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Dec 22 2011

Open Letter to the TSAon Traveling with Sex Toys

3

by thepleasurechest

A little over a month ago, we wrote to the TSA with some questions about the rules for travelling with sex toys. There has been no response. We’ve decided to post our letter here, in the hopes that our readers can share their experiences, and add to the list of questions. TSA, are you listening?

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing on behalf of The Pleasure Chest, one of the oldest adult toy boutiques in the country. We have been fielding many questions from our customers about which adult toys can be stowed in carry-on luggage and which cannot. We would very much appreciate your clarification on the following questions, so that we may share it with our readers.

We understand that products made of silicone show up on X-ray scanners as a “liquid” and will therefore be removed for inspection. Can you confirm this?

Are travelers allowed to carry BDSM-related items like whips, handcuffs, riding crops and leather restraints in a carryon bag, or must these be checked?

We know that travelers are restricted to 3.4 oz. of liquid in bottles. Many of the lubricants that we sell have a creamy consistency. Does the rule about liquids also apply to creams?

Are travelers allowed to wear buttplugs? If a buttplug is discovered during a body scan or patdown, will the traveler be required to remove it?

Some of our customers use electrostimulation or TENS units which use electrical current to stimulate muscles. Can such devices be packed into carryon luggage? Can they be checked?

Can travelers carry vibrators or dildos in carry on baggage? Are there any specific materials that are prohibited (metal, plastic, glass, wood)?

Some of our customers wear chastity devices made of metal. Can these individuals ask to be searched in a private area to avoid going through the metal detectors? Also, will they be required to remove these devices?

Some of our customers wear “The Diva Cup,” which is an insertable silicone device, used as an alternative to tampons and pads. Will this show up on a body scan? And if so, will it need to be removed?

If a traveler is concerned about their bag being inspected in public, can they request a private inspection?

Is there anything else that might be helpful for our readers to know?

I appreciate your attention to our queries, and look forward to your response. Thank you.

Best Regards,

Matt Cornell
Social Media Guru & Content Writer

 

 

Aug 12 2011

Ambiguously Gay Muppets, Sexy Superheroes & Cuddling with John Stamos

2

by thepleasurechest

During all the fuss over Anal August, we’ve been neglecting our weekly link roundup. Here’s a curated recap of our feed from the past few weeks.

  • With gay marriage legal in New York, many couples are finally tying the knot. This NYT slideshow of gay weddings made us very happy.

Just friends.

  • While gay activists continue to push for nationwide marriage equality, some cheeky folks started a campaign to let Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie get married. In response to the controversy, Sesame Street issued a statement asserting that Bert and Ernie are just friends, and furthermore, simply puppets! We say, leave the Muppets alone. But we’d love to see a campaign to get C-3PO to make an honest droid out of R2-D2.
  • Speaking of Star Wars, if you’ve got the hots for Luke Skywalker, here’s a must read on The do’s & dont’s of dating Mark Hamill.
  • What if male superheroes in comic books were posed like Wonder Woman? The result would probably look something like this.  Sexy!
  • Another sexy superhero: DallasVoice.com unmasked Zimmer Barnes, a gay crimefighter whose New York Initiative fights homophobia in the Big Apple.

  • Want to tighten your abs and strengthen your quads? Nah, us neither. But we could watch this 80s workout video all day.
  • Vice asked: Is anyone out there missing a bag of sex toys? 

  • We don’t want to kill your Anal August buzz, but Queerty had this reminder that sodomy is still illegal in 18 states.
  • “Right now, in one of the largest cities in the country, a six-foot-wide pair of white panties dominates one of the city’s most visible public spaces.” So begins this pithy piece of art criticism about a ginormous statue of Marilyn Monroe recently, um, erected in Chicago’s Pioneer Court.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H

  • Postmodern Barney found these awesome vintage men’s underwear ads.
  • The Seattle Weekly profiled a blind man who was prosecuted for illegally downloading porn.
  • Vice published Richard Kern’s unusual photos of naked young women and their prescription meds.
  • Gizmodo reported on the Viberect,  a new FDA-approved male vibrator, which resembles a set of salad tongs. Tossing a salad will never be the same again.
  • An anonymous writer in New York  recounted a week of hot sex with her boyfriend. Their sexual marathon included a trip to the New York branch of The Pleasure Chest, which she called “a candy store of fucking.”

