Bedroom-Blog-Post

Understanding Sexless Relationships And Strategies To End The Dry Spell

Most relationships start hot and steamy with plenty of pleasure and intimacy, but as time goes by these often reduce in frequency and intensity and sometimes they come to a halt.

Is it possible that your relationship is just going through a temporary ‘dry’ spell or season or is this how it will remain forever? What can you do to change things for the better?

leah-SpasovaFind the answers to these questions and many more during this evening hosted by Leah Spasova of the Lifesexperts

A Social Psychologist, Situational Ethicist, and Sex & Relationships Educator, Leah focuses her work on helping individuals to improve their social skills, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, ability to deal with difficulties, maintain good physical and mental health and more.

The evening starts at 7.30pm with a unique panel discussion featuring 4 professionals working in the field of life, sex and relationships improvement. Make the most of this opportunity to ask them questions related to their expertise and work with individuals and couples who experience relationship and sexual struggles. After the panel we will move onto our talk for the night, exploring and learning more about Sexless Relationships.

The Panel

  • Leah Spasova – Social Psychologist and Sex and Relationships Educator – LIFESEXPERTS
  • Lori Beth Bisbey – Psychologist, Sex and Intimacy Coach, Author – Wolf’s Fire
  • Jacqueline Chan – Life Coach and Yoga & Meditation Practitioner – Energy Before Matter
  • Glen Wiseman, Panel Moderator – Sex and Relationships Educator – Brook and The Mix Charity
After the panel discussion, Leah will explore the topic of sexless relationships in 2 parts:

1. How relationships enter a dry season – from a psychological: personal and interpersonal perspective?


2. How to navigate better and get ourselves back on track to a more connected, intimate and pleasure filled relationship?

*Understanding sexless relationships

This talk will help you gain insight into the reasons why sex reduces and stops in relationships from a psychological and sexual perspective. Although we shall briefly explore some of the social aspects that affect us, our relationships and sexual life; such as having stressful jobs, having children and else – we will concentrate more on the personal and interpersonal aspects of what causes individuals to end up in sexless relationships. We shall explore what kills passion, desire, and connection between individuals and how our emotional and psychological needs are often unrecognised and unmet and thus we lose interest, we stop yearning, feel pushed away or neglected.   

*Ways to reconnect and end the dry season

Continuing with the psychological: a personal and interpersonal perspective which is rarely shared and spoken about yet it is so very important for us as individuals and partners – we explore how to end the dry season. We shall offer you invaluable strategies to reignite passion and desire, increase the connection and intimacy between you.


Book Your Space:

All genders & sexualities welcome.

Attendees will receive a workbook to help them jot down notes and make the best out of the content this event has to deliver.


Who Are the Lifesexperts?

We provide high quality and unique Life Relevant Education for Adults!

Our content covers over 40 topics on all things related to sexuality, intimacy, relationships, mental health and well-being, interpersonal skills and more!

Our events are sex-positive, inclusive and welcoming to all human beings irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical ability, relationship status, etc. Put simply, if you’re a human being open to learning and growing – you are welcomed.

Lifesexperts

Non-Gendered Sexual Pleasure

Non-Gendered Sexual Pleasure

To mark 2019’s Transgender Day of Visibility we are celebrating all trans and non-binary folks by shining a light on non-gendered sexual pleasure. In other words, if you don’t feel particularly connected to your genitals and want to explore ways of getting around this when experiencing sexual pleasure then this blog is for you.

A prime example was first introduced to us back in 2015. This was the year that Buck Angel created a game changer in the sex toy industry with his Buck Off stroker, the world’s first toy for trans men. The slick black toy is a breath of fresh air in an ocean of pink bullets. It encourages users to feel more comfortable in their own skin when engaging in sexual activity.

This brilliant toy is only the tip of the iceberg. Read on to find out more tips and tricks to make the most out of your unique sexuality.

Erotica

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Often, the biggest hindrance of experiencing sexual pleasure is negative self-image. When the words “just relax” aggravate, there are measures you can take to have fun in actually distracting the mind. Erotica is a brilliant example of this. Allow yourself to escape into someone else’s story and immerse yourself in your fantasy scenario. Instead of focusing on yourself or seemingly perfect bodies in porn, why not close your eyes and truly let your imagination wander. If you don’t yet have a favourite author then perhaps first think about what roles you like to explore sexually and look at books that develop this perspective or fantasy.

