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The Superhero Sex Shop Tour

With Great Power Comes Great...

As you know, from my piece with that title, I have very strong feelings about Why Good Sex Shops Matter and I know, from your response to that piece that you agree! I have always said that I am on a mission to save the world from mediocre sex (like a superhero!) and I have amassed a list of shops that share that mission. Shops that provide high-quality products made with body-safe materials, shops that provide accurate education, shops that have an open, accepting environment for folks to learn explore and play – Superhero Sex Shops.  These are some of the coolest places I’ve found to shop with and learn from. Check them out for great websites, in-person workshops and excellent shopping for when you decide to apply your new-found knowledge.

The Superhero Sex Shop Tour took me through many (but not all…yet) of the shops on this list. Look for this mark   to see which shops I have personally visited. Check out the Superhero Sex Shop map the see where you can find Superhero Sex Shop near you!

British Columbia
logocombMore than an awesome sex shop, Vancouver’s Womyn’s Ware looks to create a world where “joy replaces shame”, new territories in social thought and acceptance are established and all genders are empowered – yeah, that’s pretty much amazing.

 

 

California 

feelmore510Feelmore in Oakland opened its doors in February of 2011 and quickly became a beloved institution. Why? I thin it’s their mission: “…to serve our community.  Our tag line, “It’s More Than Just Sex’, demonstrates how we really feel about what we do.  Sex is the guise to what we do which is to ensure empowerment, education, and equality on a very basic level, uplift in a major way, and acknowledge without question.” Check out Feelmore’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

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Eureka’s Good Relations was opened by Dr. Melinda Myers,  a licensed clinical psychologist,  in December, 1983 as a home-based pleasure-party company. Today Good Relations employs 4 education and sales assistants under the direct management of Dr. Myers.

 

 


goodvibesGood Vibrations
 stores (7 locations in the San Francisco Bay area and 1 randomly in Brookline, MA)offer a clean, well-lit, woman-centered, sex-positive environment to shop for toys, lube, books and anything else you need! Beyond that they are a tremendous sexual education resource. Their website features an extensive How To section and if you are lucky enough to live near one of their shops (as the Bedhead once was) they offer in-store workshops on topics ranging from orgasm to anal sex and from successful vibrator use to successfully hosting a sex party.

 

 

 

pink bunny
A welcoming and beautiful store, San Francisco’s Pink Bunny is home to a meticulously curated selection of beautiful (and surprisingly affordable) lingerie, awesome high quality body-safe toys, and much, much more. Pink Bunny runs great in-store events and also books in-home parties. 

 

pleasurechestOpened in 1971, The Pleasure Chest is something of a sex shop elder statesman. The company prides itself on creating a shop with department style display windows and a well-lit shop in a time when sex shops were generally dark and hidden with “XXX”on the windows. The original shop is in Greenwich Village NYC and there are locations in Chicago and LA. Check out The Pleasure Chest NYC’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 


purepleasure2Pure Pleasure
  was opened in 2008 by the mother/daughter team of Janis and Amy Baldwin aiming to fill the  “need for a more inviting sex shop within the Santa Cruz community.” This small shop packs a big punch. They offer a huge array of toys, lubes, books and apparel (though I know they were cutting back on apparel- I so regret not buying a corset!) and services- classes are varied and frequent and the website features a Q & A and streaming sex ed videos. There’s a ton to learn and do at this awesome gem of a shop! Check out Pure Pleasure’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

 

Rubber_RoseThe Rubber Rose in San Diego was opened in 2006 by sex educator Lea Caughlan who is as committed to a a sex positive, education-based approach to adult retail as she is to stocking the shop exclusively with body-safe products. The result? A space that is as radical as it is beautiful, as sexy as it is educational and as fun as it is revolutionary. Seriously,  how could you not love a shop that encourages its patrons to get “down and dirty” with products that are “clean” and “pure”? Check out The Rubber Rose’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

The Rubber Rose closed its doors on May 10, 2014. They don’t seem to be gone forever though… I’ll keep you posted.

 

stockroomFolks kept recommending LA’s Stockroom but looking at the website, I wasn’t able to get a feel of it as a shop… so I went there. It’s different from the other shops on the list- way more BDSM and kink focused but still full of high-quality products, with accurate education in an awesome, inclusive environment. Stockroom is definitely a superhero!