  • This woman helpfully defined 30 paraphilias in 5 minutes. Collect ‘em all.
  • Scientists reported on new brain scan data which maps womens’ orgasmic response, and found to no one’s surprise, that nipples are an erogenous zone.
  • Researchers in the Netherlands claimed that our romantic partners are not as hot as we think. They theorized that such “positive illusions” help keep relationships stable.
  • A survey from the University of Rhode Island said that four out of five teenagers are sexting. In our day, we had to write dirty messages on Post-It notes.
  • Another study of American teens found that boys who masturbate are more likely to practice safe sex. Wait, there are boys who don’t masturbate?
  • A study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior claimed that men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to cheat on their partners.
  • A reader at Psychology Today asked “Who Invented the Blowjob?” The answer: Bonobos or barnacles, probably. (h/t Violet Blue)

Balls in your court.

  • The New York Observer noted a recent uptick in testicle-related litigation in American courtrooms.

Trick or treat? Hips or lips?

  • A reader at Dangerous Minds dug up this unlikely Al Pacino leatherdaddy costume from the notorious 1980 thriller Cruising.
  • John Stamos taught us how to cuddle.

  • Finally, Channel 6 Action News reported on a local man with too many cats.

Got a link we need to see? Tell us on Twitter. Follow our LA, NY and Chicago feeds!

Jun 27 2011

Furries Invade Pittsburgh, Weird Al Goes Gaga & Gay Marriage Comes to NY

2

by thepleasurechest

Here are all the links we liked last week!

  • In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or chained to a bed (lucky!) all weekend you probably already know that the state of New York legalized gay marriage late Friday night. You could read any number of articles about this historic vote, but we prefer this animated report from the geniuses at Taiwan News.

Here comes the bride.

  • Speaking of marriage, we wonder what the creator of this “feminist wedding dress” thinks about tying the knot.
  • A new study claimed that women’s “gaydar” functions best during ovulation, while another suggested that women are more likely to achieve simultaneous orgasm when their male partners are hot.

  • From hot to cold. Nearly 400 people in Wales stripped off and jumping into freezing water to break the world’s record for the largest skinny dip and to raise funds for cancer research.
  • Our friend Jamye Waxman reported on five reasons why porn might be teaching you bad sex. And they’re not the reasons you might think.
  • Despite what you’ve seen in movies, time travel and sex just don’t mix. That’s what a new study of brine shrimp (sea monkeys!) indicated anyways.

  • Cracked investigated the ancient art of the dick joke, showing that penis drawings and potty humor are older than we think.

  • Over 4,500 furries returned to Pittsburgh last weekend for the 6th annual Anthrocon. The city expected to make $5.3 million from the event, and hotels were packed, with attendees sleeping four to a room at the Westin. Woof!

  • “When Shubin was a 17-year-old high school student, his stepmother became pregnant with twins. Doctors advised her not to engage in sex throughout the high-risk pregnancy—so Shubin’s father, Steve, nosed around for an alternative form of release. When Steve couldn’t locate a realistic stand-in vagina on the market, he began drawing plans to craft his own.”

    Yes, that’s the origin story for the Fleshlight, the world’s most popular male masturbation toy.

 

  • Food porn? Queerty dug up this clip from “Cooking with Beefcake Too!” a bawdy cooking video from the 80s, hosted by a lecherous Jaye P. Morgan.
  • Crystal at Autostraddle shared her top 10 lesbian romance novels.
  • The Beaver Whisperer talked about STIs in the lesbian community.
  • As numerous gossip sites informed us, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a proud customer of our LA store. But where is this Pleasure Chest “bar” the paparazzi are talking about? We’re thirsty!

  • Last, but by no means least, Weird Al Yankovic released his long-awaited parody of Lady Gaga, proving that he can out-queer the reigning queen of pop.

Got a link we need to see? Tell us on Twitter. Follow our LA, NY and Chicago feeds!

Jun 17 2011

Sexy LA, Sweaty Balls & Real Live Lesbian Bloggers

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by thepleasurechest

Here are our favorite stories and links from last week’s Twitter feed.

