Manufacturing-Vacancy

Vacancy: Sh! Manufacturing & Operations

We’re looking for a special someone to join our fantastic Manufacturing & Operations team.

The right applicant is someone who:
  • Prides themselves on their great attention to detail
  • Is amazingly creative but has excellent practical abilities
  • Wants to be part of a team and help offer the great customer care Sh! is famous for
Duties include:
  • Manufacturing of Sh! own-brand leather & rubber products
  • Ensuring that operations run smoothly
  • Supporting the shop floor & web sales team

Start Date: Beginning of September 2019

Based at: Sh! 31-35 Pitfield Street, London N1 6HB – right in the heart of trendy Shoreditch.

Hours: This is a part-time position, 2-3 days per week

Interested?

Please send your CV + covering letter to Aphra@sh-womenstore.com outlining why you’d make an excellent addition to Team Sh! 

Let’s Talk About Intersex, Baby

Let’s Talk About Intersex, Baby

Red hair. Unusual? Yes. Abnormal? No. Prince Harry is ginger. As is all seven of the Weasleys. Bette Midler didn’t try to hide her bright red locks from the public. According to the World Health Organisation and the UN, roughly the same number of intersex individuals exist as there are redheads; so approximately 1.7% of the population.

Intersex is the term given to people whose genitals, reproductive organs, chromosomes, or hormones vary from the male or female binary.

According to this mutually exclusive limitation of sex, their reproductive organs may not match typically together with their genitals or, perhaps, when they mature they might realise that their pubescent hormones are more consistent with those otherwise experienced by people of another sex. The vast majority of intersex qualities have no negative implications, just like the characteristic of ginger hair.

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What does Intersex mean for individuals?

From auburn to pure carrot, babies with shades of red hair aren’t required to dye it by society. Yet, intersex new-borns have traditionally been forced to undergo genital normalisation surgery, aka Intersex Genital Mutilation, before they reach six months. Doctors are physically modifying infants all over the world in operations that they are too young to consent to. This is especially shocking considering that the operation in question is not imperative to the person’s (or baby’s) overall health.

These operations usually cause intersex people to rely on hormone medication for the rest of their lives and need to follow up surgeries for at least until they reach adulthood. Victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder, negative body image, and scarring. In the worst cases, some are left infertile. This harrowing procedure is imposed on individuals all over the world. Fortunately, the UN has now recognised such operations as a violation of human rights, although there is still a long way to go for thousands of people. In several countries, babies are murdered upon the discovery of their intersex identity; the fear of negative societal judgment is so real that some parents consent to this atrocity. 

“Normalisation” operations demonstrate the lengths that we, as a society, still need to go to understand and correctly separate sex from gender.

By practicing IGM, doctors are essentially guessing what gender an infant will feel most comfortable living as, in accordance to binary definitions of the male and female sexes. These assumptions are based around the exterior appearance of babies’ genitals. No doubt, they often get it wrong.

This may seem more out-dated than the marketing campaign of Yorkie chocolate bars but it is happening everywhere. Take the recent, infamous case of two-time Olympian Gold winner, Caster Semenya, for example.

After “suspicions” that Semenya has a higher level of testosterone than other runners in her category, she began a lawsuit against the international sporting organisation to fight the decision that she would have to take drugs to lower these hormones if she were to continue running for her country. Earlier this month, she lost her case. How ironic is this – coming from an industry governed by doping fears?

The sports world, like wider society, is failing individuals by continuing to implement increasingly archaic binaries. By doing so, they are stealing the individual’s autonomy over their own bodies. Throughout all of this, Semenya has remained defiant. Discovery US recently released this video on Twitter in support of the inspirational champion entitled, “How do you stop a determined woman?” We can’t get enough of it.

Who is fighting for the Intersex community?

