled perspective into erotica

[Note: Xan West does not use pronouns and goes by “Xan.”]

Show Yourself to MeLanguage is powerful. It has the ability to enhance and validate someone’s experience, just as it has the ability to invalidate. Erotica writers are especially imbued with this influence, as their work requires them to describe bodies, sexual acts, and lived experiences more intimately than most. Unfortunately, much erotica presumes a default subject: a white, young, able-bodied cisgender person.

Xan West is the author of Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica, a collection of 24 BDSM-focused stories that subvert the traditional narrative and strive for more diverse character representation. Xan is also a disabled top and writes many stories from a top’s point of view. In efforts to portray disabled characters more often, Xan sometimes has to edit previously-written material. That’s the situation addressed in Xan’s blog post, “Writing Erotica as a Disabled Top.”

Toying with a story that had been rolling around in Xan’s head for a while (tentatively titled “Packing”), Xan felt something wasn’t quite coming together. Upon closer examination, it became clear:

I noticed something I had missed entirely. I had once again written a top that was able bodied and invulnerable, and it was embedded in my language, in small word choices everywhere, along with larger frameworks. Because I hadn’t decided that the top was disabled, hadn’t decided what the tops vulnerabilities or struggles or capacities were before I wrote. Had just tried to make those sentences into a beginning without that kind of deciding. And my default was a non-disabled top, an invulnerable top, a top that wasn’t grappling with the kinds of things that are everyday for me in my own life.

So, the editing began. When the new draft was finished, the phrase “I push my boots into the floor” had been removed, and several other references had been changed as follows:

The leather round my hips and thighs focuses my attention on my own skin, the way I walk, stand, sit
The leather round my hips and thighs focuses my attention on my own skin, the way I move, gesture, and feel in my body, pain and all.

When I strap my cock on, I step into my dominance. When I stride back into the room…
When I strap my cock on, I sink into my dominance. Scooting back into the room…

She takes the first step towards letting go, sinking into her submission.
She takes the first move towards letting go, slipping into her submission.

These sentences serve as an important reminder that even small alterations can make stories more accessible. Xan hopes that as time goes on, Xan can learn to write from disabled perspective from the get-go, rather than editing to reflect one. This is a great mission — the world needs more erotica that consciously depicts the beautiful diversity of bodies and identities. That’s why we love collections such as Ageless EroticaCan’t Help the Way That I Feel, Curvy Girls, and now, Show Yourself to Me.

Read the entire post on Xan’s blog here. Xan has written extensively about disability, kink, gender, and erotica-writing philosophies — all of it is worth a read.

  Musings      ,  
Dec
26

After Christmas sale — 15% off select items!

After Christmas sale — 15% off select items!

Did Santa forget to put a sexy gift in your stocking? Perhaps you received a She Bop gift certificate that’s burning a hole in your pocket? The holidays have gone by in a flash, but we still have some presents under the She Bop tree.

From today through Wednesday, December 31st, we’re putting some amazing toys, books, and other fun stuff on saleat 15% off. Come by the shop to get 15% off on:

Jul
29

The not-so-secret lives of erotica writers

Erotica books

Never Say Never, Playing with Fire: Taboo Erotica, The Mile High Club,
Pleasure Bound: True Bondage Stories, Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women

In some ways, erotica authors are just like the rest of the population. But not in every way.

Ebook recommendation website The Fussy Librarian recently surveyed 103 authors of erotic romance novels, with some interesting results.  The vast majority of respondents were heterosexual married women aged 24-54. The average age that they lost their virginity was 17.8, compared to the U.S. average of 17.1. 28% of them have had more than 11 partners, compared to the national average of 9%.

Apparently, erotica writers don’t have sex any more frequently than average Americans, but they are more likely to have engaged in threesomes, practiced BDSM, and had sex in unique locations such as offices, cars, planes, and outdoors.

Speaking of unique locations, the really salacious responses came when the survey asked respondents for the most unusual place they’ve had sex. Even just among these 103 people, folks have had sex on stage at a concert, on a horse, in a canoe, on a stack of drywall in a home under construction, in a cemetery, on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World, and… at The Louvre.

46% of respondents have had sex as “research” for a book, and 76% have based a scene in one of their books on something that actually happened to them. So, don’t worry about whether that hot scene you love was plucked out of the sky — it was more likely to have been based on a true experience!

Finally, in case you were wondering, respondents would rate the novel Fifty Shades of Grey 2.2 stars out of 5. Ouch.

  Musings      ,  
Jul
1

Erotica reading with Rachel Kramer Bussel!