Whether it’s spanking, threesomes, specific locations, couples’s play, classic or fetish literature you’re after – there is something for everyone. Perhaps, this will be all you need to take you away on your favourite sex dream. Otherwise, use it as a starting point to develop a better relationship with yourself as you enjoy your unique sexuality for what it is at whatever stage.

Let’s Get Nippy

Nipple play is one of the raunchiest parts of sex if you ask us. Whether it’s biting, pinching, blowing or sucking, fun with your nipples promises playfulness like no other. Dripping hot wax around areolae when their owner is blindfolded is delightfully naughty when the candle is specifically designed to burn no higher than at a body-safe temperature.

Grab a pinwheel or a feather and lightly trace it down the centre of their chest to below their belly button. Turn off just before the pubic bone to go around the hip and back up the waistline to the armpit (armpit play is SO sexy and if you don’t believe us then you haven’t tried it). Make your way to the areolae, licking it and blowing on the nipple. Do the same to the other side and your partner will be squirming in delight. Remember, when you shut off a sense, like sight with a blindfold, your other senses are at a heightened state of arousal.

If your partner dreams off nip nipping, ramp it up by twisting the nipple and pinching for different lengths of time. After cutting off the blood in this area, feeling it rushing back upon release of a pinch can be quite a saucy sensation. As long as you already know that your partner enjoys them, why not pick up a pair of nipple clamps? You can adjust the strength of the squeeze and continue with breath play. If there is extra tissue surrounding the nipples, i.e. breasts, and their owner enjoys their stimulation then don’t neglect them. A massage goes a long way – just make sure you start soft and listen to your partner’s cues as to their enjoyment of each action.

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You don’t necessarily need another person (or more) to enjoy nipple play. We like to encourage D-I-Y tactics whenever possible and this is most definitely possible. If you fancy giving it a go then get into your favourite sexy setting. Perhaps it involves sprawling across your freshly made bed or maybe it’s a candle-lit bath for one. Calm your mind by taking slow, deep breaths and imagine how you’d like your nipples played with. Start to tickle and caress your skin in your favourite erogenous spots – i.e. the places that turn you on. Start to massage the area around the areolae and take it slow to work your way to the nipple. You can pinch, stroke and twist as much as your heart’s desire. These nipple suction toys are a great idea for solo play or if you want to go hands free. Add a small splodge of lube before attaching onto nipples and then squeeze them to experiment with the sucking feeling.

Vibrating massagers are perfect for this kind of play. Those that are flatter (like a pebble) tend to be more versatile in their uses as you can use the shape experiment with what sensation you like best. For instance, using the tip to focalise specific points of pleasure can be alternated with using the flatter edge to press vibrations onto skin.

Tenga Eggs

Tenga eggs may be designed for penis owners but these toys are actually so versatile that genitalia-type proves irrelevant. Possibly the most obvious way to use a tenga egg is to squirt a healthy dollop of lube inside the egg, then slip it over the penis head with the ribbed side facing in and begin to stretch the egg up and down the penis as you masturbate.

Another option for those who may own a penis but don’t feel particularly connected to it could turn the egg inside out and slip it over their hand. Add lube to the outer side and rub the exposed ridges of the eggs around their genitals toward the prostate. This works in the same way for those who have labia and vulvae as they can stroke these regions with the egg turned inside out over a doxy wand for added vibrations.

If you prefer penetrative vaginal play, stretch the egg inside out over a dildo. You can then enjoy an added texture to your favourite toy, such as one of our hand-made dildos, which come in many shapes and sizes.  All block coloured dildos (as opposed to the marble effect we also create) are available with a Sh! bullet to insert inside. Please be aware that Tenga eggs when used in this way cannot and must not be used during any type of penetrative anal play…

…unless you fancy a trip to A&E as you’ve a missing egg inside of you, in which case we take zero liability. Soz.

