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    She Bop Explains the History of Sex Toys

    a class review and recap of “the Joy of Toys”, part one

    Gretchen, of She Bop, hosted a class a few weeks ago called “the Joy of Toys”. We, the audience, were given a swift and surprising rundown regarding the history of sex toys. Below is an even more quick recap of what we’ve gone through to get where we are now.


    500 b.c. - 1900

    Although sex toys do not have a known origin, it seems to be a commonality amongst all cultures that have existed. A stone phallus was found in modern day Germany, presumed to start fires in multiple ways.


    Ancient Greece featured women pleasuring themselves and homoeroticism. They also used olive oil as a lubricant and stones for contraception.


    Pelvic floor strengthening came to be through Ben Wa balls, originally called Rin No Tama , although they were filled with terrible things, like mercury.


    Cock rings were made out of goat eyelids, sometimes even with lashes intact. These rings became status symbols, with emperors wearing them made out of different materials to show it all off.


    The dildo, sadism and BDSM were first heard in 1400. We were still using olive oil as lube.


    In the 1800s, Hysteria was a popular diagnosis. The “wandering womb was the belief that a displaced uterus” that caused many medical conditions for women. Because of this diagnosis, women were obtaining pelvic massages and hand jobs from their practitioners in order to be cured. George Taylor invented the Manipulator in 1869. The steam engine-powered vibrator relieved the physicians’ carpal tunnel consequences. In 1882, a battery-powered vibrator was invented.


    1900s - now

    From that time on, vibrators became known as a miracle cure. Vibrate for your wrinkles. Vibrate for anxiety. It was the “fifth electrical appliance introduced to the home”. It earned its reputation for healing. Early porn in the 1930s began featuring these machines and it was no longer socially acceptable to advertise. Hysteria was denounced in the early twentieth century.

    The Hitachi Magic Wand was created in the 1960s. Marche Manufacturing sold five million rubber dildos in 1976, but none sold in Texas as they passed a law banning sales. The first over-the-counter lubricant, K-Y Jelly was sold in 1980. The Flesh Light was invented by a policeman.

    Today, we have so many options: battery-operated, app-operated, rechargeable, toys using reclaimed materials, sex robots in Japan, virtual reality sex toy video games and toys where you can make exact replicas of any penis you’d like.


    What do you think will be next?


    You can find more information about She Bop on their website:

    http://www.sheboptheshop.com/

    and at their shop:

    909 N. BEECH / 503-473-8018  

    3213 SE DIVISION / 503-688-1196

     

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    Clone-A-Willy Does The
    Emmy's 2016

    Clone-A-Willy Does The<br>Emmy's 2016

    We had the honor of spending last weekend handing our kits out to some of TV's grooviest stars. Congrats on all the Emmys that went out! Maybe they can make a copy of their awards in neon silicone with our kits! #keepitcrafty

    Broad City's Arturo Castro paid Clone-A-Willy a visit during this weekend's Red Carpet Gifting Suite! We made sure to send him off with Clone-A-Pussy kits for our favorite ladies, stars and creators of the show, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.

    We helped get Joe Keery, of everyone's favorite new show Stranger Things, pumped for the second season with some crafty kits from yours truly!

    We were especially charmed by X-men & The Good Wife star Alan Cummings, who we hope put our kit to chic and theatrical use at his home in NYC.

    Brad Garrett had plenty of jokes to crack about our Clone-A-Pussy kit. However, we know the Everybody Loves Raymond & Finding Nemo star has BIG plans for his kit.

    No one understood us quite like adult film star Ron Jeremy, who we will be seeing again (fingers crossed) at the January XBIZ Awards!

    Emmy Nominated Master of None & painfully funny Tim and Eric star Eric Wareheim paid us a visit! #fangirlsforever

    Breaking Bad's "Tuco Salamanca" (Raymond Cruz) kept his enthusiasm under control while we explained to him how exactly our product could mold his penis. Please don't kill us.

    Bridesmaids hunk Chris O'Dowd brought the style with his periwinkle blue lounge shirt and shades. That glow in the dark kit is going to make a lucky lady very happy.

    Game of Throne's Staz Nair was extremely stoked for a Dothraki, gathering up his Clone-A-Willy and Clone-A-Pussy gifts with pure joy along side his #megababe girlfriend Klara Vernier.

    Disney & Nickelodeon star Drake Bell did his best not to run away in a full sprint as soon as he saw the colorful penis molding kits we were slanging. It's going to be okay Drake, you have a penis too.

    50 First Dates, Lilo & Stick, and Cat & The Hat actress Amy Hill brought nothing but good vibes to the Emmy gifting suite! We hope she puts her kit to some good use.

    We were stoked to see our good friend and Hole's star Khleo Thomas! He always brings the swagger.

    It was an honor to chat with the creators of the Emmy Nominated show Stranger Things! Matt & Ross Duffer were two breaths of fresh air. We can't wait to see what they come up with next!

    We got a total throwback with Half Baked and The Craft star Rachel True. We will get witchy with her any day. Our Clone-A-Pussy kit is basically magic anyways.

    We had quite the chuckle with the charming W. Earl Brown, star of the Emmy Nominate shows Deadwood and True Detective.