A severe lack of awareness, acceptance, and visibility currently surrounds intersex people. However, there are many activists and organisations fighting to improve this. The Intersex Justice Project is one organisation that is currently pushing to de-stigmatize intersex and end non-consensual medical interventions. This project is gaining notoriety thanks to their leader, the activist, and filmmaker, Pidgeon Pagonis. Based in Chicago, Pagonis is involved with several protests at a local hospital that practice IGM on babies, named the Lurie Children’s Hospital. There is a petition that you can sign to support this mission, by following the link here.

Hida Viloria is another US based, intersex human rights activist fighting for equality. She was actually the second person in North America to be granted an intersex birth certificate. She has written a memoir entitled “Born Both: An Intersex Life“, and created this downloadable PDF; an educational tool that is primarily for new parents to intersex babies.

As the Chairperson of the Organisation of Intersex International, she rebranded it with Dr. Dani Lee Harris and Dana Zzym, creating the Intersex Campaign for Equality (IC4E). Dr. Lee Harris is an activist, an author, and life coach. Meanwhile, Zzym was the first American ex-veteran to apply for an intersex passport. Together, they have formed IC4E to be a great resource for keeping up to date with Intersex news through radio, podcasts or articles. They promote human rights through the “arts, education and action” of intersex individuals and allies.

For example, the critically acclaimed film, Ponyboi, which premiered in Canada on May 30th, 2019, was celebrated on the site. Directed by River Gallo and Sadé Clacken Joseph, it is produced by Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry and is the first film to feature an intersex narrative. Woop!


Finally, what can allies do for Intersex/human rights?

First and foremost, be compassionate and listen. Do not make assumptions and recognise that the rights of intersex people are no different from those of basic human rights. Be aware that an intersex person may not identify as queer or trans.

The Intersex Society of North America has compiled a list of practical tips or otherwise, you can check out this PDF from the OII.

 

 

DIVA 2019

And the DIVA Choice Award Goes to…

“Tonight’s DIVA Choice Award goes to a committed explorer of the senses.

Back in the days when the concept of “Sexual Wellness” was just a glint in Gwyneth Paltrow’s eye, tonight’s winner was toiling away at the coal face of female sexual pleasure.

Indeed, come the second sexual revolution, (not too far off now thanks to this mystery woman) when Queen Megan is handing out awards for Distinguished Services to Strap Ons, tonight’s visionary will be at the head of the queue.

This Yorkshire pioneer and maverick (she didn’t go to business school; she went to art school) opened the UK’s first ever female-focused erotic store in 1992. She’s spent a day in Soho looking for inspiration in the sex shops of the time, but the landscape was sleazy and male-focused.

High points include introducing the women of Britain to the Jessica Rabbit vibrator, setting up Café V, the UK’s first support group to help sexual violence survivors reconnect with their bodies and working with the NHS to bridge the gap between sexuality and overall health.

Established on an investment of £700 and originally specializing in sexy yet comfortable strap-on harnesses and gender-free silicone dildos, her business has grown into a multi award-winning brand dedicated to women’s bodily enjoyment and has created a sea change in attitudes towards honest female sexuality.

27 years ago, tonight’s winner was seen by a lot of the mainstream media as the pervy weirdo lesbian who ran THAT East End sex shop. But she stuck to her beliefs and those beliefs have borne fruit. She has become one of the UK’s leading exponents of sex-positive feminism and has brought orgasms and succor (and the new wave of clitoral suction sex toys) to thousands of women.

The struggle to point out that female sexual pleasure is a right and not an indulgence is on-going. But this powerhouse continues to push boundaries, spreading her message passionately on TV, radio and panels around the world.

The winner of tonight’s DIVA Choice Award is the founder and managing director of Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium, Ky Hoyle!”
Victoria Broom, Stephanie Theobald, Ky Hoyle, Rachel Shelley
Getty Images

The transcribed introduction above was given by none other than Stephanie Theobald, a journalist at Guardian & Sunday Times, and author of Big Clit Energy memoir Sex Drive.