 

Illinois
etb_storefrontChicago’s Early to Bed opened in 2001 with the goal of being  “Chicago’s first women-owned, women-oriented, boy-friendly, queer and trans-positive sex shop” ETB hosts regular workshops, does community and college outreach and their website features awesome Sex Tips and ETB TV (That one is extra cool!) for learning from home. Also, Early to Bed gets a shout-out for having an awesome sense of humor. Anyone who calls their G-spot workshop “Ain’t Nothin’ But a G Thing” is awesome in my book. Check out Early to Bed’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

pleasurechestOpened in 1971, The Pleasure Chest is something of a sex shop elder statesman. The company prides itself on creating a shop with department style display windows and a well-lit shop in a time when sex shops were generally dark and hidden with “XXX”on the windows. The original shop is in Greenwich Village NYC and there are locations in Chicago and LA.Check out The Pleasure Chest NYC’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile ✓
tulip2Chicago’s  Tulip Toy Gallery has two locations, a company motto of “We don’t sell anything we wouldn’t put into our bodies”. They also has a terrific selection of high-quality toys of all kinds (vibrators, butt plugs, masturbation sleeves and tools to indulge most of you kinks) and everything is out to play with and there’s educational information on the tables throughout the shops. Love these shops! Check out Tulip Toy Gallery’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

 

Maine
nomiaPortland, Maine’s Nomia is committed to quality products and body-safe materials. The shelves in the shop even feature little material primers like “Why silicone?” They offer educational workshops, several of which can be booked as private parties- they’ll even bring them to you!

 

 

Maryland
This way to Sugar!In March 2007 Sugar opened with mission of being “a place where people from all kinds of backgrounds, sexual orientations and genders could celebrate their sexualities. Where people could learn about sex. Where sex would be honored as something both powerful and good. A place where other people who felt passionate about sexuality could work together. Where myth busting and honesty would be the norm.” Well, mission accomplished. The product selection is huge (Sugar holds the record for having the most products I had only ever seen online) but of tremendous quality, the site boasts a ton of sex info as well as resources & links, they hold classes and workshops and the owner, Jacq, wo I got to see in action has a gift for sending even the most nervous sex shop novice out the door informed, enthusiastic and smiling. I think it’s impossible to not be happy at Sugar!  Check out Sugar’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

Massachusetts

 

goodvibesGood Vibrations stores (7 locations in the San Francisco Bay area and 1 randomly in Brookline, MA)offer a clean, well-lit, woman-centered, sex-positive environment to shop for toys, lube, books and anything else you need! Beyond that they are a tremendous sexual education resource. Their website features an extensive How To section and if you are lucky enough to live near one of their shops (as the Bedhead once was) they offer in-store workshops on topics ranging from orgasm to anal sex and from successful vibrator use to successfully hosting a sex party.
IMG_0040Northampton MA’s Oh My Sensuality Shop was opened in 2003. Helmed by the mother and daughter team of Carol and Beth, Oh My is committed to creating a safe and comfortable environment for learning and exploring – seriously there’s a sign on the door that says “No ewwwwing!” The products featured at Oh My are high quality and, in many cases, freakin’ gorgeous! The shop hosts frequent classes and events and carries a bit of something for everyone. In addition to a wide assortment of toys, books, condoms and lube (For real-there’s a massive condom and lube bar!) you will find locally made impact toys and a beautiful assortment of vintage lingerie- the corsets, oh the corsets- “Oh My” indeed! Check out Oh My’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

Minnesota

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Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis is widely considered the leader in the body-safe toy movement.  Everything in their shop is non-toxic but that doesn’t mean they have a small inventory- it’s freaking huge! Also they know their stuff. From in-shop classes to streaming education porn Smitten Kitten’s got it going on. Check out Smitten Kitten’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

New Mexico

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The folks behind Self Serve decided to open in Albuquerque because it was the largest mid-sized city in the US that lacked a female friendly, sex positive store.  They believe in customer service that allows employees to go deeper into heart to heart conversations with clients, rather than just attempting to sell them a product. Self Serve is a really special shop that I can’t wait to see for myself! (Fellow blogger Ashely Manta visited this one on my behalf) Check out Self Serve’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile   

New York


logoBabeland
 has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Seattle. The company has evolved from its roots as a woman-friendly sex shop to become a destination for shoppers of both genders seeking sexual health, happiness and vitality. Check out their Sex Info page for video guides, a glossary and a hell of a lot more. Check out Babeland LES’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 
evesgarden7Known as the first feminist sex toy shop Eve’s Garden was founded by Dell Williams in 1974. Check out Eve’s Garden’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

