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Friday, December 31, 2010
Thank you for being a friend.
Self Serve celebrates our 4 year anniversary in January, and we're thanking you with freebies, prizes and fun. Become our facebook fan. Between January 22 and 29, we're giving away prizes every day to our facebook friends. "Like" the Self Serve page today, and win birthday presents next month.
Haven't seen Self Serve on facebook in awhile? Our page temporarily disappeared a few months ago- so make sure you like the new and improved Self Serve page! Join the conversation; there's never a dull moment!
Folks in New Mexico can find our class listings on facebook, too. Save the date for our birthday celebration at Self Serve January 22nd.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We are so lucky these gorgeous, well-designed restraints are made right here in New Mexico, and available exclusively at Self Serve. The soft leather paired with sturdy, simple hardware means comfortable life long gear that feels great.
Quick Cuffs are brilliant restraints for wrists, ankles, and even thighs. Quick Cuffs can also be used as tethers to other restraints, worn connected as a subtle belt, or used to restrain ankle to wrist.
For a hands on explanation, check out this Self Serve video review:
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I've posted before about feeling disconnected in a virtual world. Do online connections and social networking help us feel more connected, or are we just turning into robots staring at flickering machines?
Several experiences brought new light to the question. A Facebook connection brought me instantly closer to a distant friend, and two views of social networking and the digital age shed light on how we really can use technology for building relationships.
A recent connection via Facebook caught my attention. A friend I'm not close to in everyday life wrote a post on a personal struggle she experienced and it touched me. I reached out and we discussed intimate challenges in a way we never had before.
I recognized if it weren't for timing, that connection wouldn't have been made. Sure you may have 500 friends posting status updates everyday, but you don't see them all due to the timing of your connection with your friends online. Could there be some serendipity to whose updates you see? In a world where we can feel isolated, we can seize these digital connections and help real relationships grow.
A recent NY Times piece highlights that perhaps Facebook isn't so foreign from our day-to-day friendships after all. While we can have 500 or 1000 friends on Facebook, Robin Dunbar points out the average is still close to 150. It may be an illusion that we have more, superficial friendships and connections in a digital world, when in fact tools like Facebook merely connect us better with existing friends and communities.
The film Connected is featured at Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and looks to speak to these issues in a new way. Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain points out we can acknowledge the world's interconnectedness, declare our interdependence and use our world of technology for good. Connected also seeks to engage viewers and use the film for positive social impact. Instead of viewing everyday life and digital interactions as juxtaposed or foreign from one another, the project invites us to use technology to deepen our connections.
Friday, December 24, 2010
In November my slave and I were honored to present at AEL, the local community group that has been going strong for well over two decades; here is an excerpt from our presentation on Delving into Submission that involves myths about submission.
Myth #1: Submission completes you as a person
Reality: This is the idea that you should be completely and emotionally fulfilled by the acts of submission. The reality is that we are all three dimensional people and no one thing is going to complete us.
Myth#2: Dominates create Submissives
Reality: This is the myth that a dominant can take any person with any personality type and mold them into a submissive. The reality is that the personality traits you’re born with mixed with those that you choose to cultivate throughout your life cannot be changed just because someone “wills it to be”. Attempting to make someone into something they’re not is destructive to both partners. Trying to make someone submissive is the same as trying to make someone straight, or to make someone change their gender expression.
Myth#3: Submission equals subservience
Reality: This is the idea that a submissive is obligated to follow each and every command given to them. The reality is just because a person is submissive does not meant they are community property. A submissive doesn’t mean, Your submissive.
Myth #4: Submissives are incapable of being leaders.
Reality: This myth perpetuates the ideas that submissive identified people need constant guidance and are unable and/or unwilling to take control of their own lives. The reality is that submissives can be excellent leaders and a great number of submissives run leather events, conferences, and their own businesses.
Myth #5: Two submissives together without a dominant to direct them will not know what to do in an intimate setting.
Reality: This myth also plays into the ideas that submissives need dominates to function. The reality is that submissives have the ability like everyone else, to insert slot A into slot A, we are lesbians after all, there is no slot B.