About the DIVA Awards

Diva, the leading monthly mag for lesbians and bisexual women hosted its annual Award ceremony at Waldorf Hilton on Friday 7th of June. The Awards, hosted by Rachel Shelley and Victoria Broom, honour those who help make a difference to the lives of lesbians, bisexual women, and trans people.


“The DIVA Awards is a fantastic event that honours those who are committed to raising awareness for the lesbian, bisexual and trans community. We’re proud of everyone who won big tonight and all those on the shortlist – each and every one of them make a difference to the LGBTQI+ community.”


Linda Riley, founder of DIVA Awards

There were plenty of celebrities at this year’s fancy bash, and there may even have been some fan-girling involved when the team got to meet Sinitta (no introductions needed!) and London-based singer & song-writer Ronnie-Martine

Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones *swoon* presented Bake Off host & TV presenter Sandi Toksvig with a shiny gong for her advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, bisexual and trans community.

Loose Woman and proud mama Denise Welch collected the Ally of the Year award on behalf of her son Matty Healy, singer of 1975, who is a vocal and high profile supporter of LGBT+ equality.

Other winners included chef and activist Jack Monroe and outgoing Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt.

Victoria Broom, Ky Hoyle, Sandi Toksvig, Suranne Jones, Rachel Shelley
Sh! Image
Ky Hoyle Sans Award
Getty Images

A Win For One Is A Win For All

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of badasses cheering her on and at the forefront of the Sh! badass tribe is Sophie Walters, Ky’s business partner and co-owner of Sh! (aka Financial Director & Chief Purse Strings Holder)

A business doesn’t run itself (though sometime we wish it did!) and Sophie has provided magnificently strong shoulders (arms, legs and whatever else may be needed) in shifting heaven, earth & heavy boxes to support Ky’s vision for the li’l slice of heaven that is Sh!

Not usually one for late nights out on the town, our Sophie made an exception for the DIVA Awards and not only did she look dapper AF for the occasion, but rumour also has it that she thoroughly enjoyed the fine wine and good food on offer at Hilton Waldorf. 🙂 Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to convince her to join us for fun nights out a bit more regularly after this!

Sh! FD Sophie Walters looking Dapper AF
Sh! Image

Diva Awards 2019 – Full list of winners here.
LDOV 2019 As Seen On Screen

LDOV 2019 As Seen On Screen

2019 marks the eleventh, annual Lesbian Day of Visibility (LDOV) since it began in 2008.

There has been a resounding lack of representation for queer womxn in society. Lesbianism has always existed throughout history, yet it is under-documented in history books, literature and art. In the U.K., women who had passionate relationships with women found it difficult to prove the sexual element to society – due to societies then-beliefs about sex. Men were not threatened by these “inferior” relationships as neither member had a penis.

Even to this day, the visibility of queer womxnhood in pop culture is a rarity. With the premise of LDOV being to bring attention to this orientation and encourage equality for people in this community, we decided to pay tribute to our favourite lesbian T.V. characters in our own, Sh! way…i.e. by pairing them with the sex toys we think best represent them.

Willow Rosenberg

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Buffy the Vampire the Slayer is possibly one of the most iconic television series of it’s time. No, of our time. As one of our team member recounts, it provided the first sex scene she ever saw on screen. Willow, the Jewish witch-slash-best-friend of Buffy, is our favourite example of what made the show so magic. The audience follows her blossoming relationship with another character, Tara. As their connection deepens, Willow’s witching powers grow stronger and stronger. By the end of the fourth season, during their first kiss, she’s gradually becoming one of the most powerful members of Buffy’s gang. This positive, empowering and relatable development of Willow’s character is what made the unfolding of her sexuality on screen so unique. She was a role model for self-discovery. For this reason, we are characterizing Willow by a bullet vibrator.

A go-to for many first-time sex-toy buyers, the vibe has unlocked orgasms in countless unsuspecting womxn. It is the gateway to an otherworldly realm of sexual pleasure. A good place to start would be with our selection of Rocks Off vibes. Shiny, waterproof and bursting with buzz, you could try the bright Rainbow bullet or the sleek lipstick in silver.

Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista

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The new series Pose had us quicker than Madonna could say “Vogue”. Set in 1980s New York, it depicts the black and latinx ball culture that you’ll remember from the sensational Paris is Burning documentary. If you haven’t seen this yet then you must, ASAP. It depicts a community at a pinnacle time in their history, who have influenced practically every aspect of current Western culture; from language to fashion; from Beyoncé to duck walks.

Pose starts with Blanca being a child in the House of Abundance. She is a black trans woman who finds out that she is living with H.I.V. Following her learning of this bombshell, she bravely sets out to start her own house; the House of Evangelista. She’s fabulous, strong and unique. To match Blanca with a sex toy, it has to be one of our most popular characters. Our custom-made marble dildos are crafted on-site in our dildo lab. Each one has an individual pattern in a durable body-safe and silky smooth silicone. Whether you prefer a Duchess, a Honey, a Twista, a Wirly Girly, a Queen of Pearl, a Cupid or a Duke, you can choose from the colours we have available or speak to a member of our team about custom shades. Our marble dildos, like Blanca in her ballroom, are beloved pillar stones of our humble Sh! community. We cannot WAIT for the next series.

Moira (a.k.a. Ruby)

Moira-Samira-Wiley

The spine-chilling, dystopian drama from mastermind Margaret Attwood was televised at possibly the most appropriately disturbing time. The same year of Trump’s inauguration, The Handmaid’s Tale was alarmingly relatable to watch, and is even weirder that the lead actress is a Scientologist, might we add. Moira is the queer best friend of lead character Offred and was previously called Ruby before they were captured. As a fertile womxn in a non-fertile environment, Moira must pretend to be straight to avoid execution or mutilation. Unlike the less fortunate Ofglen, Moira avoids this fate by escaping handmaid training camp. We don’t hear of her again for ages, until Offred finds her as a sex worker in the underground scene.

Moira is fearless, impulsive and loyal. She is on a nifty one-womxn mission to freedom. Moira is a harness. She means business. Business involving a super-soft, perfectly-fitted black 2-strap harness. With three different sized hoops to fit the dildo of your choice, Moira is versatile and hand-made by our in-house leather goddess.

Yorkie and Kelly

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One of the more uplifting episodes of Black Mirror, San Junipero hits Season 3 as a simulated town to which people can move, to visit their elderly or deceased loved ones. Surrounded by 80s music and sequins, it’s a memorably divergent episode of the show, focusing on a charmed and twisty romance instead of being a gut-wrenching thriller.

Kelly is extraordinary; with shoulder pads larger than life. The spectacled Yorkie looks like she was dressed by her Grandma. It’s a sweet, honest account of two people drawn together. By the time they enter San Junipero away from 1987 America, they are out, together and proud. It seems only natural to pair these two honeys with a double ended, body-safe double-ended dildo. The Fun Factory Wave is novel in that its bendy shape allows each partner to get as close to the other as they like, maintaining eye contact. It is our answer to San Junipero. Other double-ended dildos don’t offer this intimate connection as one partner is on each end, leaving their heads and bodies at a distance. Fun Factory has created Wave to allow partners a tighter bond.

Anne Lister

gentleman jack

Also known as “Gentleman Jack”, Anne Lister was a 19th-century British landowner and industrialist. Based on their real-life diaries that were largely written in code, this is a new period drama set to hit the U.K. screens in the coming months. Jack/Anne avoided societies norms, dressing androgynously (hence the nickname of Gentleman Jack) and wanting to marry a woman. Although Jack/Anne did not shove their orientation in other’s faces, they lived openly and honestly in privacy in a time when there were no other well-known queer womxn. Gentleman Jack is often acknowledged to be the first modern lesbian in U.K. history.

To reflect Jack/Anne’s stealthy, original and sometimes sensual behaviour, we are pairing the character with the innovative couples toy, the We-Vibe Sync. This toy can be controlled through a smartphone app, meaning that one partner can covertly direct the other’s pleasure even when on the other side of the world.

