a q&a about sex toys (plus a giveaway!)
I met Shula through Twitter. After seeing some of my Tweets regarding “sex week” she contacted me about her sex toy store SensuousWife.com
I was intrigued. I mean, who isn’t just a little intrigued about sex toys? OK, maybe not every body. But I’ll confess; it’s intriguing to me.
Shula and I exchanged several emails. Immediately, I recognized several things about Shula:
1) She loves God.
2) She loves life.
3) She knows a lot about sex toys.
4) But most of all, Shula loves helping to empower wives to embrace their God-given sexuality.
Which I think is sort of cool.
And THAT’S why I decided I wanted to interview her for Sex Week.
Before you read the interview, check this out:
One lucky/blessed husband or wife is going to win a $100 gift certificate to SensuousWife.com
How sweet is that? Seriously, let’s give it up for Shula!
Now, just in case you’re wondering, SensuousWife.com is designed with the woman in mind (pastel colors and such), but it’s safe for husbands to visit too.
You will find NO nudity or offensive pictures at this site. The most suggestive pictures you’ll see are a few small DRAWINGS of couples in sexual positions. Trust me–it’s safe. Maybe not as safe as The Fish radio stations, but you’re safe.
TO ENTER TO WIN THE $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE, leave a comment!
If you TWEET something about “Sex Week,” and use my Twitter name @JesusNeedsNewPR in the Tweet, you can leave a SECOND comment!
A winner will be announced on Friday morning!
NOW… the interview…
MATTHEW: First of all, why did you start SensuousWife.com?
SHULA: The store grew out of my blog and my desire to share with others the resources that have worked for me. I’ve overcome the hurdles of sexual abuse and medical issues that stood between me and the sexual health I now enjoy and I want to help other women do the same. My sex therapist Dr. Doug Rosenau encouraged me to share my story so I started a blog. That was 3 years ago, and I’ve been floored by the letters I’ve received from readers.
Like millions of men and women, I suffered with chronic lower back pain. Intercourse was painful and likely to start a flareup of symptoms that could last for days. I worked up my courage and asked my physical therapist if there were any products that could help me have a normal sex life. She recommended Liberator shapes, specially shaped foam forms that make sex comfortable again and make so many positions possible. We tried Liberator shapes and they really helped me. The manufacturer’s website had gratuitous nudity, so I decide to be the solution and offer Liberator shapes and toys in an store that was respectful, playful and free of images that could be a problem for my guests. (More about the store’s story here.)
OK, so when you got the idea for sex toy store, did you think there would be a market for sex toys within the faith community?
I was sure there was a market for sex toys within the faith community. I also wanted to create a store that felt friendly and approachable to couples of faith and those who want to develop their spirituality. It’s very clear to me that sexuality and spirituality are perfect counterparts and I invite people to explore combining the two. Guests who read my blog will hear that Jesus is my higher power and I want all guests who visit my store to feel welcome. It was very important that no guest feel “disqualified” because they are not a Christian. And equally important for guests who are Christians to feel free to “come on in the water’s fine!” as they explore sexuality in a healthy way. So I suppose you could say SensuousWife.com is not a Christian toy store, it’s a Missional toy store.
I know a lot of Christians who feel uneasy (maybe even fearful) about bringing toys into the bedroom, why do you think that is?
I agree with Lisa Graham McMinn, author of Sex and Holy Longing, when she says that many Christians are neo-Gnostic and don’t realize it. The idea of “spirit good body bad” is all over our culture and we have to guard against it. I wrote an article called Our Bodies Matter to Jesus on EmergingWomen to address that very concern. Through the incarnation, Jesus took on himself a body. Our bodies are created and redeemed by God. We use technology at the dentist and doctors to keep our bodies healthy. No reason why we can’t use technology in the bedroom to give each others’ bodies pleasure and to celebrate oneness in a beautiful erotic way.
Do you have any advice on how bring up the conversation of “toys” with a spouse who is the type of person that, doesn’t mind having sex, but doesn’t like talking about making it better?