Harnesses & Strap Ons

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Stepping into a harness has to be one of the most dominating, empowering experiences we can think of when in a sexual context. There’s nothing like a touch of cold leather (or rubber) to fiercen your mood. Our soft leather harnesses come complete with three hoops of various sizes to accommodate the size of your favourite dildo. Meanwhile, our hard leather and rubber come with large hoops. Whether you want buckles, corset-style or heavy duty, our harnesses are adjustable to your unique fit. If you’re a newbie to the harness/strap-on world then why not come to one of our fun workshops dedicated to this type of play? We break down all the usual hang ups and concerns involved, with our first point being how to actually introduce it into the bedroom and our second covering how to put one on without falling over.

Last Butt Not Least

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Due to the positioning of the G-spot and the prostate gland, anal play can be terrifically pleasurable, regardless of whichever you own. We recently wrote a piece on a beginner’s guide to anal play, demystifying all the in’s and out’s of bum fun if you find yourself a tad curious to try it out. The crux of the matter is to take it slowly with an extra generous serving of your favourite lube. If experimenting with a partner or two, ensure that everyone, especially the one on the receiving end, is happy and comfortable with what is happening. Your back door gate holds the key to an Aladdin-sized stash of sexual pleasure – if you fancy exploring it.

Vieness-weekend

Women’s Weekend in Southampton

We are thrilled to announce our participation in the VieNess Women’s Weekend in Southampton on Sunday March 3rd!

Organised by the wonderful Vie Portland, a long-time chamion of women’s causes, the Women’s Weekend is the perfect way to grab some much-needed me-time whilst still having fun.

vieness-logo-purple“I know women are incredible, however, far too frequently, they can’t see that of themselves. With the pressures of society and the high expectations they put on themselves, they too often don’t realise how incredible they are.

A lot of my work is around helping women see how amazing they are and, for a quick, fun, relaxing burst, these weekends are ideal. If you feel like you want a weekend with girlfriends, or a weekend away from everyone you know, time for you to reconnect with who you truly are, need a boost to feel good about yourself, want to learn new skills in a friendly and supportive environment, these weekends are for you.”

Taking place at the beautiful Chilworth Manor Hotel on the outskirts of Southampton, there’ll be plenty of time to access the Chilworth Manor spa (count us in!). Spend the time in the hot tub, lounge on a recliner with a good book and a face mask, steam in the sauna, or book a treatment with the special 15% discount.

Also included in the price are the meals; the hotel does great food and are more than willing to adapt menus to suit dietary requirements.

Workshops

There are several workshops for you to attend, all included in the price, and the fabulous women listed below will share their expertise and ensure you get the most out of your weekend:

Vie-Portland-smlVie Portland is a body positivity and self-esteem coach, Body Image Movement Global Ambassador, an international burlesque performer, and winner of the Inspiring Person in Burlesque Award (twice). Vie uses her psychology and counselling background alongside her lived experience to help and encourage women to see how incredible they are. Vie will be facilitating a body positivity workshop and a burlesque workshop.

Vie is the organizer of this weekend retreat and many others like it. She is available for a number of confidence-boosting talks, classes & workshops. 

 


Renee-Spanking-smlOur very own Renée award-winning Store Manager & Sexulity Educator at Sh! will be facilitating the Sex Positivity workshop on Sunday 3rd of March, sharing lots of fun tips & tricks for making the most out of your potential for pleasure.

An expert in her field, Renee is the go-to advisor for various media outlets and is regularly invited to share her pearls of wisdom at events hosted by organisations such as Positively UK, My Body Back Project and Women’s Institute.

Renée is available for a long list of events such as hen-do’s, divorce-do’s, birthday parties and age-appropriate sex ed classes for teenagers. Please email queries to:  Events@sh-womenstore.com


Becki-ShortBecki Short is a professional singing teacher with a passion for helping people discover their voice. She believes everyone can sing and uses music to connect all ages and abilities. Becki will be facilitating the Singing for Confidence workshop. Find out more about Becki and the work she does on her website: www.beckishort.co.uk

 

 


Tracy-Rigney-SmlTracy Rigney is a dance and fitness instructor and strongly believes everyone’s lives can be made happier and healthier through dance and fitness. Tracy will be running a Boogie Bounce class; she says Boogie Bounce is a fab, fun and funky exercise on a mini trampoline. Find out more about Tracy and her business The Fitness Fairy on her website: www.tracyfitnessfairy.co.uk

 

 


Tickets & Pricing

Saturday daytime only, including lunch: £80
Saturday daytime and evening, including lunch and dinner: £100
Sunday daytime only, including afternoon tea: £60
Weekend cost, to include all activities and meals:
shared room £230 (this works out at less than £8 an hour for the weekend!!);
single supplement £280.
For Friday evening dinner, a room, and breakfast on Saturday, the whole weekend will be £280 shared room and £330 for single occupancy.