Ellen DeGeneres (and Portia de Rossi)

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Although these two are definitely real people (as oppose to televised characters), we felt it treason to miss them off this list. Plus, they have both been fictional characters before, with Portia de Rossi featuring in Ally McBeal and Scandal and Ellen DeGeneres voicing the legendary fish, Dory. The latter actor also starred in her namesake show that aired during the 90s. During its fourth season, DeGeneres was famously interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. It was in this interview that the comedian came out. She then used her sitcom Ellen to bring to light issues surrounding coming out as a queer womxn. In fact, Winfrey actually played a therapist in the show to whom the character Ellen revealed her queer sexuality.

Since this show, DeGeneres has gone on to host a talk show, write several books, found a record company, launch a lifestyle brand…seriously the list goes on, and we haven’t even mentioned the number of pets she has rescued with de Rossi. There is only one option we could think of when marrying this duo to their metaphorical sex toy. It has to be extravagant, efficient and a popular powerhouse of queer pleasure. For this, we suggest the Lesbian Pleasure Weekend Away Gift Set. Made up of a strapless vibrating dildo, a free Sh! bullet, a remote-controlled vibrator, satin ties, free sachets of flavoured lube and free batteries; it’s quite something.

Although these narratives are largely based on non-fiction, there is a lot of truth to the nuances of each. For white, privileged western women especially, acceptance is slowly becoming the norm. For others around the world, this is not the case. Visibility may not solve such complex issues as these entrenched in societies, but it does provide a figure of identity, understanding and comfort for those experiencing isolation and stigmatisation. The fight for equality is far from over. The Lesbian Day of Visibility is one step forward in a more loving direction.
Camden-Market-Vagina-Museum

Florence Schechter Presents: Why The World Needs A Vagina Museum

Did you know that there’s a penis museum in Iceland?  (Maybe a bit far to travel for a look at phalluses seeing as so many just slide into DM’s on a daily basis, but that’s not the point.)

And did you know that there is no vagina equivalent anywhere in the world?

Florence-Schechter
Florence-Schechter – photo by Nicole Rixon

Cue Florence Schechter – superwoman extraordinarie, with a vision of bringing vulvae & vaginas to the world!

She decided to create the world’s first bricks & mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy; the Vagina Museum!

Join us for an enlightening evening of vag-and-museum-talk with the fabulous Florence, where she’ll present a talk on “Why The World Needs A Vagina Museum” and discusses why she chose to set up the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to the vulvas, vaginas and the gynaecological anatomy, and the strange reactions she’s received along the way.


Join Us!

More About The Vagina Museum

By opening their first premises, the Vagina Museum can host an outreach programme that includes supporting healthy and inclusive sex and relationships education, engaging with doctors and other medical professionals to provide better services and supporting the trans and intersex communities. A packed events programme will include talks, panels, workshops, classes, comedy nights, performances and so much more!

In support of the Museum’s mission, the V.M crew have created an advisory and board of trustees that includes a hugely diverse group of people from all walks of life including medical professionals; scientists; academics in gender studies, literature and history of sex work; curators; activists working in LGBT+ rights, fighting
FGM and supporting people in poverty who menstruate; and sex educators.

Jasmine-Evans---photo-by-Nicole-Rixon
Jasmine-Evans-photo by Nicole-Rixon

But to make this great (and time-sensitive) opportunity a reality, the Vagina Museum Crew need your help to do it and have launched a crowdfunder to make the dream a reality – find out more and donate here > Vagina Museum Crowdfunding.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

March 31 is all round a big day; there’s the International Transgender Day of Visibility, the last day of Spring and who could forget – Mothering Sunday!

Whether you’re a baby mama, a bunny mama or a domme mama this is a day for you only. Forget about those dirty nappies, hutches and sub minds and be as selfish as you like.