Myth #6: Slaves that are not brats are boring and have no personality.
Reality: Many people who enjoy the company of brat identified submissives are into relationships that have a push pull dynamic. What we mean is that the joy for people who prefer this dynamic is in the pursuit, the pursuit of attention, the pursuit of punishment, etc. For them the excitement of the relationship is built in the unpredictability of what will happen next. For others, the dynamic part of a slave based relationship comes in the layers. In other words the fun is what happens after the chase is over.
Myth #7: Feelings of exhausting, failure, and guilt mean you are not a truly submissive identified person.
Reality: What this myth perpetuates is that the act of giving is easy, that giving should be its own reward and that there is a holy grail of true submission that can be obtained. The reality is that if you are submitting to someone on a regular basis you will go through periods of feeling tired, frustrated, guilty and angry (sometimes to the person you’re submitting to). Putting on your collar does not mean taking off your humanity. Being angry at a punishment , tired during a performance of service, or having feeling of guilt around not providing someone with more time or effort are very common place and having these feelings does not mean that you are anything less than.
Myth #8: Submission is Altruistic
Reality: This myth perpetuates the concept that submission is always about what the dominant wants and springs from only selflessness. The reality is that submission is about the self. It does fulfill a part of the self and it should. This is nothing wrong with the thought that submissives are people who are out to get their rocks off too! Just because the submissive also gains something in the exchange does not take away from the fact that what they give is a gift..
If you are interested in play parties and munches please contact :email@example.com
If you are interested in an online New Mexico Community check out:
group name: New Mexico Fetlifers
Monday, December 20, 2010
Watch feminist writers and activists Jaclyn Friedman and Naomi Wolf debate the sexual assault allegations on Julian Assange on a recent Democracy Now. Their unfinished discussion highlights the confusion and lack of clarity on how to define consent for many. Friedman rightfully suggests affirmative, continual consent is required for consensual sexual activity. Check out her book Yes Means Yes! for a sex positive approach to a world without rape.
The political, reactionary context of Assange's situation must make any fair case even more challenging for the two women who've accused him.
Read more from Jaclyn Friedman about the realities of rape and why allegations should never be swept under the rug.
Friday, December 17, 2010
For one week before Christmas, we have two gift certificate deals.
now through December 24th at our Albuquerque store.
Happy Holiday & Happy New Year!
Friday, December 24 12 - 5 pm
Saturday, December 25 Closed
Friday, December 31 12-6
Saturday, January 1 Closed
In Albuquerque we are particularly lucky because of the multitude of resources here, we have a group for just about everything, and new groups starting all the time.
My personal favorite for multiple reasons is AEL ~ Alternative Erotic Lifestyles. It is a group that is geared to all lifestyles and all skill levels. It is a safe space for newbies and a great space for those that have tons of experience, and has been active since 1981!
Once a month they have a munch with a dinner and a speaker at the Sandia Casino, they cover a variety of topics from polyamory, to types of play like bondage, pervertables, and chastity, to slavery and service~ every month something new! AEL also organizes Kinks that Care ~ they do food drives, the AIDS walk, and the Tour de Bosque. Also once a year they offer either CPR or First Aid for community members.
Also every month there is a play party at a host house. People from the community step forward and open their homes to all sorts of play. The play parties are geared towards creating a safe environment for all play levels and are a great place to meet someone for the first time.
AEL Kinkskills is were I get to have fun! Every other month I organize a hands on workshop of leather skills, these skills include flogging, bondage, cutting, piercing, fire play, electricity, and more! In January AEL Kinkskills will be kicking off the third year with BDSM and Tantra!
If you are interested in AEL please write to the organizers for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another much more recent addition to the community has been Fetlife. It is an online community that has a subgroup specific to New Mexico. If you don't feel that you are ready to come into the community yet, but you still want to see what is going on join Fetlife.com, and if you are interested in finding out what is happening in the local community go to the group New Mexico Fetlifers.