 

pleasurechestOpened in 1971, The Pleasure Chest is something of a sex shop elder statesman. The company prides itself on creating a shop with department style display windows and a well-lit shop in a time when sex shops were generally dark and hidden with “XXX”on the windows. The original shop is in Greenwich Village NYC and there are locations in Chicago and LA. Check out The Pleasure Chest NYC’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

Shag Shop

With their cool vibe, awesome inventory, kick-ass classroom facility (seriously, giant classroom space!), commitment to local artist and designers and bad-ass sex positive mission SHAG in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a new breed of sex shop and, frankly, one I think (or at least hope) we’ll be seeing more of. Check out SHAG’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

 

Nova Scotia

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Venus Envy is a Canadian sex shop and independent book store with two locations (in Ottawa, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia) and the slogan “a store for women and the people who love them.” Venus Envy offers sexual and health education workshops, and engages in sex education outreach in partnership with local groups such as the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (formerly Planned Parenthood Canada) and various student and women’s organizations. Both locations offer programs in support of local women pursuing post-secondary education.

Ontario


IMG_0266Come as You Are
a co-op sex shop located in Toronto is outstanding. The selection is amazing and displayed in cool ways (There was an acrylic dildo out to test Tenga eggs on! I bought a Gee-Whiz that was displayed on a rack made with pool balls!) Education is everywhere from the seemingly endless supply of brochures on everything from toy care to painful sex, to the large library (seriously, it’s huge), to cool workshops, to the website which has an awesome amount of sex information (including the brochures) – check out this menu! I’m pretty convinced that if you want to buy it or learn about it, no matter what “it” is, Come As You Are can totally hook you up. Check out Come as You Are’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 
store signToronto’s Good For Her  is a beautiful shop with a boutique feel. In addition to a great selection of toys they have an impressive library of books, a terrific array of classes (some offered online!) and a impressive selection of DVDs. Worth noting: Good For Her are also the folks behind the Feminist Porn AwardsCheck out Good For Her’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile 

 

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Venus Envy is a Canadian sex shop and independent book store with two locations (in Ottawa, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia) and the slogan “a store for women and the people who love them.” Venus Envy offers sexual and health education workshops, and engages in sex education outreach in partnership with local groups such as the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (formerly Planned Parenthood Canada) and various student and women’s organizations. Both locations offer programs in support of local women pursuing post-secondary education.

 

Oregon
DSCN4025Founded in 2009 by Evy Cowan and Jeneen Doumitt, Portland, Oregon’s She Bop offers quality, body-safe toys (I’ve never seen so much VixSkin in one place!!), an impressive selection of books, female and queer-friendly DVDs as well as several handmade and locally sourced products. Providing Portland with sexual education in a beautiful, fun, safe, comfortable and sex-positive environment, She Bop is committed to quality products, sustainability, supporting local business, community outreach and education that is truly inclusive. They offer after hours parties, instructional DVD rental and an ongoing series of workshops-She Bop is the first place I found with a burlesque class! Speaking of firsts, She Bop was also the first of the Superhero Sex Shops to be profiled! Check out She Bop- Portland’s Sex Positive Wonderland 

 

Love_Revolution_LogoA “sexuality boutique, art gallery and education resource” in Ashland, Oregon, Love Revolution‘ s  mission is promoting “healthy relationships and safe, fun sexual expression by offering quality products and educational workshops in a beautiful environment”. Love Revolution is super-inclusive, supportive and non-judgmental.

 

 

Pennsylvania

lsPhiladelphia’s Kink Shoppe is a beautiful, comfortable space where it is possible for, in the space of 10 minutes, one person to book a class on flirting, another to outfit their dungeon and a third to pick out their first vibrator and ALL of them to be happy. Don’t let the name fool you, this is not a shop for kinky folks only, Kink Shoppe is a shop anyone could love..Check out Kink Shoppe’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile

IMG_1195 Philadelphia’s Passional Boutique and Sexploratorium carries a ton of leather, vinyl, latex, corsets and more on the first floor.  Upstairs on the second floor you’ll find toys of all sorts as well as lube and safety supplies. Sexploratorium also hosts an classes. I don’t think their website really does them justice at all. They’re awesome. Check out Sexploratorium’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile — Note:the profile was written when the shop was in a different location, some info in it no longer applies.

