Mar 272013
 

Both folks online and those attending my workshops are always asking me for an inclusive list of all of the sex toy and lubricant companies that create body friendly sex toys and lubes. I usually point them over to the Coalition Against Toxic Toys (aka, BadVibes.org), but their list, while excellent, is much shorter than all of the companies out there producing good products. And of course, if you check out my list of Feminist and Sex Positive Toys Stores, you’ll be more likely to find good quality, body safe sex toys and lubes there.

That all being said, I’ve spent the last few weeks putting together the most inclusive list I could of body friendly sex toy companies and body safe lube companies. I’ve asked other sex educators, sexuality retailers, bloggers, etc, and together, we have created this list of companies. Now, they could certainly change their products, and I might not know, so if you have info on them producing toxic toys, just contact me. Also contact me if you know of a body friendly company that is not yet on the list, and I’ll update it. However, please note that I am trying to feature companies that are completely phthalate and other chemical free, so while some larger toys companies DO produce SOME body friendly toys, they are not listed because other toys they make are dangerous for bodies.

And with no further ado, I present to you, my list of Body Friendly Sex Toy and Lube Companies.

Sep 072012
 

love honey sqweel sex toy

Back in the day, I did a review of the original Sqweel from Lovehoney, and you can read that review here. I was a huge fan, and recommend it to folks that liked oral sex a lot, and we not getting it in the amounts that they desired, because it’s a close as you’re going to get to oral sex without having someone between your legs.

However, they have lately revamped the Sqweel, and come out with the Sqweel 2.0, a sex toy very similar to the first, but with a good handful of differences and updates. The most noticeable one is clearly the casing. I’m not going to lie; I really liked the old casing better. While this material is nicer, and more reminiscent of the LELO style of toys, I personally hate pink, and I also don’t really like being able to see the tongues. I’m guessing this was done so people could check out what is was in store. However, it makes it much less of a stealth toy that it was before, and a lot of the people I present to are interested in getting sex toys that don’t actually look like…well, sex toys.

That being said, I like the buttons a lot better on this, as well as the battery casing. This version is much easier to open to place batteries, and the front buttons make a lot more sense, and if you’re a partner using this on someone, you can actually see what is going on more. Plus, there are a lot more functions of the tongues going this way, and thata way, and back and forth, so you have a lot more options for figuring out what works for you. Additionally, the “lock” function is ideal for those who like to travel with their sex toys. Brilliant!

I still think this is a great toy for people of all genders — you can use the tongues (properly lubricated, of course, to reduce friction) on nipples, penises, scrotums, etc, in addition to the clitoris and labia for which it was pretty much designed. However, if you’re super sensitive, this new model seems to have a bit more power, so it might be a little bit too strong for you. On the other hand, if you like your toys to pack a punch, the Sqweel certainly has quite a bit of oomph to it. Of course, like all items I review, it is 100% body safe and phthalate free. Also, you can switch out the inner pink part of a variety of different types of simulators — there are nubs, bumps and more. It goes so far beyond just tongues on a wheel.

Interested? Want to be a Sqweel owner and join the lick-a-lot alone club? Head on over to Lovehoney and get one of your very own!

 

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

Jun 062011
 

Hey folks!

This coming Thursday is special. Not only is it my half birthday (hurray to me!), but I’m also putting on a FREE Strap On 101 workshop at the Aurora, CO Fascinations store. It’s at 7pm at Fascinations 2680 S. Havana St, Aurora, CO, and is open to EVERYONE 18+. Strap On Sex can be enjoyed by people of all genders, orientations, sexes, ability levels, etc. Plus, free snacks, and a raffle for gift cards and toys at the end. The first 10 people to attend each get a $10 gift card.

Come learn all about the joys and pleasures of strapping it on. Discuss the pros and cons of different kinds of harnesses (ever wonder what the difference is between a g-string and a dual strap?), learn how to properly inset cocks and dildos into the rings, and contemplate a plethora of positions. This class is open to singles, couples and more-somes of all sexes and genders (we’ll cover pegging too, as well as using harnesses for cuckolding). Never used a harness before? That’s fine – we’ll start with the basics. Plus, everyone will get to try on harnesses with toys to get a feel for the different styles, as well as figure out what works best for them if they so choose. Come ready to play!