Well nothing leads like servant leadership. I like the idea of a husband saying, “Darling, I want to celebrate your pleasure and help make our sexual time together extra special for you. When I serve you around the house taking care of the honey-do list, I use tools to do a better job. I’ve been thinking that some toys and tools might be a good idea in the bedroom. Might be fun..” He could always go down to Home Depot and buy a brand new clean leather tool belt and wear nothing but that while he makes his pitch! Maybe I should sell those… haha!
For the couple who is new to “toys,” can you recommend a toy or two that might be good for beginners?
Sure. I’d recommend the Lelo Lily or the Lelo Bo. Lily is a discreet, well-designed vibe that is easy to use and has variable speeds. Bo is a ring that is worn around the base of the penis to give pleasure to her clitoris during intercourse. He will enjoy it as well. Both the Lily and the Bo are cordless, use no batteries and are rechargeable. They each come with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. Lelo toys are long-lasting high quality toys that are quiet to operate.
OK, Shula, do sex toys come in levels, you know, as in beginner, intermediate, professional?
Professional? (laughing) All I can think of now is that GMC commercial “we are professional grade” (laughing). Alright, I think I get the idea of what you‘re asking. Hmm, well yes and no. It’s not like you have to be qualified to buy a certain toy. I encourage guests to think of my store as a cafeteria for the senses-look around take what you find appealing and leave the rest. We have something to delight each one of the senses. I wanted a holistic approach. The site’s navigation bar is designed by “senses.”
We also offer a Liberator’s Black Label product line.
You have a black label line of products? Are these products legal?!
Yes! (Laughes) Some couples find masking one of the senses heightens another. By wearing a blindfold and masking their sense of sight, they find their sense of touch is amplified. The sense of playful anticipation not knowing where her husband might kiss her next can increase her arousal. In a similar way, some couples enjoy using soft velcro handcuffs to encourage the husband to hold still while she kisses him all over. In an atmosphere of playfulness, love and trust, these toys can bring pleasure and fun to your bedroom, or gameroom or anywhere else you and your spouse can find to be alone!
Hmm… OK… and these products are in a special section?
We wish to prevent any unpleasant triggering for our guests who are recovering from sexual abuse or sexual addiction, so we’ve put these toys in a separate section of the store. We want to assure all our guests that we’re here to promote pleasure for wives and the husbands who love them. Shame or humiliation is not what we’re about. We believe there’s an ocean of difference between a husband and wife playfully using toys to hold each other still for kisses, intercourse or other loving touches and a someone using pain or humiliation in an abusive manner to crush the human spirit.
Many couples have found that at times their love and generosity with each other can get a little bit rowdy. If you’re at a place in your healing journey that you’re ready to say, “Hold still, honey, you’re really gonna like this!”, then come on in.
How can toys enhance the sexual experience for couples?
After talking with so many women and couples, I believe that toys enhance a couple’s sexual experience on so many levels.
It’s really important that husbands and wives talk honestly with each other about what works for them and what doesn’t work for them sexually. That takes a certain amount of courage and self-confidence to say “I like this” or “That doesn’t really do anything for me”. Toys can make it easier to communicate this without making it about the partner’s performance. Sometimes it’s easier for a wife to say to her husband “try setting 3” or “less pressure”.
Many couples find that it’s easier for the husband to experience his orgasm than it is for the wife to experience hers. If he happens to come first, toys can make sure she is not left behind. It’s not over till the lady sings! Toys can take a tremendous amount of emotional pressure off of the wife who might feel pressure that she better hurry up and come because he’s about to and it will be over when he does.
And toys have no refractory period, so if she wants to come again, he can keep on pleasuring her until she feels satisfied. A good toy in the hand of a loving husband can be a wonderful thing.
Toys are also a wonderful way for her to learn her sexual response cycle, learn how orgasm works for her, and then give her husband a little sexy show-and-tell to teach him what she likes. I’ve suggested to many wives that they try this and every husband that I mentioned the idea to thought it was a homework assignment they couldn’t wait to try.
OK, so would you mind telling us your favorite top five sex toys?
Not at all. I most often recommend…
- the Liberator Throe
- the Liberator Wedge/Ramp Combo
- the Lelo Gigi
- the Liberator Black Label Esse
- the Emotional Bliss Womolia.
The Wedge/Ramp Combo: Seriously, her gspot will stand up and sing the hallelujah chorus when the wife drapes her pelvis over the tall end of the wedge or the ramp and they get into holy wedlock. Glory be!
