Portland Sexuality Resources
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:
- This guide is only intended for (and frankly only of use to)
consenting adults, since the overwhelming majority of the organizations it
describes are restricted to participants over the age of 18 or 21.
- This guide comes with no accuracy guarantees, may eventually go out of
date, in some points is (by practical necessity) based on recommendations
rather than first-hand experience, and in using it you release its
creators from any liability concerning it. In other words, it is at best
a starting point and never a substitute for using good judgment.
- Common courtesy, and asking whenever you're unsure whether something
is OK, never go out of style.
- Three national non-profit organizations actively defending the
freedoms which sex-positive culture depends on are the ACLU (see http://www.aclu.org), the National
Coalition for Sexual Freedom (see http://www.ncsfreedom.org), and the
work the Planned Parenthood Foundation does to maintain access to
birth control and STD prevention measures (see http://www.plannedparenthood.org).
Consider supporting their work if you can.
- If you sometimes travel to other cities on the West Coast, then you
may also wish to check out our separate guides to Seattle, Vancouver
BC, and San Francisco.
Sexuality and Sensuality
She Bop offers workshops on
sex-related topics every few weeks.
Catalyst: A Sex Positive
Place has its origins in the BDSM community, but is currently
expanding into a more broadly sex-positive mission.
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.
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.
Portland is home to many poly-friendly therapists, one example being
Gwenn Cody LCSW.
The Velvet Rope is Portland's
oldest on-premise club, at the location previously known as Ace of Hearts.
NW Pendulums offers monthly
meet and greets at a lifestyle-friendly bar.
Getting Started in the Community
A good 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 Portland Leather Alliance
You can also subscribe to the PDX-ASB mailing
list for information and announcements concerning the Portland BDSM
community, and check out the Portland Leather Alliance
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.
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
Special Interest Events
Noble Rope Arts offers events for rope
bondage enthusiasts, while MAsT
offers events for D/s enthusiasts.
Bathhouses for Gay or Bi Men
Portland has at least one: Steam
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
Two people currently offering counseling in intimacy skills and/or Tantra
in the Portland area are Anna Marti
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.
She Bop is a comfortable
woman-owned store which offers an excellent selection of quality sex toys
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.
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
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.
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
Pivot is Portland's new gay men's
Other resources include Oregon
Bears, a Radical Faeries circle,
and a gay men's nudist organization called OMEN.
As starting points, we recommend visiting the (wonderful) bookstore In Other Words, and going through the
current Just Out listings.
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.
HIV/STD testing is available through the Multnomah County Health
Portland has two Planned
Parenthood clinics: one in the northeast, and one in the southeast.
One therapist with professional training in sex therapy currently
working in the Portland area is Julie Jeske MS: see the Kink
Aware Professionals site for others.
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