See you there!

Shanna

 

 

May 132011
 

In case you were not yet aware, May is National Masturbation Month!

Now, many awareness months bring attention to negative things that may be happening, such as April being National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Other awareness months focus on getting people to act on something, to change their behavior, like Get Yourself Tested (for STIs) Month.

However, May is all about something fun and pleasurable; masturbation, self love, flying solo, etc. Everyone has the ability, in some way, shape or form, to masturbate. You can do it on your own, you can love yourself while in the same room/bed/space as your partner, you could even be that star of a one person sex show. Whether you use your fingers, toys, a pillow, your mind, porn, erotica, a washing machine, the shower head, an electric toothbrush, a vibrating hair brush, a condomed cucumber (not anal safe unless you carve a base into it), or something else entirely, masturbation is a fabulous way to get to know your sexual self a little better, explore your wants and needs, and let of a little sex-centered steam…as well as a great way to practice safer sex if you’re getting down with a partner.

Orgasms can add endorphins and oxytocin to your system, making you feel super good — whether the orgasm is with a partner, or on your own. Masturbation feels good in general. If you masturbate, you get to know your body better, meaning you can tell current/future partners what you like (and don’t like) as well as know if something is changing in a not so good way (and then you can let your doctor know). For many, masturbation can give you a surge of energy, while for many others, masturbation is a great way to relax, de-stress, and even ease into sleep. One study in Australia found that those with prostates who ejaculated (via masturbation or other sexual activities) 30 times or more a month had a significantly lower risk of getting prostate cancer.

So with all of these reasons to jack and jill off, why not get started? Don’t forget some of the following:

*Whatever way you masturbate (assuming than any viewers/participants are consenting) is the right way for you. There is not holy grail/right way to masturbate. Promise.

*If you’re an exhibitionist, make sure anyone who might stumble across you (roommates, family, park rangers, security guards, etc) is consenting to what they might see.

*If toys are your forte, don’t forget to use body friendly toys (and clean them regularly!), or put a condom on any toy that my contain phthalates or other non-orifice friendly chemicals.

*Have a friend (or two) join in; circle jerks are not just for high school boys (although that is the stereotype). Group masturbation can be fun, and you can learn things.

*Not wanting to share with your friends? If you have a partner, consider inviting them. You can both learn a ton about each others’ bodies, and what your turn ons are!

Happy National Masturbation Month to everyone!

-Shanna

Feb 162011
 

Since it IS “Hump Day,” I thought I’d post another video of my anal sex 101 workshop, called What’s Up with the Butt. I have a video of one of my classes already up (click here to view the anal sex class video), but I did this class after I got my two butt puppets; Andi the Anus and Riley the Rectum. Ergo, I thought I’d give it another taping, so you can enjoy more intro to anal fun, and of course, check out my anal puppets. This is a great video (as is the other) to watch if you’re scared of anal sex, wanting to try anal sex, or have tried it and found that it hurt, as well as if you are a lover of butt sex, and just looking for some more fun ideas to try. Class was taught in January 2011 at Fascinations in Arizona.

Enjoy!

-Shanna

Feb 102011
 

Below is my video review of the Njoy Pure Wand, which I personally feel is the best non-vibrating g-spot toys (and a great anal toy) on the market…and now that I own the Njoy Eleven, I love this company even more.

The toys is made of stainless steel, so it is 100% body friendly (and easy to sterilize by boiling it, dish-washing it, or wiping it down with a 10% bleach solution), it’s great for temperature play (put it in a bowl of warm water or a bowl of ice water), and has helped more women to discover their G-spots than any other sex toy I know. It is amazing…plus it comes with an adorable box for storage.

Thanks to my former employers and crew for filming, editing, etc…and thanks to my breasts for looking amazing throughout this (I mean, seriously!).

-Shanna

Click here to get your own Njoy Pure Wand and optimize your sex life!

