In the early morning hours of Nov. 9, my boyfriend held me close to his chest while I sobbed harder than I did when my grandmother died. Like so many of you, I was devastated over the election results. I was terrified for the future of this country and terrified for myself: an outspoken, public, sex-positive feminist in an interracial relationship with a man who is not a citizen of this country. I took the day off from work and let myself lean into that feeling, knowing that self care is more important than ever as we gear up for what is going to be an exhausting, hard, and incredibly important fight.
The next day I traded my pajamas for what I like to call “outside clothes,” showered, put on some makeup, and got down to work — it’s what we all need to do. But I’m still thinking about self care and the small ways that I can not only make myself feel better but also support women- and femme-owned businesses. I’m also trying to figure out ways that I can visibly show my values of inclusiveness, sex-positivity, and intersectionality to the world. While a tiny part of me is scared to be so public about things that the majority of our country just voted against, another part of me is ready to scream it from the rooftops.
I am a woman. I am queer. I have sex and have had sex with a lot of people and I refuse to be ashamed. I love my body; I cherish my sexuality; I will not be silenced. If you’re feeling like you need some self care in the upcoming weeks and also want to be loud and proud about who you are, check out these nine awesome, sex-positive items that support woman- and femme-owned businesses.
1. Handcuff Bangles From Unbound
I bought these stackable gold handcuffs that can be worn as bracelets or as actual handcuffs for myself this morning. Kinky and cute — and you’re supporting Unbound, which is hands down (pun intended) my favorite sex-positive shop right now.
However, if you want something a little more subtle, check out this woman symbol necklace they’re also selling.
2. The Vesper Vibrator From Crave
Nothing says sex-positive badass like wearing a vibrator on your neck! The Vesper not only provides a range of vibrations but also is USB chargeable. Oh, and it’s like the pen necklace that Joan wears on Mad Men, except it’s for your clit. I’d like to think she would have rocked one if she’d had the option.
3. “I Feel A Sin Coming On” Postcard Set From BUST
These adorable retro-style postcards feature 1950s women with phrases like “I feel a sin coming on” and “the word on the slopes was… she was fast!” Put them on your fridge as a cheeky reminder of the fact that sex positivity is also about having fun. Bonus: If you buy them from the BUST Boobtique, you’re supporting the OG third wave feminist magazine.
4. “The Future Is Female” T-Shirt From Otherwild
Sure, these “The Future Is Female” tees have popped up all over the place but if you buy one from Otherwild, they’ll donate 25 percent of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. You’ll also be supporting independent artists and creators, which is always good.
5. XCONFESSIONS From Erika Lust
If you haven’t heard of Erika Lust, I’m about to blow your mind. This feminist pornographer is reimagining not only what pornography can be when it’s looked at with the female gaze but she’s also literally turning people’s fantasies into porn films with her XCONFESSIONS series. Treat yourself and throw down a few dollars for porn that will not only make you horny AF but also make you feel good about watching it.
6. “Turn Me On” Pouch From Sustain
Sustain is a sexual health company run by Meika Hollender and her dad, Jeffrey Hollender. In addition to awesome, toxin-free condoms, they sell this subtle but totally sex-positive little zippered pouch. You can use it to carry around condoms, makeup, or your Kindle (which is what I do because it happens to be the exact perfect size!). Also, 10 percent of sales go to women’s health initiatives.
7. “Power Pussy” Tote Bag From Erika Lust
But if you’re looking for something a little more in your face, a little more f-you to our current president-elect and anyone else who thinks a woman’s body belongs to anyone other than her, check out this “Power Pussy” tote bag from Erika Lust.
8. Coat Hanger Necklace From PartsbyNC
The threat on our right to choose is real right now. This coat hanger necklace from independent woman artist Amy D is a personal reminder that we have to keep fighting to never go back to the days when women were forced to perform their own back alley abortions with coat hangers. It’s also a way to signal to the world that you’re pro-choice.
9. Condoms And Tin From Lovability
With their slick design and awesome messages like “Babe With The Power” and “Talk Feminist To Me,” Lovability’s new condom tins are the best thing to happen to condoms since latex. Get a pack of nine with their reusable tins and flash them around whenever you can as a reminder to yourself and the world that you are a proud, sexual woman.