  • Up, up and away! We began the week by enjoying this clip of a Seattle man taking a hot air balloon ride while suspended from flesh hooks. Has Werner Herzog seen this? (h/t Boing Boing)
  • After not one but two high profile lesbian bloggers were revealed to be men, The Awl published this delightful post from a real live lesbian blogger. We know she’s telling the truth because of all the “vagina licking” that goes on.

Make love, not riots?

  • The riots in Vancouver produced this now iconic photo of two lovers who appear to be kissing, oblivious to the chaos around them. The true story behind the picture isn’t quite so sexy. The young man says he was trying to comfort his girlfriend after they were trampled by riot police.
  • Trojan (of condom fame) released the US Sex Census, a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults. They concluded that Los Angeles has more sex than any city in the country. The average Angeleno does “it” 135 times a year. Unfortunately, it’s not the best sex. That honor goes to Philadelphia, whose citizens reported the highest levels of satisfaction. Los Angeles was also number one in vibrator use at 48%. We don’t know how scientific this survey was. 1,000 people isn’t very many. (Sorry, but we’re sample size queens!)
  • Scientific American took a look at the state of male birth control methods, and concluded that nothing is likely to replace the condom in the near future.

  • World of Wonder dug up this ad from a 1937 issue of some magazine called True Romance, reminding us that while beauty norms may change, the message never does.
  • In recent years, advertisers have increasingly targeted men’s insecurities too. Responding to a New York Times (!) article about intimate male hygiene, Jezebel investigated the wide world of products designed to combat “ball stink.”

Got prostatitis?

  • We don’t know about testicle deodorants, but we’d love to get our hands on a Dila-Therm! (h/t BoingBoing)

  • Also from Jezebel, we learned about the PBS documentary Two Spirits and its investigation of the four recognized genders in Navajo culture.
  • Earlier this month, census takers in Nepal began to recognize a “third gender” to account for its transgender population.
  • A study from the Netherlands concluded that as women gain social and economic parity, they cheat at the same rate as men. But, Anna Holmes wonders, do women cheat for the same reasons?

  • Finally, we’re not much for 80s nostalgia, but one of our Facebook friends sent us this amazing link to a vintage Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog.

Got a link we need to see? Tell us on Twitter. Follow our LA, NY and Chicago feeds!

Jun 13 2011

Vintage Lesbians, Futuristic Hotel Sex & Jon Stewart’s Silicone Weiner!

0

by thepleasurechest

Here’s a look back at our favorite viral videos and sex stories from last week.

The Daily Show – C#@k-Blocked Roundup – Yemen
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

  • Why yes, that was a Tantus Hank dildo purchased from our New York store on The Daily Show last week! And true to its fine reputation, the Tantus silicone withstood quite a beating on the “Cockblocked” news wheel.
  • Speaking of runaway penises, The Guardian chose last week to sound off on “the media myth that says men are the feckless passengers of their own insatiable sex drives.”

Looking sharp!

  • Congratulations to Staysha Randall who now holds the Guinness Record for the most body piercings in one sitting. 3200 of them, to be exact. Bravo!

No recess.

  • As summer heats up, the Village Voice reminds us that women can legally go topless in the state of New York. Let’s hear it for a public nudity law without sexist double standards!
  • On the other hand, occasionally the double standard works in women’s favor.” That’s Gawker reporting on the case of a New Zealand woman who keeps beating a flashing charge because there’s no proof she’s physically aroused. Say the cops: “If a man drops his trousers, it is easy to see he is excited, but with a woman that is not possible.” O RLY?
  • Why do women fake orgasm? It’s not just to protect your fragile ego. They might also be afraid of intimacy.
  • A study commissioned by Travelodge claims that by 2030, we’ll all be having amazing sex in cheap hotels. “Futurologist” and engineer Ian Pearson predicts:

“Video, audio, smells and tactile experiences produced using our bed or bed linen will play a key role in helping to make our dreams feel real,” said the report.

“We will be able to replay our favourite dream from a menu just like choosing a movie. Also, we will be able to link into dreams with our partner or family and friends and enjoy a shared dream experience.”

Remote virtual love making would allow individuals to “connect with their partner” while away from home, although lenses could be worn to adjust how their partner looks.

