Feb 092013
 

People frequently ask me which sex toy stores I recommend to them. Lucky for everyone, I’ve been working on compiling a whole list of awesome toy stores that are feminist owned, or woman owned, or have a stated commitment to sex positivity.

Said list of awesome sex toys stores with body friendly items can be found here.

Am I missing anyone? Let me know, and I’ll add them pending me checking them out. While Amazon has its time and place, I would much rather you support your local sex toy stores and sexuality resource centers (and local bookstores!) over a large site like that. Buying a dildo from a big fancy site? Not a big deal for one dildo. Buying a dildo from a locally owned store? That is an investment in increasing sex positivity in our community. Which sounds more exciting? I thought so.

Enjoy the list, and enjoy your savvy sex toy shopping.

Shanna

Mar 302012
 

A New Generation of Education-Based Sex Shops is Changing the Adult Industry

March 27, 2012 —  The growing community of independent sex-positive shops has a new home thanks to the launch of the Progressive Pleasure Club (PPC), founders Molly Adler and Matie Fricker announced today. Adler and Fricker, owners of Self Serve Toys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, started the PPC to share support and resources with other shops like theirs, which help people make informed decisions about sexuality-related products.

Says Adler: “We wanted to get people talking about the unique work we do and the challenges and joys we encounter at Self Serve, and so the Progressive Pleasure Club was born. We believe everyone has a right to enjoy sexual pleasure in a smart and healthy way, and the PPC will educate customers about local, independent stores where they can feel safe shopping, and can trust the safety of the adult products they buy.”

Today a new class of social entrepreneurs are taking the lead in opening sex-positive, independent shops all over the continent. Self Serve is one of a dozen or so like-minded shops in cities from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, where trained sex educators offer a locally-owned, education-based, ethical place to shop for intimate goods. The Progressive Pleasure Club is a network of independent sex shops dedicated to helping people make informed decisions about sexuality products. Member shops are committed to the promotion of accurate and honest pleasure-based sexuality education, and to offering products that meet the highest standards of safety.  “We are thrilled that the PPC came into being,” explains Gina Rourke, owner of Nomia in Portland, Maine.  “Since 2004, Oh My in Northampton, MA and Nomia have been collaborating and sharing information, as well as our purchasing power. To have the opportunity to join with a cadre of similarly committed entrepreneurs with shared values is nothing short of revolutionary. We are excited to see how this collective will transform lives in our communities as well as the industry at large.”

In the next year PPC members will join forces to educate the public about adult toy safety, promote local support for small business, and lobby adult toy manufacturers to eliminate the use of phthalates and toxins in manufacturing.  “We have created a unique space for sharing marginalized voices, both ours and those of our customers. The PPC is bent on radicalizing the adult industry for the better of all,” shares Lea Caughlan, owner the Rubber Rose in San Diego.

As small business owners, the members of the PPC recognize that there’s power in numbers. And not unlike the healthy polyamorous folks they sometimes serve, PPC members seek to approach business from an ethical place of abundance and positivity. After all, PPC members share the goal of promoting sexual health and pleasure for all, and believe there is room for all to succeed as they strive to reach it.  Searah Deysach, owner of Chicago’s Early to Bed explains, “I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is made up of small, local businesses that are committed to the same sex-positive, feminist values as I am. I love that we work together to help all of our shops thrive.”

Current Members of Progressive Pleasure Club
Early to Bed | Chicago, IL
Feelmore 510 | Oakland, CA
Good for Her | Toronto, ON
Nomia | Portland, ME
Oh My | Northhampton, MA
The Rubber Rose | San Diego, CA
Self Serve | Albuquerque, NM
She Bop | Portland, OR
Smitten Kitten | Minneapolis, MN
Sugar | Baltimore, MD
The Tool Shed | Milwaukee, WI

For more information about the Progressive Pleasure Club, email molly@selfservetoys.com

###

Contact: Molly Adler
505-265-5815
molly@selfservetoys.com
progressivepleasureclub.com

Jan 102011
 

I’m baaaaaack!

That’s right. After having spent five days in the city of sin (being incredibly NOT sinful), I’m back in slightly warmer Arizona, with my nose to the grindstone.

First and most important announcement: I am now the proud owner of an Njoy Eleven, thanks to Greg and Deanna, two of the wonderful Njoy gang. I cannot wait to try it out, and then give it an important and prominent place on my bookshelf d’art.

I was so happy to get to see many of my old friends, including Jamye Waxman, the JeJoue Crew, Tess and Diva from Tied Up Events, Clare and Riley from Smitten Kitten (and FINALLY got to meet Jennifer, the owner), Molly and Matie from Self Serve in New Mexico, Tres from SpareParts, Jackie Strano and Carol Queen from Good VibrationsGram Ponante (who I forgot to tell that I DO teach blow job classes!), Jacq Jones from Sugar, Shine Louise Houston, Syd Blakovich, Dylan Ryan, Tina Horn, Courtney Trouble, April Flores and more.  Also, I got to meet the Jimmy Jane Crew, folks from Sliquid, more folks who will be presenting at Momentum in April, Laura and Hudson from the Tool Shed in Wisconsin, Buck Angel and his wife Elaine, and more. The sheer number of sex positive folks at the show this year was phenomenal, and continues to grow, making me happy, and making it totally worth going to what has traditionally been a very mainstream porn convention.

The awards show itself was only entertaining because I sat with Deanna from Njoy and Jamye. Except for Joanna Angel winning best solo girl site, there were very few surprises, and most all of the porn awards went to very traditional mainstream companies and movies. I was happy for JeJoue, Good Vibes, Babeland, Tristan Taormino and New Sensations for their wins. For the most part, it was same old, same old. I wonder how long it will take for it to change…and I know it will, because sex positive, queer AND ethical companies got nominations the last two years…it’s just getting that trend to continue and go further into actually winning awards.

All in all, the trip was totally worth it, albeit exhausting. Shout out to Kimberlee Cline for letting me stay with her father for the second two nights, and to Lynn Comella for hosting a wonderful party of smart people on Friday night, as well as to everyone who made time to say hello to me, and helped me to welcome and part of the community.

And there is no sleep for the sex educator; I’m back in the office today, trucking away.

-Shanna