Spaces for the Women’s Weekend are extremely limited so make sure to book your ticket now if you want to join us for some relaxation & fun!

 

BOOK HERE: Please email: vie@vieness.co.uk to book onto the weekend.

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Victorias-Angels-Blog-POst

No One Wants to Know Victoria’s Secrets

November 8, 2018, Vogue.co.uk publish onto their site an interview given by writer Nicole Phelps with the chief marketing officer of L Brands (the parent company of Victoria’s Secrets, or VS), Ed Razek, and the executive vice president of VS Public Relations, Monica Mitro.

The wide-ranging interview primarily focused on the brands’ relevance in an increasingly inclusive lingerie market that’s heralded by Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty. Seemingly unthreatened by such competition, Razek explained their choices for not including a more varied body-type in their selection of models:

“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show?”

Razek: “No. No, I don’t think we should”.

“Well, why not?”

Razek: “Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”

Reminiscent of Kim Kardashian’s People Magazine cover, the article almost broke the Internet. Bloggers, activists, influencers and just about anyone with a Twitter account were furious and staged a virtual riot. Razek’s PR team went into a meltdown and he was forced to publicly apologise – an action that leads back to the interview, in which Razek explained his thinking behind making certain business decisions with the self-directed question, “And did we include them to shut up a reporter?”

The VS show itself didn’t air until December 8, 2018, upon which it received its lowest ever ratings. ABC reported that their viewers had plummeted from 5 million the year before to a meager 3.3 million. This occurred despite their inclusion of social media influencers who have ten times that amount of followers on Instagram, such as Kendall Jenner or the Hadid sisters.

In the weeks that have followed, there have been numerous trans activists and models speak out against the incident. Carmen Carrera has had a petition started for her to be included in the show. Nikita Dragun went on to release a fiercely sexy video in which she dons wings and lingerie, captioned “dear Victoria’s Secret, you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here I am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!” It’s utter sauce.

Nikita-Dragun
Nikita Dragun dressed as an Angel in her video

 

Neither of these women would look remotely out of place in a 2019 VS line-up. They’re both insanely beautiful, with legs comparable to sky scrapers, perfectly round boobs and tiny waists. Their appearance is almost totally in tune with the 70-year-old Razek’s vision of how a woman should look.

Yet, what about the women – trans and cis – who don’t fit into this lingering physical ideal propelled forward by a patriarchal society?

In 2016, Ashley Graham was actually ignored by VS after posting onto social media an illustration of her as their first plus-sized model to walk this show – despite the image reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Bear in mind that Razek’s response to this is that L Brands have segregated larger models to another lingerie brand, Lane Bryant, and tried to televise a plus-size show back in 2000 but “No one had any interest in it, still don’t”.

Yep, he has been using the same argument for almost twenty years.

Ashley-Graham-Blog-POst-Final
Ashley Graham with her photoshopped Angel’s Wings

 

Disabled models haven’t even had a look in yet with their inclusion into the fashion industry being even slower than that of trans and non-binary people. Madeleine Stewart told Teen Vogue that it would be her “biggest dream” to be the first model with Down’s Syndrome to be featured in the Victoria’s Secret exclusive line-up.

Yet, with declining ratings and a muddied reputation, why do women still want to represent or support VS? These being a company who have made their name with the creation of a glorified beauty pageant. The Instagram generation are pushing for realist representations from brands. The international lingerie market is blossoming with inclusivity, with brands such as Savage X Fenty, Lonely Lingerie and TomboyX leading the way. Meanwhile, ThirdLove, a label that was invested in by an ex-VS CEO claims to create “Bras and underwear for every body” with their #WeAreAllAngels social media campaign. There’s still a long way to go for the lingerie market to be more woman-friendly and intersectional, but why don’t consumers and influencers start by supporting brands who truly support and promote them – rather than try to resuscitate a cis-man’s wet dream.