Something to keep in mind though is that there will be places in the community that you fit very well, and places in the community were you don't fit at all. Not everyone fits everywhere. It certainly took time for me to find my home, and it was hard not feeling welcome or wanted, but when I did find where I belonged the people that I met through AEL have become my family. So if one group doesn't work out for you keep looking!
Our friend just came into the shop today and shared an amazing spoken word performance.
If you love porn, hate porn or wish porn was a little different -this is for you. Especially if you want nerd porn... Spoken word like this was meant to be heard, so definitely listen when you can!
Here's the text if you can't listen now:
Nerd Porn Auteur
by Ernest Cline
I've noticed that there don't seem to be any porno movies
that are made for guys like me.
All the porn I've come across
was targeted at beer-swilling sports bar dwelling alpha-males
Men who like their women stupid and submissive
Men who can only get it up for monosyllabic cock-hungry nymphos
with gargantuan breasts and a three-word vocabulary
Adult films are populated with these collagen-injected
Many of whom have resorted to surgery and self-mutilation
in an attempt to look the way they have been told to look.
These aren't real women. They're objects.
And these movies aren't erotic. They're pathetic.
These vacuum-headed fuck bunnies don't turn me on.
They disgust me.
And it's not that I'm against pornography.
I mean, I'm a guy. And guys need porn.
"Like a preacher needs pain, like a needle needs a vein,"
Guys need porn.
But I don't wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.
I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:
Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
is a woman who is smarter than you are.
You can have the whole cheerleading squad,
I want the girl in the tweed skirt and the horn-rimmed glasses:
Betty Finnebowski, the valedictorian.
First I want to copy her Trig homework,
and then I want to make mad, passionate love to her
for hours and hours
until she reluctantly asks if we can stop
because she doesn't want to miss Battlestar Galactica.
Summa cum laude, baby!
That is what I call erotic.
But do you ever see that kind of a woman in a contemporary adult film?
Which is why I'm going to start writing and directing Geek Porno.
I shall be the quintessential Nerd Porn Auteur.
And the women in my porno movies will be the kind
that drive nerds like me mad with desire.
I'm talking about the girls that used to fuck up the grading curve.
The girls in the Latin Club and the National Honor Society.
Chicks with weird clothes, braces, four eyes, and 4.0 GPAs.
Brainy articulate bookworms, with MENSA cards in their purses
and chips on their shoulders.
My porn starlets will come in all shapes and sizes.
My porn starlets will be too busy working on their PhD to go to the gym.
In my kind of porno movies the girls wouldn't even have to get naked.
They'd just take the guys down to the rec room and
beat them repeatedly at chess
and then talk to them for hours about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
or the underlying social metaphors in the Aliens movies.
Buy stock in some hand cream companies
because there is about to be a major shortage.
And I'm not just talking about straight porn. Oh no.
There should be fuck films for my nerd brethren
of all sexual orientations.
Gay nerd porn flicks with titles like "Dungeons and Drag-queens."
This idea is a fucking gold mine.
I am gonna make millions,
because this country is full of database programmers
and electronics engineers
and they aren't getting the loving they so desperately need.
And you can help . . .
If you're an intelligent woman is interested in breaking into the adult film industry,
and if you can tell me the name of Luke Skywalker's home planet,
then you are hired.
It doesn't matter if you think you're overweight or unattractive.
It doesn't matter if you don't think you're beautiful.
You are beautiful. . .
And I will make you a star.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Here are some top staff picks and gifts for everyone on your list!
For Friends & Family that need to relax
The new Vibrating Tingler is a scalp massager and vibrator all in one! If you like the original Tingler, you'll love the vibration on your scalp, too. With 4 different attachments, you can enjoy it all over the body. Only $29.95
For New Parents or Your Pregnant Friend
Help your friends plan ahead for parenthood! The book Safe Baby Handling Tips is a hilarious how-to that instructs what not to do with a new arrival. It's a best seller and only $9.95!
For the Modern Design Fan
Anyone who appreciates excellent design, function and technology will swoon for the JimmyJane Form 2 vibrator. This high tech, rechargeable vibe is strong and eco-friendly. Its two motors offer surround sound sensation with multiple settings. It's a wonderful toy for a couple to use together, and it's an extra quiet vibrator. The Form 2 is a thoughtful gift for a partner or a friend. The Form 2 is $134.95.