Rachel Kramer Bussel, Tiffany Reisz, Stella Harris, Emily Bingham

Wednesday, September 10th — 7:30 p.m. — FREE

Join erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel with readings from her latest anthologies, Hungry for More: Romantic Fantasies for Women and The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales. Joining her will be contributors Tiffany Reisz, author of the popular Original Sinners series, as well as Stella Harris, Emily Bingham, and Laurel Isaac.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York-based author, editor, blogger and event organizer. She has edited 40+ anthologies, including Women in LustSpanked, Tasting Her, Gotta Have It, and The Mile High Club. Rachel conducts reading and erotic writing workshops worldwide.

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books. Her first novel, The Siren, won the RT Editor’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance of 2012.

Stella Harris is an active volunteer in her local BDSM and sex-positive communities and writes erotic fiction as well as lifestyle and educational pieces on sex and kink. Publication highlights include several anthologies by Cleis Press and a series of tantalizing and informative articles on kinkly.com.

Emily Bingham is a writer, model, rope enthusiast, and seeker of adventure.

Laurel Isaac is a queer writer of sex stories and personal essays. She’s currently exploring small-town queer life in Southern Oregon.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

Jul
23

Ageless Erotica: more than added wrinkles

Ageless EroticaAs big fans of senior sex educator Joan Price (author of Better Than I Ever Expected and Naked at Our Age), we were excited when she posted a call for submisssions for a senior erotica anthology in November of 2011. A book like that was desperately needed, and we knew Price was just the person to make it happen!

Well, the fruits of Price’s labor are finally here in the form of Ageless Erotica. We love it. Just look at that cover!

In an article for The Daily Beast, erotica extraordinaire Rachel Kramer Bussel details the story behind Ageless Erotica while also exploring the latest sex writing from older sex educators, sex surrogates, and even a Colorado State Senate candidate.

With Ageless Erotica, the minimum age of contributors was 50, ensuring that the stories were relevant and believable — not just “slapping wrinkles and an arbitrary age on the same old youth-oriented erotica.” Price explains:

Youth-oriented erotica doesn’t offend me in the least, but I have trouble relating to it — the instant arousal, instant lubrication, instant erections, instant orgasms. I know erotica is fantasy — but my fantasies have nothing to do with recapturing my youth.

The stories in Ageless Erotica are diverse in their topics and couplings: an HIV positive gay couple, a sexual healer and her client, a late-in-life lesbian awakening, a wife who buys her husband a session with a dominatrix for his 55th birthday (complete with kneepads for his arthritis!) — to name just a few.

Price did an awesome job curating this anthology. Pick it up; you won’t be disappointed.

Feb
1

She Bop’s Picks: Valentine’s Day

Is it any surprise we’re big fans of Valentine’s Day? Of course, we believe in love and pleasure all year round, but it’s nice to have a day set aside for celebrating in style. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to scout out something new for your bedroom adventures.

Here are our top recommendations for sexy items to make this Valentine’s Day memorable (and pleasurable!). Check out last year’s picks and our 2011 picks for even more ideas.

Cupcake

Cupcake
Up until now, there was a cupcake-shaped hole in the sex toy industry. Now it has been filled with a vibrator that really looks good enough to eat! The silicone and ABS plastic Cupcake is true to the size of your average cupcake, but equipped with a discreet button on the bottom that takes you through two speeds and three pulsation patterns. It even comes in an adorable retro tin, perfect for gift-giving and future storage!

Jimmyjane Hello Touch

Jimmyjane Hello Touch
The future is here — our hands and sex toys are colliding! There have been various finger vibes before, but the Hello Touch takes things to a new level with two silicone pods that attach to your fingertips and blend seamlessly into your play. Try them on the nipples, clitoris, penis — anywhere that you’d normally stroke or squeeze. Great for folks who want to add that extra buzz to manual stimulation. Plus, the whole thing is waterproof!

Tenga Lover’s Egg

The ridiculously cute Tenga Lover’s Egg is a special edition version of the very popular Tenga Egg. Tenga Eggs are self-contained, stretchy pleasure sleeves that each come with a pouch of lube. This sleeve has a special heart inner texture unlike any other egg before it, and a heart-patterned casing to match. There’s a sense of playfulness and spontaneity about Tenga Eggs, making them perfect for solo or partner play.

Spareparts Hardwear Sasha harness

Spareparts Hardwear Sasha Harness
An underwear-style harness with some added flair, Sasha comes in black or red and is decorated with several bows, ruching on the backside, and removable garters. Made of nylon and spandex, this harness is as comfortable as it is sexy — and it’s machine-washable. The stretchy O-ring can accommodate a variety of dildos, and two little pockets on the inside of the undies can hold bullet vibes for added stimulation to the wearer. Ooh la la!

