Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sugar is growing and we're looking for a new Sex Educator!

We're bringing in a new Sex Educator!

The right person for this position will be available to work Friday 5 - 11, Saturdays, 5-11pm and some weekdays.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com by Monday, April 6th at Noon.

In the cover letter include the ways in which your experience is relevant to the position.

No calls please - email only.

We're looking forward to meeting you!


Sex Educator

The Sex Educator is responsible for answering customers’ questions, using active listening skills to determine the customer’s concerns and needs, providing customers with the information they require to make the purchases that are best for them and/or providing customers with referrals to other community organizations, stores or healthcare providers if Sugar is not able to meet their needs.  In addition, SEs process sales in the POS system, stock the store and maintain information in the Inventory Control system, ensure that the store is clean and tidy at all times, fulfillment of customer orders for shipping and perform other duties as assigned.  These duties may include:  store decoration, workshop instruction and/or special events.

Required skills:
-       A passion for Sugar’s mission
-       Computer literacy
-       Excellent customer service
-       Able to accurately work with money
-       Able to lift 50 pounds
-       Able to work evenings and weekends
-       Comfort with and acceptance of diverse sexualities
-       Cultural competency with diverse communities
-       Knowledge and understanding of queer and gender issues
-       Commitment to a team environment
-       A mind that is open to new things and ways of solving problems


Preferred:
Previous experience in sexuality education, counseling and/or retail.

Sugar will provide Sex Educators with:
$11.50 an hour – eligible for $00.50 increase after two successful months
A commitment to a systems oriented work place.
A work place that is respectful and supportive.


Mission

Sugar is a lesbian owned, multi-gender operated, for profit, mission driven sex toy store.  By providing education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment we help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion. 

Vision

A world in which healthy sexuality is respected and celebrated in all of its diversity.

Values

Sugar believes that sex between consenting adults is sacred, powerful and fun and should be celebrated and honored.  By providing quality education and toys in a sex positive, fun atmosphere, we will help foster healthy sexuality.  In order to provide our customers with impeccable customer service we strive to create a work environment that is healthy and supportive of each and every member of the Sugar team.  Sugar also works to exist in the environment in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

Sugar provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Sugar complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Sugar expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Sugar employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sugar is hiring!

We're bringing in a new Sex Educator!

The right person for this position will be available to work Saturdays, 5-11pm and Sundays 11-6. Preference will be given to folks who also have the flexibility to pick up shifts during the week.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com by Monday, February 10th at Noon.

In the cover letter include the ways in which your experience is relevant to the position.

No calls please - email only.

We're looking forward to meeting you!

-->
Sex Educator

The Sex Educator is responsible for answering customers’ questions, using active listening skills to determine the customer’s concerns and needs, providing customers with the information they require to make the purchases that are best for them and/or providing customers with referrals to other community organizations, stores or healthcare providers if Sugar is not able to meet their needs.  In addition, SEs process sales in the POS system, stock the store and maintain information in the Inventory Control system, ensure that the store is clean and tidy at all times, fulfillment of customer orders for shipping and perform other duties as assigned.  These duties may include:  store decoration, workshop instruction and/or special events.

Required skills:
-       A passion for Sugar’s mission
-       Computer literacy
-       Excellent customer service
-       Able to accurately work with money
-       Able to lift 50 pounds
-       Able to work evenings and weekends
-       Comfort with and acceptance of diverse sexualities
-       Cultural competency with diverse communities
-       Knowledge and understanding of queer and gender issues
-       Commitment to a team environment
-       A mind that is open to new things and ways of solving problems


Preferred:
Previous experience in sexuality education, counseling and/or retail.

Sugar will provide Sex Educators with:
$11.50 an hour – eligible for $00.50 increase after two successful months
A commitment to a systems oriented work place.
A work place that is respectful and supportive.


Mission

Sugar is a lesbian owned, multi-gender operated, for profit, mission driven sex toy store.  By providing education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment we help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion. 

Vision

A world in which healthy sexuality is respected and celebrated in all of its diversity.

Values

Sugar believes that sex between consenting adults is sacred, powerful and fun and should be celebrated and honored.  By providing quality education and toys in a sex positive, fun atmosphere, we will help foster healthy sexuality.  In order to provide our customers with impeccable customer service we strive to create a work environment that is healthy and supportive of each and every member of the Sugar team.  Sugar also works to exist in the environment in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fisting Day!