For any of your "Couple" Friends
Couples often get into a routine of domesticity and forget what they don't already know about each other. A thoughtful gift is the Table Topics Couples Cube for $27.95. Over 100 conversation starters can challenge, humor and inspire any couple. We also have the original edition at our shop. These general questions are great for holiday party games or potluck night activities.
When you want to gift someone relaxation, but can't afford to send them to the spa, try this. Our all-natural muscle rub is a soothing salve for shoulders and sore muscles. Handmade in New Mexico, it's a great choice for out of town family, too. Only $14 for a 2 ounce jar.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Every relationship has a basis in power exchange. In all relationships there is someone who holds power, and someone who gives up power. In vanilla relationships (non BDSM or Leather relationships) the power exchange either flows back and forth throughout the day from person to person, or the couple starts to fight for power. Who makes the financial decisions? How are the kids going to be raised? Who initiates and/or refuses sex? All of these issues can become a power exchange or a power struggle, and in each situation when there is a disagreement and no common ground, there is one partner whose preferences will take priority. At this point one person walks away empowered, and one person walks away dis-empowered.
In households that have Master/slave dynamic, there is a pre-agreed upon understanding that one person reserves the right to have the final say on all matters. So although the slave may have a right to voice an opinion, it is the Masters choice as to whether or not to take that into consideration. Although everyday decisions that all couples are faced with are often directed by the Master as in finances, kids, sex ect… There may be things that the Master has no interest in directing, or there may be other things that the Master needs that are unique to them.
Some Masters have multiple rules and protocols that must be obeyed to the letter. slaves have to ask permission to go to the bathroom, have no access to finances, are not allowed on furniture, are required to wear or carry certain adornments at all times, walk, stand, or enter a room a certain way, and not allowed to speak until spoken to. Other Masters don’t have as many requirements; they may even prefer to do the driving, cooking, and the opening of doors for the slave.
The point being that there is a Master out there for all levels of power exchange~ from someone who wants all their decisions made for them, to someone who wants to have a general direction overlay their life, but wants more control over the details, there is also a Master out there for them. Having an understanding of what a person truly needs and desires are the keys to a successful M/s relationship. Masters that require more or less control then a slave can give are both recipes for an unfulfilled relationship on both ends.
However, M/s relationships that are balanced on both ends are very harmonious and fulfilling, for the most part the trust that is built around decision making means that the concerns that can strain any couple are generally taken care of before hand, leaving room for other things. Like visiting Self Serve!
You'll see a new widget on our blog this month. Our Albuquerque neighborhood of Nob Hill is competing for a Pepsi grant to create green alleyways. We could win $250k to light alleys with solar power and green the sad, brown landscape.
There is tough competition, so we need your vote! Please vote now and EVERY DAY through December. Only the top two ideas get funded.
Log in and vote online or text 104796 to Pepsi (73774)
You can vote once a day online through December 31st.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
What? Reading of the names and candle lighting; speakers; all are welcome to speak; + cupcakes
The women buried in the West Mesa were:
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Local Educator and Writer Julian Wolf provides sex advice in a great local column on Saucy Southwest. If you're not familiar with the site, definitely check it out for on-demand feminist porn, sex tips, resources, links and more.
Julian recently had two questions that are sadly super common at Self Serve and all over. In her last column readers asked about getting off with a partner and if one's labia looks 'normal.'
Of course the first question was complex, and Julian gave a helpful answer. It's challenging that sexuality isn't simple, so of course the answer wasn't simple. Why isn't this woman able to get off easily with her partner? It could be due to lots of reasons. I would add to Julian's advice that her conundrum may have to do with fear or shame of some kind. She mentions having no problem physically getting off by herself, which is a great sign. Another possibility is that she gets stuck in her head and detached from her erotic self when in the presence of a sex partner. Many women experience their own variety of performance anxiety. In a frustrating cycle, once she thinks she can't get off, she gets more stressed and the experience can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we're stuck in our heads obsessing over reaching orgasm or relaxing, we aren't really present or relaxed.