Rocks Off Luv Your Body Massager

Rocks Off Luv Your Body Massager
Aside from its cute heart-shaped tip, the Luv Your Body Massager is a wonderfully ergonomic vibe with many talents. It’s great for adding some extra reach during sex or masturbation, or it can be used to massage tense muscles throughout your body (without twisting yourself into a pretzel to do so!). It’s even waterproof, so a relaxing bath is another option for fun. The Luv Your Body Massager has five speeds and… did we mention it’s heart-shaped?

2013 erotica collection

2013 erotica
Whatever type of erotica strikes your (or your partner’s) fancy, these are the best that of the year: Best Erotic Romance 2013Best Lesbian Erotica 2013, and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. The caliber of the authors in these volumes is so high, you’ll be sure to find stories that are both impeccably-written and incredibly steamy. Of course, we have tons of other erotica collections if you want, for instance, hotel sex stories or stories of female submission.

Incoqnito Leather Handcuffs

Incoqnito Leather Handcuffs
Known for making discreet toys that masquerade as innocuous items, Incoqnito has struck once again with their Leather Handcuffs. Wear these cuffs on one wrist and they’ll appear to be nothing more than a stylish set of leather bracelets; but they convert easily when you’d rather use them for a more scandalous purpose. Wherever you wear them out, you’re bound to spend your time anticipating what will come later.

Aneros Evi

Aneros Evi
There’s nothing else quite like the recently-released Evi. It’s a kegel toy, but that’s not all — it also stimulates the G-spot and clitoris during use. As the wearer clenches their PC muscles around Evi, the toy rocks forward and back, pressing into the clitoris and stroking the G-spot. Kegel exercises are beneficial in several ways, since toned PC muscles can lead to stronger orgasms, enhanced bladder control, and improved pregnancy. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, really.

Sliquid Organics Massage Oil

Sliquid Organics Massage Oil
We were pretty excited when one of our favorite lube companies, Sliquid, came out with a massage oil. These oils come in four varieties — including an unscented version! — each meant to impart certain characteristics when used (such as vitality, tranquility, and sensuality). They’re made with a handful of naturally occurring nut and seed oils and organic botanicals. Pair the oil with a massage stone, massage deck (see below!), or massage DVD to jumpstart your massage skills.

Sexy card decks!

Sexy card decks!
Sex-themed card decks are a quick and easy way to turn up the heat and get some new ideas. We carry several different types: Light My Fire: Sexy Requests is a pack of multiple-choice invitations; The Gay Sex Deck has tips, tricks, and positions for gay men; The Fantasy Sex Deck features erotic roleplaying ideas; and the Erotic Massage Deck is chock full of massage techniques, both ancient and modern.

Je Joue Mio

Je Joue Mio
Cock rings are an excellent addition to penetrative sex of any sort, and the Mio is a luxurious choice. Only a few cock rings on the market are rechargeable, and Mio is one of them. It is also made of 100% silicone and features 7 vibration patterns with 5 power levels each. Stretch it onto a penis or dildo to provide clitoral, scrotal, or perineum stimulation, depending on positioning and the parties involved!

Fun Factory New Wave

Fun Factory New Wave
We bet you’ve never seen a sex toy quite like this one! But that’s precisely what makes the New Wave such a versatile double-ended dildo. Made of 100% silicone and super easy to clean, it is made to be shared. The “middle wave” adds extra external stimulation for each partner. Now the question is, who gets the textured end and who wants the smoother end?

X-Rated Candies

Do you or your partner have a sweet tooth — and a somewhat profane sense of humor? Then you’ll definitely like X-Rated Valentine Hearts and the I Fucking Love You Candy Heart Box. Both contain candy hearts that look exactly like regular conversation hearts from afar, but once you read their messages, you’ll notice the difference. We love them!

Oct
1

New product round-up for September

This month, Spareparts has done it again with their unbelievably cute Sasha underwear-style harness! It features their signature stretchy O-ring, and is decorated with sexy rouching over the butt. We also now have Spareparts’ Pete packing underwear in the trunks style, in case you prefer trunks over briefs or jock straps. Choices galore!
 
We’ve also added some gorgeous pieces from Incoqnito. Incoqnito’s specialty is creating provocative items that disguise themselves as innocuous jewelry. Check out their Droplet Necklace (secretly a pair of vibrating nipple stimulators!) and leather “bracelets” that morph into handcuffs. Incoqnito’s Leather Nipple Tassels don’t masquerade as anything else, but they are hot nipple adornments nonetheless!