Welcome to Sugar's celebration of Fisting Day.

Fisting Day is one of our favorite holidays. We get to celebrate a deeply sexy and somewhat under utilized sexual act. AND talk about why on earth it's an act that is banned from US pornography.

Seriously, 3 dicks in one vagina? That's a-ok. One little tiny fist in that same vagina? Call the Supreme Court! Obscenity is occurring!

Seriously, fisting is considered to be "obscene" and most mainstream porn studios won't consider putting it in their films in fear of an obscenity charge. There are a few feminist pornographers that are testing the waters and have been able to include fisting. Personally, because fisting is something that is associated with "Gay Sex", I think homophobia is the only reason that it's been on the banned list. There's nothing extra scary or dangerous about fisting. In fact, when done correctly, it's a very sexy, fun and low risk activity. It's not going to cause a pregnancy and it's unlikely to spread STIs. Especially if a glove is used. For more info about fisting and porn and links to fisting inclusive porn go to Jiz Lee's blog (definitely NSFW).

So let's talk about fisting. Fisting is when a person inserts their entire hand past the knuckles into someone's vagina or butt (occasionally mouth). The hand may be formed into a fist after it's inside the body. Or not. The fister may engage in a bunch of back and forth movement. Or not.

People choose to engage in fisting for all of the reasons that they choose sexual activities. It feels good. It's taboo. It's intimate and super connected. It creates a big sensation of fullness.

Some folks choose to avoid it for all of the reasons people avoid certain sexual activities. It hasn't occurred to them. They tried it once an didn't like it. They only like it with certain sized hands.

Fisting can be lovely. And, like any sexual activity, it helps if you know a little bit about what you're doing. And if you use the Magic Sexual Super Star Powers of: lubrication and communication.

To fist a vagina.

First, you will need both a vagina and a fist. Preferably a fist on one person, a vagina on another (although I have seen someone fist herself, you may not want to start there, in fact, it's most likely that you don't bend that way.).

Then, you need to establish clear consent and boundaries with both parties. Since fisting is an activity that requires a fair amount of communication, I'd highly encourage you to enter into it sober.

If your are the Fister, examine your hands. If you have nails that you can feel beyond your finger pads, hang nails or rough skin, put on a glove. If the vagina having person is new to you, put on a glove. If you're camping, put on a glove. In general, just put on a damn nitirle or latex glove. If you have long nails. put  cotton ball on the tip of each nail and then put your hand in the glove. Gloves are good.

Provide the person with the vagina with a ton of their favorite kind of stimulation, or Fistee, provide yourself with a ton of your favorite stimulation. Whatever it is. It's usually a good idea for the Fistee to have an orgasm or two before you try the full hand. Get those muscles relaxed.

Next, when the person with the vagina is ready, insert one well lubricated finger into the vagina. Add additional fingers with additional lube at their request. Keep that lube bottle close by. There may come a time later in this activity where it's difficult for the Fistee to talk. Pay close attention to how lubricated your hand and their vagina appears. If it looks like it's possible that things are drying out a little, add more lube. Fisting with not enough lube can cause tearing in the vaginal tissue. No one wants that. This is especially important to pay attention to if the Fistee is Peri-Menopausal or beyond or if the Fistee is a person who is on or has been on testosterone for gender reassignment. You also need to take extra care and do extra massaging with someone who has had genital surgery (like a hysterectomy or construction of a vagina in a woman of trans experience)

Fisting can be an activity where silicone lube is a good plan. Silicone lube won't evaporate or be absorbed by the skin. So, you'll be able to use less of it. Which is handy. Because you can then focus more of your attention on the person that you're fisting.

Once you are at the point of having four fingers in the Fistee's vagina, you're at the tricky part, the broadest part of the hand. Clearly, hand sizes vary greatly and the amount of stimulation an individual vagina likes varies greatly. Some hands will fit more easily in some vaginas than others. The person receiving the stimulation is always, always in control. If they say, "No, too much, too big". They're telling the truth. Will your hand always be too much for that person? Maybe. Maybe not. But what matters is that you share with each other what's ok in that moment. If fisting isn't it, move on to something else equally delightful.


When the Fistee gives you the go ahead, pull those four fingers out just a little, squish them together a little and put your thumb in the middle.

Like this:



Then add more lube.