If Victoria’s Secrets want any hope of staying relevant, it’s time for them to make space for the female fantasy.

 

 

Laud your Lady Muff! Why new vaginal trends can harm your intimate areas

Laud your Lady Muff! Why new vaginal trends can harm your intimate areas

We at Sh! like to think of ourselves as pretty open-minded and up-to-date in terms of contemporary feminism. Yet, the other day we were flicking through a magazine aimed at women only to discover an article discussing new trends and tips on weeding and watering your luscious lady-garden. Our eyes were opened to a world teeming with vulval* charcoal masks, vaginal douches and steaming, not to mention the endless number of apparently specialised soaps we should be using. Whoever could have made a connection between vegetables or creased clothes and a human VAGINA had us puzzled. So, we decided to do a little research ourselves on the subject. What we discovered was a plethora of products claiming to promote vaginal and vulval health for a sometimes-hefty fee but have actually been found to cause more harm than good.

Not only are these cleverly packaged products marketed to promote sales, but they do this through “vagina/vulva shaming” with products aimed at “detoxing” or freshening up our most intimate areas. “How dare they!?”, all of our team cried in unison at this revelation (why do we need to be detoxed?). These ideas are notions that we simply cannot accept.

In response, we pledged to try and keep vaginas everywhere happy and healthy to the best of our brand’s ability. Here are a few reasons why you should not be buying into any of these weird trends.

*If you’d like to remind yourself of the distinctions between a vulva and a vagina, it essentially boils down to this – your vulva is the interior (think Changing Rooms) whereas your vagina is the exterior (think Garden Force):

Negative self-image

All these ideas about cleaning and modifying vaginas and vulvae implicitly lead us to believe that our natural anatomy is not good enough as it is. We are advised to steam our uterus’ with delectably-sounding plant-based products such as wormwood or mugwort. This type of steaming, in particular, claims to solve all kinds of issues, from depression and fatigue to infertility and infections. This, for the record, is not true and is no doubt a dangerous claim to make. Vaginas are amazing powerhouses that can provide endless amounts of pleasure to their owners, push out actual babies of and above all, clean themselves. Since when have they ever needed steaming? If you only loved one part of your body, it should be your beautiful, strong and inspirational genitals.

Crazy chemicals

This leads us on to the topic of douching. Many women who preach its benefits claim that it makes them feel “cleaner” downstairs. In actual fact, douching can lead to vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and it has even been linked to cervical cancer.

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Traditionally, douching is done using a mixture of water and vinegar. Yes – vinegar – although we are currently unsure which type is more appropriate? Red wine vinegar? Apple cider vinegar? How about a simple Malt if there’s any left over after you’ve finished your meal from the chippy? We wonder if their appeal presents itself in the same way that your pilates instructor keeps luring you back for more bodily torture on a weekly basis with the tagline, “Feel the burn!.”

From scented sanitary towels, to perfumes, to odorous body washes and lotion, people are obsessed with the scent of vaginas – and changing them. There’s a reason why they don’t already smell of fresh lavender or evening jasmine with the main reason being that you are not flora or fauna. The douches that high street chemists and chains are selling feed off these attitudes. Their contemporary, chemical toolkit to wash your muffkin contains antiseptics and fragrances in a bottle or bag, which you then squat over and spritz up inside of your lower lips. What a magical experience this promises to be.

Unsurprisingly, it is not. The skin around your vulva is different to that of your body. In fact, it is actually much thinner than the skin on your face. Therefore, you are far more likely to cause irritation to it by dousing it in toxic agents that I bet you didn’t read up about when/if you checked the ingredients list on the back of the bottle. Not only are you spraying it onto your exterior skin, but you are shooting it up inside of you where you have a lovely bunch of PH levels that are pleading with you to leave them undisturbed. And with that, we give you cystitis…

Vulva wrinkles???

Similarly to the skin on the rest of our bodies, skin around the vulva can be prone to a range of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis… and apparently wrinkles.

