Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sugar is hiring! Are you the right person for the job?

We're bringing in a new Sex Educator (the lovely folks who work the floor and provide education and customer service for our amazing customers)!

The right person for this position will be available to work 10-15 hours a week and must be available weekends, including Saturday nights. People who are not available to work these specific hours will not be considered. Pay is $11.50 an hour with an increase to $12 an hour after completion of a probationary period of around 6 weeks.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com by Monday, October 26th at noon. After applications are reviewed, several folks will be selected for interviews

In the cover letter include the ways in which your experience is relevant to the position and why you want to work at Sugar. Although in many cases, our ideal candidate has previous sex education experience, we're willing to teach the right person. Tell us why you're right for the job! Look over the required skills - do you have everything on the list?




Please confirm in the cover letter that you are available to work both weekend and weekday evenings.

No calls please - email only.

Sugar is committed to a diverse work force and welcomes applications from people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders.

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 increase after successful completion
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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Stand With Planned Parenthood

-->
I worked for Planned Parenthood.

I’ve been a patient at Planned Parenthood.

I’ve taken friends to Planned Parenthood.

I am grateful I was given the opportunity to be a part of an organization that has given so much to so many.

I’m proud to have been part of an organization that delivers some of the highest quality health care I’ve seen. And delivers it with care and compassion.

The care Planned Parenthood delivers is both stellar and comprehensive.

While I worked at Planned Parenthood, I helped women access treatment for cervical cancer, helped even more women access treatment to prevent cervical cancer, taught folks how to use condoms, called Children’s Services on parents that were abusing a patient, helped a client understand how chlamydia was transmitted (definitely not the way she walked in thinking it had happened), held the hand of women aged 13 to 40+ as they had an abortion that they had carefully considered and chose with clarity, provided clear options to other women as they wrestled with their decision about their pregnancy including referrals to adoption and parenting resources and supported them in whatever their decision was, stood firm as a parent screamed at me when I refused to allow our clinic to provide their teenager with an abortion she didn’t want, provided countless women with the information they needed in order to choose when, or if they would get pregnant, helped women problem solve how to leave their abuser,  or access prenatal care and WIC.

In Minnesota, doing this meant walking through a picket line every day. Even the days we weren’t providing abortion services. It meant not fighting back when one of the protestors screamed at my best friend and her son as they dropped me off for work in the morning, “At least you didn’t kill that baby”.  It became normal to see the doctor take off her bullet proof vest and hang it by her coat when she walked in the door. On my way home from work, I peeked under my car and in my tailpipe before I got in to make sure there wasn’t a bomb, every single day.

Working for PP meant photocopying frozen moldy clinic records after anti-abortion people tried to burn down one of our clinics. This clinic that was burned in Brainerd, Minnesota provided only birth control, STI testing and cancer screening services.

It meant being on a first name basis with our local ATF and FBI agents.

In Maryland, it meant squeezing enough money out of our budget to provide the services our patient’s needed. Any time the local police felt there was a threat I had to get to work early so that they could inspect the facility with a bomb dog. That clinic had been burned in a different location. The police took it personally. They weren’t going to let it happen again. I opened the mail alone in a separate room with door closed wearing gloves and a mask because some lovely person had decided it was fun to mail suspicious powders to women’s clinic. Any suspicious package was thrown away. Because not only did clinics like ours get anthrax threats. A number of other frightening things had been sent to women’s clinics in the mail. Did you send our clinic staff cookies? I’ll never know. If I didn’t know it was coming, it went in the trash.

Today, not much is different. The threats just come in different clothes. A presidential candidate in blue skirt suit lying about a video. Legislators working diligently to remove funding from the organization best equipped to deliver desperately needed services to women across the country. Legislators passing law after law designed specifically to reduce access to abortion services. It's the same old tired, misogynist song.

This war, this fight for power and control over our bodies is about a group of people who do not want women, especially poor women or women of color, to have access to the services we need to take control of their lives. Women, women’s sexuality and our control over our own reproductive choices, is seen as a radical threat to both the patriarchy and the theocracy all too many of these politicians want to live in.

