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.

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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.

 

 

NYE-2019

4 New Year’s Sex Resolutions For 2019 

Once the last few Christmas chocolates have been scoffed and the last of the NYE’s Champagne corks have been popped, many find themselves making a series of New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, these resolutions involve lifestyle changes like healthy eating, going to the gym, and generally doing less of the enjoyable things in life. Few stick to these promises past January; ourselves included. 

This got us thinking. How about making some resolutions this year that we all actually want to keep, and best of all, enjoy keeping them

We’re not promising to eat healthier, nor are we likely to go to the gym more often or cut down on the indecent amount of Prosecco we drink in any one year,  but what we solemnly swear to do for ourselves in 2019 is increase our orgasm quota! 

Sounds good?

Here’s the plan:

Love My Body

One New Year’s resolution we hope everyone is going to work hard to keep is learning to love the bodies we are in. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and embracing the uniqueness of yours should be top of the list of things to achieve in 2019.

Not only accepting but also loving, every bump and curve will build body confidence that’ll have you power-walking into the bedroom before stretching out on the bed, stark naked in broad daylight. Before you know it, you might even take a little peek at your lusciousness in the mirror – which incidentally is a fun way of indulging in a bit of me-time…

Every time the inner voice gets in the way, let’s endeavor to quieten it, or even better – teach it to celebrate all that is you!

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More ‘Me’ Time

With work, friends, families and all of the other stuff that stops us treating ourselves as a priority, it’s can be hard to find the time to make ourselves feel good. Of course, me-time means different things to different people, but in this instance, we’re talking about polishing the pearl. Jerking the Johnson. Wanking.

Spending hours and hours enjoying sexy time with partners is fantastic, but sometimes it’s really nice to not have to focus on someone else’s pleasure. Taking the time to just think about yourself and do things as slowly or as hard as you like, is pretty damn fantastic too.

Masturbation reduces stress levels and helps us discover more about our own bodies; it’s the best way of learning what brings us immense amounts of pleasure. 

For 2019, let’s all agree to make our own satisfaction a priority by whipping out favourite toys and lube whenever the opportunity arises. 

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Be More Honest with Myself and My Sex Partner/s

Being more honest with ourselves and our partners/lovers/friends-with-benefits should be on every list of new year’s resolutions.

We’re probably all a bit guilty of not speaking up when something doesn’t feel great, just as we don’t like admitting to ourselves that we get intensely turned on when fantasizing about scenarios that aren’t quite pc. 

By being more open and honest about what works for us sexually, we stand to get the most out of intimate encounters. Sometimes, this means taking time to reflect on past sexual experiences and working out what was so hot that particular time. Sharing these thoughts with partners – and asking them to do the same – creates intimacy and a new openness. Discussing desires openly can only work to make sex better! 

This year, let’s work out what turns us on the most and then share the findings with significant others, who might just be open to reciprocating…

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Try New Things 

Opening ourselves up to new experiences is one of the best things about life, but you don’t need to go further than your bedroom door to try new things. 

Depending on your experiences to date, trying something new can be as soft and luxurious as allowing a partner to massage your skin with sumptuous oil, or as dominant and intense as donning a strap-on and hopping onboard for a pegging session.

This year, why not push your erotic boundaries a little bit further by trying something that seems a little wild or naughty? Food play is messy but so much fun, giving or receiving a spanking is an excellent release after a long day, and anal play can be downright delicious when you take the time to savour each stroke…

2019 is the year for saying ‘YES’ to new adventures!

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We wish you all a happy & healthy sex life all the way through 2019 xx

 

 

‘Tis the Season to be Sex-Positive

‘Tis the Season to be Sex-Positive

An Ode to Sex-Positive Feminism

As 2018, aka the widely acclaimed “Year of the Woman”, draws to a close, we feel it’s the perfect time to celebrate each other – I mean – let’s be honest, when isn’t it?

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“Empowered Women Empower Women”

For over a quarter of a century (eek) we’ve been inspiring women to explore their sexuality. Sick of silicone penises bulging with veins and sex shops that didn’t seem to think twice about women, our founder Ky Hoyle took a great leap of faith and launched Sh!, the only one of its kind. Fast-forward to now and look how far we have come. Even your local supermarkets are stocking subliminal sex toys, courtesy of Cosmopolitan.

It’s been a long journey over the years and we have watched our clientele blossom into the diverse community it is today, regardless of age, gender and orientation. We’ve presented Jessica Rabbit to Graham Norton, we’ve custom-made countless silicone dildos and we’ve watched our favourite sitcoms like Broad City trigger an increasing acceptance of pegging in society.

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Feminism, in our eyes, can’t only benefit one group of people. As women, or non-binary people, we should be listening to, helping and supporting each other. Contemporary feminism is about inclusion, acceptance and equality. We’re striving to create all of this – starting with our strap-ons.

A Woman’s Place is in the Sh!ome

If it’s societal power dynamics you are looking to escape, a thorough delve into bondage could be exactly what you need. You could start with a splash of hot wax (from a body-safe candle) on your lover whilst they’re restrained to the bed. Or, perhaps, you could begin with a cheeky clamp on their nipples and some crotchless lingerie…

Maybe, it’s a strap-on you are yearning for. Known for our in-house dildo-making lab, we at Sh! love to put our own, extra, touch onto sex toys. This Christmas, for instance, we have taken to hand-making harnesses lined with gold leather and honey coloured dildos that are marbled with glitter. What a time to be alive! If using one of these isn’t utterly invigorating then, excuse us, but we have no clue what is.

Both harnesses and dildos are available in a range of sizes (and shapes for the latter), meaning you can choose exactly what you want, how you want. If you are using a strap-on to penetrate someone else for the first time, be sure to take it slowly and steadily with LOTS of lube. Remember, as the driver, you have zero nerve endings in your joystick but your passenger definitely does – so you can’t go in too hard or fast. It might be an idea for your passenger to sit on top so they can be your backseat driver and choose the speed and motion that feels good.

Self-Care

Back in the day, medical professionals believed that below-the-belt stimulation was necessary to avoid an ever-imminent “hysteria” experienced by women. This hysteria, no doubt, proved to be rubbish but we still believe that regular downstairs T.L.C is vastly important for a healthy, happy life and luckily for you, you don’t need a doctor to give yourself a good seeing to.

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We have a multitude of cherry-picked toys to take your favourite self-loving chore to an otherworldly experience. Live like the Queen you are with Zalo’s regal set or lap away at your lower lips with the classic, yet under-rated, Volta toy from Fun Factory. Whatever you choose – just make sure you are lubed up to perfection. We are strapped onto a path to eroticism and to liberate sex-positivity for the sake of womankind!

Stress-Relief

Is there anything more stress-inducing than living in a patriarchal society when you’re not a cis-man? Perhaps not, but thankfully, we have ways to alleviate your strife on all fronts. Take this cute little stress ball for instance: what better way to quash any negativity in an everyday scenario? Or, what about our fun Feminist Card Set? Dedicated to making a life of dodging misogynists that bit easier, all you have to do is whip one out to end instantly another eye-rolling conversation.

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However you choose to deal with everyday sexism, it’s worth remembering to make time for yourself. Join us at Sh! to promote feminism in any way that you can. Even if it’s something as small as buying your friend her first ever sex toy this year, it could be a life changer.

 

 

 

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!