With the Fistees consent, press your hand into the vagina up to just before the bridge of the hand (right before the last row of knuckles). In most cases, it works best for the open part of your hand to be facing away from the Fistees butt and toward the front of their body. If the Fistee disagrees, listen to them.

The Fistee needs to focus and breathe at this point. It is totally possible to accommodate a hand in one's vagina. It might not happen in this moment, it might. All of those options are exactly what's good for right now. Breathe and enjoy the sensation. When you're ready, ask for more.

The Fister now waits. Say things to the Fistee that help them relax. At the Fistees direction, start to apply gentle pressure with your hand. Be patient. At some point you will feel the muscles relax and you will slide in. Because the thumb has an extra bumpy part separate and lower than the bridge of your hand, it often helps to gently rock your hand back and forth as you are sliding in. Once you are past the thumb, things tend to move more quickly toward the wrist.

Now, you both rest for a bit. The sensation of having someone's hand inside you or of having your entire hand inside of someone is different than any other sensation. Like any new sensation, it can feel overwhelming. Give yourselves a moment, or ten, to taste those new feelings. This may be all you want. Or you may decide to do more.

If you want to do more, you have plenty of options. Try moving the arm back and forth slowly or with some speed. Try rearranging your hand like this:




Or like this:





Or like this:





Each of those will create very different sensations. See what feels good.

And play.

If the Fistee has an orgasm while the Fister's hand is inside of them, the two may find that the Fister's hand feels trapped. Or that there is a strong tension around the vaginal opening on the Fister's wrist. Do not panic. After an orgasm, it is normal for muscles to tense before they relax. They will relax. Yelling "Give me back my hand!" will not help. So wait, enjoy each other, and then, as the muscles relax, very, very gently pull your hand out. This may need to happen in a gradual manner.

More next time on anal fisting! In the meantime, for good anal fisting info, check out Laura Anne Stewart's article.

In celebration of Fisting Day, we'll be giving
everyone 10% off gloves and lube in the store. We'd love to give you 10% off on the web site, but it doesn't do that yet. We're working on it!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sugar is Hiring an Office Assistant

We're hiring an Office Assistant to help us with paper work and other important things in the back. There is a possibility, although absolutely not a requirement, that the person hired could also be trained to work as an on-call Sex Educator with more regular hours over the holidays (Winter and Valentines).

The position requires around 10 hours a week. The days and times worked can be flexible, but some daytime, weekday hours are preferred. Pay is $12 an hour (starts at 11.50, goes to $12 after 60 days).

In order to apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com . In the cover letter, please include why you want to work at Sugar and how your past experience is relevant to this position. The application process closes at noon on Wednesday, October 23rd. Applications received after that time will not be considered. No phone calls please.

We're looking forward to meeting our new team member!


Office Assistant

The Office Assistant works to support both the Management Team and the Sex Educators of Sugar by overseeing the supportive details of the back office.

Skills and Requirements
-       A passion for Sugar’s mission
-       Experience with office support work
-       Computer literacy
-       Attention to detail
-       Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
-       Maintain store/office supply stock
Including: chalk, bags, stamps, pens, go cards, stickers, etc.
-       Make deposits at least twice a week
o   Provide weekly cash reports
-       Do vendor returns on a bi-weekly basis
-       Filing and office organization
-       Quick Books data entry
-       Reconcile all invoices with Quick Books
o   Alert manager to any discrepancies
o   Follow up as directed by manager
-       Sort mail
-       Other duties as assigned

 

Mission

Sugar is a lesbian owned, multi-gender operated, for profit, mission driven sex toy store.  By providing education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment we help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion. 

Vision

A world in which healthy sexuality is respected and celebrated in all of its diversity.

Values

Sugar believes that sex between consenting adults is sacred, powerful and fun and should be celebrated and honored.  By providing quality education and toys in a sex positive, fun atmosphere, we will help foster healthy sexuality.  In order to provide our customers with impeccable customer service we strive to create a work environment that is healthy and supportive of each and every member of the Sugar team.  Sugar also works to exist in the environment in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

Sugar provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Sugar complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Sugar expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Sugar’s employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sugar is hiring an Assistant Manager


