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Feminist Christmuff Party with My Body Back Project

Join Sh! and My Body Back Project for a fun, festive & feminist Christmas Party!

Vulva-ArtAs you know probably know by now, Sh! and MBBP are all about respecting, exploring and celebrating our bodies and all the wonderful things they give us, and if you want to join in our celebration of self-love this December, then this is the party for you. Come along and let’s celebrate the baetriarchy!

My Body Back Project is a small charity and they get by primarily on the goodwill and dedication of volunteers and supporters. But the amazing team really need your help to raise as much money as possible this Christmuff; this will ensure clinics and workshops stay open. It will also fulfill ambitious plans to develop healthcare that’s sensitive to the needs of people who have experienced sexual violence.

There’s lots of fun stuff lined up for the evening: Open mic readings, feminist jewellery making, plenty of time to browse & shop all the goodies Sh! have to offer, em-power ballads, cocktails, coffee, cakes and much more…

So, grab yourself a ticket (or two. Or three!) to what will be a fantastic Christmuff Party and support My Body Back’s crucial work.

Celebrate Christmuff!

Muff-in-tastic Bake Off!

Bake your way towards self-love by making a cake of your favourite body part. It might be because of the way it makes you feel, the way it looks, what it enables you to do or anything else! We’re thinking nipple cakes, vulva cakes, legs, lips, tongues, bums, tums – whatever. The more glittery, colourful or innovative the design, the better!

Our judges will choose the best three cakes and crown the Queens of Christmuff!

via GIPHY

To enter the Christmuff Bake-Off, book a special Muff-Maker ticket (only £3.50!), get cracking with recipe ideas to steal the show from any mere muff-ins, and get ready for a warm reception! Soggy bottoms welcome.

 

 

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Cafe V is Back!

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

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

When: Saturday 23rd June at 9.30am

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

Reserve your spot here!

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

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

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

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Help Us Raise Funds For Survivors of Sexual Violence

Anyone with access to social media will be aware of the incredible uprising of women finally speaking out about Harvey Weinstein and many others just like him; powerful men who assume they have an automatic right to women’s bodies and who wouldn’t dream of taking ‘no’ for an answer.

Twitter and Facebook timelines were flooded with stories of sexual harassment and assault, shared by women all over the world using #MeToo.

My Body Back LogoIn the midst of this, we received an email by the fantastic women behind the My Body Back Project, a small but mighty charity focusing on female survivors of sexual violence: would we help them raise funds in order to help reach the thousands of women across the UK –the world! – who are desperate for the My Body Back’s support?

Well, hellz to the yes!

The issue of supporting survivors is something that lies close to our hearts, and together with My Body Back Project, we host a bi-monthly support group called Cafe V. Cafe V is set up as a sex-positive and empowering space where women come together for a cuppa & a danish pastry, celebrating themselves on their journey towards reclaiming their bodies.

What happens at Cafe V stays at Cafe V – except for this one time…

So what can we do to help?

18 months ago we attended the glitzy launch of Lelo Hex Condoms, with Charlie Sheen as the face of what was no doubt a costly marketing campaign. Sheen’s alleged off-screen behaviour includes a long list of incidents including domestic violence, and it seemed an odd choice for Lelo as the leading sex toy brand for women.

Lelo Tiani 24kAt the end of the festive evening, we each received a luxury goodie bag containing a Lelo Tiani 24k Couples Remote Controlled Intercourse Vibrator (£339), which was incredibly generous and could have set us up for many a-night riding the orgasmic waves. (With a 10-year pleasure guarantee, it would have been the gift that just keeps on giving!)

However, due to Lelo’s ill-chosen spokesperson and how we felt about his attitude towards women, we decided to put the luxe vibes to better use: We auctioned off two of the Tiani 24k vibes to help raise funds for Solace Women’s Aid. This, to us, offered an opportunity to make something good out of something that left us with a bit of a sour taste…

For our take on the night Lelo got into bed with Charlie, just hop on over to this blog post.

We are now auctioning off another two Lelo Tiani 24k to help raise much-needed cash for the My Body Back Project.

Lelo Tiani 24 Gold Couples Vibrator

If you want to show your support and stand with survivors of sexual violence, place your bid now!