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With this, a new product claiming to tackle these irritations has hit high street shelves – the infrared charcoal sheet mask. You essentially spread the moisturizing mask over your vulva and leave it on for fifteen minutes. This should apparently cool, soothe and ultimately eliminate said imperfections.

How could leaving a damp mask on possibly the most moist and sensitive, exterior region of your body ever sound like a bad idea? Well, because, being damp over a period of time can lead to yeast infections and skin irritations. Plus, there is literally zero research that proves its effectiveness in this.

If you have any irritations or inflammations around your vulva, your first point of call should be a GP so you can find out exactly what it is and how to effectively treat it. If you are worried about any aesthetic variances such as “vulva wrinkles” then why not take a look at Jamie McCartney’s Great Wall of Vagina? His amazing work is body and sex-positive, and lets you look at genitals in their 3D glory.

There are plenty of lumps, bumps and wrinkles on plenty of vulvae and if you find yourself being blessed enough to have them then you should worship every single one. We’re sure that you’ll find this a way more positive activity than listening to the whims of a greedy marketing executive (who probably doesn’t even have a vagina) trying to make you hate every last part of your body so that they can profit off you.

Trust us, your holy mother of vagina will thank you for it!

 

 

 

 

 

MBBP-Summer

Cafe V is Back!

Our first Cafe V of the summer this Saturday! Time to be together to celebrate and reconnect with our bodies!

This session will be particularly vagtastic, with illustrator & designer Jo Harrison on hand to inspire guests to get creative with pens, glitter & colourful paper. And as per usual, Sh! staff will be on hand with Danish pastries, iced tea, and discounts for anyone who wants to shop.

When: Saturday 23rd June at 9.30am

Where: Sh! 31-35 Pitfield Street, London N1 6HB

Reserve your spot here!

Sh_JoHarrisonArt

Café V, a collaboration between the My Body Back Project and Sh!  is a regular session for women to learn about loving their bodies after violence. It’s a safe space for guests to talk about enjoying sex again, with themselves or a partner.

Café V is run especially for women (cis and trans) who have experienced sexual violence. We will look at practical ways to connect with the body and physical relaxation techniques. Everybody is welcome and there will be plenty of cakes, teas and a supportive atmosphere. You can choose to listen and contribute as much or as little as you wish.

To help us with the costs of running Cafe V, we ask that you give a small donation for each session you attend. If you’re employed, we’d very much appreciate a donation of a £3 to £5. If you’re unemployed, on benefits, a single parent, a student, on sick pay or money is particularly tight that month, we’re happy to waive the donation. Just send the team an email at CafeV@mybodybackproject.com letting us know which workshop(s) you’d like to attend and that you can’t give a donation at the moment.

Foreign body

Guest Post: Imogen Butler-Cole on ‘Foreign Body’ at VAULT Festival

Today we have the wonderful and inspiring Imogen Butler-Cole with us, talking about Foreign Body, a play for the movement.

Foreign Body tells the story, through testimonial recordings, of Imogen’s healing following sexual assault alongside that of eight other survivors and of the perpetrator of one of the assaults.

What is Foreign Body about?

Foreign Body is a physical theatre play about healing after sexual assault – my own story, those of eight other survivors, and that of the perpetrator of one of my own assaults. It is told through verbatim – interviews with the people whose stories are being told, played in voice over. It is a solo performance but in this way we manage to tell several peoples’ stories.

What drove you to make Foreign Body?

Before I decided to tell my own story I was exploring the theme more widely and the main aim was to de-stigmatise the conversation around sexual violence. I felt that if we are not able to speak about it we would not be able to change it. As we worked we realised that true stories often make for the most powerful political theatre.

As it happened I was simultaneously going through a therapeutic process having recently uncovered my own story of surviving three separate sexual assaults. I had just met two other incredible women who had publicly shared their own stories and they both agreed for me to use their voices in the play. I was also inspired to reach out to the perpetrator of one of these assaults to start a kind of reconciliation process. This suddenly jumped out at the director and me as being quite a compelling story so we went from there. Eventually the perpetrator of this one assault agreed to have his voice included in the play and this now provides the cornerstone of the piece.

My motivation has continued to be opening up the conversation around sexual assault and in turn hopefully opening some minds to the reality that it affects us all in some way.

Who is Foreign Body for?