    Transformers & UnREAL star Josh Kelly reacted to our product like most people do, shocked and on on the verge of a boner.

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    Going to Intense Places :: Part Two

    We took the Clone-a-Willy and Clone-a-Pussy kits around the beautiful Pacific Northwest forest, with the intention of seeking a quiet adventure.

    Photography by Colette Pomerleau

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    I Found Myself Through Mindful Erotic Embodiment

    I Found Myself Through Mindful Erotic Embodiment

    I drove towards Seattle questioning everything. What am I supposed to wear? What am I supposed to bring? What kind of people go to this? I’ve been feeling a little disconnected sexually and socially. I was going to a community masturbation workshop.


    When I arrived at the center hosting the event, I wasn’t sure if I arrived at the right place. There was only one truck waiting with me. An older man hung his legs outside of the driver’s side. He looked at me like I didn’t belong and I know I looked at him in the same way. Soon after, I saw one other human being going to a door to the center. She had a white blanket over her head and pushed in a code to go inside. I still decided to go through with this and find the entrance, but not before giving a friend of mine the address and time it would be over.


    After circling around the building, I found a door with “MAIN” spray painted right next to it. I walked into the darkest entrance, furnished with a counter full of brochures. This seemed like the most normal part. A friendly voice greeted me and asked if I was here for the workshop. She showed me the space and introduced the two instructors, Tai and Toby. None of this was what I expected. In my imagination, I saw white, open, and welcoming. I imagined uniforms, a tea station and hand sanitizer dispensers along the walls. I was waiting to walk into something clinical and this was far from it. I was in a dark warehouse.


    Tai and Toby spoke to me in the most gentle tones. I questioned how awake they were because they seemed so relaxed. I was a bundle of energy, darting my eyes around and asking as many questions that seemed appropriate.


    “What should I expect? I’ve never done this before.”


    Toby began to give me an introduction, but promised something more in-depth once the workshop began. I stopped listening and gave way to just his cadence as I gazed over the room. The futons were all arranged in a radial pattern. Scarves were thrown in the center of the futons. There were other random couches in the back. A door held a sign that read “after care”. Some kink equipment was stowed away in the hallway. The skylights had black paper over them. The lighting was barely there, just enough red illumination to highlight the shadows of all of the strangers I would touch myself in front of. I was instructed to pick a bed and make it. I picked the most isolating one.


    Five others came in before the workshop began, three other men and two other women. Tai and Toby introduced themselves at the beginning as sexological bodyworkers, belonging to the local Seattle branch and community. Both explained that the workshop, Mindful Erotic Embodiment, focused on the self and exploring in ways in which you're comfortable with. It was described on the internet as “a conscious self-pleasuring exploration practiced within a communal erotic space”. Orgasm, or trying to achieve orgasm, is not necessarily part of the practice. We were instructed to use a “soft gaze” if looking around the room.


    “Remember to breathe, and breathe deep.”


    They assigned themes to each workshop. This theme was abundance. Toby asked us to put ourselves in the mindset of feeling that.


    “How would you feel if you had everything you wanted already? What if you had enough time? Love? Money? Attention?”


    We all went around the room and gave our first name, preferred pronouns and three words describing how we felt before we began. Most of the room used words like, “nervous”, “intrigued” and ”excited”. I only gave two because it was really hard to find words to describe how I felt in that moment. We were told that we could get completely naked if we wanted to or we could keep our clothes on. It was all entirely up to us. We had an hour.


    I kept my dress on but slipped my underwear off for convenience. I took a scarf in the middle of the room, thinking it was better to wrap it around my eyes and not see what was going on around me. I realized a few things, laying on that futon and staring at the ceiling for the amount of time that I did. I have subconsciously held onto a lot of shame when it comes to sex, masturbation and pleasure. It was a transformative moment, being in a community setting and atmosphere to be supportive of complete strangers pleasuring themselves in whatever way they wanted.


    I lightly traced parts of my body to feel if I could ignite something new. I wanted to feel something that I have never felt before. I became impatient with myself. I wasn't interested in this. I started to hear other people in the class moan. What was I doing wrong? I focused my attention inward but couldn’t help to glance outside of my scarf beforehand. I saw most people on all fours, furiously going at it. I laid on my back and attempted to meditate. I thought about abundance. I imagined myself having more than I needed and began to let go of the tension I had been holding onto for weeks. I never felt like I had enough time. I stared at the ceiling and oddly felt the transformative experience I had been promised before walking through the main doors.


    My mind catalogued all of my previous sexual encounters and I gave myself time to think about how I engaged and how I felt following the experience. I made mental notes about what I think I truly like versus what I’ve always thought I should be into. With hesitation, I began to throw away the notion that I’ll never have enough time in the world. I started to accept that I have everything I need, and I’m realizing in the most surprising of venues.


    We were given five minutes of silence following the hour-long playlist of strange music the instructors prepared for this session. In those five minutes, we were asked to savor all the feelings from the workshop. Once everyone got dressed and cleaned up, we went around and shared three words describing how we felt in that moment. Again, there were no words. I wasn’t sure what to say.


    While bundling my sheet up from the futon, I realized that I bled everywhere. I started my period at the community masturbation workshop. I felt connected now.