Portland Sexuality Resources


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Introduction

This guide provides brief descriptions and contact information for some of the sex-positive cultural resources of Portland, Oregon.

Before beginning, we should pause to mention that:

Sexuality and Sensuality

She Bop offers workshops on sex-related topics every few weeks.

SexPositivePDX is a new nonprofit organization which currently hosts a variety of local events, and intends to host both an annual festival and a Burning Man camp.

We were impressed with the LoveTribe "Rapture" event we attended while researching this guide: if it's ever offered in Portland again it might be a great place to start.

Polyamory

The best place to start is probably the polyamorypdx mailing list: this discussion list is currently the best source of information on Portland poly happenings, including informal social gatherings which aren't announced anywhere else.

A list of poly-friendly counselors and therapists near Portland is available on the Polychromatic site, and of those listed Gwenn Cody LCSW is frequently recommended.

Swinging

Angels Social Club is Portland's oldest on-premise club, and enjoys a 16 year history (previously as Ace of Hearts).

Club Sesso is a new on-premise club in downtown Portland: it has events scheduled most nights of the week, and also offers an art gallery.

Salem Swingtime Dance is an off-premise club in Salem which offers monthly dances.

BDSM/Leather/Fetish

Getting Started in the Community

A good place to start is the Rose City Discussion Club; serving as a sort of "Welcome Wagon" to the Portland scene, RCDC offers monthly classes and socials, and publishes an informative newsletter.

Another easy way to get started is to attend a community "munch" (i.e. an informal lunch or dinner gathering at a local restaurant): details and directions are available on the PDX Leather Alliance site.

You can also subscribe to the PDX-ASB mailing list for information and announcements concerning the Portland BDSM community, and check out both of the following two online calendars (each includes events which the other does not): the Oregon Leather History calendar and the Portland Leather Alliance calendar.

Annual Events

The Portland area's biggest "can't miss" event is the March KinkFest conference hosted by Portland Leather Alliance.

Oregon Leather Pride Week is hosted in Portland every August.

Blackout Leather Productions hosts the annual Mr. and Ms. Oregon Leather competitions (see also the Northwest Sash Bash).

Mixed-Gender Events

As it stands the Portland BDSM community has at least two spaces for workshops and social events: Valhalla Dungeon and The Conservatory.

Same-Gender Events

Women who prefer women-only space should check out PDX Bad Girls.

The Eagle is Portland's men's leather bar (their main fetish event is called "L.U.R.E."). Also, look for the Portland Leathermen Potluck in one of the above community calendars.

Special Interest Events

Noble Rope Arts offers events for rope bondage enthusiasts, while MAsT offers events for D/s enthusiasts.

Dancing

The Portland Industrial Gothic page offers a well-maintained calendar of local dance nights in either gothic or industrial styles.

Classes in exotic dancing are offered through Brassy Butterfly Dance Studio.

Bathhouses for Gay or Bi Men

Portland has at least one: Steam Portland.

A cautionary reminder may be in order here, as it should be everywhere else: you cannot tell whether somebody is HIV-positive or HIV-negative based on how they look or what they say.

Spiritual Sexuality Workshops and Counseling

The Body Electric School offers its basic workshop in Portland, and Seattle isn't far away if you're interested in some of their other workshops.

A variety of workshops on sex and intimacy are offered at the annual Network for a New Culture Summer Camp.

Two people currently offering counseling in intimacy skills and/or Tantra in the Portland area are Anna Marti and Kelly.

If after taking a workshop or two you find you'd like to learn more, or would like to socialize with others who share your interest in this subject, then you might consider joining Portland's Sacred Tantra Club.

Shopping

Sex Toys

It's My Pleasure and She Bop are both comfortable women-owned stores which offer an excellent selection of quality sex toys and books.

Fetish Clothing

Spartacus carries a wide range of sex toys and fetish clothing for both men and women, and is conveniently located one block away from Powell's Books.

Books

Powell's City of Books, located at 1005 W Burnside and open 9am-11pm every day, is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. Relevant sections for the purposes of this guide include "Erotica", "Romance", "Sexuality", "Feminist Studies", and "Gender Studies." At the time this guide was written books on sex work were shelved with Feminist Studies, books on transgender were shelved with Gender Studies, and how-to guides were distributed between the Erotica and Sexuality sections.

Counter Media, located at 927 SW Oak, offers "smut, comics, and weirdness." They have a more diverse selection of erotica than Powell's Books, and are located just one block away. At the time this guide was written their hours were Mon-Sat 11am-7pm and Sun noon-6pm.

GLBT Resources

General

The most comprehensive guide to GLBT resources and events in the Portland area is maintained by the bi-weekly newspaper Just Out.

Other ways to learn about GLBT resources in the Portland area include Q Center, the Out Loud weekly radio show on KBOO 90.7 FM, and the June Pride Parade and Festival.

Bisexual

As starting points, we recommend checking out both Getting Bi Portland and the current Just Out listings.

Gay

Pivot is Portland's new gay men's community space.

Other resources include Oregon Bears, a Radical Faeries circle, and a gay men's nudist organization called OMEN.

Lesbian

As starting points, we recommend visiting the (wonderful) bookstore In Other Words, and going through the current Just Out listings.

Transgender

The Northwest Gender Alliance offers support, social, and educational opportunities in the Portland area for individuals who desire to explore and express another gender, and Resources PDX offers a well-organized health directory.

Drag Mansion ("Queer. Drag. Performance. Art") currently hosts drag king performances.

Health

HIV/STD testing is available through the Multnomah County Health Department.

Portland has two Planned Parenthood clinics: one in the northeast, and one in the southeast.

Two therapists with professional training in sex therapy currently working in the Portland area are Julie Jeske MS and Nancy Campbell Hanks MFT: see the Kink Aware Professionals site for others.

The Common Ground Wellness Center currently reserves use of their (very reasonably-priced) spa on 33rd for their GLBT clientele one evening a week.

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