There are three ways to leave your bid and whichever way works best for you, works for us:

  1. Leave your bid in ££’s in the comments below
  2. Tweet your bid in ££’s to @Shwomenstore using #MBBP
  3. Leave your bid in ££’s on our Facebook page

The two highest bids by 5pm on Saturday 10th February 2018 will each take home a Lelo Tiani 24k vibe, knowing that their bids will be used to support female survivors of sexual violence.

If you’d like to organise a fundraising event or help support survivors in some way, sexual abuse & sexual violence awareness week is the perfect time.

Taking place from 5th – 11th February 2018, there’ll be a number of events like the Light Up The Night on Monday 5th February, which will see a walk across London’s Millennium Bridge to shine a light on the issue in solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse & violence.

For those of you who want to, you can also donate directly to My Body Back Project.

 

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Cafe V – 2017 Dates

As many have noticed, Cafe V has taken a bit of a well-deserved break  – thank you for bearing with us, lovely people – but we’re sure you’ll be delighted to hear we’ve got new dates planned!

The Cafe V dates for 2017 will take a slightly different format and we hope you’ll be as excited as we are: we are hoping to get our creativity on and sessions will include movement/dance, drama, writing and other fun stuff.

We’ll post more about the session in due course but for now, here are the dates for your diaries:

  • 3rd June, 10:30am
  • 19th August, 10:30am
  • 21st October, 10:30am
  • 9th December, 10:30am

Cafe V is a well-being project for survivors of sexual assault & rape Sh! hosts in collaboration with My Body Back Project.

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Cafe V – Update for Guests

Your support is vital in helping My Body Back Project continue its pioneering work, including smear test, STI, contraceptive care, and maternity clinics, as well as Café V sessions.

MBBP receives a very small amount of funding for the volume of women it works with. It is a very new organisation, with volunteers who offer time and love at its core. It is no surprise that currently the project is finding it very difficult to cope with the workload and little money to run services on.

One of the services available through the MBBP is Café V, workshops, run every six weeks,  offer a safe space for female survivors of sexual violence to talk about sex. There is no funding for this at all. So far, Café V, like all other services through MBBP, has been free of charge to the all women who attend the sessions.

Cafe VSh!, the very first female-focused erotic boutique not only in UK but also in Europe, continues to donate staff time and a venue for Café V sessions and refreshments free of charge in support of My Body Back Project.

Whilst we would ideally want Café V to remain free of charge, the admin costs associated with running My Body Back Project are fast racking up. When Founder Pavan Amara started the project, she had to personally fund start-up costs related to it, as well as extra admin associated costs. But, looking at the long term future of MBBP, we do not see this as a feasible option.

MBBP has visitors and service users from all over the world, and the website & its services are growing fast. Whilst we are happy to work around the needs of all the thousands of women using the services offered by MBBP, we need to look at the needs of the providers too.

After careful consideration, we put forward our suggestion of introducing a donations system to the guests at Café V on Saturday 17th September. After a  positive discussion, we have decided to introduce the donations system.

At each Café V meet-up, there will be a money box where each guest is welcome to donate a small amount for the session. Any and all monies collected will be used towards the cost of running My Body Back Project website and additional admin costs such as printing flyers etc.

There is no amount too low or too high but as an example, a reasonable amount to donate might be £3-£5 (less if you are unemployed, on benefits, a single parent, a student, on sick leave or struggling financially in any other way; and slightly more if you are in paid employment). If you want to give more then please do!

However, it’s important to note that we don’t want anyone to feel that they cannot attend if they cannot afford a donation. If this is the case, please send us an email at info@mybodybackproject.com just to let us know you are unable to offer a donation but still want to attend. We want Café V to be accessible to all, and we are very happy to work with you on this. We understand that there are times when there just isn’t spare cash available.

We hope you understand the reasons behind this decision, and we hope to see you at Café V soon.

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Cafe V – Information and New Dates

 

Coming along to a meet-up or support group for the first time can be both exciting and scary – there’ll be unfamiliar faces and new things to learn. From experience, we know it can be very stressful to think about attending a group without knowing who will be there, and what to expect. We have created this page with the aim of putting some of those worries at rest, and help you attend the workshop feeling more relaxed.