 

Texas

q-toys

Austin’s Q Toys seems to be as excited as I am about a full-scale shift in adult retail!  They are all about high-quality products, awesome customer service and an amazing experience for all customers regardless of  sex, gender, orientation, ethnicity, age, etc.

 

 

Virginia 

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Alexandria’s Lotus Blooms is an adorable little shop the blends right into its adorable neighborhood-on the outside. On the inside however… okay, it’s still pretty darn cute. But it’s also stocked with an impressive selection of toys and products, including gorgeous lingerie. When I was last there (March ’14) they were working on creating a classroom space that was shaping up to be pretty cool.

 

 

Washington

logoBabeland has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Seattle. The company has evolved from its roots as a woman-friendly sex shop to become a destination for shoppers of both genders seeking sexual health, happiness and vitality. Check out their Sex Info page for video guides, a glossary and a hell of a lot more. Check out Babeland LES’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile here  

 

Washington DC

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Secret Pleasures in Washington DC features a seriously impressive selection (you should have seen me when I realized there was a WHOLE OTHER FLOOR!) and some of the most comprehensive in-shop sex-ed I’ve ever seen (I want the signage from around their lube display, it’s phenomenal). All of this brought to you by fabulous people!

 

 

Wisconsin


Tool ShedTool Shed 
in Milwaukee, WI is  like your friendly neighborhood store but with way more sex stuff. The select here is insane! There is an extensive library , a impressive collection lingerie and an even more impressive (at least to me) collection of mens’ underwear, a huge array of vibrators – including a great box of “intro to vibes” vibrators where I found this (surprisingly powerful for an inexpensive battery powered vibe!) and most any other toy or supply you could want. Check out Tool Shed’s Superhero Sex Shop Profile


592326_88231239197_470591643_nA Woman’s Touch 
is as good as it gets.  Approachable staff, educational materials, huge selection wide range of price points and even a fuzzy dog and a piece of chocolate with your purchase. 

 

 

Online Only:

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As You Like It considers it their mission to a way to shop for pleasure products that is not only body safe but also environmentally responsible. Counting eco-sexual warrior Annie Sprinkle among their fans, AYLI is a gender inclusive, body positive, sex positive, eco-conscious sex toy shop that encourages healthy sex lives by offering a constantly updated and thoughtfully curated selection of non-toxic products that are both people and environmentally friendly.

 


af13654b7b61083e90df60c2fc18a7f4Bloom 
was founded in 2013 by Jillian Bice, a former RN with a strong Women’s Health background in the wake of the 50 Shades phenomenon.  Witnessing an uptick in open conversations about sexuality among the women she knew Bice was inspired to create a site that is smart, healthy, inviting and welcoming. A place where these women could find accurate sexuality and health information and great toys. Mission accomplished. Check out Bloom’s Online Superhero Sex Shop Profile

 


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My Secret Luxury is entirely devoted providing high-quality products and awesome sexual experiences – No joke not only do they do stuff like customizable kits for your first time with everything from vibrators to pegging but they also offer a concierge service that will do anything from delivering toys to your hotel, to making your dinner reservations, to booking your boudoir photo shoot, to (my favorite suggestion) arranging  your own reenactment of 50 Shades of Grey. Check out My Secret Luxury’s Online Superhero Sex Shop Profile

 

shevibe Seriously SheVibe is, hands down, the most fun place to shop for sex stuff on the internet. Sexy and smart with a great sense of humor, SheVibe is clearly the result of awesome people being awesome. They boast an impressive selection that often features funky new brands and small companies, tremendous customer service, and again (because I love them) comics! What’s really cool about SheVibe though is how much they value customer input. Sandra has been known to take a new product and ask several reviewers, “What do you think? Does this seem worthwhile?” Consequently the stock tends to be really awesome. Check out SheVibe’s Online Superhero Sex Shop Profile

 

Is there an awesome sex shop in your life? Do you think they deserve to be recognized as a Superhero Sex Shop? Do you live in any of these cities? Do you want to come shopping with me? Are you an awesome sex-positive company who wants to be part of the Superhero fun? If you said “yes” to any of those questions, drop me a line theredheadbedhead at gmail dot com.

 

I had an amazing time touring the Superhero Shops! Check it out!

Is there an awesome sex shop in your life? Do you think they deserve to be recognized as a Superhero Sex Shop? Do you live in any of these cities? Do you want to come shopping with me? Are you an awesome sex-positive company who wants to be part of the Superhero fun? If you said “yes” to any of those questions, drop me a line theredheadbedhead at gmail dot com.