Two new books are on our bookshelf this month: Curvy Girls: Erotica for Women, a collection starring voluptuous ladies, and When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain, a really wonderful guide that explains the causes of sexual pain, with stories from women who have experienced it and tips for choosing the right doctor.

We’ve been waiting forever for Vixen Creations to come out with some more of their dual-density VixSkin toys in non-realistic colors, and that day has finally arrived! Their bestselling Mustang now comes in two eye-popping new colors: neon pink and Tie-Bright. We’re in love!

Vixen also came out with Colossus, which is similar to their Ride On penis extender but with a longer inner cavity to accommodate longer penises.

Still looking for the rabbit vibe of your dreams? Kaya might just be it! This silky silicone toy has 12 vibration modes and an ergonomic shape.

The totally swanky Duet is also here! Constructed with body-safe silicone tips and a nickel-free electroplated metal base, Duet is USB rechargeable (!), waterproof, and extremely quiet. Oh, and it has two motors!

Last but not least — have you ever tried in vain to prop yourself or your partner up during sex? Squishy pillows aren’t exactly awesome at that, which is why the Liberator Jaz Motion exists. This handy sex pillow is made of durable furniture grade polyurethane foam, so it has just enough give while still being supportive. The cover also unzips so you can toss it in the washing machine!

Don’t forget! We have a “New Arrivals” section on our site that you can check whenever you’re wondering what’s fresh. We sometimes announce new products on Facebook and Twitter throughout the month as well.

Aug
15

Sexy On the Page: Writing & Publishing Erotica

Monday, September 10th — 7:30 p.m. — $20

Always wanted to write sexy stories for money? Unsure how to start sending out those steamy tales to publishers? Award-winning writer and editor Shanna Germain will give you her hottest tips for writing and submitting erotic stories and novels.

Shanna Germain is a writer, editor, instructor, girl geek, tree kisser, and book-nerd. With a whole lot of writing years under her belt (or her collar, depending on the day), Shanna’s poems, essays, short stories, novellas, articles and more have found homes in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, books and websites.

An Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, she has taught classes in writing, publishing, media and photography at a wide variety of places. She’s even garnered an award here and there, including a Pushcart nomination, the Rauxa Prize for Erotic Poetry, and the C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship. Her erotic works have appeared in places like Women in Lust, Hide and SeekPlaying with Fire, Girl Crush, and many more.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Jul
11

Bound By Lust: Reading and Writing Erotica

Thursday, August 9th — 7:30 p.m. — FREE — RSVP on Facebook

Come and hear award-winning writer Shanna Germain read from Bound by Lust, a collection of BDSM-focused erotic romance. After, she’ll talk about the saucy, sexy (and sometimes just plain silly) life of a full-time erotica writer and will answer questions about writing erotica, getting published, writing sex toys off on your taxes, and anything else you want to ask. Attendees can enter to win a copy of Bound by Lust, which they can get signed!

Shanna Germain is a writer, editor, instructor, girl geek, tree kisser, and book-nerd. With a whole lot of writing years under her belt (or her collar, depending on the day), Shanna’s poems, essays, short stories, novellas, articles and more have found homes in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, books and websites.

An Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, she has taught classes in writing, publishing, media and photography at a wide variety of places. She’s even garnered an award here and there, including a Pushcart nomination, the Rauxa Prize for Erotic Poetry, and the C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship. Her erotic works have appeared in places like Women in Lust, Hide and SeekPlaying with Fire, and many more.

This event has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

Jul
2

Say Please reading with Sinclair Sexsmith + local authors!

Sunday, July 8th — 7:30 p.m. — FREE

In Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, editor Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink: tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place — and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want. Come hear Sinclair Sexsmith and local authors Wendi Kali and Sossity Chiricuzio read their stories from Say Please and celebrate this kinky queer collection.

Sinclair Sexsmith has been writing since 1996 about identity, queer culture, feminism, and self-awareness, and teaches workshops on BDSM, gender, and getting the sex life you want. They produce the award-winning website Sugarbutch Chronicles. Contributing to more than fifteen anthologies, including five Best Lesbian Erotica editions and Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, Mr. Sexsmith is also on the board of the upcoming 2013 BUTCH Voices conference, and serves the Body Electric School as a coordinator. They are the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.

Sossity Chiricuzio is a working-class/fat/poly femme who hosts and produces Dirty Queer, a monthly X-rated open mic, fund-raiser, and community gathering. She has a CD, Hand to Mouth, and has released Stir the Juice, a book of erotic poetry about queer passion and adventure, in 2011. She lives in Portland.

Wendi Kali is a part-time writer and photographer and full-time motorcycle-riding butch. She is currently working on a manuscript about her life as a gender-bending butch. “First Ride” is her first publication. She currently resides in Portland.

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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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