Reedies gathered around a table piled high with sex toys, many of them of unclear purpose, in Eliot Hall last Tuesday. The Joys of (Sex) Toys, hosted by ADSAPR Jyl Shaffer and Student Educators Taylor Bailey and Gabriele Slaughter, aimed to educate curious members of the Reed community on the history, types, and uses of sex toys. The workshop was facilitated by She Bop, a “female-friendly” boutique in North Portland.
“It won’t be boring, I promise,” said She Bop’s Amory Jane before beginning a PowerPoint presentation titled “The History of Sex Toys.” The presentation began with the “world’s first dildo,” a large stone phallus dated from 26,000 BCE that was used for both masturbation and starting fires. The introduction and evolution of lube, vibrators, and fleshlights were included in the slideshow, which concluded with the mention of USB-compatible vibrators. Also discussed was the early cock ring used in 13th century China that was crafted from the goat eyelids. Jane explained that the eyelashes were often left intact “for a tickling sensation.”
After the presentation, Jane began to introduce an extensive selection of She Bop’s “body-safe” toy line, none of which contain phthalates, a harmful ingredient present in many plastics. Jane explained the pros and cons of the most common materials used to manufacture dildos, which vibrators to use for g-spot stimulation, and the benefits of using Kegel balls. Jane even added that Reed has the ideal campus for using the latter because of its hills and curved walkways. “You can just pop them in on the way to class!” Jane said.
One toy, The Eleven, is an 11-inch stainless steel dildo weighing in at 3 lbs. Jane described it as being “the size of a baby marsupial” and warned that its size makes it a lethal weapon and cannot be carried on a plane flight. Jane also introduced The Squeal, a “rotating wheel of tongues” for exactly the use one would expect.
An elderly woman once entered She Bop with her daughter and granddaughter, recounted Jane, and unsuccessfully attempted to use The Squeal as a fan. Her granddaughter corrected her, saying, “No, grandma, it’s for your clit!” The woman’s eyes widened as she declared, “I’ll take one!”
The workshop also discussed how to put on a harness and the benefits of different types of handcuffs, PVC bondage tape, and other BDSM toys. Jane concluded the workshop with suggestions of how to introduce and discuss new sex toys with a partner. She Bop toys and a gift certificate were raffled off at the end of the event to all those who RSVP’d in advance.