Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meet the Progressive Pleasure Club!

A New Generation of Education-Based Sex Shops Is Changing the Adult Industry

The growing community of independent sex-positive shops has a new home thanks to the launch of the Progressive Pleasure Club (PPC).  Matie Fricker and I, co-owners of Self Serve Toys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, started the PPC to share support and resources with other shops like ours, which help people make informed decisions about sexuality-related products.  
We wanted to get people talking about the unique work we do and the challenges and joys we encounter at Self Serve, and so the Progressive Pleasure Club was born. We believe everyone has a right to enjoy sexual pleasure in a smart and healthy way, and we the PPC will educate customers about local, independent stores where they can feel safe shopping, and can trust the safety of the adult products they buy.

Today a new class of social entrepreneurs are taking the lead in opening sex-positive, independent shops all over the continent. Self Serve is one of a dozen or so like-minded shops in cities from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, where trained sex educators offer a locally-owned, education-based, ethical place to shop for intimate goods. The Progressive Pleasure Club is a network of independent sex shops dedicated to helping people make informed decisions about sexuality products. Member shops are committed to the promotion of accurate and honest pleasure-based sexuality education, and to offering products that meet the highest standards of safety.  “We are thrilled that the PPC came into being,” explains Gina Rourke, owner of Nomia in Portland, Maine.  “Since 2004, Oh My in Northampton, MA and Nomia have been collaborating and sharing information, as well as our purchasing power. To have the opportunity to join with a cadre of similarly committed entrepreneurs with shared values is nothing short of revolutionary. We are excited to see how this collective will transform lives in our communities as well as the industry at large.”

In the next year PPC members will join forces to educate the public about adult toy safety, promote local support for small business, and lobby adult toy manufacturers to eliminate the use of phthalates and toxins in manufacturing.  “We have created a unique space for sharing marginalized voices, both ours and those of our customers. The PPC is bent on radicalizing the adult industry for the better of all,” shares Lea Caughlan, owner the Rubber Rose in San Diego.

As small business owners, we recognize that there’s power in numbers. And not unlike the healthy polyamorous folks we often serve, PPC members seek to approach business from an ethical place of abundance and positivity. After all, we share the goal of promoting sexual health and pleasure for all, and believe there is room for all to succeed as we strive to reach it.  Searah Deysach, owner of Chicago’s Early to Bed explains, "I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is made up of small, local businesses that are committed to the same sex-positive, feminist values as I am. I love that we work together to help all of our shops thrive."

We look forward to meeting you in our hometowns all over North America, and helping you improve your relationships and lovin' in a healthy and happy way.

written by:  Molly Adler, co-founder of PPC

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Objects of Affection: People in Love with Objects

Most people get sentimental about a object of special significance. 'Objectiphiles' fall in love with those objects. They form relationships, and have erotic connections with their object of affection.

"Erika Eiffel founded the Objectum Sexuality Internationale group which has more than 40 members and a website."http://www.objectum-sexuality.org/

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do it more & Do it better

So many couples and individuals approach us at Self Serve with a common question:  How can my partner and I have more sex, and better sex, more often?

In the fast-paced, stressed-out culture we live in, it's common for couples to find they love each other and want more intimacy, but the sex just doesn't happen.  I'm teaching a class this Tuesday night all about this topic.  When the willingness and commitment is there, couples can definitely find ways to improve their sexual satisfaction.

So much of the conversation has to do with expectations, priorities and creativity.  I look forward to helping couples figure out what they're looking to improve, whether it be the depth of their connection, how often they get it on or simply reconnecting when they feel distant.  It's important to remember that all of us are unique and there's no one "normal" frequency of how often one should have sex.  There's no "normal" of how we should be having sex.  As individuals, we have to acknowledge that our needs and desires are usually different than those of our partners.  The key is communicating and figuring out how to meet in the middle.

You can sign up for classes online, or call 505-265-5815.

If you cannot attend the upcoming Self Serve class, consider a consultation with Self Serve Co-Owners & Sexuality Educators Molly or Matie.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vote Self Serve ABQ's Best Sexy Shop

If you love us, then Vote!
It's that time of year.  If you have a favorite business -whether it's Self Serve or your favorite local DJ- tell the rest of the city in the Alibi!   We've been honored to win Best of Burque's Best Sexy Shop for 4 years in a row.  Help us make it 5!