Put your feet up with your favourite erotic tale and try out one of our bestselling toys…

Baby Mamas

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We have so many parents coming into our shop complaining about the negative effects that having babies can have on your sex life – whether that’s alone or with a partner(s). You’re more tired, you’re busier and above all, you have less time. This point precisely is when we introduce to you the Zumio. Armed with a precision tip vibrator that seems to resemble some form of purple silicone dentistry, this sex toy is unique in more ways than one.

First conceived through the inspired mind of a single mother of three, the Zumio was designed and created by an entire team of women. With circular motioned masturbation a popular hit amongst vulva owns, the spiro-tip dances circles around the clitoris faster and more efficiently than you could imagine. In fact, Zumio took this one step further by conducting studies to back up their claims of a speedy orgasm. Out of a participant group whose age range spanned from 21-60+ a massive 89% climaxed in under five minutes. Time is money, people. This toy is crazy efficient – buy it here.

Bunny Mamas

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What more could a bunny mama want than a state of the art rampant rabbit or a delightfully cute, bunny-eared vibrator falling onto her lapin?

The beauty of rabbits is that they’re designed to incur blended orgasms – in other words, they stimulate your two favourite spots simultaneously. With traditional bunny ears that wobble and shake around the clitoris in a delightfully hoppy fashion, is enough to seal the deal. Meanwhile, a rabbit means that you can have a rotating, beaded or curved shaft designed to internally ravish your G-Spot. Bunnybelievable!

Domme Mamas

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Being this damn strict does not come so easy to everyone. Why not have some time off from your subs and devote an entire day to your devilish self? We have a new range of Maze rubber harnesses in stock that are designed for utter tantalization. Or, our on-site leather queen has hand-stitched some leather and rubber O-Ring chokers to add a regally bondage seal of approval on any wearer’s neck.  

Or perhaps you want to hang up your tawse spanker for the day and instead, leisurely swathe yourself in lilac lace – in which case, check out this chemise by Coquette…

 Happy Mothers Day! 

#momiloveyaforever

 

 

Celebrating international women’s day with empowering classes

Celebrating international women’s day with empowering classes

Somehow, it is already March 2019 and that can mean only one thing: get your party poppers at the ready because it’s about to be International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8!

#BalanceForBetter is this year’s theme and is all about bringing societal and professional equality to the entire world: trans/WOC/sex-worker inclusive. But how many of us actually know how IWD began?

Let the Sh! history lesson commence…

Fatigued with blatant inequality and oppression, the early 1900s saw women in many western societies become increasingly vocal about their plight for equal rights. America saw the first National Women’s Day in 1909 before Germany’s then bad-ass leader of the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party, Clara Zetkin, introduced the idea of an International Women’s Day. In front of 100 women from 17 different countries, she proposed that there be one, the same day of celebration held globally for the recognition of women.

IWD was originated in 1911 in America, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 25. By 1913/14 it had begun to spread to more countries such as Russia and the UK amidst World War 1.

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Fast-forwarding to the year 2000 and the term “feminism” was radically uncool in popular culture. Despite lingering inequality, people didn’t seem that bothered: an IWD revival was paramount! Thankfully the site internationalwomensday.com was launched and with the help of charities like the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and Catalyst Inc, IWD’s profile was once again on the incline. Phew!

IWD is now celebrated in all over the world, in countries such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

Women may have more rights generally speaking, but they are still falling behind in paychecks, health, and education, whilst being victim to a higher level of violence globally.

  • Women of minority communities are experiencing significantly higher levels of oppression than white women.
  • Inclusive visibility and equality is still a massive issue in many respects.
  • Trans, non-binary people and sex workers are still fighting for basic equal work and living rights.
  • Members of the LGBTQ community still face terrifying levels of persecution.

This fight is nowhere near over yet.

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#BalanceForBetter in Sexuality

2019 is has been acclaimed as the Year of Female Sexual Pleasure and we’re on board with this mission to close, delete and forget the orgasm gap one step at a time.