Jan 132011
 

Jamye Waxman

This afternoon, fabulous sex educator Jamye Waxman will be joining me on my Let’s Talk Sex with Shanna Katz radio show on 1100 AM KFNX. You can either listen live on the radio if you’re in the Phoenix area, or go to www.1100KFNX.com to stream it live. The show goes on at 4pm MST, and we’re going to talk toys, positions, masturbation and more, plus as always, we’ll have great giveaways! You can always call in toll free, so we hope to hear from you.

-Shanna

Jan 052011
 

Hey Folks,

I’m off yet again to Las Vegas. At this time last year, I had never been…and now this is my fourth trip there! Interesting what living in the Southwest and being part of the adult industry can entail.

The Adult Entertainment Expo and Adult Novelty Expo is a change for a) porn stars and fans to meet, take pictures, etc, and b) for toy companies to show their stuff off to retailers (like myself and Fascinations). Often times, new sex toys are rolled out for this show, so I’m really excited for it. Then on Saturday is the AVN Awards show, think like the Oscars of porn. Many of my friends and some people I’ve worked with before are nominated, so I’m excited to be able to go and see them. Plus, lots of awesome sex positive people will be attending, like staff/owners from The Tool Shed, Self Serve, Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, Babeland and more, as well as some rocking sex educators like Jamye Waxman. It looks to be a great year for sex positivity at the AVN/AEE!

If you’ll be in Vegas for this and would like to meet up, go ahead and contact me, and I’ll see when we can schedule some time. I wish everyone safe travels, and I’ll see you back in AZ on Sunday!

Shanna

Dec 272010
 

The We Vibe II Vibrator

Hi. This is the We Vibe II.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people with the We-Vibe vibrator when it first came out, which is now known as the We Vibe I, since there is now a new edition, the We Vibe II. The biggest difference between the We Vibe I and We Vibe II is that the second version comes with a whole bunch of settings that are changed by pressing in a tiny button, where as the first edition just had a switch for Off, Low and High. Additionally, while the first version came with a sunglasses like case for storage, the We Vibe II has a satin bag to keep it mostly free from dusty, air particles and prying eyes.

Thank to WeVibe(and Standard Innovation, the company that makes this toy), I was given one of the newer toys to review. Sadly, it’s not the red version (because they just came out this toy in both red and teal in addition to the already popular purple color), but regardless, I was excited. When I speak with couples, this is one of the number one toys I recommend because it can be worn by the receiver during intercourse. This means that if someone with a vulva wears it, they receive both clitoral and g-spot vibrations while being penetrated by fingers, dildos or penises, and if someone with a prostate wears it anally, they can get stimulation of both the perineum and the prostate while getting anal penetration. It’s a hands free vibrator that is great for those who like a little extra buzz during penetration, and if the penetration happening is with a penis, said penis gets a little extra vibrate-y love as well!

Now, as many of you know, I love coming up with ideas for sex toys that weren’t part of the original plan. For example, one of my favorite suggested uses for the We Vibe is to charge it, turn it on low, put it on, and wear it out in public under your clothes. The second version seemed to be a little louder to me than the original, but still, once inside and muffled by clothes? You’ve got a hand free vibrator for a good few hours.  Not your cuppa tea? How about wearing it while going down on your partner so that you’re both getting action? Wearing it while in bondage for a fun tease? Using it during mutual masturbation? The list is endless!

The We Vibe II is 100% silicone, so it is body friendly, chemical free, and you can sterilize it by wiping it down with a 10% bleach solution. Regular cleaning with soap and warm water is fine too if you’re not sharing. It is rechargeable, which I personally love, and the hole for the charger is pretty self closing, making it a great water resistant vibrator. This version has NINE vibration speeds/modes, which is awesome. The only problem I had with it was that it was pretty difficult, almost impossible to change the modes by pressing the button once it was already in someone. For the most part, you had to have them take it out, press the button to change the mode, and re-inset. This, and the increased noise level, were my only issues with the toy. Otherwise, this is one of the most fun, innovative, creative and useful vibrators out there, as despite it’s marketing towards straight couples, it can be used in various ways by people of all sexes, genders, orientations and relationship statuses. It’s fun, it’s cute, and for some, it will completely change your sex life life. Don’t forget to pair it with good quality water based lube.

Shanna