**********
-->
Assistant Manager
Job Description

The Assistant Manager is responsible for exceling as a Sex Educator, supporting other Sex Educators in their positions and supporting the Manager in daily operations, purchasing and reporting. 
-->As a Sex Educator, the Assistant Manager is responsible for answering customers’ questions, using active listening skills to determine the customer’s concerns and needs, providing customers with the information they require to make the purchases that are best for them and/or providing customers with referrals to other community organizations, stores or healthcare providers if Sugar is not able to meet their needs.  In addition, SEs process sales in the POS system, stock the store and maintain information in the Inventory Control system, ensure that the store is clean and tidy at all times, fulfill customer orders for shipping and perform other duties as assigned.  These duties may include:  store decoration, workshop instruction and/or special events. The Assistant Manager works as part of the team to provide customers with the highest level of customer service and to ensure that the mission of Sugar is consistently at the forefront of all decisions in the store and visible in all aspects of the business

Daily functions include performing all duties of the Sex Educator position in addition to Assistant Manager functions.

Skills and Requirements:
-       A passion for Sugar’s mission
-       Experience in retail sales, customer service, reproductive health care or education
-       Expertise in retail store operations
-       Computer literacy
-       Excellent sales and customer service skills
-       Ability to think strategically and use systems based thinking
-       Able to work evenings and weekends
-       Able to lift up to 50 lbs
-       Comfort with and acceptance of diverse sexualities
-       Cultural competency with diverse communities
-       Knowledge and understanding of queer and gender issues
-       Commitment to a team environment
-       A mind that is open to new things and ways of solving problems

Preferred skills:
-       Previous supervisory experience
-       Previous experience with Point of Sale systems

Responsibilities
-       Perform all Sex Educator responsibilities
-       Merchandising
o   Work with the Manager to develop in store visual promotions plan in concert with overall store marketing plan
o   Update and change displays in store at least monthly
o   Work with manager to continually refine and improve store appearance.
-       Staff
o   Assist manager with hiring, staff support and staff training
o   Oversee staff scheduling
o   Maintain an open flow of information and education in the store between manager and sex educators
o   Support Manager in fostering a supportive, systems based environment that enables the team to achieve store goals and objectives
-       Purchasing
o   Spot check inventory levels weekly by department (each department checked at least monthly)
o   Assist manager with purchasing and receiving
-       Education
o   Assist manager with staff training
o   Coordinate private workshops
o   Assist manager with scheduling and running public workshops
-       Maintain all retail floor reporting paper work and supply to Manager
-       Support Manager in maintaining profitability in all areas, including, sales, operations, and customer service
-       Research and suggest new products to manager
-       Act as Manager On Duty when manager is unavailable.
-       Other duties as assigned


30  hours a week (approximately 25 hours working the floor, 5 hours off the floor)
Includes all benefits and responsibilities of Sex Educator position

Sugar will provide the Assistant Manager with:
$14 an hour – eligible for a $1 increase after two successful months of employment
A commitment to a systems oriented work place.
A work place that is respectful and supportive.



Mission

Sugar is a lesbian owned, multi-gender operated, for profit, mission driven sex toy store.  By providing education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment we help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion. 

Vision

A world in which healthy sexuality is respected and celebrated in all of its diversity.

Values

Sugar believes that sex between consenting adults is sacred, powerful and fun and should be celebrated and honored.  By providing quality education and toys in a sex positive, fun atmosphere, we will help foster healthy sexuality.  In order to provide our customers with impeccable customer service we strive to create a work environment that is healthy and supportive of each and every member of the Sugar team.  Sugar also works to exist in the environment in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

****** 


To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com. The cover letter must include both how your experience is related to this position and why you want to work at Sugar. 

Applications must be received by Noon on Monday, October 7th






Sunday, September 29, 2013

Build-A-Vibe!!

Twice a year I go to Vegas for the International Lingerie Show. The trade show features lingerie and adult toys. Distributors and manufacturers have booths and buyers (like me) roam the floor looking for products to buy for their stores and websites. It's a place where you can find the newest products, build relationships and learn about what's coming out next. Most importantly, it means that we get to hold the new products in our hands, turn them on and beg manufacturers for testers. It's also a place where the really good manufacturers solicit feedback on their products. One of these manufacturers is Crave.

You may have seen their products at Sugar. They make the Duet and Solo - two high powered, waterproof, super sleek USB charging vibes. You can pull these vibes apart and charge the bottom part in your computer and no one will know it's not a jump drive.