There are a couple of different types of orgasm gaps, and we’ll start with the widest one: The gap between men and women in heterosexual partnered sex.

  • In one study examining about 800 college students, a 52% orgasm gap was found. 39% of women said that they usually or always experienced orgasm in partnered sex vs 91% of the men. In the same study, 39% of women said they always orgasm during masturbation vs 6% who said they always orgasm during sex with a partner.
  • Another study examined 15,000 college students and found that the orgasm gap is larger in casual sex than in relationship sex – no surprise there. Still, the same study concluded that there is still a 17% gap in committed relationship sex.
  • Similar statistics were found in a survey of about 3,000 single women and men in the U.S. ranging from 21 to 65+ years: When having sex with a familiar partner, women said they orgasm 63% of the time vs the lucky menfolk enjoying orgasms 85% of the time.

It would be unfair to blame the orgasm gap solely on the penis involved in hetero sex, as we’re all responsible for our own orgasms, but the fact is that penis-owners generally pop their corks easier and faster than women (and often fall asleep straight after).

Most clit-owners require clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, so assuming that thrusting a penis back & forth will make a partner climax is a bit lazy, tbh. For a clitoris to climax, everyone involved in the pleasure-fest needs to be onboard with stimulation involving fingers, tongues, and/or toys.

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The orgasm gap between straight and lesbian women

It seems clear that lesbian sex offers a higher orgasmic quotient for participants, and we believe this to be down to the way lesbian couples enjoy sex. Rather than being focused on the end goal, the pleasure can easily stretch out over several hours until everyone is fully satisfied. Compare this to straight sex where penis-in-vagina tends to be the main focus, and it’s easy to understand why lesbian women come out on top.

By making sex pleasure-focused rather than end-goal-focused, orgasms gaps will soon start closing themselves.

Knowing your own body is the best and surest way of ensuring toe-curling orgasms, and if you want to celebrate the Year of Female Sexual Pleasure, we recommend taking charge of your “coming” by coming along to one of our Orgasmic! classes.

Our friendly sexperts will be on hand to share tried-and-thoroughly-tested tips & tricks for great orgasms, as well as talk guests through a variety of self-pleasure techniques – all whilst you sit back and relax with a glass of fizz and sweet treats!

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Knowing not only your own but also your partner’s body is crucial to pleasurable anal play. According to the 2009 National Survey of Sex and Behavior that polled nearly 2,000 adults (19 -59), women stated they climaxed 94% of the time when they were penetrated anally.

The fact that only 31 women responded to that aspect of the survey throws some shade over the stats but nevertheless, anal orgasms are a thing.

The anus and rectum are part of the sexual pleasure package, and stimulation of this area can have incredible results.

The clitoris is shaped like a wishbone, with legs (crura) and vestibular bulbs hidden under the outer genitals. For some peeps, the legs of the clitoris extend all the way down to the anus and during anal penetration, these legs are being stimulated.

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An anal orgasm is most likely brought on by the indirect stimulation of the internal clitoris and G-spot, but the A-spot located just under the cervix also enjoys stimulation through the delicate tissue that separates the vaginal canal from the rectum, and can produce intense orgasms. This takes time and care obvs; a butt-full of patience is essential, as is a large dollop of lube.

To help build your confidence and know-how on how to best pleasure this hidden jewel of an area, we’re introducing a class focusing on erotic anal play.  We’ll cover anatomy, advice, and hygiene, as well as highlighting the ins and outs of maximising the pleasure potential of pain-free anal penetration in the safest way for all parties. Between the Cheeks occurs on Wednesday 13 March at 6:30pm and is open to women & couples.


The anal play class mentioned above is currently SOLD OUT – but get in touch and let us know if you’d like us to schedule in another one soon!


Christian Grey and his Fifty Shades of Shadiness may have disappeared off of shelves, but kinky fuckery is here to stay.

Revel in your internal power; dominate or submit – but do it safely. Again, our super-team have put together a list of fave tips & tricks to create a sensual scene of power exchange for beginners.