“This will enable people to change the image of their partner on a regular basis, and only they will be aware as their lover will not be able to tell what they are looking at,” the report added.

  • Finally, in honor of Pride month, here’s a lovely message from the International Gay Rodeo Association. Buck up, gay cowboys and cowgirls. It gets better for you too.

 

 


Jun 06 2011

AIDS at 30, Colbert on Weinergate & Turn Of the Century Spooning

0

by thepleasurechest

Here are our favorite stories and links from last week’s Twitter feed.

  • After yet another HIV scare, the legal battle over condoms in porn may be going to a new level as lawmakers in California prepare to make them mandatory.

  • Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the first reports of AIDS by the CDC. Wired published this interesting map showing the distribution of HIV throughout the United States.
  • Timothy Brown underwent an innovative treatment for HIV and now shows no signs of the virus. Brown’s story gives scientists new hope for a cure.
  • A maverick Indian scientist may be revolutionizing birth control for men. Will RISUG (“reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance”) replace the vasectomy?

  • Carolyn Owlett isn’t a scientist or a statistician, but “Sexy Girls Have it Easy” is full of anecdotal evidence to prove what many women have long suspected.

 

  • Music fans might want to take care when downloading from the interwebz. A report on Boing Boing claims that Titan Media is disguising gay porn movies as music files in an attempt to shake down those who are engaged in illegal file sharing. Is that a Dire Straits album you just downloaded? Or is it “Cop Shack 101?”

Stephen Colbert has been hacked!

  • In other interweb news, Stephen Colbert spoofed the “Weinergate” scandal with a series of hilariously suggestive photos.

Eau de toilette.

Got a link we need to see? Tell us on Twitter. Follow our LA, NY and Chicago feeds!

Jun 02 2011

Join Us for SlutWalk LA this Saturday (updated below)

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by thepleasurechest

Saturday!

Pleasure Chest is proud to announce that we’re co-sponsoring SlutWalk LA this Saturday in West Hollywood. If you are not familiar with SlutWalk, it’s a decentralized, global movement to speak out against sexual assault, and especially to combat victim blaming.

The first SlutWalk was in Toronto this past April. It came in response to comments by a police officer, who, while speaking about campus safety at York University, said that female students could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts.” As Time reports:

Immediately afterward, the law school’s students and staff demanded an apology from the Toronto Police. Though the officer who made the remarks apologized and was reprimanded (but stayed on duty), his comment sparked a protest movement that has since gone global. In April, thousands of women took part in the first “SlutWalk” in Toronto, demonstrating against the notion that rape victims should somehow be held responsible for their assault, and rallying to re-appropriate the term “slut.”

Coinciding with the rise of the SlutWalk movement have been a number of high profile cases of sexual assault. The problematic response from many in the media suggests that we still have far to go to combat rape culture.

SlutWalk has now made its way to our city. The Pleasure Chest has been an engaged  part of the  community in Los Angeles and West Hollywood for over 35 years. When we heard that the rally and march were going to happen in our own backyard, we knew that it was important to lend our support.

As workers in the sex industry, we certainly know what it’s like to be called “sluts” and to feel judged for our sexuality. We’re happy to join the California National Organization for Women, the Sex Worker’s Outreach Project and the nearly 4,000 people who have RSVPd on Facebook in support of the event. As we see it, SlutWalk LA is an inclusive, irreverent and sex-positive response to sexual assault and victim blaming. We’re looking forward to Saturday. Join us?

Update: Come to SlutWalk LA tomorrow & get a button. Wear it to our store this weekend and claim a free pocket vibe!

May 23 2011

Are we the best adult novelty store in Chicago? Hell yes!

0

by thepleasurechest

Vote for us. Chicago Reader: Best of Chicago 2011.

The Chicago Reader is having its annual “Best of Chicago” poll right now. And this year, there’s a category that suits us just fine! We’d be thrilled if you could take a moment to vote for us.  Click on the icon to the left to go to the poll. Once there, please click on the category “Goods & Services” and write in “Pleasure Chest” for the “Best Adult Novelty Store.” It’s that easy!

On a historical note, here’s a flashback from five years ago, when our store’s relocation sparked a zoning controversy. We’re happy to be here! Please let the Reader know how happy you are too.