The Gigi is such a versatile high-quality toy. It has variable speed and rhythm of vibration, and it does double duty with external and internal pleasuring with the easiest to use control button I’ve ever seen. Named for the G-spot, Gigi lives up to her name.
The Black Label Esse (pronounced like the letter S) is a wonderful shape to accommodate pregnant bellies and is also especially helpful for couples who might have back pain. Make no mistake, you don’t need a note from the doctor to enjoy one of these. (smile) Many couples have found that at times their love and generosity with each other can get a little bit rowdy. If you’re at a place in your healing journey that you’re ready to say, “Hold still, honey, you’re really gonna like this!”, then the Black Label Esse might be just the ticket.
The Womolia is designed by a female sex therapist and you can tell in the design details. Also designed for internal and external pleasuring, the Womolia is designed for women who are 35 or better or have had more than 1 child. Specially designed to offer an intensity of vibration and shaped to provide a pleasant sensation of fullness in the wife’s orgasmic platform. Womolia is made of an antimicrobial material, has a heat feature, is cordless and rechargeable and comes with a manufacturer’s 1 year warranty.
AND, Matthew, most of the toys in our store come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty–in fact, all the toys in my top five do.
Any parting thoughts?
Yes, I want to say to women everywhere: You’ve got a friend in the toy business! A girlfriend who’s been there and experienced healing and joy who wants to help you do the same. My talented customer service teammate Caitlyn and I are here to answer any questions you may have at email@example.com
The God who inspired the Song of Solomon also lovingly created every inch of your body. I believe he wants you to enjoy it. Really.
DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT!
That's interesting. http://adult-remedies.blogspot.com
wow...im gonna go get my wife to read this stuff...then hope we win the drawing! will it be in black and white?? --jk
Chicken,Thank you! Here is a big hug or holy kiss on the cheek for you (I'm aware that some of MPT's readers would caution me to make it a side hug if you are male). ;^)I am just bubbling over with the thought that whoever you are, you want for the real dialgoue about these issues to keep happening. And though you are a chicken who wants to stay in the henhouse so you don't get pecked out of the barnyard, you are still laying some valuable, golden eggs. (Or if you're a Rooster--maybe the King of the Farm--you're crowing about the right things!) As a not-married (but happily dating) chick, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!
Matthew,Not taking a stance on single persons using toys is VERY CURIOUS... a noticeable flinch when you've otherwise been so open.I love the openness of your blog, especially this week. The varied opinions and personal stories have been great.But what's the use of discussing sex without debunking or addressing taboos? It's nice to hear that a husband likes his testicles cupped, but that's far less groundbreaking as some issues raised in these blog comments. The silence was indeed deafening... people afraid to comment.But by avoiding to take a stance, you are condoning the status quo - which says single people (divorced or not) should not masturbate nor own a toy.Do you agree with this? Does the sexual toy website you're promoting believe this? Will they card married people? If not, are you blindly promoting sexual aids for single persons?Is the church anti-masturbation because sex is strictly a method of procreation between two people? Is sexual gratification wrong if not in existence with a married partner? Does this mean married people can masturbate together but never alone? Even when the kid kept them up all night? Or is it okay because for married persons because they are no longer lusting?Because following this logic... the inverse becomes more confusing. If single people have these rigid sexual laws, why does the world open up for married people?Is sodomy okay between a man and woman in a marriage? Can marrieds view pornography together, is it okay if it helps intimacy? You see how legalism is such a slippery slope.Anyway, TO ME the issue is simply this... can one masturbate occasionally and it not be a sexual addiction or a desecration of the body temple? Is this EXACTLY THE SAME as alcohol... having a drink vs. becoming drunk with libations? An aspect of being human that can be abused, but that which in itself is not abuse. This accents PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, which I think the church sometimes avoids condoning because that invites an area that's difficult to easily answer or monitor.I think the church is a little backward on these issues, and I think you might be inadvertently reinforcing taboos by tip-toeing around it.So this is just encouragement to NOT BE AFRAID TO OFFEND, BROTHER. It STARTS CONVERSATION.Isn't that the purpose of your books and blog? And by VOICING YOUR OPINION, those who are opposed to single women owning a sex toy can voice why that is wrong - theologically, spiritually, and physically. And then in that dialogue, we figure out WHY we believe, which is often times more important than WHAT we believe. And I sign this anonymous b/c I don't want to start a Google account right now. And I'm chicken.