The Bedroom Bondage class teachers cover safe use of fun paraphernalia such as cuffs, blindfolds and hot wax, and guests get an opportunity to try a couple of thwacks on willing bottoms too…

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You might feel that our popular Blow His Mind classes focus too much on The Big D for a mention on International Women’s Day, but bear with us.

Many – perhaps even most – of the women who come along to this class do so to build confidence. It’s often a case of “heading down south, popping it in and hoping for the best” but we can change that.

Giving a blow job can be one of the most empowering things you do in bed and whilst there is no right or wrong way of doing it, the Sh! sexperts teach a bagful of tricks that go down (arf!) so well that Time Out Magazine deemed it “high-end head.”

Classes at Sh! are raucous affairs and if you fancy building on your skills whilst catching up with friends, get a bunch of BFFs together and make the most of the group discount *wink*

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Whether you choose to celebrate the day by marching, dancing, rising, uniting, resisting or protesting; have a wonderful  International Women’s Day!

 

Vagina-Monologues-Blog-Post

Guest Blog: The Vagina Monologues

I read The Vagina Monologues for the first time at drama school, five years ago. Hannah Cecily, a fellow drama student, and feminist mentor, pressed the book into my hands one day.

‘You must read this,’ she said, an earnest passion shining in her eyes.

I took it home and started reading it that night. From the very first page I was gripped and transfixed and as I read, my eyes were opened. I laughed and I cried and I shook with anger. I felt empowered, enraged, reassured, appalled, joyful and sad, then I felt them all over again. Every story touched me so deeply.

Vagina-MonologuesIn Flood, an old woman explains that after getting sexually excited on a date with her high school crush and getting her dress and his car seat wet, she thought there was something wrong with her and never touched her vagina or got sexually involved with anyone for the rest of her life. I felt a deep connection to this woman and felt so sad for all the sexual pleasure she had been denied. I ejaculated for the first time during a masturbating session in my mid-teens. I was so shocked and ashamed of myself and wrote in my diary that I would never masturbate again as ‘I wet myself when I orgasm’. It was magazines, the internet, and my female peers talking openly about sex that taught me what female ejaculation was and that it wasn’t disgusting or wrong. I wondered, had I been born fifty years earlier with no access to any of that, if the woman in the monologue might have been me.

Again and again, the stories highlighted how disconnected women can be from their vaginas, as a result of rape and assault, shame they were made to feel by parents or partners, and fear of their (or our) own sexuality. I knew then how important it is that we take back ownership of our sexuality and reconnect with our vaginas (something that Sh! is helping with marvellously by the way).

When Hannah asked me a few months ago if I would like to co-produce a production of The Vagina Monologues with her I knew I had to do it. The play is as potent and relevant now as it was then and it will be relevant until sexual assault and rape cease to be, and all women feel utterly connected to their vaginas and sexuality.

The process of putting the show together has been incredible. The fascinating and in-depth conversations that have arisen at each rehearsal and the level of respect and trust between us all is so special. Every single one of our cast members and directors has brought such truth and passion to the project and the result is a powerful, funny, heart-rending, and heartwarming production.

All proceeds from the night are being shared between four amazing charities: RESPECT UK and DVIP (Domestic Violence Intervention Project), both incredible charities who are addressing the huge problem of domestic violence by running preventative programs for perpetrators and would be perpetrators, thereby stopping it at its root; Rape Crisis, who offer support, advice and information to survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, and any kind of sexual assault; and this year’s VDay Spotlight campaign, Women in Prison, Detention Centres, and Formerly Incarcerated Women.

We would love you to join us in supporting these charities and celebrating vaginas, at 7pm on Tuesday March 5th at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Amazing Sh! raffle prizes also up for grabs!

Buy your ticket for The Vagina Monologues here.


Together we can start to heal the wounds and one day make a safe world for our vaginas.


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Many thanks to Jacinta for writing this blog post.

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.