1 in 3 women face sexual assault in our lifetimes. We are all affected and we are all responsible. Therefore I think it is for everyone. It is time, as the #MeToo movement has shown us, for us to face up to the fact that we all know people who have been affected by this previously unspoken crime. The play can be uplifting for survivors as it points to a journey of healing and the fact that we can all be powerful again. It can be educative for people who know survivors and maybe aren’t sure how best to support them, or who want to understand their experiences without burdening their friend by asking them to talk about it. It is also for people who may have crossed lines without knowing it, and for those who may be at risk of doing so. Finally it is for anyone who passionately believes that we must address this issue and find a more positive way to move forward.

I stage discussion panels after every single show. I have special guests every night and we will be addressing different themes. For me this play is actually like a springboard into the discussion – it is there to serve the conversation as much as it is a stand alone piece of theatre. Particularly with this topic that has been so stigmatised for so long it feels as though we need the play as a jumping off point for the conversation. Otherwise people can feel uncomfortable talking about sexual violence – where do we begin? How do we make sure we say the right thing? With an issue that is so complex and so emotionally charged it can help to relate a set of personal experiences that the audience can then respond to in conversation. We will be covering some nuanced topics such as race and reporting sexual violence, the portrayal of sexual violence in the media and gender and sexual assault.

What challenges have you faced when it comes to staging issues surrounding sexual assault?

One challenge has been in dealing sensitively with the material that other survivors have contributed. Ten women agreed to entrust me with their most vulnerable stories and there’s a weight of responsibility that comes with that. I made sure that I prioritised their wellbeing throughout the process, from having someone to sit with them before and after the interviews to checking in with how much of the material they were willing for me to use, to giving them the choice of being named or anonymous, and always making sure they know when and where performances are going to take place.

Making this piece has been an exacting process personally. There have been several moments – usually in the lead up to presenting each version of the piece for the first time, before I’ve known how it was going to be received – when I have questioned why I was doing it, and if I would be able to go through with it. Once just prior to a week’s rehearsal for the final R&D I was badly triggered reading the victim statement of Brock Turner’s victim at Stanford. I felt weak and vulnerable for several days following the triggering and was unsure if I would recover in time. I took this to a friend and to the therapist I was working with at the time. They both helped me realise that it was more important for me to be safe than to go through with those performances. As it happened I felt strong enough to continue and we completed the piece in time. Now I have performed the play so many times and the response has always been so positive that I don’t have the same doubts before shows. I do often feel physically tired and it takes determination laced with a dash of righteous rage – and a focus on the need to tell these stories – to get me ready at the start of each show. In general though I feel strong and am exhilarated about being a part of this vital conversation.

How can we see Foreign Body?

Foreign Body will be at the VAULT Festival from 7-11 March at 6pm.

Tickets are available here:

https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/foreign-body/

VAULT Festival takes place at The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN

Each night there will be a themed post-show panel discussion with two very special guests:

7th March:  Dr Nina Burrowes (Psychologist and Campaigner), Sejal Chad (Psychotherapist); The Psychology of Recovery

8th March:  Sirin Kale (Broadly), Nathalie McDermott (On Road Media); Portrayal of Sexual Assault in the Media

9th March:  Laura Haynes (UN Women), Rachael Krishna (BuzzFeed); The Global Impact of

10th March | 3pm:  Tanaka Mhishi (Poet and Performer); Gender and Sexual Violence

10th March | 6pm:  Nimco Ali (Daughters of Eve, WEP), Lucy-Anne Holmes (No More Page 3); Activism & Sexual Assault

11th March:  Sharmaine Lovegrove (Dialogue Books), Sereena Al Noor (An Essential Woman); Race and Reporting Sexual Violence

 

Fat Sex Blog Post

Big Love: Secrets of Fat Sex – Free Class

If you believed everything you read and watched in mainstream media then you may think that fat people are unlovable, don’t have sex … and if they did (heaven forbid!) they should definitely NOT enjoy it!

This, of course, is totally untrue. Anyone and everyone are entitled to a wonderful fulfilling sex life regardless of shape, size or sexual orientation.