As Julian said, it could be many factors, and neither of us can know for sure via an advice column. I am grateful for resources like Self Serve, where women like her can talk it out with our Sexuality Educators, and many books or sensual tools we offer. A great book for women dealing with these sorts of challenges is Becoming Orgasmic. Local folks can rent the accompanying DVD, as well.
I'm proud and pleased that Julian shared a recent Self Serve video with the next inquirer. There is a scary trend afoot where women are getting unnecessary labiaplasty cosmetic surgery to alter completely normal labia shape or size. I'm confident AW who wrote this question has the most beautiful, healthy labia in the world. As I say in our video, labia are like butterflies or snowflakes. They are all unique and beautiful just the way they are.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
- Self Serve: One Day Only 20% Off Sale and open late until 10 pm
- Aqui: One Day Only 15% Off Sale with refreshments available
- Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro: The Chris Dracup Band is performing at 9:30 pm
- Mark Pardo Salon & Spa: Free hand relief treatments, makeup touch ups and sensory journeys and Aveda 20% off sale starting at 5 pm
- El Paso Imports: 10% off of everything in the store (except sale items and custom orders)
- Abitha's Herbary: discounted Psychic readings 7pm-9pm
- Graphic Bliss Printing: $20 off business cards, 10% off all services & more
- Ancient Road: 20% off all astrology and tarot readings for that day and 20% off all astrology readings for the month of December!
- Nob Hill Music: 50% off all Jazz vinyl records (except new arrivals)
- Double Time Dance Studio: $30 for 30 days of dance lessons all of December
- Birdland: Spend $25, get a $5 gift certificate for later; Spend $50, get a $10 gift certificate, Spend $100 and get a $25 gift certificate!
- Ghost Town Trading: Storewide 20% Off! Stop by for Homemade Posole, Tamales & Hot Apple Cider!
- Lots more music, sales and freebies throughout the neighborhood!
Go GREEN and take the #766 ABQ rapid ride to the event!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Peter Rothberg at The Nation points out the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. World AIDS Day is December 1st. In the US there are over 1 million people living with HIV and 1 in every 5 people living with HIV doesn't even know they have it yet.
You can act in your community to make a difference and raise awareness.
Get tested free in Albuquerque. No names, no blood, no cost!
Hear real peoples' stories of living with HIV and living well.
Talk about HIV, AIDS and STIs. Talk about safer sex, homelessness, ignorance and shame.
Get support locally.
Donate to make a difference around the world.
You can always get resources and support at Self Serve. If you want more info about testing throughout the year or who to talk to, just ask us!
Monday, November 29, 2010
For those who want to go downtown more often, there are skills you can learn to excel in the bedroom and beyond!
- Oral & Manual Techniques
- Safer Sex Info
- Communication Tips
- Multiple O Skills
- G Spot Stimulation Tricks
Friday, November 26, 2010
Citizens United for Free Speech are holding a planning meeting on Sunday, December 5th. We are going to attend the Albuquerque City Council meeting on Monday December 6th at 5:30pm.
for more updates, friend CUFFS facebook page.
Mention this deal while you shop Small Business Saturday November 27 or use online until November 29 at 11:59 pm.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
If you dislike the new security policies or a TSA agent acts inappropriately while screening you, contact the TSA and/or the American Civil Liberties Union to file a complaint.
Always remember other gender non-conforming and transgender folks have traveled before you and will travel again all over the world. If it's any consolation, you are not alone.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This report from my new favorite news provider, WPBF of West Palm Beach, tells of new research on scents that turn men on. A study published in Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality showed that pumpkin pie and lavender arouse men up to 40% more.
I enjoy the giggling news casters as they report that the study found "nothing turns men off." Among the scents that turned women off? Men's cologne.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I just learned about the awesome movement of Movember. Every November men around the world grow their moustaches for men's health awareness. Yay for healthy testicals and prostates! Boo cancer!
It's not too late to start growing yours and spreading the word. I also recommend prostate massage for a healthy body!