Thanks for this post & thanks Shula for offering a place to find good products without all the um....other stuff.
I hear a lot of husbands wanting things for their wives. You guys do know that there are a lot of toys out there that also specifically enhance the guy's pleasure, right? I haven't checked Shula's store yet (I buy my sex toys from a different source but I really applaud this effort) but I take it she also carries those. I'm not married, so the fact I have sex toys is debatable to some of you, I'm sure. However, I believe that it is right and true and necessary for me to know my own body and my own sexuality, and sex toys help me do that while I wait for my next big love to come along.PS Gingersnaps, good point. you do know why you're being left out, right? Divorced people don't fit the clean, pure, Christian bill, and we Christians don't like honest discussions about real life. I hope you find your way despite all the people not thinking of you..
We really need to win that throe blanket thing. It may be the crowning achievement of Western civilization.
While sex toys may have very legitimate uses for people having problems experiencing the fullness of sex, I believe that this area should be threaded very carefully. For one, I would think that introducing an artificial stimulator for pleasure is potentially harmful for those that struggle in the area of sexual lust (pornography, masturbation, etc). Definitely I don't think singles should be using these and I'm speaking as one such weak willed person.As for married couples, aside from those needing a 'helping hand', I wonder whether the risk of being overly dependent on toys for sexual fulfillment is worth it. Are we placing too much emphasis on enhancing our own pleasure? Just some of my thoughts. :)
I also tweeted about Sex Week:http://twitter.com/lipstickncandy/status/3297122543shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com
What a beautiful post! I loved the Q & A. The online shop is lovely also. The items to choose from, and the price? So nice for couples! I plan on spreading the word for sure :)Thank you!shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com
I have to just say how freeing it is to be able to read helpful articles that address christianity and the "fear" of good sex. I appreciate the freedom and love that's gone into this interview and the other posts this week!Thank you!
Gingersnaps not only won't we get "carded," but we're actually being invited to the party!! :^)I'm going back to look around some more. Thanks, Caitlyn!
This is Caitlyn, also known as Beloved Customer Care over at sensuouswife.com. I wanted to chime in on a few things.- someone mentioned not wanting a phallic-looking toy, since it would be competition. If you don't want it, that's fine - there's plenty of wonderful clitoral toys (small toys designed for external stimulation) that we offer. I would say that I've talked to many wives who have toys designed for penetration, and there's just no comparison: the husband's penis is better, hands-down. Sometimes a toy can be helpful, though, especially if your husband isn't available (if he's sick, if he's traveling or deployed, if he already came and the wife wants more, etc) or for getting yourself warmed up before he gets home. The vaginal stimulation toys we sell are all very abstract - they don't look like a real penis. (Some couples dealing with ED do want a realistic-looking toy, and we can accommodate that by special request, but they aren't available on the main site.)- someone asked if we sell gift cards. We do! I've given a few gift cards, and it's always been well-received.- GingerSnap, ttm, and any other single ladies: come on in! Our store is aimed at married women, but we fully recognize that a toy or two can be very very helpful for a single woman and I hope you feel welcome also.A few of you have already placed orders - I can't wait to process the rest that come in! Feel more than welcome to email me with pretty much any question under the sun - I'd love to take care of you!