Athena-Mae-profilePolyamorous goddess of all things fat sex Athena Mae invites you to a fun, friendly, fully clothed inspirational evening of chats and tips to help you embrace your inner goddess in the bedroom.

This is a safe and welcome space open to plus-sized Women-only. Come on your own or with friends, bubbly and fancies served.

Please note that this event will be filmed for a BBC3 Documentary and spaces are very limited.

  • Date: Friday 23rd February 2018
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Address: The brand spanking new Sh! Store on Pitfield Street in Hoxton. Full details will be given to guests beforehand.
  • Price: FREE
  • Book Here:  To book please contact our friendly producer Carly Aston on bodypositivedocumentary@gmail.com

 

Aphrodite yoga launch party

Jay Diamond Presents: Aphrodite Yoga Launch Party

Join Jay Diamond for the exclusive launch of Aphrodite Yoga held at Pineapple Dance Studios in Central London.

What is Aphrodite Yoga?

Aphrodite yoga is a blend of traditional Tantra yoga and ancient spiritual sexual techniques to enhance pleasure, feminine confidence orgasmic experience.

What Should I Expect?

In this hour-long class guests will:

  • Discover and strengthen orgasmic energy to skyrocket pleasure
  • Become a magnetic and attractive force of feminine energy
  • Clear fear & insecurity around sexuality, fertility & body
  • Develop sensuality to increase confidence
  • Reduce stress & have more fun
  • Open hearts to attract more love
  • Bring passion back in to life & relationship

All in a non-judgemental environment, held in a safe container to explore, soar + roar! (With a good soundtrack, too!)

When Is It?

Date: Saturday 10th February 2018

Time: 5-6.30pm

Where: Pineapple Dance Studios

Tickets: Get your ticket to Aphrodite Yoga Launch Party here

This special class is limited to only 15 Aphrodite’s, so don’t miss your place.

Tickets are £25 per person.

Each guest will receive a small but thrilling gift from Sh!

There will also be post class bubbles and canapes at a local for the special femme fatales’ who attend the launch.

Who Is Jay Diamond?

Jay Diamond BSc (Psychology & Sociology) is a shamanic, tantric, yogini with 19 years experience as a healer and believes Sex & Spirit belong together.

jay diamondShe has appeared in Mind, Body Green, Spirit & Destiny, Elephant Journal & Kindred Spirit Magazine and helps people have juicier relationships, a more orgasmic life, and soul level success. Her mentoring, online courses, classes, and motivational talks help people break chains of the past and make the rest of their life, the best of their life – by standing on top of their story, not underneath it.

She assists many men and women in overcoming anxiety, shame and sexual assault to claim blissful body love, solid self-confidence and feel sexier than ever!

 

From Boardroom to Bedrooom

From Boardroom to Bedroom: Fempire Valentines Special at Sh!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is about to spread its warming wings around us all…

We like a bit of romance just as much as the next person, but for us, self-love is more important and we were delighted when the Fempire Collective asked if we’d be up for celebrating the empowered female self. We jumped at the chance to collaborate with this a group of bright, ambitious women – a perfect partner for us here at Sh!

The end result is a curated event designed to elevate and inspire our fellow women to be as powerful as they want to be:

From Boardroom to Bedroom

On Sunday February 4th, join us at our award-winning erotic boutique in Hoxton for this special pre-Valentine’s Day panel event discussing the fine art of cultivating your confidence as a woman.

Panel discussions, burlesque performances and from Sh!, our own in-house sexuality educator Renee will be sharing her expert knowledge on your orgasmic potential in a fun and playful class dubbed Pussy Power, during which guests will be taken on a guided tour of pleasurable peaks and orgasmic delights.

We’ll be sitting down with a group of fabulous females whose own missions are all about empowering women, breaking the taboo around sex and sexuality, and encouraging confidence in your body, your bedroom and your day to day life: OJ, Jessica Talbot Smith and The Scarlet Ladies.

Before the night is over, guests will be treated to a burlesque performance after which the performer will share how she brings her sexual empowerment into her day-to-day life, as well as how to feel confident in your own body…

Complimentary bubbly and fancies will be served, and Sh! will be kept open exclusively for Fempire attendees to browse with a 20% discount on all purchases made during the evening.

SO SORRY – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED 

We can’t wait to see you there!