Recognition from the Alibi readers and the people of Albuquerque truly makes us smile and really helps our business.  If you love any local businesses, take the time to vote.  Thank you!

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Makes a BJ Great?

We are improving our classes, and adding to the most popular topic we offer... Blow Jobs 101!

Please tell us what you want to learn.  Fill out our brief survey and tell us what you think about blow jobs. (the survey link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/85RKJRF )

We are creating a new fellatio class and we would like to have some "hard" data to use (pun intended).  We want to make sure that this new class showcases all the flavors of blow jobs,  so we need feedback from anyone who sucks, has, wears, or just loves dick!

Thanks for your long, hard work on this.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Way I See It | Dirty Thoughts by Billy

New on the Scene, Whatever that Means

    Hello to all you lovely people out there in the internet!  My name is Billy, and I just wanted to take a few sentences to introduce myself.  Although I’ve been a fan of Self Serve Toys for some time, I am a newbie here on their blog.
    My stats would look like this: 31/m/NM, but as we all know that hardly means you know a person.  Stats are a start, at least.  But, as I begin to post to the Self Serve(d) blog, we will all get to know each other, little by little.
    I am eager and excited to be working with the fine folk at Self Serve!  They do lots of rad work, and are a great source of knowledge and education.  They are a vital part of the Albuquerque community, and thanks to the internet they are also able to help people all over the world.  I’m honored to be working with them, especially with something so easy as pitching in my two cents once in awhile.  So, it is with great pride that I bring you the first installment of:

The Way I See It
by Billy McCall

   I’m not entirely sure when I began to first recognize myself as a sexual being.  I think my religious upbringing encouraged the denial of such an obvious fact.  This idea that we are all sexual beings.  But we are, it’s part of what makes us human.
    As I’ve gotten older I have learned to not only embrace my own sexuality, but to accept that everyone else has their own.  And that sex is all around.  And that it’s fun to think about.  Let me give you an example.
Prepare yourself for an oral invasion!
    I’ve been going to the dentist on a regular basis ever since I was a kid.  I hated it.  It seemed like torture, and this was how my mind got through it.  As a child I would pretend I was a spy, trapped behind enemy lines, and no matter how they tortured me, I’d never talk!  And when I made it through my 30-minute check-up, I walked out proud.
    But then I grew up, moved out, had sex…  And my next trip to the dentist was suddenly very different.  All my concepts of pain and torture and endurance had changed, due in large part to my experimentation with these ideas in the bedroom.  All of a sudden the dentist’s office felt a bit like a role-playing scenario, and the tools all looked like toys.  I no longer felt like doctor and patient, but more like master and slave.  With each command, I slipped further into submission, feeling empowered through my own obedience.
    “Open your mouth.”
    Yes sir.
    “You might feel a sting.”
    Yes sir.
    “You’re doing very well.  Just hold still, it will be over soon.”
    Yes sir.
    And although I don’t have a fetish for dentists, I wonder if I could.  Many people do.  A quick search online brings up scores of people discussing their new braces, or seeking out play partners to act out dental fantasies.  A visit to the dentist takes you directly into a power-play scenario, where one person is in charge, and everyone else in the room follows along.  So I don't think it would take much for me to develop a deep desire to have these acts preformed me.  To become excited by the idea of laying there, enduring discomfort, and doing whatever it is I am told to do.  I am already paying considerable amounts of money, is it really so different from a fetish-specific dungeon?
    Of course, I also wonder about the sex lives of the dentists themselves.  After all, they are sexual beings as well.  In their lives outside of work, do they play out dental fantasies?  Some of them must, I’m sure.
    This is how I now survive my trips to the dentist.  My mind drifts through all these topics, and before I know it, my time is up.  I thank them for the agony they’ve just put me through, then I pay them for their services.  I make an appointment to see them again, and I walk out into the world with a smile on my face.

    If anyone out there would like to contact me, you can get me at iknowbilly@gmail.com.  Take care, and keep it real!