What is Cafe V?

Cafe V is a well-being workshop and support group for female survivors of sexual violence and assault. Cafe V is hosted by Pav, the founder of My Body Back Project, in partnership with Sh!, the iconic sex shop for women in Hoxton Square, London.

 

Welcome to Sh!Where is Cafe V held?

Cafe V is held at Sh!, 57 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB. It’s a well-lit, boutique-style erotic shop and a safe space.

For the meet-ups, you’ll see the My Body Back Project logo displayed on the door. This way you’ll know you’re in the right place and that we are expecting you!

Cafe V starts at 10.30am finishes at 11.30 -12noon. This is before the shop opens to customers. The shop opens at 12noon, so after this, customers will start streaming in.

 

Pavan AmaraFriendly Faces at Cafe V

At Cafe V, you will meet Pav. Pav is the founder of My Body Back Project, and attends every Cafe V. We first met with Pav after she sent us a letter, sharing her thoughts on how there is precious little practical help for women dealing with and recovering from the physical effects of sexual violence or abuse.

Since setting up My Body Back Project and Cafe V, Pav have also joined forces with Barts Health NHS Trust to start a cervical screenic clinic especially for women and trans men who have experienced sexual violence.

 

sh-erotic classYou will also meet Renee. Renee is the Senior Store Manager at Sh!, and regularly teaches classes on sexuality, including at Cafe V. Her main interest is female sexuality and she will happily talk to you about the more practical details of choosing and using lubes, sex toys and positions that’ll help you feel more in control.

A member or two from Team Sh! will also be in attendance to help out with the practicalities of hosting Cafe V. The members of Team Sh! will vary, but please rest assured that they are all very friendly and know how to make a decent cup of tea! Team Sh! are very comfortable talking about all things sex, and you can always trust them to offer honest advice on the products available.

 

Tea & Pastries

Much has been said about the free tea and pastries! You will find a member of Team Sh! serving tea, coffee and pastries throughout the workshop. We hope you enjoy this treat!

 

Things To Think About

In order to make the workshop as useful and relaxed as possible, there area few things to consider before attending:

Cafe V is not intended as the first point of help after sexual violence has occurred. As much as we’d like to be able to offer the help, we simply do not have the resources to offer immediate trauma support. Instead, the best place to contact is Rape Crisis.

LubeAs Sh! is a sex shop for women, there will be vibrators and other toys in full view. If this feels uncomfortable for you, Cafe V may not be for you just yet. But – please remember that you are welcome to join the group when you feel ok about looking at sex toys (you don’t have to touch).

During Cafe V, the team speak openly and positively about sex, sex toys and sexual activities. If hearing about sex is a trigger for you, then Cafe V may not be for you at this point. Please bear in mind that this may change with time, and that you are most welcome to join the group when you feel ready.

It is unfortunately unavoidable that guests may occasionally find topics triggering. We do our best to avoid known triggers during talks, but if you feel uncomfortable with anything that is said, you are absolutely free to get up and move away from the space until you feel ready to re-join the group.

 

Booking a Space at Cafe V

Please email CafeV@outlook.com if you have questions about the meet up or if you’d like to join the next session.

Spaces are limited and fill up fast, so we recommend getting in touch soon to avoid disappointment.

 

Upcoming Workshops

  • February 6th  | Masturbation solo or with partner – includes suggestions oh how to choose and use sex toys and lubes.
  • April 2nd | Different options for how penetrative sex and oral sex can be done.
  • May 28th | Communicating your experiences (of the assault and how you feel sexually) with a sex partner.
  • July 2nd | Different ways to achieve orgasm.
  • August 20th | Problems with sex – guest can anonymously submit their questions to us and we answer them during the session. This can include vaginismus, vulvadynia, dyspareunia.
  • September 17th | Bondage for women who have experienced sexual violence. We’ll talk about how to stay feeling safe and in control.
  • October 29th | Fantasies during sex. We’ll spend some time looking at erotica and other useful tools for fantasising.
  • December 3rd | Triggers and flashbacks – how to cope with these
    during sex.

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