Y'all, I am so honored and encouraged from your comments. Bringing my store to life has taken some focused effort and comments like yours remind me that each heart that is touched makes all our effort worthwhile. In meeting with a vendor yesterday, I told them I am inviting people to integrate their sexuality and their spirituality. Vendor's immediate response was "I bet that's an uphill battle." My immediate response was "Not as much as you might think. Most people want permission. When I share my story it gives them permission." At 97 comments and counting, it's clear to me that our interview has given people that permission. Beautiful! Anonymous, my apologies. You are so right. It can certainly be the woman who brings toys into the bedroom. In that case, the approach would be similar but a little different. I'd suggest something like "Darling, I'd like to give you the gift of a fully turned on hot and horny woman. How does that sound to you?" and then grin and hastily remind him that the woman is you and that you have an idea on how to kick your hornyness up to the next level. Guys love the word horny. He will listen to your suggestion. It'll be like the scene from Jerry McGuire. Shut up you had me at horny. (giggle)Happy Husband Who Wants to Please His Wife,Sir, it's an honor to meet you. I want to shake your hand. It blesses my heart when I hear of a husband so devoted to his wife and so celebratory of her pleasure. So first I want to affirm your good heart. Secondly, I have to acknowledge the limitations I have in helping you because it is you not she who has asked me to help. What your dear wife needs is some frank girl talk about sex where she can ask and answer questions with another woman. If I were talking to your wife, I would want to know if penetration is physically painful and refer her to an OBGYN or urologist to rule out or treat any medical issues. It's wonderful that she can have clitoral orgasms so she is able to share her erotic energy with you. If penetration is emotionally uncomfortable for her, then I'd wonder why that is and ask her to consider receiving therapy from a sex therapist or sexologist to get that knot in her emotions untangled. You are on the right track when you ask what can she do to explore penetration on her own at her own pace. I'd suggest the Silk small, medium and large so she can gradually work up to a size that is similar to you and will allow her to receive you comfortably. I don't know how to do links on this comment form, so you can find the Silk by browsing Touch>Sensuous Toys>Love Glider Toys. I want to underscore the importance of hope for a good outcome. Please pass on this verse to your sweetheart, okay? I’ll leave you with 2nd Samuel 23:5 that says."Is it not true my house is with God?For He has established an everlasting covenant with me,ordered and secured in every [detail].Will He not bring aboutmy whole salvation and [my] every desire?"This is restoration. Ask God for it!Love,Shula
Went by your site Shula! Wow :-) I'll be back and will bring friends with me!Great series Matt! I've really enjoyed what you've blogged so far.
I love Shula's work and I'm glad you got a chance to share with so many others. Congrats! Great interview. We got a throe and wedge/ramp and we love them. Give SW a visit and take a look around! You won't regret it!
Forgive if this is too explicit... just remove it if it is. A blessed but interested husband here. This is a sort of two-fer question, brought about by these factors:Dear one loves a small vibe (very small) on her clitoris. But she strongly dislikes anything introduced into her vagina. Dear one doesn't enjoy penile penetration much, despite extensive foreplay (over 60 minutes sometimes, including one or more orgasms).I don't want to push her. But (1) is there something I'm doing wrong (she can't think of anything, I've asked); (2) is there any "toy" or / and technique that would help her be more interested in vaginal exploration?Whew...And thanks.(signed)Happy Husband who wants to Please His Wife
great article. I'm glad to see a believer talking about sex toys and selling them. I have often talked to my wife about toys, but she felt uncomfortable because of the places one had to purchase them... as such your site is good thing. ;-)
Anonymous, I think you should go for it! Bring it UP! :^) There are so many opportunities for wordplay this week. I just couldn't resist...
Good interview, I just wish it hadn't seemed like the husband is the only one wanting to spice things up. I mean is it OK for a wife to bring up the issue of toys first?
Great post and kudos for talking about topics that are so often left in the dark. It does seem that the more people that have the courage to discuss topics like "sex toys", the more that others gain their courage to do the same. Thanks for helping to lead the way.
great week so far, MPT. I didn't know it'd be so jam packed with posts daily like it has...and the feedback from others has been great.
MPT,No worries, my new friend. Thanks for explaining...you're so right, there's been a lot of taboo amongst married Christians (I was one once)...I appreciate and understand why you decided to limit this to our married friends. I am absolutely all for the married sisters learning to have amazing sex and relighting the fires that may have burnt down to a flicker...and I believe this dear woman who has started this business is a BLESSING. So are you, MPT. Thank you for all you are doing to open up some much needed dialog and, as ttm said it so perfectly, to have a safe place to really be ourselves.Love you, too!
