Whether you're single are partnered up, Valentine's Day is coming, and you should be too. With the film release of E.L. James' BDSM bestseller on February 14th, sex toy industry insiders expect 50 Shades of Grey to drive people in droves to buy dildos, restraints, and other sex toys. "It is the biggest moment in our industry in popular culture pretty much ever,” says co-founder of the feminist sex chain Babeland, Claire Cavanah. So whether it's for VDay, Christian Grey Day, or just-because-you-feel-like-it day, there are plenty of reasons to stock up on your favorite bedroom accoutrements.
We're lightyears ahead of the time you had to sneak into a seedy part of town to buy a vibrator, lube, or crotchless panties from a dude in a drool-stained shirt who would leer at you while you awkwardly perused the wares. Now, if you're inspired by this amorous time of year to pop into a sex shop to get a few pleasure accessories, you can easily make it a woman-owned, feminist retailer to really put your money where your um, you-know-what is. Even if you don't live in a city with a friendly, feminist sex shop, most places sell online, so you can get whatever you desire wherever you are. Below are a few of the finest woman-owned, feminist sex shops out there to choose from.
Founded by two women with the dream of providing pleasure to other women in a no-shame environment, Babeland has grown from its small Seattle beginnings in 1993 to include four additional New York locations. The company still maintains a fiercely independent atmosphere, however, and is committed to community involvement and being ridiculously nice and helpful if you ever happen to step inside their stores.
2. Come As You Are
Come As You Are is the world's only anti-capitalist, worker-owned, co-operative sex retailer that doesn't make a dime on commissions. This sex positive, Toronto-based shop prides itself on having tried every one of its products.
3. Good Vibrations
A pioneer in the feminist sex shop world, Good Vibrations has been serving women sex accessories and sexual health information since 1977. They definitely paved the way so these other shops could thrive.
4. She Bop
She Bop is a Portland-based shop with a focus on female and queer-friendly sex accessories. Although the "she" is in their name, the store actually caters to all folks across the gender spectrum.
Sugar was opened in Baltimore by a woman and her partner with the goal of creating a space that was inclusive of people of all genders and sexual orientations. Like many of the abovementioned shops, they feature classes and talks on everything from cunnilingus and blow jobs to introducing BDSM into the bedroom.
6. Good For Her
Another awesome, Toronto-based sex shop, Good For Her is geared towards "women and their admirers." They also happen to sponsor the Feminist Porn Awards, the biggest event for makers (and consumers) of queer and feminist porn in the world.