I stand with Planned Parenthood. Because I stand with women.

Rise

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sugar is hiring!

We're bringing in a new Sex Educator (the lovely folks who work the floor and provide education and customer service for our amazing customers)!

The right person for this position will be available to work 10-15 hours a week and must be available weekends, including Saturday nights. People who are not available to work these specific hours will not be considered. Pay is $11.50 an hour with an increase to $12 an hour after completion of a probationary period of around 6 weeks.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com by Friday, June 12th at 5 pm. After applications are reviewed, several folks will be selected for interviews

In the cover letter include the ways in which your experience is relevant to the position and why you want to work at Sugar. Although in many cases, our ideal candidate has previous sex education experience, we're willing to teach the right person. Tell us why you're right for the job! Look over the required skills - do you have everything on the list?




Please confirm in the cover letter that you are available to work both weekend and weekday evenings.

No calls please - email only.

Sugar is committed to a diverse work force and welcomes applications from people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders.

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 increase after successful completion
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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sugar is looking for a new team member!

We're bringing in a new Sex Educator (the lovely folks who work the floor and provide education and customer service for our amazing customers)!

The right person for this position will be available to work 10-15 hours a week and must be available weekends.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jacq@sugartheshop.com by Friday, March 27th at 5 pm. After applications are reviewed, several folks will be selected for interviews

In the cover letter include the ways in which your experience is relevant to the position and why you want to work at Sugar. Although in many cases, our ideal candidate has previous sex education experience, we're willing to teach the right person. Tell us why you're right for the job! Look over the required skills - do you have everything on the list?




Please confirm in the cover letter that you are available to work both weekend and weekday evenings.

No calls please - email only.

Sugar is committed to a diverse work force and welcomes applications from people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders.

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 increase after successful completion
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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What 50 Shades Gets Wrong


So what’s wrong with 50 Shades? 

First of all, the primary relationship is neither a healthy romantic relationship nor an accurate picture of what a D/s relationship looks like

I tend to cut the book a big break here. 50 Shades was originally Twilight fan fiction. The relationship between Edward and Bella in Twilight is textbook controlling emotional abuse. A boyfriend that stands outside your window and watches you sleep every night, drives the car faster when you ask him to slow down and follows you around when you ask him not to – that’s controlling, abusive behavior and a huge warning sign for physical violence. The relationship between Anastasia and Christian is also coercive and emotionally abusive. He’s coming from a place of significant power and uses that power to boss Ana around and control her life down to her underwear. Her consent to that set up is, at best, fuzzy. But it’s far less abusive than Twilight. Ana has far more agency. So is it a healthy relationship? No. Absolutely not. But it’s a bit healthier than the model it was based on.

Take home message: if you meet someone and they present you with a 24/7 D/s contract after the second date – RUN. Developing a healthy D/s relationship takes time and negotiation. It should start with the submissive being clear about what they want and need from the agreement.

The depiction of BDSM play, BDSM implements (like crops) and sex toys is inaccurate. Many of us in the land of Sex Education were/are concerned about this. We were worried that the folks reading the book would go home, try what was in the book and be deeply disappointed or worse, get hurt. I think most of this fear is actually concern trolling. The vast majority of the women I talked to who read the book were very clear it was fantasy

The fantasy element is clear from the very beginning. Ana is an English major who doesn’t own a computer. I tried to rationalize this by thinking the book was set in the 90s. Nope. Set in the present. What fulltime college senior English major with a job doesn’t have a computer or at least a tablet?
Next, she has never masturbated. While a college senior who has never masturbated is in a minority, it’s certainly plausible. But it makes what comes next really unplausible. She has about five earth shattering orgasms the first time she has sex. And she’s a pro at deep throating her first time too. Could that happen? Sure. I also could get struck by lightening next week. The very cornerstones of the book are fantasy. Most readers get that. Almost every time I’ve said to a customer, “You know, the woman who wrote the book didn’t have a really good understanding of BDSM or sex toys.”, most customers say, “You know, I thought so”. And then we move on and talk about what it is they’re interested in.