MPT,I respect your decision to keep this giveaway for "marrieds only." These topics are highly controversial on so many levels and it is amazing to me that you are brave enough to even attempt to manage the cans of worms.I was just having a little fun commiserating with a single sister. I think churches have done a disservice to both married people and single people by doing things to prevent their mingling. Your blog is a place where people of all persuasions can really talk.I appreciate your blog more than you will ever know (or I wouldn't keep reading and commenting). I have found it to be a safe place to really be myself (or I wouldn't be so transparent). I have learned a lot and been challenged often by things you and others have written (which sometimes makes me want to remove it from my favs...just kidding.)I will try to be non-controversial on this one...(I think I can, I think I can, I think I can) ;^)
@GingerSnap & ttm, You ladies know I'm big fans of you both! And I knew when I typed the words "husbands" and "wives," I would receive a little flack. And I HATE leaving people out of a giveaway.But as you know, among many Christians, sex toys among married folk are controversial or uncharted territory. I didn't want this blog post to turn into a discussion about who should or shouldn't use sex toys. And too, Shula's site really does focus on wives, and I wanted to stay true to her mission. She didn't request for the giveaway to be limited to husbands/wives, it was my decision. I have so appreciated both of your candor this week about some very important topics. Please know that! And I agree with you both on a lot, if not most things!But I wanted this post in particular to not become a theological/social discussion about sex toys and whether or not single people should use them. This topic is new for me. Jessica and I have only recently begun to explore the possibility. So I hope you will forgive me for thisI've done my best this week to keep the discussion topics/presenters open to various opinions and stories--people who I consider conservative as well as people with more "liberal" (right word? lol)--but I didn't feel like this particular topic warranted creating controversy. I'm hoping a lot of married couples will find Shula's site and feel the freedom to explore passionate married sex. Does that make sense? Again, I love you two. And am thankful for your passion in speaking up for Christian single/divorced people...mpt
Ok, I want to win this. I bet even Adam and Eve found natural toys in the garden to have fun with! you know a stick or rock, or maybe a vibrating bola constrictor.
I can't believe I'm leaving a comment and actually want to win this gift certificate... but something has got to change in my bedroom or my husband may shrivel up and die...
GingerSnaps,I figured I'd let you have the chance to rant first this time! I agree with you that Shula's site is also a wonderful resource for those of us who are not "blessed wives" any more, yet, or ever again.Do you really think we might get "carded" at the check out? Would we plunk our exciting purchases down at the register only to hear "Honey, I gotta see that marriage license. Now, don't look at me like that...I don't write store policy. Come on, we got a line, are you married or aren't cha?"Maybe I should pop back over and place an order just to see what happens.Shhhhh! Listen. Do you hear what I hear? Uh huh. It's the CRICKETS and they're playing our song! ;^)My word verification is "prone" and now I'm thinking about sexual positions and the fact that whenever I visit MPT's blog I am prone to enjoy myself. Thanks Matthew!
Love the tool belt idea. My husband has worn nothing but an apron at times when cleaning the kitchen :-) Fun! Fun! Fun!
It's good to know that there are Christians out there that believe in this. I grew up thinking this stuff was taboo and you were to never talk about it. Great to know that there are resources out there for us Christian women.
It's rather amusing to me that the comments are now at "69" when I decide to leave my comment. If you get my jist?I got into a conversation about this with a friend a while back. He had asked me if I thought that doing other things in the bedroom outside of the typical was a sin? I said no, as long as you are happily married to one another and it's with consent, who says you can't have a little fun? He then spilled this whole thing about the devil perverting sex and he didn't deem it appropriate for people Christians to practice some things. He didn't really describe what he meant by "some things" so who knows. As long as you aren't contradicting what the Bible says regarding matters (homosexuality,beastiality, etc.) then have fun with it! It's refreshing to see a woman who is empowered by her faith, be as bold as she is about these particular matters. Kudos.
Wow! Thank you for this, I needed it! It is so good to know that it is fine to have sex toys. I am a Christian, but I also like to have great pleasure in the bedroom with my husband! This is an awesome and will definitely be reading more and checking her site!
StuK,Thanks for your kind acknowledgment of my rant. LOL! I do appreciate someone lending an ear (or, eye, in this case)...Otherwise, it seems to be all crickets, all the time from the "church," so my age group all just go on about our merry way kinda just doing our thing, sorta hoping for the best, but feeling a bit like the red-headed step child (no offense to the awesome red-heads out there).Anyway, thanks for your kind words. :)