The Duet came out about two years ago. When it first came out, several of us retailers and reviewers had some complaints about the design. Guess what. They listened. Asked questions. Showed us options. And quickly changed the vibe. Since then, I've had a soft spot for Crave. Was their choice to listen and make changes based on feedback a good business decision? Of course it was. But doing so takes a sense of humility and openness that's hard to find. And the best toy designers have it.

Crave assembles their products in house in San Francisco. That enables them to have a high level of quality. Sometimes they bring their assembly set up with them. They had their build-a-vibe station in their booth at ILS.
Of course, I happily signed up. Accompanied by Crave's head engineer, I took all of the components of the Duet vibe and put them together with my own hands. It was fascinating. The motor had already gone through most of it's tests before it arrived in Vegas. Before assembly, each motor is run for over an hour and each battery is tested as well.

With my tested parts in my tray, it was time to start. First, I picked up the motor, put the silicone sleeve over the motor, put the mother board in the case, cranked the case shut, and then tested each part for waterproofness. One part failed. Which was cool. I got to see how the part was checked to determine where the failure was. We figured out that the silicone sleeve had a tiny leak somewhere. Once the sleeve was replaced, and passed the test I had a brand new vibrator in my hand.


One of the things that I love about this industry is how many different skill sets are needed to make it work. We need engineers (Greg who owns nJoy used to design metal bicycle parts), supply chains, entrepreneurs (Michael, the founder of Crave used to own a company that made underwater cameras), educators, chemists, marketers, authors, graphic designers, retailers. There is so much work, creativity and passion needed to bring a good product to market. And at the end, if everything works well, it makes orgasms.

Damn. What a privilege to be a part of that process.

And. New fabulous vibrator. Assembled by me.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 28, 2013

Judging a Pole Dance Competition

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be one of five judges at Scores' 2nd Annual Pole Dancing Competition. I was super excited and a little bit concerned. I'd attended the competition last year. If the field was anything like last year - judging was going to be tough. These women are amazing athletes and artists.

Full disclosure: I spent a year working as a House Mom at Scores. It was a great experience and I have a huge soft spot for everyone there from the owners to the bar backs, but especially the performers. A House Mom is a person (not always female) who hangs out in the dressing room, makes sure the dancers have what they need to perform, fixes costumes, listens when someone's
having a bad night, celebrates when the night is good, provides support through life transitions (moving, parenthood, new relationships, starting college, finishing a masters, and of course, break ups), badgers dancers when they're late, does everything possible to keep the peace in the dressing room including watching money and last but not least, narcs out someone who's too drunk to work/drive home or is using other substances. Many of the performers are young enough to be my daughter and they all call(ed) me Mom. And trust me. I'm a pretty protective mama. But I knew I could be impartial. I'm a pretty fair person.

So, after some going around and around about what to wear (see pic), I showed up at Scores. It was so fun to see everyone. I miss them a lot. And then, it was time for the competition to begin. Luckily for me, none of the women who had worked there when I was there were competing. In fact, most of the competitors were from the Pole Dancing world, not the stripping world. Stripping as a job is actually not very much about the individual's performance on the pole or stage. It's more a job that's focused on sales and building a relationship with the individual customer. Some dancers choose to really go for it on stage, and an amazing stage show can bring in some serious cash, but it's the regular customers and the champagne rooms that really pay the rent. While there certainly is overlap, competitive Pole Dancing is a whole other thing. There are rules - like no nudity. One of my fellow judges, LuLu  was on America's Got Talent! Pole Dancing is, to me, a hybrid of dance, gymnastics, flexibility and sheer strength. Some competitions include people of multiple genders:



but this one was just women (not this woman - but she's amazing).


And so were the competitors at Scores. They were all good. There were incredible athletic feats and moments of sheer beauty. As an athlete and a dancer, I appreciated both. Several women scaled the pole UPSIDE DOWN. One women performed in a blindfold. Which had me and my fellow judges ducking and grabbing for our drinks a little bit. But what really got me were the performers who created a dance with the pole, not just on it. It was a gift. The winner did Gloria Estefan proud with a routine to Conga.

All in all, it was a super fun night. I wish I could share pictures, but one of the rules of the strip club - no photos. Some customers and some performers don't want their images shared for lots of very legitimate reasons. Not least of which is the stigma associated with working as a stripper (that's another blog). But, if you have a chance to go next year - trust me. You want to go. In the meantime, if you're looking for a strip club in the Baltimore area, I highly recommend Scores. Just make sure you tip well and that you're nice. Cause otherwise, well, Mama might have something to say.