Take home message: if there is a sex toy or sex act in the book that sounds really hot to you, ask someone before you try it. Go to your local sex positive sex toy store. Or check out www.passionateu.com (a great online resource for sex ed videos).

Christian’s “unique” tastes are explained by his tortured childhood. If Ana can just love him enough, he’ll be cured from this.

There is no link what so ever between childhood abuse and BDSM. Studies done on members of the BDSM community have found that folks who practice BDSM are just as emotionally healthy as anybody else.

Take home message: being interested in BDSM does not mean you are a broken person. It means that the thought of erotic power exchange turns you (and millions of other people) on.

Lastly, BDSM (bondage, domination, submission, masochism or bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) is something that is practiced in many different ways by many different people. At it’s core is a deep respect for negotiation and consent. Good BDSM play only happens after the people involved have discussed how it’s going to go. It requires trust. It requires checking in before, during and after. When it’s done right, it can feel like flying. It’s a deeply erotic exchange of power that is rooted in everyone walking in from an equal place.

Take home message: for BDSM play to be good, it requires negotiation between equals

50 Shades of Grey is a series of romance novels rooted in a world of fantasy. They’ve turned millions of people on. Which is great. They also aren’t a good road map to any kind of BDSM play. Lucky for us, there are plenty of road maps out there. 

Tune it to our next blog for a start on your map.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why I love 50 Shades of Grey


The 50 Shades movie is coming out next week. Which if you work in the land of sex toys is what we call A BIG DEAL.

In rest of the world, is it a big deal? It looks like it. Folks are excited about seeing the movie. So excited in fact, that ticket pre-sales are record breaking (funny that Hollywood often says women can't drive ticket sales - this year's proving them wrong over and over).

There are plenty of valid things to criticize about the book (see our next blog). However, when us sex positive folks get our undies in a bunch about those issues, I think we miss the point.

50 Shades of Grey sold more than 100 million copies. Right up there with Harry Potter and Twilight. That’s 100 million, mostly women, buying, reading and talking about a book because it turns them on. Talking about it publically. Reading it on the subway and at the break table without shame. It caused folks to talk about female pleasure on morning TV. It reminded millions of women that sex is fun. And it turned up the heat in millions of bedrooms across the globe. 50 Shades of Grey brought people joy. And I’m grateful.

It also got people reading. I spoke with several women who told me that they hadn’t read a book since high school, but they read all three 50 Shades books and then proceeded to read other erotic fiction novels. Anything that gets people reading is good by me.

Part of what I think brought non-readers into 50 Shades is it’s accessible reading level. When I worked in public health I was taught that any reading material we published should be at a 6th grade reading level or below. Why? Because we wanted the information to be accessible to everyone. And there are many people who are most comfortable reading around that level.

Much of our erotica is written at a 12th grade or higher reading level. Which is great for people like me who’ve been reading incessantly since they were four years old, have a college degree and get excited when they find unfamiliar words. But for the vast majority of people, complex sentences and big words are a turn off. Or worse, a cue that this thing doesn’t welcome them. Erotica is fun. In some cases erotica can even be life changing. People of all reading levels deserve to have access to it. 50 Shades met a need. A need I hope erotica writers continues to meet.

Because of this book, there was a nation wide shortage of kegel balls. If those folks use them, they're having better orgasms and healthier PC muscles. People came into our store glowing and excited and saying, “my spouse and I haven’t had sex like this in years”. Men who hadn’t read much of the book walked in the door with lists and sparkles in their eyes. 50 Shades ignited passion in places where passion was on a break. That is a very, very powerful gift.

So, thank you Ms James. I think you’ve made this world a better place. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. May it spark as much steamy joy.

Next - what's wrong with 50 Shades.